How to catch canal roach on punch

It’s an old classic, but it still can’t be beaten for roach, says Ian Chadburn

How to catch canal roach on punch

by Angling Times |

Whether the canal is clear or coloured, deep or shallow, bread has that magical knack of getting bites when pinkies, squatts and worms can’t. Quite why it works so well is still a bit of an unknown, but on venues like the Aire & Calder Canal, it becomes THE bait to get on as the year draws to a close.

Fishing bread is cheap, often needing just two loaves of sliced white, easy to use and, more importantly, very instant. You’ll know if it’s going to work very quickly as you’ll get bites within minutes of starting.

Here's how to do it...

It’s an old classic, but it still can’t be beaten for roach
It’s an old classic, but it still can’t be beaten for roach

Pick the right size

For small roach, you’ll get more bites using a small piece of punch – 3mm and 4mm sizes are perfect, only to be increased to 5mm for bigger roach or skimmers.

Pick the right size
Pick the right size

Keep baits simple

I like to keep it simple and use bread straight from the bag. I’ll leave a few slices untouched, but I’ll also have a few that I’ve pressed with a rolling pin to compact them.

Keep baits simple
Keep baits simple

Go for liquidised!

Punch crumb is too positive in the cold, so use liquidised bread. The slices are blitzed in a blender for two minutes with the crusts removed to produce fine crumbs.

Go for liquidised!
Go for liquidised!

Get it down

If you just feed liquidised bread, it’ll drift off before it hits bottom. You have to add gravel – for two loaves of liquidised bread I’ll pop in a sprinkling of small grade aquarium gravel.

Get it down
Get it down

Deal with the flow

For normal conditions, a 0.6g slim pear-shaped float is fine, but when the canal flows, I’ll change to a 1.5g shouldered pattern to let me hold back and slow the bait down.

Deal with the flow
Deal with the flow

Put in a caster line

It’s always worth having a separate caster swim further out. This can give you a late run of better roach. Feed this from the start and wait for two hours before taking a look.

Put in a caster line
Put in a caster line
Punch is hard to beat for nets of canal roach
Punch is hard to beat for nets of canal roach
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