Thursday, 12 June 2008

Not Tench but...

I was looking forward to another crack at the Tench so much I couldn’t sleep. This is usual for me when Pike fishing but Tench? I’d checked out a nice looking swim on my last visit and really fancied my chances. I rolled up at around 5am this morning and the swim was free, so after a brief look around I settled in. An hour later I was moving out again!! Unfortunately I hadn’t accounted for another three weeks weed growth, not only was the reedy point I wanted to cast to now a weedy, reedy point but a lot of lily pads had surfaced in between. I could have found a way to fish my hookbaits where I’d intended but I wasn’t confident I’d be able to land any fish I hooked. In short I was neither comfortable nor confident so I had to move.

It wasn’t long before I was settled in further down the bank. I dropped a PVA bag full of pellets into six feet of water along a sheltered margin to my left, this was baited with popped up mini boilies. I’d considered using a maggot feeder on another rod but ended up using a method feeder with a tuna groundbait and a highly sophisticated hook arrangement. I hair rigged a piece of fake corn and put three red maggots on a size 14 hook. This was cast about thirty metres to the edge of a bed of lily pads. On a third rod I fished a waggler and used a single grain of corn close in on the right of the swim.

As usual the method feeder was getting attention from the start, with short pulls and twitches. After half an hour a proper take developed but the hook pulled almost straight away. By now the sun was high and another warm day, the third in a row, was underway. Several Carp were cruising around, not cruising in a looking for food kind of way but in a highly animated fashion and were spawning by early afternoon. This surprised me as Carp had been spawning exactly a month ago when I fished this pit for the first time.

I’d spent ninety minutes in the new swim before the method feeder trundled off again. At first I thought I’d missed it but in the margins I noticed a skimmer hanging on the end. An hour or so later the same rod went again and another Bream landed, double the size of the first. I had a few bites on the waggler rod too, landing a couple of nice Roach. When I say nice, put it this way, had it been winter, one of the Roach would have been too big for the livebait bucket. The margin rod with the PVA bag hadn’t moved so I cast it to the pads where I’d been getting action on the method feeder. During the remainder of the session I had a few pulls on this rod but no proper takes. At this point I have a confession to make, as nothing happened I decided to try to catch a Carp on this rod. They had been cruising over my baited areas without showing any interest nor had they even looked at some floating baits I had thrown in. I changed this rod to a zig rig with a pop up bait fished a foot below the surface………..but this didn’t work either!

Just after 11am with the sun high in the sky the method feeder roared off once again and this time I found myself attached to something a bit more substantial. The culprit was another Bream and this one actually put up a bit of a fight in the margins. Over the years I have been even less successful at catching big Bream than I have Tench. Does that make sense? What I mean is, I’m crap at catching Tench but even worse at catching Bream. Anyway I slipped this on the scales and it weighed 5 ¼ pounds which was nice. If my memory is correct I caught my very first ever Bream from this very pit nearly thirty years ago and in all this time I’m sure this Bream is the largest I’ve ever caught here.

By this time the carp were busy trying to demolish the lily pads and I could see small Tench cruising around in a similar animated manner to how the Carp had been behaving earlier. I’d had enough, time to head off home.

So far I’ve only fished the older part of the pit, which apart from silt encroachment in places is very similar to how I remember fishing it as a kid. Before leaving I had a look around at the northern end of the pit which has been reworked and is deeper and has less weed. As I’ve neither seen nor caught any big Tench in the shallow weedy area its high time I gave this end a go. I found a nice swim tucked away which looks like it hardly gets fished. There’s a cast to the back of a small island as well as a nice tree shaded margin. As I’m back on the pit in a couple of days I decided to pre-bait with the leftover groundbait and a couple of kilos of tuna pellets. Watch this space.

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