I was back at the pit and fishing in my pre-baited swim by 0515. It looked great, eight feet of water beneath trailing Alders and an Island in front of me with a nice westerly cross wind rippling the water. I chucked a method feeder baited with fake corn & maggots out to the Island and dropped a PVA bag rig baited with mini boilies into the margins, then sat back to wait for the fish to crawl up my rod. From this high point the day went slowly but steadily downhill.
Problems started almost straight away, the cast to the island was more difficult than I anticipated due to trees growing above me. I had to wade out and crouch down in order to get a clean cast and in doing so managed to wet my back side more than once. Even so my casting wasn’t as accurate as I liked and if anything got worse with each attempt, perhaps I should get a bait-boat! After a couple of hours I had a moment of complete genius! I swapped rods, dropping the method feeder under the tree and casting a PVA bag to the island. I decided to put a few balls of groundbait out to the island but on the fourth ball my catapult gave up the ghost, spraying the bait and rapping my knuckles in the process. My casting accuracy improved straight away but my next problem was damp PVA as a couple of bags decided to fly one way while my rig went the other. While all this was happening I had the radio on, listening to England getting hammered by the “All Blacks”.
By now it was mid morning and despite having the odd twitchy liner type thing on both rods, no proper takes had developed. I thought I’d try something different as I was losing faith in the strength of my PVA so I rummaged in the bottom of my rucksack and found a block end feeder. With a bit of tinkering I had a feeder rig set up which I could actually cast where I wanted and keep the feed where it was supposed to be. This was working fine, still no takes but I was casting accurately and my confidence was increasing. Then I managed to knock my almost full bait box full of maggots into the drink… back to the PVA bags then. I decided to rig up a waggler rod and float fish some corn in the margins to pass the time and perhaps catch a Roach or two, if not a Tench or Bream. I should have known better. I fished with this rod for about half an hour without a bite before a brainless cast saw my float hanging from the trees above me.
Enough was enough, the fish didn’t want to know and I decided to take myself away before any more disasters befell me. My annual spring bash at catching a proper Tench ends in glorious failure once again. Strange but when I used to fish for Carp, I couldn’t help but catch Tench; perhaps there’s a lesson there? The rivers open on Monday so I will spend a few weeks fishing for predators; Pike first, then Perch and Zander with the kids when the summer holidays start. Who knows maybe I’ll have a rematch with those bloody Tench before the summer ends!