he weekend arrived and the main event was a BBQ with old friends. This included mountains of food and gallons of beer so there was no way I’d be getting up at the crack of dawn. Instead I was out and about around midday and after chatting to a friend fishing for Carp I eventually found myself at the Tench pit in mid afternoon. I had a swim in mind and it was free but there was another angler nearby which meant I’d have to alter plans a bit. I spent a while with a plumb rod and located the edge of a plateau but decided chucking feeders here would probably infringe on the other angler. Apart from that I really liked the look of the tree and reed lined margins so it was here I decided to begin fishing. The afternoon was mild and cloudy with a brisk westerly wind blowing into my face, pretty good conditions? We’ll see…
Around 0645 the float rod hooped over and for a second I dared to hope… but no, it was a Bream. Switching back to maggots brought more Perch and a silvery surprise in the form of a Dace which must have found its way into this pit from the river at some point. The feeder rod beeped and bounced occasionally but nothing took enough pity on me to hang itself. By 1030 I knew the children would be up and about so it was time to pack up and head home. I’ve got back into the habit of catching fish, just not Tench. No change there then.
I tackled up with a 10mm boilie/ fake corn on one rod and an open end feeder with maggots on the other. The groundbait was my favourite Expo with added crushed hemp. I dropped the boilie along the treeline to my left and the feeder in front of the reeds to my right. After a few minutes I asked myself “What the hell am I doing?” Why on earth was I not using the float rod I’d brought with me? So a few minutes later I’d repositioned the feeder to the tree line and was float fishing in front of the reeds.I’ve got out of the habit of actually catching fish so was a little surprised when the float began to dip! The result was not the Tench I hoped for but a spirited little Perch which was quite welcome after my recent run of blanks. Bites came along regularly and I managed to catch a succession of little Perch but not so regular that they were annoying. I kept recasting the feeder and gradually put a bit of groundbait down there but apart from the occasional nipped maggot, nothing occurred.
Around 1900 the other angler departed so I replaced the float rod with a boilie and PVA bag of pellets, positioned on the edge of the plateau. I’d enjoyed the float fishing but was happy to sit back and relax in my chair with two rods on alarms. At around 2050 the micron sounded a take at last! The feeder rod was away but the result was another Perch, albeit the biggest of the day. As the light faded I had two more twitchy takes on this rod but failed to connect with either. I packed up by torch light, no Tench but I’d enjoyed myself.
I returned a week later and this time I did manage to drag my carcass out of bed on a warm, still and cloudy morning. I fished a different swim this time and covered the edge of the plateau from a different angle. As I tackled up a cuckoo welcomed me to the lake. Once again I used an open end feeder with a couple of maggots and a bit of fake corn on a 3” hooklength. On my other rod I float fished maggots next to the lily pads, if the Tench had read the text books I’d be sure to catch! I dropped the occasional small ball of groundbait here but mostly fed pellets, a small handful with every cast.
The float began dipping from the off and I caught loads of Perch and Rudd on the red maggots. It was fun to begin with but I doubted my bait would stay in place long enough for a Tench to discover it. Rooting around in the bag I found some Marukyu fake corn which is very soft and realistic so I gave this a go. Although I’ve caught fish on this in the past today it slowed the bites down to a full stop so every now and again I’d have another chuck with maggots and catch a few more fish. Meanwhile I was recasting the feeder regularly, landing it in the same spot and hopefully building up a bit of bait for the Tench to home in on.