May should be a really productive month for a Tench angler but it never is for me, no different to any other time now I think about it. For some reason I never seem to have much time in the spring, there are too many other distractions and this month had been very busy. However the weekend was here and an afternoon come evening opportunity presented itself. I didn’t really fancy the big lake or more to the point, I fancied fishing the new water as although I’d had a look around I hadn’t yet dropped a line in it.
So on a sunny, warm and breezy day I launched a punt and set off. The aim was to explore and hopefully catch a fish or two so I armed myself with a pellet waggler rod, some groundbait, maggots and corn. I paddled around peering into the water, dropping in here and there and fishing for a bit. For company I had the Purple Princess wielding a new camera as well as TMS on the radio, for once I enjoyed hearing the opposition batsmen doing a little better and extending the match a bit. England will win on the fourth day though.
I knew the water could get very weedy and it certainly showed a lot of weed of all varieties. I also spotted a tiny Pike in the weed, no more than two inches long a perfectly camouflaged miniature predator. My approach was to find clearer areas and drop a bit of bait in, along with my float and bait. Then I sat back to see what happened. It was nice to just chuck a float out and catch what came along just as I did as a kid, doing this led me to being addicted to angling for life. I can’t remember ever fishing like this from a punt before though.
I fished about five spots in all and caught fish in all of them; mostly Rudd along with a couple of Perch and one solitary Roach. I didn’t see sight or sound of any Tench but I did see a good sized Carp slurping down emerging flies. I enjoyed the intimate fishing even though I felt I was totally useless at it! I waited for the sun to set before paddling back with plenty to think about. It’s a really nice place to spend time and working out where and how to catch the bigger fish is just the sort of fishing I enjoy.
I couldn’t be arsed getting up early in the morning with a cold Northerly wind blowing so it was not until 0745 that I rolled into the car park. I opened the boot and realised I’d left my muck boots behind, that could be a problem. I had a quick scout around, there was one area in particular where I’d been meaning to try, and today I would have the wind on my back. The area looked inviting but without wellies I couldn’t fish it safely. I ended up in a more familiar area which looked okay but meant I’d be hiding behind the oval with the wind in my chops.
The weekend had been around 20 degrees but today it was down to about 15 and felt cooler under the gloomy skies. Not a day to be sitting out staring at a float so I began with two feeder rigs; one dropped about fifteen yards down the slope in seven feet of water, the other just a couple of rod lengths out where I baited up with a bit of seed mix, some maggots and some corn. The close in rod was cast infrequently but for the other I kept braving the blow to keep the feeder going in. When I did venture out of shelter it was nice to see the big lake in almost full summer bloom. It’s changed a lot over the last two months. The resident Swans now have a family of five young to look after, the Shelduck were still around along with a pair of Grebes that must have a nest nearby. Once again there was constant birdsong all day but stuck behind the brolly I didn’t see much of it.
After a couple of hours I decided to change the close in rod to an inline lead with a tutti boilie and fake corn hair rigged on a short hooklength, I topped the area up with a bit more groundbait. Then I sat back with a cup of tea and TMS on the radio. The wind was forecast to increase throughout the afternoon and I would be happy under shelter with the radio. On the fishing front things remained quiet as did the cricket; England only managed one wicket in the morning session and into the afternoon a decent partnership built. As the wind increased in the afternoon session so did the action, England picked off the wickets and was set seventy something to win. The fishing had seen nothing of note happening so as England’s innings began I started to tidy up. A gust of wind rattled the brolly and knocked the radio over, I picked it up just in time to hear Cook pass ten thousand test runs. I was home in time to watch the last few overs and the winning runs on tele.
Despite the traditional Pike season coming to an end PAC members have been busy tackling poaching in Essex and Yorkshire (please click the links below). The shocking truth is the EA just don’t have enough enforcement officers to go round. The ones they do have are stretched wafer thin and just can’t cover the ground to do the job. The environment agency do not give anglers value for money, they just tax us.
Talking of PAC the very latest Pikelines magazine arrived a couple of weeks ago and it is the best for years. Several well written articles by top Pikers in a beautifully laid out mag but you don’t expect anything less from new editor Stephen Harper. That’s just another reason why every serious Pike angler should be a member. I may be biased, bollocks I am biased but I think Pikelines is the best Pike fishing magazine there is.
I have a subscription to Pike & Predators magazine too and this usually has a right ol’ mix of articles; good bad and indifferent. Editor Neville Fickling always writes something interesting and there are good articles from other authors every month. There is usually someone reinventing the wheel, sometimes in an attempt to sell tackle and usually there are a couple of thinly disguised advertorials. I wonder how much does Mick Flanagan pays to advertise his business every month? On the whole the mag is a pretty good read.