I knew I wouldn’t be able to get back down and fish for a few weeks, so it would be ideal for a bit of pre-baiting. With the marginal shelf dropping steeply off only a rod length out, it was an easy matter to chuck in my left over bait by hand. I then dumped a few strategically placed branches into the swim, so I could see if anyone was visiting it, as they would have to move them to fish it and I could tell if anyone had been in there.
I religiously baited the swim during the next three weeks, depositing two pints of red maggots and two pints of hemp every other day. Eventually, I could finally fish, and once at the lake I was soon set up. I opted to fish just two rods, as the swim was quite tight, and soon had them swung out into place. Both rods on maggot feeder helicopter set ups, with maggots on a size 12 Target Specimen Hook, 12lb Gardner GT80+ mainline, with totally stripped back 3inch Target Speciskin hooklinks completing the set up.
Almost immediately, I started getting liners, so my confidence was sky high. However, I had to wait until about midnight before I had my first fish. It was not a Tench, but an 11lb 2oz bream was a very welcome distraction. Through the night, I had another three bream, all doubles including a slightly bigger one at 11lb 9oz. Then, just before dawn, I had a screaming take, and after a few minutes, I could see a nice tench around 7lb at a guess powering about just in front of the net. Unfortunately though, it decided to throw the hook. I was annoyed, but at least I had seen a tench. Not long after recasting that rod, it was away again, and this time I did land a tench. A bit smaller than the one I lost, but around 6lb or so I would think.