Continued from Part 1… I arrived after work on a Tuesday afternoon. With the prime time on most waters being early morning I try and get in position the night before, so everything is set up and baited. Checking the wind on my weather app, it was all over the place, and I was guessing the fish would be in the central zone of the lake. Unfortunately, the first area I wanted to fish was taken, so I got back in the car and drove round to the other side.
I loaded my barrow up with everything, confident the area would be free as there were no car park here. As I leave my car out on the main road, I can’t risk leaving anything of any value in the car.
It’s very deep water, but the margins are shallow in places so I donned my chesties to cast the marker as it’s not easy from the bankside as there are no proper swims as such, and to cast correctly you need to wade out in the water due to overhanging trees. I slowly worked my way down the lake and found that the first three areas were solid weed and minimal features. The fourth area I waded into was very tight, but there was a deep gully at 40 yards range that felt good. Having found this area, I got one of my regular rods, with a lead and hook on it, off my barrow to cast around the marker to see how clear it really was. It felt good out there, but the ‘swim’ really was very tight and with a steep bank. Walking down the bank, I managed to find a safer access point to get to the water, that luckily also a little bit more room to cast. The wind was coming in at me, so I decided it would be a good starting point.
Time was getting on; I only had a couple of hours before dark as this whole swim finding process had taken over two hours. I rapidly got my three rods out, then spombed over the top, which often brings me a bite if I’m on fish. This took about an hour and then I set up camp, all the time watching the water intently.
It was nearly dark at this point, so just before my last recast, I reeled the rods in and went to move my car a bit closer. Then I realized how far I had pushed my barrow to find a swim as it took me nearly 30 minutes to get back to the car. Lucky for me there was a friendly farmer who let me park at the edge of a field about 200 yards from my spot. Perfect.
I got back to the rods and put them out for the night, I know a lot of Tench anglers don’t fish the nights but I’ve done well at nights and I don’t want a shoal of big females visiting my swim at night, then moving on the wind and not coming back. Just before dark, I started to see the odd Tench show at about 80 yards in front of me, which was a sight for sore eyes! It had been a long day starting, what with work then sheading straight down the lake.
The wind direction was changing all night, and at first light, a very big Tench popped right up on my spot. I gave it a while, then recast the rods, two of which had feeders and popped up maggots, as I didn’t trust the bottom. As I watched I was getting line bites, and nice flat oil spots kept appearing over my area.
At about 9AM my middle rod was away, it went straight into the weed I managed to slowly get it moving with everything looking good, I got in the water to meet it with the net, and the hook pulled. I quickly changed the hooklink and checked the first 40 yards of line on the yardage sticks for any damage, and got it cast back out.
That was it, not another knock or show. Most the morning I had been stood in the water watching some of the lake I could see and about half a mile away I had seen fish showing so at 2PM I went for a walk with a marker rod and the fish still seemed to be there. With location being of paramount importance I made the massive decision to move. Yes, there was a good chance I was moving off fish, but I really wasn’t feeling it. There was defiantly fish in the new area.
The sun was out and I’m not getting any younger. In fact, I’m old, and that barrow push killed me so markering and spombing in the new swim was really tough going, but as my friends know when I’m fishing, I’m none stop.
The next morning came and went, and nothing happened. The whole lake looked dead, as an easterly wind had picked up. I decided to sit it out in my current swim and was rewarded on the third morning of my session with an 8lb 14oz female. Then on the last morning, I managed a 6lb 6oz female tough going was the word, but I went home happy.
The second session couldn’t come soon enough, and after a full day at work I was on my way.
This time when I got to the water, I only had two hours before dark, and there was a southwesterly wind coming in. I couldn’t see any other anglers and decided to go into the same swim as last week and I managed to get the spombing and everything done before dark. Nothing was really showing, and I watched the water most the night.
In the morning I got to work. The first 12 hours were tranquil, and fish started to show over my area. I had a take on the first morning and it bolted straight into weed and through the line of my other rod, resulting in a quick hook pull – gutted.
I decided to go down to two rods, and I decided to stop fishing feeders at this point, as I was sure they were backing off them. But I would spomb over the top with a wet mix of ground bait.
Nothing happened during the next 24 hours, other than me beating myself up for losing that fish. The pain was real. On the second morning, more fish started to show, and I had a missed take at 7AM, and then after a quick recast, I had a take resulting in a 6lb 8oz male Tinca, followed by another male of 6lb 2oz which was a good feeling. Carefully using a small Spomb to apply a bit more of the sloppy mix I then had a one toner and after an epic battle land a PB male of 7lb 10oz. I put it in the retainer, to sort my camera and tripod, and my other rod was away! This time a female of 9lb 6oz came to the net. What a brace and what a feeling. That afternoon I had another two fish, a 7lb male and a mint 8lb 2oz.
The last morning arrived, I was out of food. I had some water left, and the maggot supplies were getting low, but I was on fish. I was also running out of PVA mesh, but luckily for me, I managed to find a small tube of it in the car. I like to do my own thing, find my own waters and keep myself to myself. Well, the last morning went in a blur as I managed four more Tench, all of which were males weighing in at 7lb 4oz, 7lb 3oz, 7lb 4oz and 7lb 6oz (caught in that order).
I was really happy with that! Ten Tench in a session, from such a difficult water. In fact, I could catch 7lb+ male Tench all season to be honest; they are such a pleasure to catch.
*As a footnote, I highly recommend joining the Tench fishers’ group. I’ve been a member for about eight years and write regularly for their bi-yearly magazine.