Saturday, 7 May 2011

Back to the Tench

Friday 6th May

I had originally planned to do a night on the Tench lake ive been fishing but work and family commitments left me with little time to prepare so i settled on a quick evening session instead. A quick scout of the pool upon my arrival showed the place to be pretty busy, in fact the carpark was full! I scanned the far bank with my binoculars and spotted a free swim right up the top end. It was really warm and quite muggy so i was a sweating, knackered mess by the time i got around to the swim. It was a new spot for me but as i took stock of what lay before me, a Tench rolled exactly where i was thinking about placing my bait. Thatll do me then!

I commenced fishing and it was about an hour before i hooked my first fish of the day. It found some lilies straight away and after a bit of hefty pulling i managed to free it whereupon it promptly found a snag down to my left and the hook pulled. Bugger! little did i know it but those lilies and that snag were to prove a complete nightmare over the next couple of hours....

The next one i hooked  i bullied mercilessly, hauling it away from the danger zones as quickly as i could. It was only a small one but they all count and it was nice to get one under my belt. I tried to take a quick snap in case i needed it for the blog but my camera batteries were totally dead, yet another bugger! looks like id have to try and get something useable with phone-pics.

Over the next hour i hooked two more Tench, losing both to hookpulls due to excessive bullying. I uprated my hook size and hooklink strength to compensate and was pleased to land a nice Bream shortly afterwards. At 9lb4oz it was the heaviest id ever had from the lake and i had to be careful because she appeared to be carrying a fair amount of spawn.

Nice Bream, crappy phone-pic grrrr!

After this i went on to have a total mare with the snags. I landed three more Tench,  5.0,  5.12 and a cracker of 6.14 but i lost another five (yes 5!) fish to the lilies. Most were hookpulls apart from one which snagged solid and ended up breaking me off. The swim was also really shallow and i kept getting pickups off a particularly dumb Swan which, despite several pebbles and a method-ball landing on it, simply wouldnt take the hint! 
Even though i had caught some nice fish, i packed up with a bit of an empty feeling after losing so many. Thoughts of what couldve been, what i couldve done differently and how id approach the swim in future filled my head. When i got home i uploaded the pics id taken on my phone onto the pc and was somewhat miffed to find them pretty much unuseable. I was hoping to bring you pics of my second biggest Tench of the year so far but id chopped half its tail off and it was blurry as hell, more bugger!

Saturday 7th May

After getting home last night i spent an hour sorting some kit and bait out with the intention of going back down today to even the score a bit. Those losses were totally unacceptable and this time i decided to try and avoid that area of the lake as best as i could. 
I know the books and magazines tell us to use watercraft when we arrive at a venue to determine where to fish on the day but id wager that the majority of us often arrive at a venue with a particular spot in mind. A so it was when my mate Keith and i arrived at first light except that someone was already setting up there! some swims were free on the far bank (away from the snags this time) so we headed there, beggars cant be choosers on these busy waters! sod the watercraft, in these situations you have to try and make the most of whats actually available.

Soon enough the fishing began and the weather was a complete contrast to the previous evenings hot conditions. It was still warm but it had rained quite heavily in the night and now the sky was overcast with a distinct danger of more rain to come. Hopefully the fish would feed a little better during the day under these conditions as opposed to mostly first thing in the morning and last thing at night.
After the intial first few feederfulls of bait had gone in it was a good while before i had a hint of any action. Eventually a screamer of a take and a short scrap resulted in a plump female Tench of 5.8 on the bank. It was nice to land a fish in totally snag-free water after last nights debacle.


After this the action continued in a very steady manner, it wasnt red hot hauling but the fish came along in a steady stream at a rate of about one every 45mins to an hour. I landed nine in total to a top weight of 5.10, nothing huge but plenty of good solid sport.
I did witness something unusual though, i was just landing a small Tench of about 3lb when an even smaller jack of around 2lb decided to latch onto its tail. It wouldnt let go and i very nearly netted both fish when a larger Pike of around 8lb decided the jack would make a good snack and grabbed hold of it! for a few seconds i actually had three fish on the end of my line at once until the jack finally let go of the Tench. It managed to get away from its larger cousin too in a shower of scales which left the bigger fish sitting there somewhat bemused!
All in all quite a decent days fishing and i only lost one fish all day too! Below is a few pics of some of the fish caught.





  1. Lovely and throughly enjoyable read Leo.
    Some lovely looking Tincas there,specially like the first photograph,nice darker fish.

    kind regards and tight lines


  2. Cheers Mark, much appreciated mate. There does seem to be quite a variation in colours of the Tench in the lake, could be down to different year classes or something?