With it being Friday 13th i fully expected the day started out on a downer and sure enough it did! I was given a real ball-ache of a job to program up at work which put paid to any thoughts i had of an early finish and it was gone 2pm by the time i managed to get out of the workhouse. I rushed to get home and halfway there the car decided to die on me for no apparent reason. I managed to get it restarted and its been fine since but i do hope its not symptomatic of some serious wallet damage coming up in the near future!
I had already prepped my kit the night before so it wasnt too long before i was eventually setting up lakeside. The weather was sunny with a coolish breeze and the lake looked good for a fish or two but despite this it was a fairly slow start and it was about 2 hours before i had my first bite. The fish was fairly small at 4.4 and although it looked to be in good condition fin and mouthwise it was very skinny with some curious red blotches on it, a skin complaint perhaps?
After this i started to have some problems on my margin rod with the lakes resident dumbass Swan . It would not leave me alone and i ended up hooking it and it went mad, i could see my feeder hanging from its mouth as i attempted to bring it in and then, thankfully the hook came free, phew! It buggered off up the top end of the lake and i thought that would be the last id see of it ......... how wrong i was! Twenty minutes later it was back and hooked up again! Sweet Jesus those birds are thick! This time it decided to attempt take off and as it clattered across the surface the hook bounced out of its beak, no harm done. Unbelievably it even came back again after that but fortunately it seemed to hang back off the baited area and i had no more trouble with it.
Back to the fishing anyway, after the Swan antics the swim needed time to settle. The weather had closed in drastically by this time and i was subjected to some serious thundery showers, not fun when you havent got a brolly with you i can tell you! I was soaked and seriously thinking about packing up but in between showers i managed a Bream of about 6lb and another Tench of 5.10.
Once the worst of the showers had passed over it began to brighten up but the temperature felt decidedly fresher. The breeze, although cold, was drying me off nicely so i carried on fishing and was soon rewarded with another Tench. This one was only about 2lb and was the smallest ive ever had from the lake, it was in mint condition and shows that at least one or two babies have managed to survive the hordes of Pike present in the water.
A lost fish soon afterwards was all the action i had until just before dark when my right hander signalled a slow take. I initially thought it was a small fish or a Bream because it pretty much came in like a wet sack until i got it in the margins whereupon it woke up and suddenly felt much heavier! As it slid into the net i glimpsed the fishes girth and knew that it was something a bit special. On the mat it looked big, surely a seasons best or, dare i say it, a PB?
She went 8.8, an agonising 2oz short of equalling my PB but still the second biggest Tench ive ever landed and i was over the moon. A just reward for putting the time in on the water, hacking through so many smaller fish and coping with all the various other challenges the lake presents.
Id finally caught what id been after from the lake but with just over 4 weeks to go before the river season begins im not going to be finishing on there just yet, theres still time for another and who knows, i might even get that PB after all!