Thursday, 7 June 2012

A new PB

It was around ten oclock in the morning by the time i arrived at the Tench lake and a quick look around told me there was only three other anglers on. This meant i had a choice of several swims but reports from those who fished the previous day werent exactly encouraging. A few fish had come out but by and large it turned out that most had struggled and the fish seemed to be very localised in certain spots around the lake.
The wind had changed direction since Mondays visit and seemed fairly mild, the sun too was shining as i made my way around to a couple of swims on the far side of the water. I picked a spot, got setup and cast in . No sooner had i done so, a chap with a chainsaw started cutting some trees up about 30 yards behind my swim, Jesus it was noisy! I stuck it out for all of half an hour before moving to the next swim along slighty further away from the commotion.
A couple of actionless hours later the din ceased so i decided to head back to my original spot as something about it seemed to look right. Shortly after my move, chainsaw boy started up again but this time it was to be short lived as the heavens decided to open and he decided to bugger off thank god. The rain continued on and off throughout the afternoon, not too heavy but enough to keep the water dripping off the trees around me and soaking everything.

 How do our baits compete with this lot??

Whilst i waited for a bite i got to having a look in the margins to see what kind of natural food the lake contains, there must be something in there which makes the Tench so much bigger than the majority of the other lakes in the area? Within a couple of minutes id found a good selection of titbits right beneath my rods and i dread to think at just how much other natural food the lake holds.
At around 3.30pm i decided to change tactics as my boilie and PVA stick approach obviously wasnt doing the business today. I changed a rod over to a maggot bolt feeder rig and cast it back out. Twenty minutes later i had my first bite of the day and after a decent scrap i landed a Tench of 5.8. She was very skinny and looked spawned out despite the fact that there has been no signs of them spawning in the lake yet, nevertheless it was a fish and it got me off the mark.
A thunder storm followed soon afterwards accompanied by some very heavy rain which turned my swim into a total mudbath. I dont know whether the drop in air pressure had anything to do with it but the storm seemed to have a profound effect on the fish as , no sooner had it finished, i had another bite which resulted in a nice Tench of 6.12 which was followed within minutes by an even better fish of 7.8.

7lb8oz, my session was looking up!

My next bite was an absolute screamer and i was backwinding from the second i hit it. The power of the fish told me it couldnt have been anything other than a big Carp and i really couldnt do anything with it on such a long line. I really leaned into it to try and turn it and the hook pulled. 
A mad spell of action followed and i went on to catch more Tench of 6.8, 6.5, 6.3 and 7.10 aswell as losing three others. All the fish were females which i found odd as males seem to dominate most catches on the water.  Unfortunately the pics of the 7.10 turned out shite cos of the wet weather but i neednt have worried because the lake had definately saved the best for last!
It was around 8.15 and my session was rapidly drawing to a close when i recieved a slow and steady take on my right hander. I struck into what felt like a heavy fish and after kicking about in the open water for a minute or so it began to kite towards some snags. I could feel my line grating on something and the fish swirled just beneath the surface. Although everything was still moving I decided to change my angle of pull and was most relieved to feel the line ping clear of the unseen obstruction. The fish came across the open water without incident but when i got it close in it made for an overhanging tree to my left and managed to get the line hooked around a branch. Fortunately i managed to  reach it with my landing net pole and tease it off, no mean feat with one hand whilst holding a rod connected to an angry Tench with the other!
Once netted i knew it was a decent fish but it wasnt until i lifted it out of the water that i realised just how decent! i lay it on the mat, unfolded the net and stared! the fish was enormous and i was 100% certain i was looking at a new PB. When the scales slammed round past the 9lb mark and settled on 9lb5oz i was stunned, this was the fish id put the hours in for, one of the tiny handful of lumps in the lake which keeps even the most seasoned specimen anglers coming back for more year after year.

 9lb5oz, a new PB

After putting the fish back i didnt feel the need to cast back out and fish on despite there still being feeding fish out there. The sun had finally come out and the lakes surface was like glass, the occasional green back gently broke the surface and patches of pinprick bubbles could be seen here and there. It was all in complete contrast to the hellish weather id experienced over the previous few hours and was a great backdrop to end my session to.


  1. Great result for what was a quite nasty day with rain most of the time. A real target fish and well worth the pb status it gained on your list.

  2. congratulations I'd of been happy wih any of those fish but that PB just looks awesome

  3. Great decision to finish there Leo. When that hard earned PB is finally won - sit back, enjoy!

  4. Congratulations Leo, a tremendous looking Tench, nice one

  5. Cheers lads im still in shock! Ive caught a good few 8s over the years and they look big but that fish was in a different league! that monster you caught the other week Phil mustve been mindblowing.