Category Archives: Tench

A Jaunt Wessex Way

I was not able to get to Wessex for the first day of the opening course fishing season this year. I eventually broke free and arrived on the 19th June. Fishing today 20th June , tomorrow (midsummers Day) and Friday before having to peel myself away and drive back home.

Meeting with a good friend for the first day, we decided to fish a pond that is part of our club licence. In fact, the club has recently not only leased this water that they had for a number of years, but has actually bought it outright.

This lake has become known for its Carp, but more interesting for me is that it has also become known for its Tench, and some big Tench at that.

We arrived around lunch time and found a number of anglers already there and disappointingly, one or two were in the ‘crack’ swims that we would have liked to be fishing.  We had a walk around the lake to see any signs of feeding fish. there we still a couple of great looking spots, so we opted for these.

Sport was surprisingly slow and many patches of bubblers did not amount to a bite. I did however manage to catch a number of Roach, and  a Bream of which I cannot recall the last Bream I caught? so it was nice to be reacquainted.

At around 19:00 I had ran out of bait completely. Frustratingly there were still a few patches that showed signs of feeding fish here at there that I had been baiting up during the day. I noticed a single grain of corn that I had obviously spilt while baiting up lying on the ground. I’ll give this a try I thought. Hooked on the corn and cast out towards the baited swim. Within seconds the float went under and initially I thought that it was yet another Roach. The rod bent hard over, I was into something good. The fish was powering it’s way towards every patch of lillies and snags that it knew. It took all my efforts on the light line I was using to stop it and steer it out into open water. I could not get this fish to the surface. It had stopped running so my thoughts immediately turned away from a Carp and began to think that this was a Tench. Still fighting for every inch, I eventually got the fish to surface and was met by a flash of dark green as it turned and nosed down to the lake bad again. This battle ensued for a good five minutes before I managed to get it over the net. Unbelievable, right at the end of the day, and with only one grain of corn remaining.

Little Tinca

My last day of the fishing trip found me grab an hour or two at another Wessex pond, with the aim of landing a final tench of this trip.

Again the day was hot with cloudless skies. Arriving around 10:00 in hot weather really is not the best time to be Tench fishing. I should have got up earlier, forgot about any breakfast and got too the lake for 5am.

Never-the-less I was now here and was going to give it a go. I found a swim that I knew had already been raked from weed and cast a small piece of corn right next to a group of lilly pads, sat down and enjoyed the sun.

Some time passed and suddenly I noticed the float begin to dither. I sat right next to the rod in preparation for a take. I did not have to wait long before the float slowly sailed away. I first thought that I had hooked a small Rudd, but it turned out to be a very small Tinca which had a temper on it like a Perch.

After this fine piece of luck I retired to the local public house for refreshment before leaving Wessex for my journey home.

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One day like this a year will see me right

The new course fishing season seemed to have taken ages to come around this year. I have not been able to cast a line for a trout in the interim., I have either been too busy with work, or too busy at the allotment.

The weeks forecast ahead for the opening day was enjoyment; with high readings on the thermometer to boot. I would have to pack sunscreen along with all the fishing paraphernalia.

I arrived on the 15th at a favorite lake in Wessex, to be greeted by blistering heat. Fishing would be hard-going in these hot conditions.

I met another member who was there in advance of the glorious 16th who would be camping out in order to get the first cast at midnight.

Following a leisurely morning for me, and devouring a cooked breakfast with a large mug of tea, I arrived at the lake around 09:30. There were only two members there, which was amazing.

Temperatures rose during the day, and the fishing was tough. I had been advised to rake my swim as the lake had a fair bit of weed growth due to the recent warm weather and the low water levels. I did not like the thought of crashing a rake through the swim making so much noise and disturbance in the process. In the afternoon I gave in. I fetched the rake and began wielding it through the swim for about ten minutes dragging lots of weed out of the way. I did however pick out any oxygenating plants that I had dragged up and returned them too the water.

I could not believe it, the fish were far from scared off by all the commotion and were back feeding in the swim within half an hour.

All day I had watched what I though to be a pale mirror carp go back and forth between patches of lillies. Another member came round for a chat in the evening and we both stood and watched this fish approach my float, then stop. He said “grab your rod, hes going for it”. We could see the fish nose down and a patch of bubbles arose. Straight from the pages of Mr Crabtree  “strike!” and the lake erupted. It was immediately apparent as soon as I saw the fish briefly out of the water, that this was not a Carp, but a Golden Tench. The angling gods were indeed looking down as I had dream’t of a Tench from the very last day 14th March of the last fishing season, I could not believe it.

First one this season

Due to work commitments I really haven’t had any opportunity to get too my local lake this season.

I have only managed two trips, blanking on the first attempt, and loosing a fish right at the net last time I was here.

Arriving around 06:00 I found the lake deserted. A perfect Carp Fishers dawn (Although I was really fishing for a good Tench). Fishing a single grain of corn, around one rod length from the bank. I’m not sure if my line was sitting properly, because after a short period it seemed to spook two fish that were in the swim. This is easily identifiable by a sudden underwater earthquake, followed by huge concentric ripples on the surface and more often than not, your float sitting motionless.

Non-the-less I persevered, and after about an hour the lake seemed to lift once more, but this time the Aerial reel ‘sang’. I teased the fish down the lake a little into open water as there were many snags near to where I was, steering it away from a huge reed bed where I was fishing. The fish made open water and battled well. run after run it made and when it rolled on the surface, turned out to be a good mirror carp. This was to be the only view I would get.  As it powered down again it snapped the line. Darn it!

I re-tackled with a grain of corn. re-cast, poured some tea and settled back down.

After some time the reel once again sprang into life, and the vintage rod bent over. Again after an arm-wrenching , rod creaking scrap, I eventually won the day.

What a cracking morning. The only thing to better it would have been if the Carp had been a Tench. Never mind, there is always next time.

Stile to Paradise

A quick hop over the well worn wooden stile, and I arrive at my favourite lake which is very pleasingly deserted, I have the whole place to myself.

Fishing two rod lengths out, between large patches of water lillies, sitting watching my float for some time until they arrive!……. bubbles everywhere! indicating feeding fish all over my swim.

I am now focused on my float like never before, in glorious anticipation of it darting under the surface and making contact with one of the monsters of the deep.

My float starts to sway and quiver now and then, this signifies there are now fish feeding very close to my hook bait. But it never goes under? Just then, a car rolls nonchalantly down the farm track and a good friend hails a wave. He comes round for a chat along with a guest he has brought for the day. Both grand chaps, they deliver some jovial banter as to why I am not catching then depart to the lower lake that they will have all to themselves.

I sit back down on my creel and recast. It really is only a matter of time I tell myself, surely I will get one today.

I did not have to wait much longer as the float rocketed under the surface.  A  great cloud of mud rose up from the lake bed like an underwater nuclear explosion.  My Edgar Sealey ‘Octofloat‘ rod bending violently, I clearly was into a Tench.  With only a 5lb b.s hook length, I would have to be ultra careful guiding this fish to the waiting net. With all the water lillies around I anticipated being cut the moment the fish reached any cover. I need not have worried, the fish was easily guided and what a cracking Tinca, no record fish, but an absolute joy to catch.

I went on that day to land six Tench in total, what a lovely day. I packed up towards 6pm, made my way to the bottom lake to bid farewell to my friends who were having great sport with Crucian’s, and ended the day at a  local pub with a well deserved beer.

Is Autumn Round The corner?

Well, is Autumn around the corner? I was out fishing yesterday in what felt like a force 9 gale, normally very difficult using a centre pin reel. Non-the-less, I was there at the lake. I had four cracking runs, three of which I am sure were Tench, loosing every single one with bent hooks. Finally I landed a Bream. It would be fair to say that I won’t be using those hooks again, and I made a trip to my tackle shop to purchase more suitable hooks for the fish I am looking for.

This morning the wind was still high, but it was a warm morning, so I had to go fishing. Armed with my new hooks I was determined not to be broken today. Unusually, I had left the centre pin at home and had filled my old Hardy Altex with 6lb monofilament and my Sealey ‘Heavy Ledger’ rod. I have never used a fixed spool for years so it took a little getting used to again. However, it proved the right choice for the day as it was much easier casting into a wind.

Fishing as usual the ‘lift method’ with corn as bait. I fished relatively close in again but did not have any action until around 10:30 when the float bobbed and shot away. Lifting the rod gently I had a scrap of a good five minutes to reveal a lovely Tench, they might be small but fantastic sport. Quickly unhooked and a snap taken I returned this cracking fish in order that it may enjoy the rest of its Sunday morning in peace.

About an hour later, again the float shot away. Again I was sure I was into another Tench but when I got it nearer it revealed to be a mirror Carp. Again, what a scrap. It must have only been around 4lb’s but it took me ages to get it in and net it. I didn’t photograph this chap as it was as lively on the bank as it was in the water so after unhooking it I returned it immediately and it shot off in an explosion of spray discussed at being disturbed on such a nice morning.

As the sun grew even warmer the dragon flies put in an appearance, I watched in amazement at their aggressive aerial battles, each defending their own territory. I was also treated to the aerial displays of the House Martin’s that swoop down to the lake from the farmers dilapidated farm buildings close by. It always puzzles me how they never crash into one another?

Red Letter Day

Today, “working from home” ,I snuck away to my lake this morning, arriving around 08:30 armed with 2 tins of Sweetcorn and my old Mark IV. Amazingly there were 2 people at the lake which I did not expect, but thankfully no one else.  Neither were fishing near my favourite swim.

I fished close in and landed yet more Tench. After years of not catching any, I have caught more this season since I started fishing many years ago. I also stopped counting at 15 the Roach I caught today.

What a day, warm, over-cast, with a little rain in the air. There are not many days like this-magical. O, and I also saw a Kingfisher today!