Tag Archives: Tench

The tench or doctor fish (Tinca tinca) is a fresh- and brackish-water fish of the cyprinid family found throughout Eurasia from Western Europe including the British Isles east into Asia as far as the Ob and Yenisei Rivers.[2] It is also found in Lake Baikal.[citation needed] It normally inhabits slow-moving freshwater habitats, particularly lakes and lowland rivers.[3] In Germany, the tench is called Schlei.

Back at the little pond

Today, I managed to break away and get a few hours at this little pond. The weather has been just too warm to contemplate fishing, and today the forecast was for thunder and rain.

I arrived at the pond to a cloud-filled sky, and it was still very warm. I chose the same swim that I had fished previously as I was sure that there would be fish taking shelter, (and better oxygen levels) in the bed of lillies. The pond has also a lot of weed growth now aided by the hot weather we have had.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

My first cast was met with a lovely little Rudd. There was a lot of fish activity all over the pond and it was difficult to decide where to cast initially, but I stuck to my guns and baited up a small area just beyond the bed of lillies in front of me.

I managed to catch the first Tench of this year’s course fishing season and it was the gentlest of bites, as was the second Tench; both times the float simply slowly dipping. I did miss a few, but a light strike set the hook twice for me today. I also had a slab of a Bream that did not like the camera one little bit and would not sit still for a snap shot; ending upside down in this.

A Different Start This Year

The start of this year’s course fishing season is somewhat different. Due to this Covid 19 pandemic, travel and certainly accommodation are still very much affected; meaning that I was not starting the season as I normally do on the banks of the lovely hidden pools of Wessex.

However, I have found a lovely little pool not too far from where I live, and this is where I resided today. This pond is tiny and some of the fish I have seen here you would really not expect with sizable Carp and Tench cruising the shallows.

I did not land my first Tench of the season today, loosing two great runs being broken each time. Although I did land a nice Perch and a lovely little Rudd.

I’ll be back here again one day for that elusive Tench.

Christening Bob

I was kindly gifted a new ‘Perch Bobber’ as one of my Christmas presents last year, and is a welcome addition to the second box of floats that I keep.

I have been looking forward the final day of this course fishing season, and was going to use this new bobber for a Perch on a river or pond somewhere. However, this unseasonably warm weather of the past few days has surely got fish on the feed and I was itching to get to a river or pond, it was impossible to wait until the end of this course fishing season, the 14th of March.

There is a commercial fishery near where I live, not the sort of place that I would ever fish, but I learnt of Perch up to 4lb residing there, so was keen to have a crack at one.

I only fished for a couple of hours in the afternoon today, but really enjoyed feeling the warmth from the sun for the first time this year.  I managed to catch two Perch, one of around a pound and a half, and the other a little smaller at around a pound. The biggest surprise was at the end of the day catching a small Tench (on a prawn), not the prettiest Tench I have ever caught, but it just shows how warm the weather is today; quite bizarre.

It is the rule that normally it is the kiss of death fishing with a new float, but I was lucky enough to christen my new Perch Bobber. It could have been a summer’s day.

Never Fish Off-Rota

It was the last day of my trip and I  never look forward to the long journey home. The issue is that my route takes me very near to this pond, and I always tell myself that I will just fish an hour or two and then get back on the road home. This invariably never happens and I stay at the ponds far longer than intended. Today was no exception.

I had contacted a few of the members to see if it was ok to fish on their day and was very pleased to get a reply to say yes, there was no issue.

I checked out of my hotel and made my way to the tackle shop in order to purchase some fresh bait. When I arrived, no sooner had I opened the car door it began to rain, and by the time I walked the short distance to the tackle shop it was pouring down, accompanied by a deep rumble of thunder. I must be mad going fishing in this!Non-the-less, bait tubs full, I made my way to the ponds. The tops of the trees billowing over, and the wind was just getting stronger and stronger developing into a gale. No sane person would choose to go fishing in this weather, I was on my way home so had nothing to lose by giving it a go.

Remarkably the swim I was to fish was out of the wind. This pond is surrounded by trees which not only gives protection from the wind, but  are great for sheltering under in light showers. The wind was ridiculously strong by now.  Another issue was falling Kelly kindling (branches) which were a close encounter on more than one occasion, but came in very handy during the day for my tea making.

I did the same as yesterday by raking the swim a couple of times and only brought in light weed, baited it, and retired to put the Wizard together.

I was soon fishing and once more could hear distant rumbles of thunder and temporarily, I remained dry. How long could my luck last? Not long as it happened.

I caught a lovely palm-sized Crucian. The swim from time to time was cluttered with bubbles, so I was praying again to catch one of the fabulous Tench that reside here.

Fishing was quite slow, but very enjoyable.  Concentrating on my inactive float for so long then turning to attend to a boiling Kelly the split second my reel screamed into life. By the time I had put the kettle down and got my hand on the rod, the fish was well into the weed and there was no way back from there, loosing a float also in the disaster. If you are ever short of a bite, make tea! It’s amazing how many times stopping concentrating on a float actually gets you a bite. Obviously I had lost a Tench.

I missed a couple of lovely lift bites too, probably Tench although I have known Roach to feed in this manner also. I missed some proper thumping bites with the float shooting under, today was not going well.

Another cracking bite saw the float zip under, I lifted the rod and was into either a really good Crucian, or a Tench. The fish dived down into the lilles, my line kissed the stem of one of the lilles and gave way as if it had been cut by a razor blade; I could not believe it!

It was not long before my luck with the weather ended and the rain came in earnest. For the first shower I was quite comfortable sheltering under the boughs of the tress. When it stopped, I retrieved my brolly from the car in case of a big storm. The brolly came in very handy as the heavy rain did come, but I didn’t get any thunder surprisingly.

The last straw was another thumping bite, the float shot under and down towards the lillies, I struck into it, but the line between my reel and first eye on the rod had caught around a branch on the ground, the float shot out of the water and wrapped itself many times around the top of my rod – the air was blue!!! It was an impossible tangle. I had no option but to cut it off. This marked my time to head for home, the lake gods were telling me to go.

Tripping over the chain on my Kelly while packing up which was full of hot water and scalding myself in the process, gave even more proof that you should never-ever go fishing off-rota.

 

An Epic Day

This particular pond that I fish is expertly and gently managed, the few members are allocated to fish either on an even number, or an odd number day. Yesterday, I was fishing out of sync, and although I was kindly granted permission by another member to fish on his day, I believe that the lake gods frowned upon me.

Today I will be fishing on-rota. Again, I had my Wallis Wizard with me along with a little Aerial reel. Today however, I raked the swim before I fished. I could only assume that yesterday some of the weed had drifted in and my bait simply was not on the lake bed. It was frustrating as anything as there were clouds of Tench bubbles very near to my float but it never went under. Today would be different I hoped.

Like yesterday, thunder storms rumbled away in the distance, would I be lucky again and avoid the rain?

I hauled the rake four or five times and created a little clear strip near to a bed of lillies, I baited it with corn and then retired to put my rod together. By the time I had returned to the swim it was evident that all the noise and commotion of dragging a rake had not put the fish off one little bit and there were immediate signs of feeding fish.

There was no-one else at the ponds today so I had them all to myself and was very content, firing up the old Kelly now and again for cups of tea.

I was correct. Not only were the gods angry yesterday, but this swim must have been a bit choked with weed. The first fish I caught was a lovely palm-sized Crucian, great to see. I managed to catch a couple of good crucians that I was sure were Tench when I first hooked them, great scrap. Crucians are not meant to fight like that. I then managed to find my quarry and it fought hard. I gave it everything the Wizard had and managed to land a lovely three-pounder.

Once again, I stayed until the bats arrived and was really lucky all day not to get wet from any of the surrounding thunder storms.

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.

An August Wessex Trip

A friend had contacted me to say that he would be fishing on the 16th, the day of my travel. I made my long journey to Wessex via the local tackle shop to purchase some bait, and then to a local inn to gain some sustenance, checked in to my accommodation and then made my way to the ponds.

I found my friend in good spirits and had not intended to fish that night at all. I did give in. Gathering my tackle from the van I set up a couple of swims down from my friend. It was good just to be here again. We fished until the approaching darkness. Tomorrow I would be here in earnest.

I had intended to skip my breakfast and be at the ponds very early on the Thursday morning. However, the journey the day before had taken it out of me, and besides, it was set for rain. A fair weather fisherman now I tucked in to a very good fry up and lots of tea before thinking about my departure.

For the traditionalists, I have not moved over to the dark side; (Carbon fibre) but managed to christen not only a new float, but this rather wonderful R.Sealey twelve foot ‘Match Winner’. This was sold to me as a black cane rod. It is nothing of the sort and is infact very, very dark green. It is made with a Spanish Reed butt section, a cane mid section, and a split cane top section.

I arrived at the ponds around ten thirty-ish and was greeted by warm sunshine. I setup in the swim that my friend had been in the day before, as I knew it had been raked. There were no signs of feeding fish. My float never dithered enticingly, nor were there any bubbles on the surface of the pond. Around twelve my float slowly submerged,  I grabbed the rod which hooped over. The fight lasted all of five seconds; the hook gave way. Damn! Well, at least I know they are feeding. I re-cast and settled down to more tea drinking. I noticed that I began bringing in weed when I reeled in, so around one thirty I raked the swim three or four times, baited it again, and went off to a local hostelry for some lunch.

Returning sometime after two o’clock, I recast. Again there were no bubbles, nor signs of feeding fish in the swim at all. Non-the-less I was very content. Not long after the bells had rang seven times, my float again slowly slid below the surface. Once again lifting the rod sent it into a hoop and a dramatic battle commenced. At this point I had no idea what it was, but it was desperate to get into the bed of lily pads. I gave as much strain as I dared on five pound line. It then changed direction into more open water, saw a wall of weed and then shot back towards the lilies. I thought that I had it under control until it managed to wrap itself around the one lilly stem that was jutting out of the bunch. I didn’t know what to do. I gave as much strain as I dare again and then fish raised near the surface, it was a Tench! Blimey I can’t loose this one. Keeping tension on the line, I tried to reach the stem with my landing net to break it free, but it was just slightly too far away to reach. Total stalemate occurred. I had to give in. Releasing tension from the reel was the last thing I wanted to do as I knew the fish would easily drop the hook. However, this was my only option. Releasing line from the reel sent the fish berserk and it freed itself shooting out of the beds and into open water once more. Keeping it as near the surface as I could, I managed to bring it over the waiting net. This pond is very well known for it’s Crucians, but I fish for Tench here, and was over-the-moon with this specimen. I haven’t caught a Tench in this pond for ages.

I had received a mail to say that two other members were to be fishing on the 18th , so I made my mind to fish another local pond to give them some peace. Again, following a leisurely breakfast, I decided that I would make my way back here to say hello before making my way to my fishing destination. However, when I arrived around eleven there was nobody there. Again I gave in, changed my mind about fishing the other location and went back to the same swim I fished the day previous. Around lunchtime I had the same sort of bite. No bubbles or knocking of the float, it simply slowly slid under the surface. Lifting the rod I knew straight away I was into a good fish and thought it was another Tench. I could not believe it when I drew it over the net, it was a huge Crucian. I did not weigh it, but was easily over one pound. The reel I was using on the day was a three inch Allcocks Aerial Popular ,and can be seen in the picture that the fish must be at least nine inches in length.

I know there to be a military firing range in the county and the ‘booms’ can be heard for some distance. However, today the sounds were quiet and loud, somewhat different to the norm. I was treated to a short shower, then the air turned really cold from what was a nice sunny day. This could only mean one thing – thunder. I was not wrong and did not have to wait long before the next storm rolled in. This time it was much closer. I reeled in and sat in the car as the rain began to fall in rods. I noticed two cars coming down the track, this must be the chaps who were going to fish today. Some time passed before I vacated my vehicle and went back to my swim. I really didn’t fancy my chances after the storm and cold rain. This often stops fish feeding. The two chaps also came round to say hello. One setup on the top pond the other went onto the bottom pond.

I was amazed to see my float slide under around five thirty, and was overjoyed to land a final Crucian before packing up and making the long journey back home.

It was great to be at the ponds again, and it was lovely to witness the Kingfishers fish, whilst I was waiting for a bite.

I can’t wait for my next trip.

In Search Of The Green One

It’s early July, and the first visit this new fishing season to my local pond.

I am glad, unlike most, to see that it has not been touched at all by a scythe or mower. Some swims are totally un-fishable due to the reed growth.

It would however, be possible to walk from one side of the pond too the other without getting your feet wet on the backs of all the Carp that now reside in this pond.

I chose to fish as far away from the visible “pack” as possible, right along-side an attractive bed of lillies. Just the sort of place a Tench may be hiding.

Today the Tench never materialised, but it was great to see that there are definitely more than two pairs of Kingfishers on this pond now, something I have never seen. I wonder if they are more comfortable now the pond clearly does not get fished so often?

Save

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.

Save

My Favorite Wessex Pond

My new season fishing trip was going well, and very hot. I had been looking forward to a trip to my favorite pond for some time. I knew that one of the ponds is surrounded on all side by trees, so I would be able to shelter from the blistering heat.

I found a lovely swim, with a nice breeze blowing on my back which was fantastically cooling, taking the temperature down a couple degrees was very welcome.

There were initially no signs at all of feeding fish, and I really did not expect to see anything, nor catch anything in these hot temperatures.

I had brought along with me my very first split cane fishing rod that I had squired, an un-restored Mark IV, and a little Aerial Popular that I had recently christened with a Roach on this trip.

The moment my first cast hit the water I was getting little bites. Piranha-like, the hook bait was gone very quickly and reeling in to a fish-less, empty hook.

Perseverance prevailed, and soon after the float shot up and laid flat on the surface. I struck lightly and was in contact with a Roach. A good Roach too.  Again I cast into the baited swim. Things were quieter now with no bites. I wasn’t paying attention to the float and was looking at the various plants that adorn this lovely lake when I heard the little Aerial Popular ‘sing’. By the time my hand was on the rod the fish had made the middle of the pond. I was convinced this was a Tench. A little disappointed that there was no resistance when I picked up the rod. However, as I reeled in it seemed that there was actually still contact. It turned out to be a big Roach that thought it was a Tench, or even a Carp. I don’t think Roach are meant to run like that? but it seems at this pond they do. This is not the first time I have experienced this phenomenon.

I cast again into the same swim and all was quiet. I sat and enjoyed the bird song which seems especially loud at this little pond. Soon after my float dithered, not a positive bite as such, but I struck anyway and made contact. It was one of the fine Crucian Carp that reside in this lovely pond, what a corker!

As the afternoon drew on, the pond took on a rather sinister feel. There were no signs of feeding fish anywhere and I had stopped getting bites. Out of the gloom, from time to time, the Grass Carp surveyed its kingdom. Nice to see, but un-catchable today.

 

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.

A Final Tench

I have been very fortunate this year; being able to get fishing so many times. I have also been very lucky when I have fished. Lucky with some glorious weather, lucky in what I have caught, and lucky in some of the company I have met along the way.

Fishing a favorite lake in Wessex, cloudy and cool, but sheltered on the bank of the lake in-amongst the trees. I fished my chosen swim, casting very close into the margins with my ‘secret’ bait.

Sport did not arrive immediately, the float simply quivered ever so slightly now and then. I would reel in to find I had been ‘had’, and my bait was gone. Obviously, there were Crucians’ in my swim, and very tentative they were too.  Again the quill float never dipped but quivered,  I gently raised the rod, not a strike as such and hooked a good Crucian. As I netted the specimen, I could hardly believe the size, the old vintage landing net creaked as I raised the fish to the bank. I never usually weigh any catches of mine but on this occasion I had to. The scales went to 2lb.12oz; blimey! After weighing the empty net it revealed that the Crucian was 2lb.4oz. What a fish to end the summer season on.

I could not believe it, A good friend of mine called me on my mobile, and whilst chatting, I had a ‘run’ on the right hand rod. I quickly excused myself, ‘I hung up on the good chap’ and tended to the rod. The run was a short one, I initially thought it was the final Tench I was so longing to catch. The run did not go far and I soon had netted what could only be described as a huge Rudd, certainly the biggest I had ever seen, or caught. Again I had to weight it. The Rudd turned out at 1lb 4oz, unreal! Soon after I caught a huge Roach as well.

I was blessed with catching many smaller Rudd all afternoon, but no final Tench graced my landing net this day.

At around 4pm I noticed a fish roll right next to my float. I waited for the bite excitedly; nothing emerged. I reeled in, re-baited and re-cast to the exact spot. I then saw a huge Crucian ‘porpoise’, ‘dolphin-like’ right over my swim. I have seen this behaviour in the Crucians’ larger relatives, the Common and Mirror Carp, and generally signifies them going heads down rummaging through the debris on the lake bed, swimming up and down to the bottom again, with a ‘take’ a certainty every time. However, not on this occasion. I took this as an omen to pack up and leave. No final Tench of the season. Goodbye and good to see you, hope to see you again next summer season, I believe they were saying.

Lightening Doesn’t Strike Twice, Does It?

Fishing again at my favourite location. Glorious sunshine with a cooling breeze.

I had taken my new Edgar Sealey ‘De-Luxe’ rod and new landing net to see if I could christen them both.

After fishing for about two hours I heard a distant rumble. Now I know there is a military firing range not far away, but as I listened again and again it was getting closer. Exactly like June 16th, a storm was approaching; fast!. Boom, boom went the storm, not just one but numerous came and went by without dropping a single droplet of water.

At the place I was staying for a few days, the story was somewhat different, in that they had experienced tropical-like flash floods with flooded roads and streams; I had been lucky again not to get wet.

To cap this all, I finally managed to christen ‘in style’, my new rod and net, with numerous Roach, Rudd and a Crucian of over 2lb’s; what a day to remember!

Summer Idyll

Today, the good lady ‘allowed’ me to take an afternoon out of our holiday. and I got the chance to fish my secret lake in Wessex again; this time with a ‘secret’ bait.

This particular lake proved troublesome all 2015 season; as I did not catch a single fish all year. This summer day was a real treat, catching numerous Crucian Carp; great fun!

To top it all, I was able to christen yet another ‘Edgar Sealey’ rod.

Midsummer Madness

I have been very fortunate to get to fish another secret lake in deepest Wessex.

This midsummer day brought warm overcast conditions. Perfect fishing weather.

I lost count of the Rudd I caught, nice ones too. I was very fortunate to land these two Crucians while being kept company by all the dragon flies around the lake.

The Glorious 16th

This year I have been very fortunate to have been offered the opportunity to become a member of another very secret lake in darkest Wessex.

Driving overnight, I arrived at the lake around 11:30. Walking round the lake I looked for signs of feeding fish; there were many. I introduced myself to a couple of members who were fishing the bottom lake. Nice bunch of chaps.

I set up on the top lake, and settled down after a very long drive. It was not long before I had landed a couple of cracking Roach. Although I was very pleased with my catch of Roach, I knew that the bottom lake was famous for its Crucian Carp. I was eager to see if I could catch one on the opening day of the course fishing season.

Setting up in a corner away from everyone else, I made myself comfortable, opened my flask of tea which was luke warm, but perfectly drinkable.

From the colour of the clouds above, it was evident that a storm was brewing and I could hear the distant rumbles of thunder.

I could not believe it when as soon as my float entered the water, I would mend the line then I would be into a fish immediately. Catching well over ten lovely Rudd, I suddenly hooked something far more substantial and put up a good fight,  rolled on its side as a bream does and gave up. As I drew it up through he surface and towards the net it turned out to be my very first giant Crucian Carp, just like a huge bar of gold. Stupidly I did not weigh it, but it was well over 2lbs. I fished on for a few more hours watching storm after storm pass by without getting a single drop of rain and suddenly I hooked a train! It made for every lily pad in the vicinity until I finally had it under control. I was absolutely over-the-moon to land a Tench of around two and a half ponds on the very first day of the course fishing season. My favourite species, and a classic summer fish. Not only had I not caught a Tench all last season, but this cracker was caught on a brand new, and in mint condition Edgar Sealey Floatcaster that I was using for the first time.

Was this all a dream?

The One That Got Away

Fishing at my favourite local lake today for my first Tench of the season.

Arriving late, I found not a sole there, and so I had a choice of my favourite swims.

The day started very sunny, however in the shade it was quite cold. The tips of the reeds and grasses are just turning brown. It is clear autumn is close.

Fishing a rod length out, in the margins, very close to a small patch of lilies that I remember decimating last season when I got a carp lodged in them. It looks like they have recovered well.

Bite after bite I missed until I saw the float quiver, then dip, raising the rod and I was ‘into’ a fish. It moved nonchalantly too the left, not sure what was happening, I raised it too the surface to reveal a HUGE mirror carp, well over 15lb. I am sure it did not know at this stage that it was hooked. I put on a little pressure, turning the fish towards me. It was then when it realised what was happening. It turned again to the left and bolted off like an exorcet missile. The fish continued on its path to the left while the float sprang past me to the right. The line had not broken, but on inspection, my hook had bent, totally.

I am very pleased, in a way, that I did not have to do battle with this leviathan. My vintage Edgar Sealey has done battle with too many large Carp in its time, and is designed for a far gentler lifestyle.

 

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.

The Net’s Too Small

Another trip to my local lake today. I fished only maybe2-3 rod lengths out but nothing was happening. One of those times when you know you need to move swims.

Moving down two swims I recast a single grain of corn a short distance, just beyond some aging rushes, scattered a handful of corn on top of my float, poured another cup of tea from my flask and sat back to relax.

With no signs of a fish feeding, my rod bucked violently in the rod rest, followed immediately by the reel screaming! At first I thought that I had hooked a really big Tench. However, when I saw it roll on the surface it was evident it was a Mirror Carp. It did fight like a Tench though, making many powerful surges towards every snag in the area. First it dived left, straight underneath all the rushes which I thought that would be it, as I was only using 5lb breaking strain hook length. Luckily for me, it swam straight out the other side and I was able to guide it back in  front of me and get some sort of control. Making yet more powerful runs toward the rushes a number of swims to my right, I was just able to stop it. Trying to constantly gain line, it would be off again. Soon I got it close, but then it saw the small patch of Lillie’s to my right which it made a direct beeline for, and found. Drat! stuck. I let the line go slack and it freed itself, again out into the middle of the lake only to dive straight back into the Lillie’s when I got it closer. This battle of too-ing and fro-ing went on for some time until I eventually got my net under it. I could not believe when I tried to lift it, it was a really good double , at least 15lb’s. Infact, it was so big, I could not take a proper picture of it in the net. I tried to capture its huge paddle-like tail, but simply could not get it in the picture. Furthermore, it was quite lively on the bank, so after a quick snap, I returned it straight away.

 

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!