Monday, 17 June 2013

Estate lake tench fishing

May was particularly unusual this year in that both of its bank holidays turned out to be quite reasonable weather wise, in fact that probably rates as nearer to miraculous than unusual. We spent Whitsun weekend down in Dorset and the nearest I got to fish was watching the mullet in Christchurch harbour linger beneath the swans in the hope of a few missed bread crumbs. Of course what goes up must come down and the sunshine departed quick time and was replaced by a very wet start to Tuesday which wasn't forecast to improve during the day and so of course the only thing to do was to abandon work and go fishing!

It was probably 10am by the time I arrived after picking up some bait first. Steve and Ash Burton were set up on the area we know as the lawn and I elbowed my way in on the end of this grassed area. The available bank space is probably only forty yards or so long but there is a large expanse of water out in front and plenty of room to spare so long as someone doesn't decide to attempt to take up the whole bank.

I'd decided that it was time to break out the big guns. My standard kit for tenching is 1 3/4 test rods combined with 5000 sized baitrunners which are fine in most circumstances but there are plenty of areas on this water that are out of reach of that set up, in fact out of reach full stop, and at times it can't be denied that putting a bait that bit further is of benefit. With that in mind I had dug out my ye olde 4500 Shimano's and my pride and joy, my Daiwa Amorphous 2 3/4 test  carp rods. Now to many I'm sure that that sounds like horrific tackle for tench fishing but treated with due care I was confident that I could get away without hook pulls, time would tell. To the less experienced I would never advise that kind of tackle, all you will do is lose fish and damage mouths.

It didn't take too long to put that theory to the test with a moderately sized tench and all went well. The Amorphous did gain the reputation of a serious long range carp rod in their time yet personally I've always considered them to be relatively soft in the tip and there was certainly no sign that the size ten hook had been moved during the fight.



Another five fish followed before I called it a day early in the evening, the best being a very nice male of bang on 6lb's which I commented was probably one of the biggest in there.



Wednesday wasn't a great deal better weather wise but I did get some work done in the morning before once again sloping off to the lake. The lawn was already occupied which wasn't a great disapointment. Although it has been the most consistent area this spring it is also right next to the majority of the public that visit the estate and given the choice I'd rather have some peace and quiet. Instead I made my way up to the field bank, still open to the public but the further you get from the gates the less intense they become!

The session turned out to be a real grueller and I was pretty sure that I was on for a blank though fish were being caught from the opposite bank. I was just rolling the brolly up at 8pm when I was away and into a fish though you couldn't exactly call it pretty, I took a picture just because of it's oddly rounded tail.



With the light fading fast due to the miserable conditions I contemplated not bothering to recast but then thought better of it. No sooner had I picked up the brolly again when I had another bite on the other rod, you wouldn't believe it would you, like buses. I had to recast after that one as they were obviously feeding but my time was running out as the daylight faded. I carried on packing up and had everything away except the rods which were left lying on the ground. I wound in the left hander and put it in in the quiver. I then picked up the other rod and as I started winding the tip bent down and I was in again, now that is what you call perfect timing. This felt like a better fish from the start and I wasn't disapointed, 7lb 12oz right at the death and in circumstances that I would remember for a while.

7lb 12oz
 Since starting to use the heavier rods the result was nine tench hooked and none lost and so I couldn't see any point in changing back. I now had the option to fish at range if need be but was confident that I could use them close in too if that's what was required.

On Thursday it probably rained! Either way I was on the bank by late afternoon and dropped into the same swim as the previous day. Now obviously I could be forgiven for expecting any action to come later on after the last session but no, the water kept up its unpredictable performance which has been on show most of this spring and I started to catch almost straight away. By pack up time I'd had nine bites and yet another male of exactly 6lb's was the pick of the bunch so either I had been very lucky over the course of three days or my assessment that a 6lb male was about the best the water could produce was absolute rubbish, I give up. Mind you this one was a bit more unusual in that it was missing an eye!

Eye eye!

And so that was May done for and as you will have noticed I was still done up to the nines  in a thick hoody, thermal coat and wooly hat, what an incredibly rubbish year it has been so far weather wise.

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