Saturday, 13 July 2013

Estate lake tenching - all change

After a decent previous weeks fishing I was back at the tench lake for a couple of evening sessions after work. News from those already fishing when I arrived on both days wasn't exactly encouraging, the place had more or less switched off. Only the odd fish was getting caught and not a lot was showing either. One of my sessions coincided with a good heavy downpour which I fully expected to flick the feeding switch but no, they just weren't having it.

I had the chance to get in an early session on the Saturday and was in two minds wether to bother as it looked so grim but I decided to go for it and I was bankside before 5am. Only one other angler was on the water and we had a quick chat before I got set up a bit further along the field bank.The swim I chose is one of the few left on the lake that actually has any feature to fish to, that being the far bank which juts out forming a peninsula complete with overhanging tree's. My left hand rod was belted out at range to the end of the treeline while the other rod was fished much shorter and to the right, both rigged up with maggot feeders and fake maggot hookbaits.

It wasn't long after I had settled down that I noticed Ian into a fish and so i wandered up for a look. It turned out to me a cracker at 8lb+ and so I helped out with the pictures before returning to keep working my feeders. Ian was in again fairly soon and once again it was a quality tench of over 7lb. The camera man was starting to get that bridesmaid feeling and that was reinforced when Ian made his hattrick though this one wasn't of any great size.

The day was starting to warm up and as the clock ticked past eight am I was starting to think that my chances were running out. The non angling world was waking up in earnest, the dog walkers were becoming more frequent and traffic was in and out to the nursing home and farm. I quite often feel a world apart when I'm on the bank, well apart from when crammed in shoulder to shoulder on some venues. Early morning is my prime time for a bit of escapism when most are still tucked up in bed and that feeling ebbed away with my confidence on this occaision.

It was just about ten am when the phone rang and myself and Phil Smith started to put the tench world to rights, bemoaning our respective poor fortunes only to be interupted by a bite of some violence, I'll try that trick again! It was the long range bait that had been picked up and as Ian walked down to me I said straight away that it was a carp. The line marking knot was suspended mid air a good ten yards from the rod tip as the fish bored away towards the far marginal snags and when I did change its mind it only kited rather than letting me gain much line. It was only when I got the fish to within a few yards of the bank that it became apparent that it was actually a tench and a nice one at that, they don't half scrap in the shallow and clear water in that lake. It was a lovely fat lady of 8lb 1oz and my biggest of the season, I couldn't complain at that especially as it was fishing so badly.

8lb 1oz

No sonner had I ssorted the rod out and sat down than I was away again, the short rod doing the business this time. This was never going to be a big fish from the way it fought and a 5lb odd male made me right. I stuck it out until 2pm but no more action came my way and I wasn't really surprised. It had turned into a lovely day to lounge in the sun but a rubbish one for tenching in four feet of tap water.

I continued to fit in a few short sessions mid week for a fortnight after that but I couldn't buy a bite, it seemed that they just didn't want to feed in the evenings and the only chance I had of an early start was at the weekend when time was also limited. I certainly wasn't alone in my suffering, generally you could count the number of fish caught per week on the fingers of two hands at the very most and in fact you would probably have a hand spare to tighten the noose around your neck with! The frustrating thing was that we knew full well that the fish would be at their very best weights but we couldn't catch them.

Summer at last
The weed growth finally started to appear around mid June and I switched from the maggot approach to the method just to see if it had any effect really but during the evening sessions I may as well have cast out a carrot, nothing made a jot of difference. During two short weekend sessions I scratched out a few fish which included a female of 7lb 6oz and yet another good male at 6lb 1oz. Checking the photo's proved that this was a different fish to the previous pair of 6lbers which was nice to see.

7lb 6oz

6lb 1oz - as old as the hills!

With my time becoming ever more limited by work the tenching came to an end as June departed and with the increase in temperatures over the last couple of weeks I'm sure that the fish will have spawned by now. Nevertheless if conditions look right I still intend to have another session or two yet and although the majority of fish will be back down in weight there is always an outside chance of a big one, only time will tell.