An angler's journal

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

First tench session of the year


With the warmer weather finally here I thought it was time to tackle a tench or two. My choice of venue was a pool reputed to be hard going but with some reasonable tench and chance of carp or bream putting in an appearance. 

With it being bank holiday weekend coupled with fine weather it was hardly surprising to see a number of anglers already fishing when I arrived at around 4pm. With the sun bearing down, fishing appeared to have been slow all day with no fish being reported by the anglers I spoke to. I had never fished or even visited the venue before so I had a dilemma as to where I should fish. With this in mind I decided to have a walk to see if I could find any sign of life. The centre of the lake showed vigorous growth of lily pads all
A stunning sunset
reaching for the water’s surface. I noticed a couple of small carp cruising amongst them. I finally settled at the top of the lake in a quiet corner littered with sunken branches with a gentle breeze pushing towards me. Immediately, I was aware of a couple of reasonable sized carp present amongst the trees. One of them seemed to have a sizeable wound behind its dorsal fin but it seemed unperturbed. I threw a few dog biscuits in their direction. I always carry a few as I see myself as something of an opportunist and don't want to be sat there regretting my inability to snare a feeding carp. However, these carp were not feeding. The largest did cautiously take one biscuit while the remainder were nibbled by small fish. In fact I saw these carp several times through the session but they never seemed settled or catchable.

Anyway, I decided to get myself back on track and commence my tench fishing. The idea was to fish the float and maggot close in and then set up a groundbait feeder rigged helicopter style baited with boilies or sweetcorn. This rod would be set up with a bobbin and alarm but I was keen to recast every 10 minutes to get some bait down. The hours passed in the blazing sun and both rigs remained untouched. I tinkered with the feeder rig as it was picking up weed so I tried to balance the hookbaits to ensure they did not disappear amongst the debris. I figured my best hope would come with sunset. 

A lovely rudd, but where were the tench?
As the sun dipped behind the trees my float finally started to show some signs of fish. It rose, it swayed, it sank. Strike! Frustratingly, it met with thin air but my maggot hookbait had been damaged. Had some tench finally moved in on my bed of hemp and maggot? A recast saw my float back in position. Again my float dipped but this time I made contact; however this fish was not taking line. Seconds later a small rudd was swung to hand, a beautiful little specimen of a few ounces. I continued to feed and it soon became apparent that all the fish in my swim were rudd, and unfortunately all of a similar size. It was no longer difficult to muster bites and I took further fish of a similar size. With darkness fast approaching I knew my best bet of a bigger fish would be via my boilie bait. Although I had a few bleeps on my alarm nothing developed and my session ended.

It would have been nice to have recorded a tench of course, but it was a beautiful evening as the sun set on the lake. The rudd, although small, were perfectly formed and they are undoubtedly one of our most stunning species of course fish. Fishing a venue for the first time is always a learning curve and never beaten I will be sure to return with amended tactics. Next time I will change my location slightly and also I'm going to investigate using the 'naked chod' rig to enable me to sit a bait just above the weed. It's not a rig I've used before as I'm not really into carp fishing too much apart from surface fishing. I will of course scale it down a little to target tench but I think it could be effective at this venue. Only time will tell so if anyone has any ideas or tips then let me know. 

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