An angler's journal

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Tench campaign underway

Today saw my first proper fishing session since the end of the river season. It's been a busy few weeks for me and to be honest the break has done me good. As they say, absence makes the heart grow fonder.

It was my intention to kick start my spring tench campaign and with that in mind I set off enthusiastically to a Warwickshire reservoir. The venue reputedly has a decent head of tench but it is far from easy. On it's day, great catches can be had but more often than not it leaves you scratching your head in puzzlement and questioning if it contains any fish at all. Three visits last April saw three blanks! However, this year's weather has been a lot warmer and I was confident the deep cold water would have seen some increase in temperature and got the old tench on the munch. Conditions also looked favourable with thick cloud and a tinge of colour to the usually crystal clear water.

My main tactic would be a simple waggler float with maggots mounted on a size 16 hook to 4lb bottom and 6lb mainline. I also had a sleeper rod set up with some fake corn and loose offerings hoping this might pick up a tench or even one of the reservoir's elusive carp. After about 45 minutes of loose feeding 'little and often', the float buried. A spirited fight saw a lovely looking roach, well on its way to a pound, make its way to the bank. Almost immediately, a perch of similar size followed. I then bumped two fish which prompted me to change the hook. This seemed to work as another perch was netted. I ended up with eight perch with the best around the pound mark. Although I was enjoying more bites than I had mustered during my last fives visits combined, it was the venue's tench I had courted. I fed a little heavier, adding some groundbait and pellets to the swim. I then struck too early as the float dipped slightly, which made me think it could have been a tench. Tench are famous for playing infuriatingly with your bait before they finally take the plunge. I wouldn't make the same mistake twice and the next cast saw the float slip from sight and a good fish was hooked. It gave great sport on my through actioned match rod but I maintained control and before long a fine looking tench was lying in the folds of the landing net. It was a plump fish that went easily over 4lbs.
The first tench of 2014
The steady rain of last hour had now become heavy and bites began to dry up which couldn't be said about me or my belongings. The rain slowed for ten minutes and I made my getaway before the heavens opened up again for my drive home.

I really enjoyed the session even though it was limited to about 4 hours. Not only did I get my tench campaign up and running but I managed to add some cracking perch and lovely roach. It's also made me eagerly anticipate my next visit although the fickleness of the venue could well see me struggle next time.



Not bad for a few hours
A super roach

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