Friday 2nd of May and having completed the kitchen re-decoration to the target point – not finished yet but walls and ceiling re-painted with two coats and ready to continue after the holiday –I had the feeling of having done the punishment and that it was time for a reward – a day on the tench pool – and so off I went for what was for me a fantastic day out.
OK – as I keep saying this pool has tench as the predominant species but actually contains everything but common carp – inc gudgeon, perch, rudd, roach, bream barbel, chub and crucian carp. But this year my catches have been tench, tench and more tench – and only tench – and this despite using worm, maggot, prawn and mussel baits to the exclusion of all else when one would expect to at least have one perch in over one dozen trips? So my thinking this trip was to try to improve the chances of capturing some of the ‘other species’ and hopefully perch. So with this in mind – and also the sub-purpose of making space in my bait freezer – I created a fish rich groundbait. In the freezer were several frozen packs of basa and cod fillets the I had purchased to try as pike bait over last winter but which had never got used, so I took these and blitzed them into a goo in a food processor, added dried blood and a halibut pellets and breadcrumb to create the groundbait.
On to the fishing…. So I arrived at the pool at around 0730 and headed to my usual peg 11 swim were my first job of the day was to bait up my main area with a few squash ball sized balls of this groundbait plus a few catapults full of maggots. Also a secondary swim was baited with a few prawns and mussels. And over the course of the day each swim was topped up from time to time with extra rations.
Tackle for the day was my standard setup for this pool – 2 rods – a float rod fished lift method with worm and/or maggot baits fished in the primary swim and a leger rod with prawn and/or mussel baits in the secondary.
So, at 0800 I was all set up and the baits were cast in for the start of the day – and it wasn’t long until I had my first bite – and fish on the bank – a BREAM! 3lb 1oz. A nice bream, not at all slimy, in fact it’s body was like sandpaper with breeding tubercles indicating that spawning was in the air. And after that I had bite after bite on both rods with occasional quiet spells – some fish caught, some bites missed, some hook drops and a couple of tench made it into the lilies and transferred the hook – next to chub tench must be the most adept fish at that tactic and I still don’t know how they do it! I’ve hooked chub, and seen them swim into streamer weed and out the other side without any pause or interruption in their progress and yet when they re-appear they are no longer hooked and the hook has actually been transferred to the toughest bit of streamer weed… GRRRRR!!!!
I also had a bit of an interesting 15 minutes when my float disappeared under the water and I struck feeling nothing at all…. and so thought I’d missed the bite, only for the float to pop up and start travelling across the pool and on winding to connect I discovered I’d suffered a snapped line above the float – must have been some flaw in the line, for as I say, I felt nothing, no pressure or anything. But my main concern now was the fish still hooked and attached to the float… which reached the island and seemed to stop there as there was no further movement of the float… Anyway, I re-tackled my rod and there was no further movement during the time of doing that so I thought maybe the fish had shed the (barbless) hook OK – and a threw a few small balls of groundbait around it to try to make any fish attached make some movement but nothing… however, 5 minutes later the float starts travelling out from the island again so in a last ditch-clutch at straws endeavour I grabbed my leger rod and cast at it in the hope of snagging it but with no hope of successfully landing any fish attached to it BUT second cast I did manage to get the snag I was after – and it seems the fish had freed itself ok in the meantime as I was able to rescue my complete set of lost end tackle – float, shot, hook and link swivels :)…. Happy boy!!! :)
So my catch for the day in order of capture:
Bream 3-1, float – maggot
Tench 3-11, leger – prawn/mussel cocktail
Tench 3-8, float – maggot
Tench 3-4, float – maggot
Tench 2-9, leger, mussel
Tench 4-0 (new PB), float – worm/maggot cocktail
Tench 2-13, float – worm
Tench 4-1 (new PB), leger – mussel
Tench 6oz, float – maggot
Tench 2-8, float – maggot
Tench 2-12, float – worm/maggot cocktail
So a good day in all – 10 tench inc 2 personal bests and a ‘other’ species albeit a bream rather than the ‘targetted’ perch! :)