Session 40 – Another Tench Session

Tuesday 25th August and I headed back to my ‘new’ tench pool…

2015-08-25 Sunrise

… arriving at around 0630 and electing to fish a ‘new’ swim to me, chosen due the weather forecast predicting heavy rain later in the day and thus I chose the swim closest to the gate back to the car for a quick escape if necessary – and rain it did…


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2015-08-25 Raining 2015-08-25 03


… the pictures being taken around midday … BEFORE the main deluge started at around 1300 and was still pouring as I starting packing away the tackle at 1500 and walking back to the car soaked like a drowning rat at 1600.

Was it worth it? YES!! Always worth it! LOL!

As usual I fished my usual worm/maggot bait on one ledger rod, and the ‘test bait’ rod was prawn baited and I ended the day with 3 tench of 3lb 8oz, 3lb 12oz and 3lb 13oz, plus had 2 tench get into the weed and throw the hook – well, actually ALL the tench got into the weed but the 3 landed I managed to land albeit complete with about an equal weight of weed festooning each one. Also had a few missed bites/twitches.


2015-08-25 Steve - Tench 3lb 8oz

3lb 8oz Tench

2015-08-25 Steve - Tench 3lb 12oz

3lb 12oz Tench


Tackle talk…

I recently changed my lines from NGT DuraCast and NGT Camou over to Diawa Hyper Sensor and this was the first outing with those changed lines. Impressed with the Diawa actually, it handled beautifully, cut through the weed like a charm and far easier than the NGT lines to tighten up to the lead – despite using 1/2oz leads when I used the NGT stuff but only using 1/3oz with the Diawa on this trip. Early days but I think I will be sticking with the Diawa if all is as good in future use.

I actually changed lines due to seemingly unexplicable line failures at times – I remember thinking – and at this very same pool – that it seemed like there was a sharp edged metal sheet cutting the line at times esp in one swim ie barely enough pressure to bend the rod tip a bit and yet the line gave way. However, another local blogger who fishes the same water reported in his latest blog, and had a photo of, that a swan mussel had actually closed around his ledger weight … methinks now perhaps I was fishing over a mussel bed and getting line cut but dragging over the edges of mussels  and/or their shells? Whatever,. The new Diawa feels better to me in any case – just see if the situation remains for a while…

AND … bite alarms… the ones I’ve been using up to now for several months have been Nash Siren S5Rs that I won in a magazine competition a while back – 2 wireless heads with receiver (£150 worth as the 3 components are £50 each in the shops – prize was actually valued at £206 as it included batteries – £6 each a pop in the shops – and a ‘presentation case’ (euphanism for extremely large padded case that one could pack with clothes for a weekend  – so not really that useful))!! Alarms were ‘OK’ but too clever – seemed to have processing to detect line bites from proper bites, etc which drove me a little loopy at times as I’d see the bobbin popping up and down or rising very slowly but not a beep! Me, the line moves an inch, I want a beep!! Anyway, another fault to me was that the LED positioning wasn’t great – hard to see in bright daylight due to the way they were installed and the red LED’d one was impossible to see at all unless it was a very dull environment. So, I decided to improve the LED problem – and cutting a long story short, I buggered it up… and so had to get new alarms.. and, being short of the readies, I went for some cheaper ones – NGT VS ones (2 heads plus receiver) for <£32 – and these were also put into action for the first time – and behaved admirably/impeccably! Twitch of the line… ‘BEEEP!’, LEDs like mini-spotlights!! Like ‘em!! And survived that deluge of rain without mishap despite being out in it for 2 hours.

So on the tackle changes it seems like NGT is down one, but also up one!!:)

Session 39 – A Change Of Scene

Tuesday 18th August and I headed off to one of the club’s pools (WL) I’ve not visited for a while in search of the usual ‘anything but hopefully not carp’….

IMAG0141 IMAG0140

I arrived on site at around 0630, selected my swim for the day – which just happened to be the nearest swim to the car almost although I had the entire pool to myself – and it stayed like until I left at 1700 – and did the usual baiting up, setting up station and finally tackling up.

I fished 2 ledger rods on the alarms – both 8lb line but one with a size 12 hook baited with worm/maggot/worm+maggot over the day, the other a size 10 initially baited with meat for the first 3 hours before swapping over to sweetcorn for another 3 hours before changing the hook to a size 6 with a prawn for the rest of the session.

The maggot/worm rod was much in action over the entire day and I landed 20+ perch between 1oz and 8oz plus a small rudd. I also dropped off a perch of around 12oz at the bankside and had a hook pull on what felt would have been the best fish of the day. For the last 2 hours of the day I took the rod off the alarm and slack line/touch legered which resulted in an increased hooking percentage plus the fish were of a larger average size.

But, for the entire six hours that I had meat/sweetcorn on the hook of the other rod I did not have so much as  even one touch or nibble. However, I had made a last minute addition to my baits of some prawns I’d found forgotten in my bait freezer and so I tried one of those… and I had a great take with the bobbin rising slowly and surely to the butt rather than the ‘shooting to the butt’ or the trembly little jerks of suspicious fish…. however, the bite was missed as I was landing a fish on the other rod … and a little later the same scenario … but on the third take on the prawn I was ready – perfect bite, strike…nothing. Same happening again on the fourth take made me change the hook from the size 10 I’d been using for the meat/corn over to a more suitable size 6. Next bite, missed again – hook had twisted and point was buried in the prawn… so the prawn hooking was changed to ensure point remained clear of the bait… next take was aborted before I could react … and then  over the last 10-15 minutes before packing up there was no further action.

A bit of a unexpected thing happened – worm rod had been baited and cast out as I decided I needed a pee in the undergrowth behind my peg – returned to my seat just as the bobbin started to rise and struck into a perch of around 8oz but, as it was being reeled in, it came off the hook and left a small <1oz perch on there. Whilst attending to the call of nature the mini-perch must have taken the bait and then got taken itself by the larger one… anyway, smaller perch was unharmed in any way and swam off quite happily after unhooking…

Session 38 – Tenching Again….

Tuesday 11th August saw me back at the pool, same swim as my previous session.

Usual prelims performed, including baiting up with bright red coloured groundbait mixed firm and with a new additive – slightly crushed floating pond pellets added at the final stage of mixing in order to remain dry when being throw out and thus, as the groundbait balls broke up on the bottom they would be released and rise to the surface – ie basically creating a ‘super-active’ groundbait.

Again, two ledger rods on buzzers, one with a size 12 hook baited with worm tipped with mid-body cross-hooked maggot to prevent the worm escaping the barbless hook, the other with a size 10 hook tried with luncheon meat and sweetcorn  baits.

At the end of the day (arrived 0615, first casts at 0715, wound in for final time at 1530) I’d taken four tench of 3lb 5oz, 3lb 10oz, 3lb 10oz and 4lb 1oz along with 6 perch to 8oz, 2 rudd to 4oz and a solitary 1oz roach. I also had something have a swirl at a sweetcorn bait being retrieved… 🙂

Bittersweet day in that I did get the 4lb+ tench I was looking for but was rather hoping for a 4-02 or better … but the 4-01 did equal my PB so not too bad!! 🙂

Also interesting is that ALL the fish again came to worm/maggot, neither meat not sweetcorn attracting anything other than a few very minor twitches over the entire day… in fact, I’ve yet to have a decent take, let alone to catch anything, IIRC, on ANY BAIT other than maggot/worm baits at this venue…

2015-08-11 Steve 3lb 5oz Tench

3lb 5oz Tench

2015-08-11 Steve 3lb 10oz Tench

3lb 10oz Tench

2015-08-11 Steve 4lb 1oz Tench

4lb 1oz Tench

2015-08-11 A Handy Sized Perch

A Handy Sized Perch

A few wild life sights of the day…..

2015-08-11 Buzzard

One Of A Pair Of Buzzards

2015-08-11 Seagulls

A Flock Of Seagulls

NOTE: Do not confuse A Flock Of Seagulls with A Flock Of Seagulls … LOL!

Also on YouTube ( is a 25 minute video, part of a 3 hour recording, of some underwater action taken on the day… check out the video at 24:40 when a pike passes by… 🙂

Session 37 – Tenching….

Friday 7th August saw me back at the pool in my search for the 4+lb tench that’s been eluding me for a couple of seasons … o2015-08-07 04n one session last season I had a 4lb 0oz tench (not from this venue though) and next cast had one of 4lb 1oz which was, and still is, my personal best of species. Since then I have had more 4lb 0oz tench than you can count on the fingers of two hands but still that 4lb 2oz+ fish eludes me….

2015-08-07 01So I was at the pool at around 0630 – and a few others had beaten me there – and, in fact, one of them was my best mate of fifty years and he was fishing opposite me all morning but I never recognised him – LOL! Anyway, it seemed that they had all decided to fish the pool’s east bank – great as it left the entire west bank to me! Anyway, I trotted (well, to me it was trotting!) up to my chosen swim and completed my usual preliminaries with feed and setting up.

Feed was my usual bait base mix with added dead maggot, particles, floating pond pellets, hemp oil and bloodworm pellets added and dyed ‘electric green’ with powdered food colouring. For a while now I’ve been adding food colouring to my 2015-08-07 032015-08-07 02groundbait and I do believe it makes a noticeable difference – my base mix is mainly white bread crumb which can stand out noticeably on most colours of bottom – although in a limestone pit it would be OK I suppose. However, there is a school of thought that light coloured groundbaits can put put fish off due to causing them to be silhouetted against that light coloured background … hence I carry the food colouring in order to change the native colouration to something more conducive. I carry sachets of red, electric green, orange and black colouring – and I’ve found that the green (I think it makes the bait look algae-like) and red to be the best and the ones I use most. I put a level spoonful of the dye I’m using into a small pot of pool water, mix and then wet the groundbait with the dyed water – better than adding the dye to the dry mix and wetting as it gets more uniformally distributed.

Tactics for the day – two leger rods, 8lb main line, 1/2oz bombs on the alarms – one rod with a size 12 Kamasan Animal barbless hook and the other with a size 6 Kamasan B981 barbless hook – I would have used an ‘Animal’ hook in preference for the size 6 but the largest in that range is a size 8. The 12 hooked rod was baited with dendrobaena worm, tipped with a couple of maggot hooked across the centre of the body to keep the worm on, for the whole session and the 6 hooked rod was baited with bread, chilli sausage and bread at various times, each of those baits doing at least 2 hours of service.


Well, the meat/corn/bread rod –  in the entirety of the 10 hour session – received 2 tiny nudges … and hence no fish hooked or landed…

The worm/maggot fared much better – with 7 tench (2-15, 3-01, 3-02, 3-04, 3-05, 3-09 and 3-10), and 2 small perch and 2 small rudd were landed too – but still that 4-02+ remained uncaught… UNTIL NEXT TIME…. 🙂

2015-08-07 Steve 3lb 1oz Tench

3lb 1oz Tench

2015-08-07 Steve 3lb 2oz Tench

3lb 2oz Tench

2015-08-07 Steve 3lb 4oz Tench

3lb 4oz Tench

2015-08-07 Steve 3lb 5oz Tench

3lb 5oz Tench

2015-08-07 Steve 3lb 9oz Tench

3lb 9oz Tench

2015-08-07 Steve 3lb 10oz Tench

3lb 10oz Tench

Session 36 – View Over The Valley

Friday 31st July and Liz and I headed to our club’s ‘mixed’ pool – everything in there almost from goldfish to barbel and chub including gudgeon – and arriving on-site at around 0745 we were surprised to be the only ones there esp. on such a glorious day as it was. Another angler did turn up a little later and fished the far side of the pool to us, fishing floating baits, and Liz said he was catching well although he was blocked from my sight by vegetation and an island… but other than the three of us ….

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Liz fished two rods most of the time – one feeder rod and one float rod – and also played with her mobile phone most of the day…

2015-07-31 Liz - A Study Of Concentration - Of The Phone!

Myself, I used a float rod for most of the day fished laying-on/lift-method with maggot, worm and cheesepaste baits, but also set up a floating bait rod – basically just vaselined 8lb mono terminated with a size 6 hook and a small link swivel accommodates the addition of a small bubble float if extra casting weight is needed – and a couple of small cork balls either side of the link swivel counteracts the weight of the swivel and keeps the line floating. This was a specially set up rod for this particular pool as my usual floating bait rod has 15lb braid main line tackled in the same manner and braid main lines are not allowed on this pool.

During the day I was catapulting out dog biscuits (Pets Pantry ones are recommended – both the chicken and the beef ones – they float well and are soft enough to hook straight from the bag – no need to soak) in order to tempt the carp/chub to come to the surface on this perfect-day-for-floaters – very light to zero breeze, bright and sunny and warm.

And so over the day between us we had perch, roach, gudgeon, bream, chub and carp – with the three biggest fish of day – 2lb 12oz chub, 4lb 1oz Common Carp and 7lb 7oz Mirror Carp – all falling to my floating baits.

So, after an enjoyable day AND a thirty minute extension (we had decided to pack in at 1430 but I negotiated extra time with Liz to 1700) that allowed me to catch the 7-07 common which had been taking free baits literally at my feet and which needed a change in tactics – it was tail smashing/testing the baits before taking them and it decided that my hooked biscuits were right dodgy and, although the freebies were taken after testing, the hooked bait was consistently left out on its own. So I tried bread from my left over butties – but the bread didn’t survive the smashings as a standard floating bait – so…. a handful of bread pieces were thrown out and bread for bait was squeezed on the hook such that it sank slowly and, when the free pieces were smashed, the bait was cast into that area thus appearing to the fish as a piece of the liberated bread sinking… and wollaaahhh… the bread hit the water and, in less than one second, the line snaked off and the fish was hooked… 🙂

2015-07-31 Steve 4lb 1oz Mirror Carp 01

4lb 1oz Mirror Carp

2015-07-31 Steve 7lb 7oz Common Carp 02

7lb 7oz Common Carp

And so, on the way home, it came to pass that a visit was made to the Navigation at Greensforge for a pint of Pardoe’s Bumblehole (after dithering a bit over the choice of that or the Enville Ale or the Enville Ginger Ale… as you would :)) …