Session 39 – The Tench Continue To Take The Pee…

Friday 8th July and I head out of the house at 0730 towards my destination – one of my clubs’s tench lake (DBP). I left later than my usual 0600 for the reason that rain that was falling was forecast to end at 0800 according to the BBC Weather web site – and as they are usually spot on I would be arriving as the rain was ending…. and again the BBC didn’t let me down 🙂

So I wandered down from the car park – two other cars already there – to the lake but it seemed only one other was fishing and he was on the opposite bank, so I assume the other(s) were on one of the carp pools that are on-site.

Anyway, although rain had stopped it was quite blustery at times and the skies switched between overcast and grey and blue with white clouds seemingly every few minutes.

So… prepped my ‘station’, set up my 2 ledger rods … 8lb mainline, 15g frame feeders loaded with my usual groundbait/particle mix, straight through to size 6 and size 10 hooks with worm and bread as baits respectively … and first casts were made at 0900…

First fish was hooked at 1045 on the bread rod – but it was a shortlived connection as it did the ‘tenchy hook transfer’ in the abundant weed that exists in the pool currently – chub are noted for doing the hook transfer but in my view tench are even better at it!. Anyway, fish gone, hook solid in the weed and I was forced to pull for a break….

1100 and another take, this time on the worm rod, and a nice tench of 4lb 0oz was landed….

1210 another bread rod fish hooked and lost….

1230 and another fish on the bread rod but this time I land it successfully – 4lb 1oz.

2016-07-08 Steve - 4lb 1oz Tench

4lb 1oz Tench

1315 – another take on the worm rod – another hook dump in the weed – another pull for break.

At this time I decided to pack in – the other angler had left at 1200 or thereabouts too and only had one fish as I saw – head not really into fishing and I’d been clock-watching – probably due to tiredness as I’d not slept too well overnight waking at 15 minute intervals it seems…

Back on the car park there were still two cars besides mine – presumably one had left (the guy opposite) and one arrived who had gone to the carp pools…

Anyway – tench taking the pee? Well, I’m having trouble catching a tench over my current PB of 4lb 1oz. Over the past 3 seasons I’ve have uncountable numbers of 4lb 0ozs and into double figures of 4lb 1oz’ers even… but I’m having trouble breaking that barrier … and with those 2 fish (4-00 and 4-01) today it seems like…. 😉 ARRRGGGHHHHHH!

Anyway, if I’m to break that barrier before mid-September this year then it will be at a different venue. This one is part of a National Trust property and come school holidays it seems that some (many, actually) parents actually believe that the kids will be interested in touring ‘stately properties’… WHY!!!!? They’d be better giving their kids rods and tackle and setting them off on the bus or their bikes somewhere as happened in my day… kids would enjoy it 1000% more I reckon… Anyway, given that the day’s experience of touring a pile of old bricks isn’t going to be the most exhilarating kid experience they release it by running the grounds screaming and yelling and playing tag or whatever … and, as even ramblers and dog walkers passing by annoy me, then its not where I want to be… 🙂

Session 38 – Avon Called Again…

Tuesday, 5th July 2016  and I head back to the Warwickshire Avon in search of a new PB bream – which I fell short of doing by 4oz on the last visit – with hope in my heart.

I headed back to my swim of the previous visit – and I suspect that it had been fished by others since my previous visit as it was far more trampled and the veggies hacked back more than I did.

So I settled down for my session and made my first cast at around 0730 with a different rod to last session – the 11′ 1.75lb TC rod being exchanged for a 12′ feeder rod with quiver tip in order to (a) cope with the marginal vegetation a bit better as the 11′ rod was not quite long enough to extend fully over and on the retrieve sometimes I got caught up when swinging in and (b) have a softer, more sensitive, bite indication method than the tip of the previous rod… And other than the rod change the rest of the tackle and baits were generally as previously used – 8lb mainline straight through to a size 10 hook baited initially with worm/maggot – and initially I fished the same line as the previous visit, casting downstream about 20 yards, just outside, and level with, a large overhanging willow tree using a 25g open end cage feeder packed with my usual feed mix of crumb, particles, pellet and dead maggot mixed to a sticky consistency.

Again, right from the start, using worm for bait, I had plucks and tugs almost every cast but it wasn’t until 0830 that I managed to hook into a fish – an 11oz bream. And 10 minutes later a larger bream of 3lb 4oz graced the net…

2016-07-05 Steve - 3lb 4oz Bream.JPG… so all was starting to look promising…

However, it was not to be as for the next three hours there was no further action at all – not a single tug, nibble or nudge from anything and even despite trying a change of bait to bread too.

So I decided to try the margins for a while as I had heard that bonus perch are quite possible – and the water depth is still quite appreciable at the very edge (3′-4′ I’d approximate). I slipped off the feeder and replaced it with a small cubic lead of 7g and started hand feeding maggot outs in front and slightly upstream in order that they reach the bottom where I was fishing about 10′-25′ below me… first cast and the tip smashed round but the bite was missed… and so for the next 20-30 mins various plucks and tugs were received on both worm and bunches of maggots and then I hooked into a decent feeling fish only it to snag me on an underwater branch or root and to leave the hook embedded in the snag and I ended having to snap off. I re-tackled to the same set up as I had been using and re-cast … and after 15 minutes without a bite I retrieved the line only for it to snag but this time I was able to recover the tackle intact as the piece of wood into which the hook had caught gave way and I retrieved not only my tackle and the piece of wood but also the hook and ledger stop that I’d lost previously… Next cast, a bite and a small chub of 4oz-6oz came to hand… and then the swim went quiet with no touches for an hour.. until another bite, another chub of similar size to the first and then again a quiet spell during which I put the feeder back on and tried the longer range willow tree stretch again… a few twitches and then quiet… back to the margins with the small lead and another bite and a bream of around 3lb was brought towards the net but the net tangled in the vegetation and whilst trying to free the hook pulled from the fish….

Anyway, after that it went quiet again and I finally reeled ion for the day at 1500 as I needed to get home early’ish and had a longish trip in front of me in which I needed to avoid rush hour traffic as much as possible….

I love this location but it is a long’ish trip but I’m planning to make at least a once-a-month trip there for the future… really need to see the banks in winter with the vegetation died back to see exactly the structure of the ‘solid’ ground which is hidden greatly in foliage currently..

But on Friday – hoping to get out tenching 🙂

Session 37 – A Private Estate Water…

Saturday 2nd July and I returned to the private estate lake that Liz and I were meant to visit on the 19th June but were unable to get access to the water. This time I was alone as Liz was on holiday in Spain and this was the final weekend of this year’s invitation to the club to fish.

I arrived at the water at around 0630 (fishing from 0700, so arrived early to tackle up, etc) and was the first there – two others arrived at around 0700 and another at around 1030 – and I elected to fish our usual swim at this venue. We’ve had good tench and double figure carp from here (SPOILER ALERT) before and has never let us down before…

I used the usual ledger set up with two rods set up with one with a size 6 hook and the other a size 10… baits used were worm/maggot on the 10 hook, and various baits (bread, paste, meat) on the 6 tried throughout day…. both rods were set up with frame feeders too with which a sticky mix incorporating hemp, wheat, corn, and dead maggot was fed out on each cast.

IMAG0095

Anyway, it was a slow day – seems I chose the wrong swim as the other three anglers all seemed to be catching well – especially the chap opposite me, who had decent fish after fish, from a swim I’d mentioned to Liz that I might try if I had the chance… I did and I didn’t! DOH!!! Hindsight is wonderful!

Anyway, my ‘bag’ for the session was one small perfectly conditioned tench (of  a beautiful steely blue colouration in the sunlight) and two small roach – and one of the roach was foul-hooked in the tail…

IMG_0085

Next trip, hopefully back to the Warks Avon on the 5th….

Session 36 – First Wark On The Avon…

Thursday 30th June and I headed to my first ever visit to my club’s stretch of the Warwickshire Avon – I was going to say my first trip to the Warks Avon but remembered that Liz and I had been on a BAA stretch (Pensham, I think) some years back.

Anyway, a gorgeous water – first trip as I said but almost certainly not the last…

 Finding a swim was a little difficult – with the current weather the vegetation is sprouting and wasn’t easy to spot places where access to the water could be made – and in a lot of places marginal reeds prevented access. However, a nice spot was located, and the vegetation was trimmed back enough to allow access to the water for landing/returning of fish and to allow the line to ‘swing’ on the current without catching/snagging on the bankside weeds…  The chosen spot also had a large overhanging willow tree (see second photo above) and I aimed to get the bait in the vicinity of that cover.

I took two rods – a 2lb TC barbel rod with 10lb line and a 1.75lb TC ledger rod loaded with 8lb. I intended to start with the lighter rod and then step up with the heavier one but actually remained using the light rod in conjunction with a medium sized cage feeder and size 10 hook all day in the end. So first cast was made at around 0730 with a worm/maggot cocktail bait – and first rod top knocks soon came – however, it wasn’t until 0915 that the first fish of the day was hooked and landed – a bream of 3lb 10oz – and then another five minutes later of 5lb 3oz (just 3oz of my current PB, a catch that was made in the 1979 season!).

Anyway, over the course of the day, I lost another good fish when the hook pulled, landed another bream of 2lb 3oz plus a small perch and a small roach…

Worm was *THE* bait of the day – did try bread, caramel paste, cheese paste and sweetcorn but very few bites…

I thought I’d left my camera as I was unable to locate it in my bags or anywhere in the house  this morning and I couldn’t remember having it since I got back… so I put my coat on and did a 60+ mile round trip back to the river but I was unable to find it, not suprisingly however, as since my return home it has been located in the garage and all is well!!