Session 27 – In Search Of Olives….

Friday 29th June, and unusually for me, I actually headed to the lake (KF-DBP) I’d said I was going to visit in search of tench.

I had arrived after a 20 mile journey, parked, walked the 450 metres or so from the car park to the swim I fished, baited up, set up the ancillaries, tackled up my 2 rods and made first casts by 0710… not bad going for me!

A bit about the pool first…

The pool (or rather pools in the plural as there are three of them available) are on an old estate (National Trust property) with the main pool (the one I fished) one side of a main highway and the other two are on the other side of that road. ‘My’ pool (19 acres) contains mainly tench but also holds perch, roach/rudd and pike …. the ‘2nd’ pool holds carp, tench, perch, roach/rudd and pike … and the ‘3rd’ pool just carp and rudd (possibly roach too). An obvious omission in species from my point of view is obviously bream … but being a National Trust property we are limited as regards what species can be added to the waters and what maintenance we are allowed to do in terms of structures (platforms) and ‘gardening’ (bush trimming, removal, etc) – and we cannot use power tools (inc battery strimmers, etc I believe). However, it does look gorgeous…

The water is relatively shallow I believe at the end I was fishing (7’-9’ max?) but away to my right (out of pic in 1st photo) is a sunken dam wall (by a boathouse on the bank) and the water drops there to 15’ or more and further down goes to 20’ or more approaching the (new) dam wall … so the near 2/3rds of the pool is 7’-9’ and the final 1/3rds is 15’-20+’. Most people when summer/spring fishing (for tench mainly) fish the shallow end but the deeper end comes in to its own in winter for piking albeit plenty pike are caught in the shallower end too – depends on weather and temps really.

Old documentation actually records this one pool was made from connecting 3 original pools together in the 1600’s (IIRC) … obviously the deep water beyond the sunken dam would have been one of them, the main part of the pool being another but there are no maps that I can find that shows 3 separate pools … but looking at the weed that was growing yesterday it looked like the area in the 3rd photo could have been the ‘missing’ 3rd pool – you can see the line of weed across the pool there and none further down but the main area of the pool – from there to the sunken dam is quite weedy all over with what appears to be ‘curly waterweed’ growing up from the bottom. As I say, just a guess though….

So, all-in-all a fantastic pool, and appears from time-to-time in angling magazine features especially ones regarding tench fishing how-to’s…

My one reservation with it (all 3 pools really), and I don’t fish there too often in the summer months when the schools break up, is that it can be quite busy with (dog) walkers, ramblers, etc perambulating around in fine weather pre-school holidays – and that increases in number and with added screaming kids July to September. However, the Hall itself is closed to visitors on Fridays and Saturdays, so is a tad quieter as there are no coach parties, etc to add to the public footpath users (although the footpath around the pool is not one – it’s a ‘permissory’ path and the NT close access to non-authorised users usually throughout February and March to maintain that status). Obviously the angling club are authorised. But you still get walkers, etc ignore the notices and pass along during the close but being winter very few do … and dogs are supposed to be kept on leads as there are livestock in the fields but again few are…

To be honest … apart from the odd dog jumping into the water to retrieve sticks thrown by owners who should know better … they are no problem, rarely distract you or come to chat, etc … just me being hyper-sensitive and finding the passings by distracting and alien to the ambience wanted…

[BTW why do dog owners always attempt to drown their dogs? Never seen a dog jump in water yet that wasn’t encouraged to do so by its owner? Surely cheaper not to buy the dog in the first place? And would more successful anyway if they were put in a hessian sack with an house brick before throwing in as used to happen to unwanted kittens/puppies in the old days??? …]

So, anyway, it means I visit a few times in search of a PB tench up to the end of the first week in July – and then maybe back tenching for a few weeks after mid-September and then start my piking there (and elsewhere) in October.

OK! Enough background information … on with the fishing report…

You can see my swim in the 1st photo – shows only one rod but I had been using two earlier and I’d snagged in the weed and the line broke on one of them so I decided to concentrate on just the remaining rod for the rest of the day…

So to start, I set up two rods, both 8lb main line, 6” 8lb uncoated braid hook lengths to size 8 hooks and with frame feeders. One rod baited with luncheon meat, the other worm. Feeder loaded with a method type cereal mix (ca 1Kg dry) to which dead maggot, hemp and maize had been added and wetted with about 150ml hemp infused veg oil and lake water to a thick consistency to hold together for casting…

You can’t see in the photo but in front about 20-30 yards away there was a line of weed showing with a gap of probably 15’-20’ in the middle. So one rod was fished one side of the gap, the other rod the other side… as you do!

Bites started quickly but the tailed off at around 1015 … then a slight resurgence from around 1145 until 0130 .. and then went very quiet with probably around just 4-5 takes until I packed up at 1500. I would have stayed longer but the lack of bites coupled with the need to prepare tea for Liz and collect her from work later made me decide to take a decision to make the later jobs less of a rush … and enjoy a prolonged soak in the bath into the bargain.

Anyway, results of the day …

4 tench landed – 1 @ 3lb 15oz, 2 @ 3lb 10oz and a junior @ 1lb 14oz.

Another 5-6 were lost to hook pulls or to the tench/chub trick of transferring hooks to weed … and one other of about 3.5-4lb I actually netted but I thought I’d trapped it in the folds of the net and lay the net down on the edge of the water while I went to drop the rod out of the way when the tip suddenly pulled round and I found myself playing the fish again as it had escaped – got it back to the net, head just over the rim – and hook hold gave way and fish went….

I also had one strange snap-off. I attach my feeders to a 6” link of line, covered with a piece of silicon rubber tube, to a running swivel on the main line… had a fish on, holding with moderate pressure applied … and suddenly line goes slack … and I expected it to be a hook pull BUT when winding in the main line had snapped just above the clip on to which I connect my hook lengths AND also the link to the feeder had broken too ie breaks in 2 separate pieces of line. I suspect a pike came into the action – as I said the pool contains pike and the jacks in there seem to have a fascination with swim feeders of any type being retrieved and often can be seen following them in … so I suspect a pike seeing the dangling feeder had a slash at it and caught it along with the main line and thus cut both lines…. I just wish they were as crazy about my spinners and things in the winter! 

4 responses to “Session 27 – In Search Of Olives….”

  1. Steve – I know I still owe you a reply to your comprehensive reply, but I count my blessings that I’m not looking at 20 mile car journeys to fish …. which may be one reason why I often opt for short sessions as I’ve invested less time getting there (there are other reasons; concentration span, other interests etc).
    PP – For me tench are the ultimate still water species, so I’d urge you to look out for good tench waters.



    1. Most of my fishing entails round trips of 30 miles or more – my closest club venue (other than canal) is around a 15 mile round trip. Don’t really mind the distance – and my last outing (just about to write the blog) was a 70+ mile round trip … and then drove almost past (turned off in a different direction just before) there again yesterday for a sightseeing day out with Liz – ie charity shop visiting LOL!


  2. I enjoy bream … they don’t fight (well, in general, not so long back I had a bream (1lb-2lb’ish as I recall) that thought it was a trout or salmon and leapt with headshakes two or three times even when 20-30 yards out in 15′ of water :) and are slimy critters but I can’t help loving them. And I’d love that 7lb-er of yours (fingers crossed for my outing tomorrow to emulate that!)… congrats!

    I hope you do get on to a tench water … sure you’ll love having them on the line … fight like hell all the way to the net … then as soon as they become netable they find new life and are gone again!



  3. Looks like you had a fab day. I’ve just discovered a ‘tenchy’ pool nearby but sadly I don’t think it’s day ticket (can’t stretch to two memberships at the mo) so I might pop down and see what the gen is next weekend with a view to joining in the autumn. Apparently they have some crackers out of there. Am still currently on just the one ever caught! Anyway, that place looks pretty magical and you know me, no bream isn’t a problem :D Having said that I broke my bream pb this evening – will be doing a writeup later. Take care, Steve.

    Liked by 1 person

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