Session 21 – Back To The Tench And Bream Pool

Thursday 10th June I returned again to the tench/bream pool (AA-B) arriving at around 0730 – and found not only two cars already on the car park but also both anglers were already tackled up and fishing. Anyway they were on the far bank and were no problem as I was intending to fish the near bank again opposite the small island.

I had a quick wander to the area I intended to fish to check on the state of the swims – the previous couple of visits there had been catkin/lambstails floating on the surface in the area but on the day I was very relieved to see all was clear. The catkins are a real pain as unlike the normal type of flotsam (weed/leaves) that can simply be removed from the line in situ by simply lifting the line and possibly giving a slight shake, the catkins behave literally as if they were wool that had been spun around the line and even when the line is wound in it can take several minutes to remove even the smallest clumpings as you have to remove them by pulling them apart bit by bit. Due to the clumping nature, the line often can get jammed in the rod rings, a nuisance at best, a disaster if there’s a fished attached!

So, intended swim given the all clear, the tackle was unloaded from the car and barrowed up up to the swim – not really necessary as only about 30 yards from the car but carrying would mean 2-3 journeys each way – take and then return at the end of the day – so easier to to a single trip each way.

Pre-prepping tackle the swim was pre-fed a few balls of cereal groundbait with hemp and pearl barley particles and a few catapulted pouch fulls of dead maggots … and at 0800 my first cast was made fishing in my usual ‘lift method’ style using a bunch of maggots on a size 12 hook albeit I did decide to change my usual drift/windbeater float over to a 4AAA bodied waggler … why? Well, thinking about it the answer would probably be ‘because I could!’ LOL.

Over the course of the session I fed in a few prawns and sweetcorn too …

0815 – first fish of the day, a small fingerling perch…

0835 – lost fish in the lily pads when it shed the hook – possibly a carp but had the feeling it was was on the 8oz barbel…

I had a period then of switching baits trying worm, sweetcorn, bread and rather pongy prawn. All produced nudges, dips and knocks on the float but which resulted in no fish being hooked.

1100 – a tench! 3lb 11oz taken on worm…

1145 – a fingerling perch taken on a piece of worm flipped itself off the hook as it was being landed…

1200 – 3lb 12oz tench

2021-06-10 Steve - 3lb 12oz Tench
3lb 12oz Tench

1350 – a good tench slipped the hook…

1415 – one of those periods whereby I overcast into the bushes on the island – several times in a row despite having never previously done that… and it finally resulted in the loss of my float as the silicon rubber of the float attachment pulled off the swivel that formed its eye. I replaced a piece of silicon rubber on the swivel, affixed a new float and continued fished – for a short while until a caught a bit of an overhead tree foliage which caused the float to drop off again – and I accidentally trod on it and snapped it at which point….

1445 – I packed up… J

So, a day of nudges and knocks – even those of the tench were strikes made at prolonged nudge and knockings rather than bold sailaway takes…


Not sure about Monday 14th yet but as the river season opens on Wednesday then on Thursday I might take a trip to the Worcs Stour. Nothing like the Dorset Stour though, its a small river, which, into the 80’s at least, was classified as ‘fishless and lifeless’ due to pollution from the carpet factories of Kidderminster. However, it has taken on a new lease of life and barbel having been spotted spawning in the lower reaches within the past week. In the stretch I’ll fish (BAA water) there’s a weir the area below which usually throws up a few good chub although that’s a popular area with those that fish there so I most likely will have to try to fish just above the weir for perch…. and whatever comes along really. I’ll need to sort my tackle though – no heavy chairs and suchlike – minimal tackle … might be I’ll take my Shakespeare box that I use for canals and just a quivertip rod/landing net/banksticks in my Korum 3-rod quiver.

7 responses to “Session 21 – Back To The Tench And Bream Pool”

  1. Btw I don’t actual know what I do think of still water barbel. However, I do get the irony when people who are happy to fish for ‘wild’ barbel in rivers that flow east to west moan about lake barbel.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Severn barbel Vs Trent barbel? 😃

      Interesting point about the Severn/Trent watersheds… I live about 5 miles from Dudley (best known for its castle and zoo?) whose main street in which the market is located is right over the line of demarcation, so much so that the storm water drains on one side of the street empty eventually into the Trent, but the water from the other side ends in the Severn… so we were told by a very respected Blue Badge guide…

      The Severn barbel are courtesy of a 1958 stocking from barbel sourced from the Kennet…but never appeared until the mid 70s as I recall …never saw even one barbel until one year they were all you would catch … it was several years until the chub started to make a reappearance afterwards … and every barbel was 12oz exactly it seemed … grown in size now but diminished in numbers…


    2. Severn barbel Vs Trent barbel? 😃

      Interesting point about the Severn/Trent watersheds… I live about 5 miles from Dudley (best known for its castle and zoo?)


  2. I’m sure that is twice now I’ve read the words ‘pearl barley’ in you posts!
    Those tench look nice, I think down south angling pressure means sail away bites are going to be progressively rarer as the summer progresses!
    Have you any views on still water barbel?
    Go on, give the river a go, you know you want to!


    1. It is, Clive! LOL!
      Made a bit of a mess of it though.
      Bag said to boil for almost 2 hours, and so I added to pressure cooker with hemp for the usual 20 minutes… and overcooked it seemed as ended up like black’n’white sloppy porridge … so add it to my groundbait. And have about 8 bags of about 500g of same in freezer.
      So, need to get the barley cooking sorted… how do you cook yours?

      Stillwater barbel.. no problem to me. A lot of naturally stocked stillwater’s eg from flooded rivers or in canals by natural fish movements? And if stocked then don’t see any problem … can’t spawn (or do spawn but eggs fail to hatch) but otherwise don’t appear to lose condition, etc and supply good sport.

      Yep, tench seem to wise up quickly to larger baits and need smaller baits as the season progresses … but still the bream – and barbel – remain acceptive of larger baits like corn, sweetcorn and bread…

      Yep… planning some river fishing … The Stour next Thurs … most likely the Warks Avon the following Monday with Liz ..
      and discovered a 1 mile stretch of another small river not too distant that on the photos looks idyllic that the BAA have… so perhaps be doing more flowing water stuff this year BUT need to have ’emergency’ kit could place a limit – or reconsider how I can cover that in a more compact way…


      1. Steve

        This is a cut and paste from the Ringwood club forum:

        “Pearl Barley
        Preparation: 1/2 cup (80g) of Pearl Barley in an empty Thermos flask (1ltr), add flavouring or colouring; ie Turmeric (Yellow); PRIDE food colouring (red); Vanilla or Brandy essence for flavouring; or Pilau/Tandoori spice mix or just experiment. Add boiling hot water from kettle, screw top on flask, shake and leave for 4-5 hours on its side. Next, empty flask into sieve (metal best); wash contents through thoroughly twice with boiling water from kettle, while still in sieve, over sink. This will eradicate the starch from the Pearl Barley. Leave sieve in sink to drain, empty contents into bait box.
        Cost: 500g bag of Pearl Barley 55-69p or less.”


        Liked by 1 person

        1. Cheers, Clive!!
          Will try that out 👍🙂


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