The summer is certainly flying by. It doesn’t seem long ago that I was cursing the late spring and the patchy tench sport as a result. I love fishing for tench. Not only are they beautiful looking fish they also require a great deal of ‘working out’. As July turns into August tench can be tricky customers indeed. I was long overdue a tench session. This weeks update sees me on the banks of a cheshire pit in search of some green flanked monsters.
I arrived at my chosen venue just after dawn. A lap of the pit and only a few signs of feeding tench. I must admit I was a little despondent after seeing this. There is always a chance though. I finally decided on a swim and what a swim! It certainly had a lot of surface features. Maybe too many. Leading around revealed that there was a large amount of weed. Thick in some areas, shallower in others. I found two gravel areas, both quite small, and it was on these areas I baited. I didn’t fish on them though. Instead the rigs were fished onto the low lying weed surrounding them. After all bigger fish do seem to spend time on the periphery of baited areas. I also believe that the weed itself helps to disguise the end tackle somewhat, something that is of utmost importance when fishing for finicky tench, in crystal clear water.
With reports from the carp anglers of ‘tench disturbing them in the night,’ there was a real possibility that the bigger fish were feeding under the cover of darkness. I tried not to let that bother me and got the rods in position. On my right rod I fished with boilies and pellets, having fed similar onto the clear patch. The rig above is the one I used. Because the weed was so short I could still get away with a smallish hooklength of around five inches. Of course, on the clear patch I could have fished shorter and increased the hooking chances somewhat, but I really wanted to fish over weed. Call it gut instinct. On the cast I felt the lead hit the gravel, dampened somewhat by the strands of weed, and I was confident the rig was fishing effectively. Onto the left hand rod. This was fished out into open water at a range of about 30 yards, a few feet up a steady slope. The weed was much thicker here, but still ok to fish over with light leads and a longer hooklength. Bait on this line would be more traditional with caster, sweetcorn and a few pellets. I changed hookbait on this rig quite often. Pellet, fake corn and casters were all tried throughout the session.
A very quiet morning passed, only disturbed every so often by a rumble of thunder in the distance. Was it getting closer? I couldn’t tell. One thing was for sure, the blue sky that had greeted me had slowly started to disappear from view. Masked by cloud. The colour of the cloud grew darker. Very dark in fact. The wind noticeably fresher and getting stronger all the time. There was definitely a storm coming. I took the opportunity to quickly arrange everything under my brolly and had just finished doing so when the rain started to fall. Heavy rain. Some of the heaviest rain I’ve ever seen in fact. For half an hour the wind blew and the thunder rumbled. It was one occasion I honestly didn’t want to get a run. I contemplated reeling the rigs in but the rain was torrential. I must say, being out in weather like this is amazing. I can’t quite describe what it is but seeing how powerful nature can be is exhilarating. I genuinely love witnessing these kind of things sat under a flimsy umbrella. Which leaked of course but it didn’t matter. The experience was worth it. I know it sounds stupid to wax lyrical about being sat in the rain but I can’t help it. Its why I go fishing. Apart from the actual fishing itself of course, being outdoors in all conditions is something I really do enjoy. After the storm, some 60 minutes later, I checked and recast the rigs. By now it was approaching early evening and I was expectant of a bite from Mr. Tench.
The right hand rod was presented in a small channel between an overhanging tree and a huge bed of lily pads. It was this rod I expected to get a bite on the most. Strangely I had seen very few signs of feeding fish here. I kept a small helping of boilies and a few pellets going in every hour or two regardless. As the evening grew older, I was resigned to a blank. The clouds were once again building up and I had to be gone by ten o’clock. With 15 minutes to go my right hand rod indicator slowly lifted. A rather tame, bream like indication. Talk about last gasp fish. But was it a big tench? I picked up the rod which nodded in defiance. Unfortunately the fish itself felt rather small. As it came up from the depths, a green flank flashed furiously. At least I had caught the intended species. It was just about 5lb too small. The fish was netted and a quick picture taken.
Better than a blank I guess and its good to see small tench in the water. In recent years it has suffered a lot from fish deaths and cormorant predation. Although not the big tench I was after, its certainly uplifting to see perfect little tench present. One day I might catch her again when she is a giant.
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Until Next time tight lines,