Caught in the moment (Entry 72)

First of all I’d like to wish everyone a happy new year! Doesn’t seem a year ago since I was writing the first update of 2013. It has certainly flown by. But enough of that, without further a do, lets crack on with this weeks update.

This week I had a session after bream. Initially I was going to head to a local canal to try to tempt a net of skimmers on bread, but in the end, I headed to a small stillwater of about half an acre. Despite its surface area, the pool has a good depth and a good head of bream, ranging from 2lb to 6lb or so. There was always an outside chance of a winter tench on this venue; it being good for the species during the summer.

Sheltered from a strong southerly windI settled at the far end of the pool where a high bank meant I would be sheltered from a strong, and cold, southerly wind. The swim also offered me a good depth of water fairly close in. I wouldn’t fish too close though, as I know the bream like to hold away from the bank on here. I plumbed up to fish at around twelve metres in five feet of water. The pole would be my weapon of choice today. Offering me a great amount of sensitivity, and also a little bit of assurance, should I hook a bigger than intended fish. I would fish a light .2gr float and on light lines; three pound mainline and a fluorocarbon hooklength of two pound. This might seem odd when considering big bream but with balanced tackle, including the elastic of course, fish of surprising size can be landed if you take your time. Having fished this water many times before during winter I knew that bites would come in a flurry. Often you can wait hours for the fish to switch on and in the space of ten minutes, three good sized bream may be caught in succession.

A delicate float for winter fishing

I opened the swim with a palmful of micro pellets soaked in a little flavour. To this was added a few casters. And that was it. I would feed four or five casters with the catapult every twenty minutes or so. A big bed of bait on this venue during cold weather is often the kiss of death, even when fishing for bream. A little an often approach is definitely the way forward. So when I found myself three hours later still without a bite I was not at all bothered. It was well after two o’clock now and was fast approaching bite time. Deciding to feed a few more casters, I reached down for the catapult at my side. Whilst doing so, without any warning, the float vanished. The strike saw a healthy amount of elastic pull from the pole, and then keep going, running slowly but purposefully to my left. It certainly felt like a good fish but not a bream. There was something decidedly tench-like about it. The fish turned under the pressure from the elastic and then hung, heavy, but with no power. All of a sudden the fish felt like a bream. Maybe it was just a big old bream after all. The light tackle allowing me to experience the fight more so than on heavier gear. Slowly the fish edged in towards the waiting net, but in the murky water I had still not seen it. Then it rose in the water and I caught a glimpse. A big tench! Instinctively, the landing net was thrust underneath and raised. Frantic kicks of its tail ensued. The tench had woken up. But it was too late. The fish was mine.

A magnificent winter tench

It was an immaculate fish. Worth waiting all that time for. Taken on a single caster hookbait on a small size 18 hook. I quickly readied the camera for a picture. The thickness across its back was staggering. It was solid. So with the picture taken I carefully placed the fish back in the landing net and carried her to the waters edge. She recovered in the margins and I watched her amble slowly back down into the depths. And thats when I realised; I hadn’t weighed her!

Ok, so a fishes weight is not the be all and end all. I was very happy to have caught such a cracking fish, and on such a cold day. But I can’t help wondering. It turned out to be the only fish too, the bream not reading the script and remaining elusive. I tell you what though, the moment the tench rose into view will be burned into my memory for a long time. So just for fun, as we will never know, how much do you reckon she weighed?

Thanks for reading this update. You might like to head over to my Facebook page. Once there if you ‘like’ the page, you will get all the blog, twitter and Facebook updates in one place! You can click the link at the end or hit like to the top right of the home page. Don’t forget to share this with anyone you know might appreciate it using the social media buttons below.

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Until Next time tight lines

NorthwestFisherman

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