Tench Time

During my last roach session on Sway Lakes, it became apparent that the roach weren’t feeding. A few days later I had the answer why. Fellow ‘roach nut’ Hugh Miles emailed me with the news they were spawning on the lake and a few weeks earlier than normal. This shows how strange nature can be as the tench seem to be nowhere near ready to spawn. Still, during my last Sway trip I landed a lovely male golden tench on my light waggler gear. It gave a cracking scrap and I hoped that it would be the start of a summer of tinca’s.

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After the Sway trip I had a few weeks re-charging the batteries and making plans for the summer. I decided to target tench on a gravel pit in the midlands. My target is a 10lb+ fish, but I’m under no illusions how hard this target will be. The ‘pit’ I’m fishing does contain a few fish of that size and above, but it’s tough. Add to this the fact that I might be able to squeeze in 10 days fishing, or slightly more, and you can see how tough it will be.

Still, I won’t catch sat at home behind a keyboard so I headed down for my first session this week. After chatting with a few guys who fish the lake (and very successfully I may add!) I had a decent idea on what to expect and where the decent areas where. After choosing a peg with some form in the recent past, I settled down for 2 days of fishing. Tactics were inline maggot feeders with rubber maggots as bait. I would also spod maggots and hemp over the top. The feeders were fished 50 yards out in 14 feet of water. It was a job casting 50 yards in the strong facing wind that had suddenly sprung up. When heavy rain moved in soon after, I retreated to my bivvy for a few hours. By late afternoon the rain stopped and the sun came out. I took this lull in the weather to re-cast the rods and put a bit more bait out on the spots.

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Shortly after I’d sat back down I was stunned when the Delkim burst into life. Still surprised, I lifted into a nodding resistance. The fish came in easily, until it was under the rod top, where it started fighting well above the size that it looked. After a short tussle my first intentionally caught tinca of the season was placed on the mat. At 5lb 12oz, this male wasn’t what I had in mind, but I was chuffed to get off the mark and it showed my rigs were effective.

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Soon after re casting the alarm wailed again and I was into tench number 2. This one felt bigger, but fought like the first, coming in easily until under the rod tip, then giving a good account of itself. After bundling it into the net, I lifted a solid deep tench onto the bank. It was deep, but without a hint of spawn. The scales spun round to well over 8lbs with this fish. Things were going in the right direction!

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After these 2 quick tench, I decided to top the swim up with more feed. To cut a long story short I never had another bite for 24 hours before leaving for home! Should I have held back on the feed? Did this scare the fish or had I simply caught what I was going to anyway? Apparently a couple of fish isn’t a bad result, but get things right on this water and you can catch several fishes of a lifetime! Still, it’s a beautiful place, the other anglers are all top blokes,and the scenery isn’t bad. As Arnie says “I’ll be back”!

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