More Blanks, Retired Hurt and Striking Gold!

After my first trip to my chosen tench venue I couldn’t wait to get back. The previous week ┬áhad seen a few tench being caught including some nice ‘doubles’ To cut a long story short the fishing was dire. No bites, no fish spotted in my swim, but I did learn a lot. In my two days there I only heard of 3 fish being caught on the lake, a couple of small ones, plus a massive 11b 12oz fish that that I had the pleasure of photographing for my mate Adam. Well done fella, what a fish!

I was due to return to try to catch a similar fish myself, but injury meant the 2 weeks I’d booked off work turned into a days tench fishing. I managed a comedy fall and cracked a rib meaning it was too painful to function properly. I tried, but even spodding was painful, never mind pushing my barrow to the swim. Even sitting was painful, plus the pain killers I’d been prescribed meant I wasn’t supposed to drive. On the plus side I talked to plenty of anglers and learnt a whole lot more about the place. With my annual leave wasted, it’s fair to say this years tench campaign has been a failure. Still, I caught a couple, saw the fish of a lifetime, and met some cracking blokes. Maybe next year I’ll be lucky.

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I was due to fish on June the 16th with my mate Martin, but it was cancelled as he had a few meetings to attend. We did manage an evening out a few days later in search of some big rudd. We fished a Fenland drain using our tried and tested floating bread tactics. I was a bit surprised at the lack of smaller fish compared to previous years. Maybe the cormorant that I’d seen on my last trip had taken it’s toll on the smaller rudd population.

After only a few minutes I saw a big fish rise for an insect or something. I catapulted a couple of crusts towards the ripples to see if it was prepared to feed. Both crusts were slurped down, so the next offering had my size 12 hook in it. A few seconds later my bread was taken in a more delicate fashion, but the float diving under signalled it was time to strike. The hook hit home and all hell broke loose as a big rudd dived for every lilly pad in the drain. luckily my 4lb line was up to the job and I could see a large, deep golden fish mid drain and seemingly beaten. At this point I thought I was attached to a 3lb fish because it looked so big and deep. The fish dived again for the near bank lilies and after a few scary moments I finally managed to net her.

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In my net was one of natures wonders, what vivid gold and red colours it had. I could now see it wasn’t close to 3lbs, The front half of the fish was so deep, but from there it quickly tapered back to ‘normality’ The scales did give a pleasing 2lb 8oz though, but weight wasn’t important with such a beautiful fish. I’m just glad I never lost it because I’d had been convinced I’d lost a ‘3’+ giving me one of those tales about ‘The one that got away’!

I caught a couple more rudd in the 12oz to 1lb mark towards dusk, but it was a frustrating evening as the odd very big rudd swirled at flies, but wouldn’t take my bread. Maybe they’d been caught on bread already and they’d ‘wised up’

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I might go back in a few weeks time because as I type, a lot of anglers seem to have ‘rudd fever’ And while I can’t fault them at all, I prefer to compete with the fish, not with numbers of other anglers too.