Saturday, 11 May 2013

Gravel Pit Tenching

It's that time of year when my obsession with catching a double figure Tench begins again. For the last few years my efforts have centred around the Linear complex, mostly on Hardwick Smiths lake, not because it gave me the best chance but because it is the least heavily fished so fairly peaceful. However this year I have decided to target a different water, well a change is as good as a rest.
My feeling is it's a little too early in the year for the really big Tench, the few weeks before spawning giving the best chance(of a double) which this year will probably be late June due to the long cold Winter. Today I used my usual worm based approach.
It took a couple of hours before I had the first indications and the bite developed into a 4lb 7oz male in the net. A pleasing start to a campaign on a new venue but I would have preferred a big fat female, lady Tench are always bigger than their scrappy boyfriends.
It didn't take long before I was in again, another good scrap and another petulant male on the bank, this time 4lb 3oz, they were getting smaller.
The next run saw me strike into something altogether different. The fight was more sluggish, it felt heavier and I began to think I had hooked either a cracking Tench or a small Carp. Imagine my surprise when it suddenly tail walked across the swim. It turned out to be an angry Pike and a pretty good one at that. "There's no way I am going to land this" I thought to myself, either the 8lb line would break or be bitten through at any moment. I took my time, let it take line when it wanted to run and ever so gradually I coaxed it closer and closer. It tangled my other rods leading me a merry song and dance but eventually I bundled it into the net. Luckily the hook was well lodged in the scissors away from those razor sharp gnashers. Good skill and good fortune in equal abundance.
13lb exactly
Within minutes of putting her back I was in again, this time the target species but yet another male, this time 4lb 12oz.

Another hour later I caught, yes you guessed it,  another male but this one was the biggest so far at 5lb 9oz.

I must have been casting into a Gentleman's only club for Tench, boys 4 girls nil. That was the last of the action for the day.
Mid afternoon there was a tremendous storm, thankfully I had my day shelter with me and I sat nice and dry sniggering at the anglers opposite getting a right soaking.
The last laugh was on me though as a huge gust of wind lifted my brolly up and away down the bank and I ended up dripping wet as well. Serves me right I suppose!


  1. Not a bad start there mate.
    With males to 5 & 1/2 you can bet there's females to +10lb in there. You were lucky with the pike, it looks in good nick & doesn't look like it was too thin after spawning. Funny how they take worms at this time of year, they must be hungry.

  2. I hope so on the Tench front Mart, It wasn't that thin and it tail walked like a beauty, it was lucky though!