Friday, 1 May 2015

The Little Tincas (and Big Ones!)

Three weeks ago I prematurely started my Tench campaign but that session ended with a big fat blank, the fish just hadn't switched on at all due to the cold water temperature. That previous session was preceded by a week of glorious sunshine but large gravel pits take more than just a few nice days to warm up such is their expanse and depth.
This week we have endured a kind of cold snap and I must admit I did think twice about going 'Tenching' but in the end I am extremely glad I took the chance. The Northeasterly gale was bitter for most of the day and necessitated three jumpers but when I put my hands in the water it actually warmed them up. Amazing the difference between the two worlds above and below the surface.
Linear fisheries is busy at the worst of times so with a bank holiday weekend approaching I knew I would have to get there early to secure a decent area. Having pulled up in the car park just after opening time I took a little meander to see what was available. A Carp angler was stood in the second swim, bucket in hand(they use these to save a swim, a tactic I abhor!) Never mind he was a friendly chap and when I told him I had come for the Tench he informed that two had rolled in a matter of minutes in that very swim.
"Are you gonna fish this spot then?" I tentatively enquired.
"No, I think I will keep looking further around".
Told you he was friendly. It is no exaggeration when I say I ran to the car and grabbed my tackle quicker than ever before.
The rods were already set up from the last session so within minutes I was fishing. My tactics for Tench are always the same, feeder fishing with regular casting dictated by the clock.
To begin with I recast every twenty minutes aiming at the same certain trees each time on the far horizon. This slows down to every thirty minutes after a while until the Tench arrive scenting a meal to their liking.
It is hard work but the rewards can be a lot of fun.
The buzzers gave the odd beep indicating line bites or finicky takes until finally at about 11.15am I hooked my first Tench. The fight was scrappy making me think it was a male. With the fish still about twenty yards out the other indicator burst into life. At first I thought I had crossed lines but the buzzer just kept going and going, double hook-up!
It is really off putting playing one fish know another is flying across the lake with no-one to stop its progress. I eventually bundled the male in the net, guessed it to weigh about six pounds and leapt across to the still beeping other rod. Amazingly the fish was still on, not snagged but it had swam somewhere beyond the horizon. The fight was much more laborious, obviously a female that had used most of its energy getting as far away from me as it could. I managed to net her alongside the other one and she completely dwarfed her male counterpart. I knew straight away it was a big fish.

With them both on the mat the hooks were removed and because of her size she saved her boyfriend from having a weigh-in. The friendly Carp angler had now rejoined me in the swim and seemed a bit jealous when the needle pulled down to 9lb 5oz. Not only had I (sort of) nabbed his swim but I then cajoled him into taking the photos. I owe him a pint or two whoever he is!

A rare opportunity for a 15lb brace shot but they were too slippery for me to do it properly.
What followed next was a mad hour when I couldn't keep all the rods in the water at the same time.
Next up was a big 8lb 10oz Male....

Closely followed by a 'seven'....

Then an 8lb 8oz female...

and a 7lb 6oz.

It was almost a relief when a period of inactivity followed. I still worked hard keeping the feed going in just in case I could entice one or two more fish to the bank, I am glad I did. A screaming run followed by a decent battle saw me land the biggest fish of the day all 9lb 7oz of stunning female Tench. In a few weeks this fish will fulfil my holy grail, weighing well into double figures. I have now caught thirty Tench over nine pounds without a single double! Surely it is just a matter of time(or timing).

There was still time for two more smaller males and I left at 3.30pm satisfied with a great days fishing. Nine Tench for over 70lb and as a bonus it was free because the bailiff never came to see me. Doesn't get much better than that!

Plenty of time left to walk the dog!


  1. What a start to the campaign Joe, cracking fish! Well done......a double in the offing

  2. Thanks James, I bloody hope so!!

  3. A stunning catch Joe. If I'd had a tench haul like that I'd probably give up fishing.

  4. A session to remember. Well done Joe.

  5. I was expecting something like this from you Joe! I'll be elated if I can record one to beat my Stillwater best of 6lb 1oz. Regards Russ

  6. Cheers guys, I did thoroughly enjoy it!

  7. Raising to bar too high for us eh! Got your tactics sussed. So I'll probably need a 6lber from the canal now to keep up. ;) Well done Joe still plenty of time to get the double this year.

  8. Quality session Joe, I am heading there myself on Saturday for my first crack at the Tench, fingers crossed!

    1. might be there too on Saturday so possibly see you then!