After a winter of pursuing barbel, chub and roach among other species, it was great to get back into some serious tench fishing. As an all-rounder I find that the seasons and therefore the species I target gives me a constant freshness and keeps my enthusiasm bubbling away. Not that I need it really as I’m pretty passionate about my angling to say the least! The first outing of my tench campaign is the one that you can watch in the video and so with a certain amount of stuff being covered there, I won’t go through the process of repetition.
I mention my bait approach and you can see the various bits and pieces (photo 1) with the SBS corn shaped boilie the one that sits on top of the artificial corn, thus the main line of attack. As you will know if you have seen the video, my session got off to a flying start (photo 2). However that fish proved to be the one and only as far as this overnighter was concerned. And what had been a pleasant enough day descended rapidly in the early hours as a thick mist descended. It was pretty chilly and the sudden drop in temperature didn’t do the fishing any good.
The visibility distance at one time was just a few metres, and even by 9.00am and beyond it was still not much better as I couldn’t even see the next swim along the bank. It was very winter-like, and setting off for home it was a couple of miles or so before the full-on heater began to take positive effect on my frozen hands. The British weather eh! Back again on the gravel pit for another session, the weather was very similar in that the days were pleasant but the nights quite chilly.
I do intend to do a number of big tench sessions this year, having ‘discovered’ a venue last year that threw up some good summer fish for me. So whereas in the past I’ve fished the gravel pit and that’s been about the total of my tench fishing, I intend to continue right through this time round. Having just taken possession of a batch of bait from SBS (photo 3) I was keen to get fishing with it. After all, that’s what bait is for isn’t it! I do have five big tubs at home with various items in, but ultimately I’m not collecting them!
Among my recent bait order was something that caught my eye when I browsed the on-line catalogue, which was 3-in-1 turbo dip. It was the tutti frutti flavour in particular that I went for to focus on as a flavour for the tench. Fishing 1x artificial corn and 2x SBS corn shaped boilies on a hair these were placed in the turbo dip (photo 4) It really is a good quality product and that is evidenced by the fact you need to give the hook bait a poke to immerse it. It’s very thick and not runny! Think wallpaper paste not school custard!
I fished with a size 6 Drennan boilie hook and a short hook length of 10lb Drennan double strength and you can see the finished rig article which I photographed in the margins (photo 5). Tench are like carp in that they will suck the bait in and then as it goes out, the loose hook will connect with the fish. Watch goldfish feed in a tank, it’s the same thing. Then they bolt, the alarm goes off and you strike, setting the book home. And that’s exactly what happened on night one of the session. And that’s the fish (photo 6) which was an early hours one.
No more followed though, so as is often the case, it was another thin line between success and failure, catching and blanking. I was just grateful, as always, to be on the right side of that line. In my final outing though, making that line was going to be a tough challenge. If there is one factor in angling that is more influential (both in the negative and the positive) than any other, it’s the weather. It’s also the one factor that is totally beyond our control. There literally is nothing that we can do, other than get on with it.
In the hour on arrival at the gravel pit I experienced no rain, downpours, hail, clear sky, black sky, no wind, ripples, waves on the venue and to top it off a double rainbow. Talk about a mix of conditions. But I set up (photo 7) thankfully before the rain came, and eagerly awaited the night ahead. Well, I had no fish at all but plenty of drama, as about 7.00am strong winds uprooted my shelter. Fortunately I was able to recover it and no damage was caused as it was ripped from the ground in one.
The driving winds that accompanied the rain though meant everything was soaked. So instead of packing away a couple of hours later I decided to get ready to hit the road earlier. Joining work and school-run traffic meant my journey home took more than twice as long. But at least I was warm and dry! And finally, in the accompanying shots (photos 8,9,10) you get a glimpse into a recent Kinver Freeliners work party where we netted a pool hoping to get an idea of the carp stock.
You’d think it would be easy and straight forward. You put the net across the pond, you work your way along and then at the other end you close ranks on the enclosed fish. Well that’s the theory anyway, in practice it is often something else as we discovered. We didn’t get a single carp in the process and we even did it twice to get it right the second time. But we know they’re in there as they have been caught. Not many but certainly very elusive for sure, in more ways than one. (article published April 28 2012)