Three nights on a pit (tench, entry 463)


Click images above to enlarge

I enjoy ‘discovering’ new waters and in particular carving a niche in terms of species. While some of it is intentional as in my carp sessions on the local canal, where I literally put some legwork in and go exploring potential swims with no prior information, other times it’s a little more accidental, so to speak. I am already fishing the venue for a certain species and I decide to return and pursue another line.

It may have been that I’ve seen roach topping at dusk, or as in the case of this week’s article, I caught another species and so that drew me back. Hence when I was after perch and I picked up a few nice tench along the way I decided to zoom in on them. I always fish with a species in mind and while some anglers may enjoy the ‘chuck it out and I’ll be happy with whatever comes along’ approach (and there’s nothing wrong with that), I’m more fulfilled when I’m focused.

Going for three days, I had more stuff in the back of the car (photo 1) than when my wife and I go on holiday for a week – and that’s no lie! But it was all essential and nothing was being taken just for the ride. The biggest item was a Nash Wide Boy bedchair that was making its debut outing. I’m not one for going out of my way to make my angling comfortable, but if you can at no extra effort then why not?

Those of you that have ‘liked’ my facebook page will already have seen a photograph of Twinkle my Bedlington Terrier curled up on it. The morning it arrived I put it up in the living room, went to answer a text and came back to find my dog had taken a liking to it. Well, it is comfortable no doubt about that, although I didn’t get to use it at its best as I was pitched up on a very steep slope. The place in question is a pit, which is one of my favourite type of venues particularly when after tench and bream. Big, wet, windswept, challenging, rewarding – these are all words that come to mind when I think of pits!

I didn’t have long to wait for my first run as just into dusk I had a screamer. However, after a few seconds I found myself retrieving what I thought was a hook pull. But what happened was that the Drennan Double Strength had parted at the Korda Kurv Shank hook. This was the first time I had fished with this combination and as I hadn’t cast the other rod out yet I decided to test it. It snapped like cheap cotton! I am a fan of the hook and I am a fan of the line, but obviously they aren’t too keen on each other. So I swapped the hook length to Korda Supernatural braid and had no more issues. The line incidentally was 12lb so it wasn’t as if I was fishing with light stuff. And to complete the rig specifications, the hook size was 7.

A short time later and run number two resulted in a fish on the bank (photo 2). I caught a number of tench during the session and this one was the smallest, so that gives you an idea of the quality fishing on offer. My bait was three popped up SBS corn shaped boilies and you can see them in various phases of action (photos 3-5) from being dipped in tutti frutti to the products displayed and of course where the rubber hits the road – in the landing net after being picked up by a tench. I really do rate these baits and if I tell you that was my line of attack with no need for plan b, that gives you an idea of my confidence level.

As far as an all-round specimen bait is concerned I cannot fault them. Whether it be tench, bream or even carp and roach, they are definitely worth getting hold of. And a tub will last you ages, and by that I mean a few seasons. Even the amount of time I fish I’m still working through my first tub from 2010 albeit I’ve just added the remaining pieces to a new one. But I’m expecting the contents to keep me going for some considerable time yet as they’re just hook baits. In this instance I fished them over corn flavoured with SBS Whisky link and catapulted four lengths out using Sweet fruit groundbait as the carrier.

Night one was quite busy but the morning saw the first of the biggies (photo 6) put in an appearance. With the blue LED’s solid and the hanger banging against the rod butt, the solid tone had me thinking I may have had a carp on the end until I lifted into it. I referred to my line strength earlier and you may be wondering that is a little excessive for tench fishing. I adopt a different approach to most anglers in that I think what is the heaviest I can get away with as opposed to what’s the lightest I should use. On this occasion, for example, I’m sure it didn’t cost me any fish by fishing too heavy but if I did hook a big carp then I’d have stood a pretty good chance of landing it. Plus with weed beds beginning to come through, the odd fish that took me in meant I was able to get out.

As expected, the days were quite slow but I did have a pleasant surprise the next afternoon when another decent fish (photo 7) put in an appearance. As you can see from my clothing it was a reasonable session temperature wise. And mostly dry as well, apart from the evening and night two which saw persistent rain falling from about 6.00pm to 6.00am, in other words around the clock. Not that I wanted it that way, but I was also dry as well, as apart from a tench at 5.00am I was stretched out on my bedchair with no action at all. And the whole of the day provided more of the same as I awaited the onset of dusk and night number three. It didn’t disappoint and another good tench (photo 8) helped to make the session a rewarding one.

Although the night was dry, it was very windy and with gusts of 29mph predicted I was thankful I had set up my Trakker Armo bivvy as opposed to my usual lightweight Trakker job that I use on shorter sessions. By the morning though the winds had largely died down and I was able to pack away in decent conditions. Particularly when you have a load of gear, as I did, there’s nothing worse than having to break camp in adverse weather is there? My final fish can be seen at the release stage (photos 9,10). If you do write an angling blog yourself, try and vary the shots you use. The standard image of angler holding fish flat across the body is good but a little variety will benefit your entry for sure.

I will certainly be returning to this pit after tench, so it is definitely a case of watching this space. And with the quality fish on offer that you can view at the head of this article who can blame me. And not only is the venue pleasant to fish, it’s so quiet. In fact in the three-night session I only saw the same number of other anglers, one had a short visit in the afternoon and the other two during evenings. And with it being a pretty big place all round, we were hardly shoulder-to shoulder. Definitely my sort of place without doubt. The flower life there was beginning to come through so I’m expecting to see some decent stuff over the summer. The highlight though was a common sandpiper that while I was on my bedchair, passed in front of me just two metres away, as it fed on the shoreline. Brilliant!

Check out the May video here and this is the link to my angling website And if you like the article, why not share it via the buttons below? Thanks if you do. Join me next week when I’m going to be pursuing that elusive creature, the big bream.  (article published May 26 2012)

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