Catnapping for tench (tench article, entry 473)

This week’s entry kicks off slightly differently in that, although it is fishing-related, I wasn’t actually on the bank. I was at Cudmore for the Great Northern Fishing Show and I was on the Harris Sportsmail stand. We had quite a big marquee and along with general products people from MAP, ACE and Dynamite Baits were there giving specific information and demonstrations.

Getting the Harris Sportsmail stuff ready

It was all under the Harris banner though, so there was no competition. In fact the Harris Sportsmail people all wore Dynamite Baits Staff polo shirts, including me! I really enjoyed the weekend and you can read how I got on in the night session I did on Tara Lake in my next carp-related article.

Terry Hearn with the best cup of tea he’s ever had

Although the days were long, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Work? Well, yes it was, but more like a labour of love really. I served behind the counter bagging things for customers, gave advice on products when needed and generally kept an eye open, along with the others, to make sure tackle didn’t go walkies. Yes, a sad fact of life.

I even made Terry Hearn a cup of tea and I thought I will have to capture that on camera. So being as I was emailing photos to my facebook page during the show, that was one of the first to go. Don’t get telling my wife though, she will think I’m self-sufficient!

Fabio Carpillow and Koi Hodgson – what a brace!

Ben Hervey-Murray was there at the show representing Angler’s Mail with two very special celebrities: Fabio Carpillow and Koi Hodgson. These, for anyone who doesn’t know, are the former and present AM mascots. Sounds almost parallel to the England football set-up doesn’t it!

Stephen Collett the main man at Harris Sportsmail

And for those who aren’t aware, Harris Sportsmail is headed up by Stephen Collett, himself a very accomplished angler. My August Angling Journal video was shot at the show and features Steve, Ben, Fabio and Koi, along with other stuff from the weekend. So make sure you check that out via YouTube.

It was a concentrated couple of days, arriving first thing Saturday and then getting home late evening on the Sunday. It was a case of on the go all day and then I carp fished the night in between, as I’ve already stated. My current motto is ‘ Don’t let the grass grow under your feet’!

So, a brilliant time at the show, but what about the fishing this week? Well, as you know, if you’re a regular reader, I always focus on a specific species and this time round it’s the turn of some summer tench to provide me with my fishing fix.

The first tench of the week

Even though I fish more than the average angler, I still struggle to do everything that I want to do. My problem is not so much what do I fish for but what do I have to miss out on! This is where the single species angler, particularly if he’s fishing just one venue, scores every time. No umming and ahing there for sure.

But after my deliberations I decided to get back on the tench trail and headed for one of my favourite venues to fish for them, a pit. Arriving late afternoon I started off by fishing a quiver tip, which took me to dusk, when I then switched to my usual ‘rod on pod’ approach that saw me through the night.

As it was I had nothing at all when I switched and the only fish of the session came to the initial set-up. With deep water I opted for a cage feeder with brown crumb and red maggots with 3 on a size 14 Drennan Super Specialist hook.

Corn and a catapult – a simple approach

So I ended up camping rather than fishing. Well at least I got a good night’s sleep on my bedchair. I’ve got a Nash Wide Boy. Very bulky, but once you’re stretched out on it, it’s brilliant. I carried it to the swim but it’s not ideal really for long distances and a barrow is the best option. But after my relaxing night I coped easily with going home, straight into the shower and onto my desk to do some work.

My next visit to the venue was for a two-night session. After a busy work day I arrived just in time to catapult out some corn, cast the rods and settle down for the night. Not too tired to listen to the bats though. A pleasant night and there were lots of daubenton’s around, skimming insects off the surface of the water. I think of all the birthday presents I’ve ever had, my Batbox has to be one of the best.

Corn flavoured with tutti frutti CSL

Well, as with session one, I had a good night’s sleep, waking in the morning with the sun shining and the birds singing. I catapulted a few more grains of corn out, convinced that although I hadn’t connected with a fish, some of my bait at least would have been mopped up. I use standard supermarket frozen corn but flavour it with a liberal dose of tutti frutti corn steep liquor groundbait mixer. A cheap way of producing a quality bait.

And fished over the corn I had 3 popped up baits (2x corn shaped boilies on top of a piece of artificial corn) on one rod and 2 giant corn shaped boilies on the other. Both baits were dipped in tutti frutti flavoured3-in-1 turbo, placed in a PVA bag, topped up with pellets and cast out.

Baits dipped in tutti frutti prior to casting

Hooks were Korda Kurv Shank size 7 and the hook length Korda Supernatural. There’s lots of weed and although I do use monofilament hook lengths on the venue, braid gives a definite edge on the lost fish front.

The only tench of the session came at lunchtime when I must admit I wasn’t necessarily expecting a take. For a split second the screaming run caught me by surprise. After a brief moment when weed seemed to be winning, the odds were then very much in my favour and I eventually lifted a great fish over the extended landing net. Not only was it well proportioned in terms of length and depth it was also well-filled out. The photo highlights that well.

Another nice tinca poses for the camera

Nothing the second night other than more daubenton’s bats, which meant like the previous visit I was able to go home, in the shower and straight to work. Before I left though I took a shot of my set-up. As you can see I’m right down at the water’s edge. It’s a tight spot and I can just about get my Trakker shelter in.

The rods were one step away from the bedchair, which is ideal really. And if you’re a regular night angler like me, you know that very rarely do we sleep in the same way as when we’re at home. Catnapping is the order of the day really.

Pitched up and ready for action

 I’ve already mentioned my video for August and you can view that HERE. And on the subject of videos, I’m going to add a gallery to the September one, so the first six angling-related photos that get posted on my facebook page will be included. Make sure they’re pretty decent ones though and just let me know the name of the angler. And if you’re a youngster then make sure you get your parents’ permission. You can find my facebook page HERE and make sure you ‘like’ it if you haven’t already. And don’t forget to check out my website as well which can be accessed HERE.

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