Wednesday, 8 April 2020

Season 2019/20 Top Six: Part Two.


  It has to be said, its not one of my best thats for sure, numerous targets set and most missed owing to my lack of time on the bank.

 My best six catches here were probably about as good as it got, leading on from the canal linear that was sneaked out of a busy and testing situation. Now we change direction to a little farm pond where rumours of big Tench have lingered for a little while now and after a couple of years I finally found myself there. A couple of early spring trips got my teeth into what would await me as the water warmed and the Tench would begin to grow in size as peak time approached.

 18th May 2019.

 A lovely warm day with light wind meant a day on the float was certainly on the cards, a tactic I love to deploy when tinca's are involved, either the lift method or a gently dotted down float are my preferred, but on this occasion I used a small piece of crow quill and lay it on the surface, fishing just a inch or so overdepth, any indication would result in the either the float sliding under such were the manner of bites or the line would shift across the surface before inevitably slide under.

 After a 40 minute drive the farmland was in view and the prospects of a good days fishing lay with the fishing gods, my homework was done to a certain extent. I targeted the same peg as the two previous visits and set about building up my peg with hemp and caster to get them feeding confidently, where I would then fish a piece of bread flake over the top of it, a piece big enough to just cover a size 10 hook.

 At 7am I was ready to go. With the tell tale pin head bubbles lining marginal areas of the lake it gave me goosebumps, I knew what was going on down there. Tails of tench wafting in mid water as they buried their heads in the silt searching for the goodies had me filled with excitement, the morning mist still hanging in the air with the sun just beginning to pierce through it in odd spells before thickening again and just before my first cast of the day I was greeted by a marauding Barn Owl, scouring the fields flanking the pond in search of breakfast, being there was just heavenly.

 From the very beginning there was the odd shudder on the quill as Tench moved the water around the baited area, no doubt multiple fish were grubbing around under my float without taking a bait or were they? I know Tench pretty well and they have an incredible talent for picking up a bait and spitting it out without any detection on alarms, float or quivertip, no matter how delicate, I suspected those tiny hesitant quivers on the quill was bait possibly being ejected.

 Twenty minutes slipped by before I finally got a proper take, the quill went from flat on the surface to half buried by the time I struck, with my hand on the rod it only took me a split second to lift into the fish and boy do these fish pull! A good solid fight at close quarters got me warmed up nice and quick. At first glance it looked a good fish and once it was in the net I thought the days account was opened with a seven pounder. Not bad going. Given the average the size I previously encountered this was a bit bigger with only one seven logged in my previous two sessions.

A typical example of our pristine they are.

Back to whence she came too.

 I only had one thing on my mind and that was to get my gear back out. The anticipation is always a massive lure to keep me coming back and it didn't take long for number two to take the bait, a couple of minutes spent angling the tench out of the pads saw a good fish of around mid-five pounds in the net, a super start.

7.9, best from the lake, at this point.

The 7.9 was followed this 7.12.

A brace of upper sixes in the space of four mintues.

 The fast start was soon followed by a tricky spell where the bubbles began to stop appearing and the old ones were following the slow natural drift on the lake into a corner under a couple of willows. My intentions were to stay put as I know fish tend to come through in waves every thirty minutes to an hour and the day continued to play out in that exact fashion, by eleven o'clock I could see fish up in the water and were now no longer feeding on the bottom, I had to change my approach, an observation that without polaroids I wouldn't have made and it proved crucial as within minutes of coming up two feet it bought me another ripping tug on the quill! very exciting stuff, what was more exciting was I could see the Tench suck in the flake a split second later my float registered a wobble.

Another good fish 7+
 As the average seemed to be better than my previous trips the thought of even bigger Tench coming by and falling foul to my very basic tactics looked likely, if I ever had a better chance of catching big tinca's I can't remember it. With a few Tench caught and fish moving through my swim the float began to spend more time moving than not as a precession of fish would mouth the flake and eject before I could strike, bearing in mind I can see it all happening, it appeared every fourth or fifth fish that tried the bread would end up taking it, guessing this was the confidence levels increasing at the lack of action when other fish tested it, (no shot and effectively fishing freeline meant there no resistance) with a slack line fish were able to move off three or four foot without feeling a thing.

 As the day progressed I stalked fish after fish, most of which were over 6lbs, every one giving a fantastic account of themselves as the battle to escape became frantic as they approached the net. Great fun and as I looked upon the horizon to see the sun going down I knew a good days fishing was coming to an end. My arm ached as a total of 16 Tench was amassed with the totals below. One of the big girls in the end did elude me but will hopefully try a couple of times this year when this lockdown lifts.

 In order of capture: 7lb 9oz, 5lb 8oz, 5lb 12oz, 7lb 12oz, 5lb 10oz, 6lb 11oz, 7lb 0oz, 6lb 15oz, 6lb 14oz, 6lb 6oz, 6lb 8oz, 6lb 7oz, 6lb 5oz, 6lb 6oz, 6lb 0oz and 5lb 15oz.

Total bag weight, 90lb 13oz in a days fishing, with four lost fish too.

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