Tench at Last!

June 10, 2013

With the awful weather we’ve been having my river fishing has been either impossible or terribly frustrating. So I’ve been targeting some of the big tench that are present in my lakes. They have proved also very illusive and to date I’d not had so much as a sniff from a Tinca. I had had virtually every other species in the venue including pike & catfish on the Method; but alas no tench.

Word that several of the clients had bumped into a few nice plump tench this week got me champing at the bit to have a go myself.

The fish had been taken early morning or late evening by the clients fishing, so I decided to do an overnight session was in order,  to get the two best periods of the day. So after the next group of anglers arrived I set up in peg 6 (one of my favourite little pegs), and one that has often produced tench.


My best tench so far this year at 7lb 9oz

I spombed out ten loads of hemp & sweet corn; five to a spot 25 yards out beyond a weed bed & the other five 10 yards to a near side margin.  I fished my usual ESP Method feeders one baited with a Quest Ghurrka Spice Fluoro Pop up and the other with plastic corn.

Not long after settling in with brolly up and rods cast out I sat back and cracked open a beer to await events. The near rod beeped several times before tightening up. I struck into a tough fish that scrapped well and turned out to be a lovely Crucian of 6lb 6oz. This was followed not long after by a large bream also of 6lb 6oz. A good start but not the fish I was after.  About an hour later the margin rod screamed off and I hit a very powerful fish that immediately found refuge in the overhanging branches. I put on side strain holding the rod high and felt the fish start to kick free. Then my hook link (12lb fluorocarbon) gave way… I’m certain it was a carp… I retied a new hook link out of 15lb snakebite this time and put it back on the spot.


First bite a 6lb 6oz Crucian

Things quieted down a bit and the only further action was a small low double catfish on my distant rod.

The night proved quiet tto, with only a couple of beeps on the margin rod but no positive take. As the sun came up I recast both feeders to their respective spots. I didn’t have long to wait before the margin rod received a positive run… I struck and felt a solid resistance.. I pumped it away from the snag that had seen me lose the carp the previous evening, and it swung round into the deep water in front of me. The clutch screamed a couple of times, sign of a nice fish, before it was circling at my feet. Once in the net I saw it was my first tench of the year from the lakes… Yessss!!

It was a plump male, hence the good scrap, that stopped the digital scales at 6lb 4oz. I was very pleased and once I’d cast back out .. on went the kettle for a cup of coffee.


First tench from the Croix Blanche Lake this year at 6lb 4oz

The tench was followed by a second crucian, smaller this time at 4lb 9oz, but still a nice fish. I even had a small jack pike on the retrieve, which saw me lose my last pieces of fake corn.  I was annoyed about this as it had proved such a successful bait. I rummaged in my bait bucket and tried several hookbaits with the feeder but no more takes were forthcoming, or I just got twitches or single beeps..

My distance rod in the meantime produced a 7lb 7oz bream, but the margin rod remained quiet. After a couple of hours I felt I needed to change my hookbait, as the pop up wasn’t working. I found a very old pot of Richworth tutti Frutti dumbbell 14mm baits. I cut one in two and slide both bits up the hair. The pieces were about the same size as fake corn. I was happy with this presentation. Out it went and another brew went on…

A client from the other lake popped in for a chat on his way to the shower. As we chatted I had a quick take in the tutti rod. Again I met a satisfying resistance and a powerful fish plodded around for a good few minutes before sliding into the landing net. Yes, it was a second fat tench! I weighed it at 7lb 9oz; my best so far this season. After a few photos I slipped it back, well pleased that I’d achieved my goal and had a cracking brace of tench to show for it.

Other than a final crucian carp of over 5lb; I decided to call it a day around 4pm when a shoal of slabs moved into my baited spot. I had four in quick succession all good fish mind between 7 & 8lb plus. But I felt my chances now of further tench had gone. It had now been raining steadily too and the four or five bream I’d had meant I was soaked through.

Time to call it a day!!!


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