Me and my brother chose a lake we had fished many times as kids with our father with varying success but we know that there are Tench that far exceed my current PB of a mere 5lbs, in fact the lake in question has produced fish of monster proportions; fish exceeding 10lbs!
We gathered our gear and headed across to the lake at 3:30am! The early bird catches the worm and all that. We weren't wrong as although we were the first to arrive at the lake for 4:30am others followed only minutes later.
I decided on a corner swim with an over-hanging tree; a swim that had produced for my brother in the past with fish to 6lb 12oz.
A perfect spot for a hungry Tench
I had already set my gear up with advice from a Martin Bowler video online for a bolt rig set up using the Drennan inline feeder and fake red maggots.
Martin Bowler explaining how best to use a Drennan inline feeder
I filled both feeders with maggots and attached two imitation maggots on a hair and a real red maggot on the shank of the hook. I flicked one bait out tight to the tree, perhaps 20 yards out and the the left rod was cast perhaps 30 yards to a clear spot. For the time of the year the bed was fairly clear with more clear spots than weed. Once the rigs were positioned perfectly I accompanied them by some ground bait made up of breadcrumb, Vitalin and liquid molasses.
Groundbait fit for a king
Ollie my brother went for a more traditional tench approach using a float set up and red maggots on the hook and accompanied this with a further handful of maggots around the float. It was perhaps only 30 minutes before my left hand rod screamed away and I was into my first Tench of the session, it perhaps took a couple of minutes to land and was in beautiful condition.
A great way to start the session
Whilst we were waiting for bites we enjoyed the nature around us, particularly the mallard ducks and their young begging for free food in the form of maggots. Duck's are at their cutest when chicks as their feathers appear like fur before they fully develop. I also had a pair of swans threatening to swim through my line on several occasions but turning away at the last moment.
Beautiful baby ducklings
A magnificent pair
Moments later my right hand rod screamed off again and I landed another tench of perhaps 4lb, unfortunately this tench was not in as great condition, its lip appeared ripped where perhaps it was not given the opportunity to fight in a previous encounter with another angler. I cast out again a within 5 minutes the same happened again and this tench was in as bad condition as the first one... I would hazard a guess that someone was perhaps using heavy line and simply reeled them in.
We fished on for another few hours, Ollie landed a Roach of perhaps 6oz that fought as if it was over 1lb. I then hooked a Perch that then became attached to a Pike, it fought hard but eventually let go and allowed the Perch a second chance. I looked down and there were two Pike drifting around waiting for a fish to make the same mistake. Time flew by and we ended up finishing for the session at 10:30am when most people were getting out of bed on a Sunday morning. I will certainly head back there in the hope of catching a larger fish and hopefully a new PB in the process.
Keep your eyes peeled for my next article on Tench fishing.