Saturday 27 May 2023

The Campaign - On Hold

A month in to the campaign to catch some ( or "a" ) tench from TBS.

To say its been slow is an understatement.

Number of tench caught - 0

Number of tench seen rolling - 3 ( possibly )

Other fish caught - Bream ( lots )

Number of tench I've heard of being caught - A few. All to (very) long stay carpers. I haven't got the patience or inclination for long sessions. A long session for me is over five or six hours.

Here's some pretty pictures instead of fish

I'm off to the Kennet and Avon canal later for a week. May well catch a few tench there to get my eye in ( total bollocks of course ).

When I come back it'll be a week or so until the river season opens, so the tench campaign may be left for a while. Who knows ?

I've got some big Fens rudd on the radar and some local mullet fishing to do, if the cold northerly wind ever stops, so lots of choice.

Tuesday 16 May 2023

Success !

Not the fabled tench, but after Cooky Boy had a netful of bream yesterday, my plans were compromised.

Do I stick it out for tench with the likelihood of a blank or do I put a feeder rod out fifty yards with a good chance of of few bites ?

I took the easy option and went for the bream. Arrived early, very little activity, so I fired some groundbait out, half of which broke up on launch. Pathetic.

I continued to dick about for another hour before sorting myself out in to some kind of reasonably competent fishing. Three hours later nothing.

I changed my hookbait from pellet to worm and the tip started to bounce. It bounced and off every cast without pulling round properly for half an hour or so, so I shortened the trace to about four inches and pulled the back stop tight to the feeder. That'll fix 'em. 

It did. Next cast a proper bite and a self hooked bream about 6lb the result.

That seemed to do the trick and most casts resulted in either the feeder being attacked and the associated liners or a hooked fish.

It was a lovely day in the sun and I ended up with thirteen bream, most 5-6lb with the best maybe 7lb ish. Bit of action for a change.

They'd pretty much all spawned out and were a bit less chunky than a few weeks ago, but welcome nonetheless. 

Now let's catch some tench.

Tuesday 9 May 2023

Back In The Groove

Back in the groove ? Yes, but I'm not exactly caning them. I'm soaking in the atmosphere and vibe of TBS at the moment, it gets in yer blood.

Bream have been spawning over the past few days, the temperature is rising but no tench have been caught. By me at least.

I've moved swims. The bay I had fished seemed lifeless, so I'm a mile and a half away, up the shallow end. I've seen fish here close in, not well enough to say they're definitely tench, but they may have been.

The loft was raided and I found a classic 1980s 11 foot Tricast, 1.75lb TC, built by my mate Lobby. SICs, minimalist look, bloody lovely.

The other rod is a Fox Floater, 12 foot, very soft action, dating back to about the very early 2000s.

I bought the bobbins for about a quid in Czech Republic in 2003 ( the Czechs call them "policemen" ). Groovy eh ?

The alarms are cheapo unbranded made in China, £13.00 for three, delivered. Unbelievable. Had them five years and still working. Don't worry, the fish don't know that they're not Delkims.

I'm not a tight arse, I just couldn't turn down an offer like that.

I'm sitting on the bank now. Lost a biggish perch earlier, a few signs of activity but fishless.

What do you do ? Keep moving, trying to find them, or have confidence in the swim and that the bait will draw fish in and hold them ? I'm thinking give the swim and bait time.

I'll probably change my mind as per normal.

Friday 5 May 2023

Down The Road

TBS is just down the road from me, ten or fifteen minutes depending on what bit I'm fishing. It's not an easy place to fish, so there's never many people there and as its three hundred and fifty acres there's plenty of space.

It's a great place for wildlife. Yesterday I had a nightingale and a cettis warbler singing right behind me and there's deer, loads of grass snakes and all sorts.

I had a couple of evening sessions this week and had a few nice bream. No tench yet.

The sit and wait thing is not really me but it makes a change.

I've got to get myself more organised, the tackle bag and rig wallets and in a ridiculous mess and I piss about losing and looking for things like an old fart. Which I'm obviously not.

I suppose that's an excuse to buy some more gear anyway.

Yesterday I had a few hours in the evening and a big storm came through. The temperature dropped like a stone, maybe six or eight degrees in a few minutes.

I managed to avoid most of the rain and nabbed one on the last cast before sloping off in the encroaching darkness.

Wednesday 3 May 2023

Looocal Loafing

Spending a bit of time on the local big stillwater. When I say big, it's seven miles round with lots of bays and inlets.

My tench swim seems to be tenchless. This particular bay is very clear and at the moment has next to no weed growth. It doesn't fill me with confidence but it's early days.

The shallow end, on the other hand, has a bit of colour and may be a better bet right now.

Take a look at this photo, taken from the same place ten days apart. Amazing the speed stuff is growing.

I spent a bit of time up this tree not spotting any fish.

Yesterday I tried a different area, fishing for the bream. Most of the bigger fish are still not on the shallows and I was fishing in fifteen plus feet of water at fifty yards.

The first hour was biteless but soon I started getting knocks on the tip. It was a bit nippy but the wind had dropped away and as the light faded, fish started rolling over the baited area.

The indications increased and soon I was into a nice fish of around 5lb. In absolutely immaculate condition with lots of spawning tubicles and surprising totally snot free.

Half hour later I had a bigger one of around 7lb. Again, in mint condition.

I somehow managed to hook somebody else's broken off hooklink. Somehow the hook had impaled itself through the swivel eye. How the hell did that happen ?

As dusk approached, the rolling continued but bites dropped off. I packed up in the gloom, surrounded with bats hunting insects along the margins and the sound of nightingale in the distance.

I'll have some more of this very soon.