Two sessions are particularly memorable. The first was on Manor. I’d fished the previous night close to a friend on Hardwick and caught just a single tench. The weather forecast showed the wind was due to turn and blow from the south and I just had a feeling the road bank at Manor was the place to be. Once the idea had entered my mind I just knew it was the right decision so reeled in and walked over and found one of the swims free. Within half an hour everything had been barrowed over and I had a quick cast with a marker float. Even before I had cast it a tench rolled to my left and then as the float popped up over a bar a rolling tench nearly bumped into it. I knew I’d made the right decision.
As I started baiting with 2mm Krill and S-pellets, Sonubaits hemp and maggots the wind got up and as it increased, blowing straight into my face, fish started rolling all over the lake. Even better, they gradually moved across the lake towards me just as I had hoped. During the rest of that day I landed 20 tench with a biggest of 9lb 4oz plus three carp to just over 20lb.
All the fish were caught on simple feeder tactics incorporating a 2oz combi-feeder, in conjunction with a Heli-rig. The hook material was 4 inches of 8lb Xpert Power Mono tied to a size 12 Korum Specimen hook.
I wound in over night to ensure I wasn’t too tired to make the most of the feeding spell the following morning. And what a feeding spell it was! I usually use three rods but even before I’d cast the third one I had a tench on the first rod I’d cast. That was the start of the most incredible tench fishing I have ever had. It soon became apparent two rods were more than enough and I spent most of the next 6 hours playing and unhooking fish. By 11am the fishing slowed a little which was hardly surprising, as I had landed 31 tench. I fished on until about 3pm and ended up with 39 tench to 9lb exactly, before vacating the swim for the angler in the neighbouring swim to enjoy.
The only disappointment was that I didn’t catch a really big tench and on my next session I returned to Hardwick. Initially the fishing was slow but the time passed quickly chatting to three top anglers - Jan Porter, Mike Townsend and Simon Lush. Jan and Simon Lush had departed and Mike had set up in the neighbouring swim when in the late afternoon the tench started to feed. Shortly after an 8lber I hooked another one that felt bigger. As I was playing it Mike came over and happened to remark that he’d never seen a double. As it came over the net I commented that I think you have now and the scales confirmed he had when he read a weight of 10lb 3oz. Within an hour he saw another one when I had a 10lb 1oz fish.
The following day was quiet so I left the rods out in the dark and was glad I had when at midnight I landed another double of 10lb 3oz. Later checks of the photographs showed this was the same fish as the first double but caught from a different part of the swim.
That signalled the end of my tench campaign during which I landed over 125 tench including four doubles and a 9lb 2oz male tench. Fishing doesn’t get much better than that!
Since the spring I’ve not fished much, especially during the hot weather when beer and BBQs are the order of the day. The exception was making next year’s Korum DVD bream fishing with Gary Knowles at Bluebell Lakes. Whilst the fishing was a little different to the normal bream fishing we do, which is for monster-sized fish, we had a great time and hopefully the finished DVD will show this and give everyone a few tips.
Last week I decided to try for something a little different and went eel fishing for an over night session. Using small roach dead baits I had two runs and landed fish of 3lb 10oz and a cracking fish of 4lb 6oz, which is a personal best for me. Eels are fascinating and one of the attractions is the mystery of what is in the water you’re fishing. I don’t think we’ll ever get to a situation where they are known and have names and a big one could turn up almost anywhere. Self-take photographs are never easy and eels pose a bigger challenge than any other fish. I got a good one in the end, but not before a succession of far more entertaining ones! I hope you like them!
Mat Woods has a great birthday session with Code Red
Adam Firth bags a new PB Barbel from the River Trent using Code Red Dumbells.
See more catch shots in our Gallery Pages