Monday, 9 June 2014


only 6/9 but what beautiful fish tench are

I love tench, as many of us anglers do and I wish there were more waters where they dominated catches instead of those endless carp. 

low double nuisance fish - lovely colour though
Since catching lots of big roach in April, I’ve been trying to catch a good tench and have struggled to get past the carp, so I write this out of frustration :

‘How come a club chooses to spoil a prime tench water by stocking ever more carp when there are dozens of carp waters everywhere you look?’

Rant over. I’ve enjoyed the struggle and caught a few tench but non of the bigger ones that the water holds. I note in the press that most good catches come after a couple of days baiting a swim but I don’t have the time to fish on more than one day so what should I do?

a lovely spot but too many carp for us tench anglers
Some advise minimising the feed by simply casting a maggot feeder to the same tight spot every so often, tho’ maybe adding a spomb or two of particles if you think the tench will tolerate the disturbance.

Others might put down a good bed of bait but then there is the risk of attracting the mud suckers. As the saying goes, you can put bait in but you can’t take it out … and once I’ve done it, I sit there questioning if I did the right thing. I’m sure you’ve all done the same but that is part of the fun ... and so is the wildlife. The chaffinches fed better on the red maggots than the tench.

even when nothing is happening, something always is
If we knew what was going to happen every time we went fishing, most of us would die of boredom or even worse, take up golf. I should correct that ; playing golf is enjoyable too.

May was a bit wet
Perhaps the weather didn’t help because the tench were feeding well in April when I was enjoying my roach fishing. ‘You should have been here last week syndrome’ for in May the rains came and water temperatures fell. One day I sat there for five hours in rain that was too heavy to pack up in without getting even wetter. It was cold and horrible ... but I caught a carp.

 the worst weather I think I've ever fished in - it was windy too
The tench went off feed and though I did catch one each time I visited, the carp became increasingly greedy and dominated my brief sessions. Not quite what I had in mind but they don’t half pull on tench tackle.

21/3 of battling mirror
peace and tranquility at Sway Lakes
In the end I returned to Sway to catch a few of my favourite roach and what did I catch, tench and carp of course. 

6/5 of battling tench - didn't half test the 3lb line
an all muscle male
However, the common was immaculate and was as beautiful a creature as you could wish to clap your eyes on … and landing it was a tense battle on 3lb line.

absolutely immaculate common of 13/3 - what a fight close to the lilies by this beautiful creature 
I did catch lots of roach too, eighteen over a pound, including four over two and the best a massive roach even bigger than the 3lb5oz giant that I caught in April -but having recently spawned, it weighed ‘only’ 2lb15ozs. 

very long but very thin
However, it was caught at night with a little starlight attached to a tiny pole float and was my PB pole caught roach. No pics to do its size justice as I was alone but it was certainly a monster and at eighteen inches long would have weighed maybe 3/8 or so if caught three weeks ago. A cracking roach all the same.

this is the 3lb5oz roach I caught in April - a PB to savour
dawn magic over the barn owl reeds
I might head up to the place I grew up to start the season, the beautiful Fens. 

a fat Fenland tinca
I can catch tench there without being pestered by carp, though the bream might provide me with plenty of ‘nuisance’ fish! Whatever happens, it’ll be wonderful to be sat watching barn owls, bearded tits and marsh harriers under those glorious wild skies.
the place of my childhood - I just love it up there

1 comment:

  1. Well done Hugh, some more lovely fish there and another huge Sway roach!
    I've just returned from a day in the Fens, what a lovely place, loads of wildlife, a 'ghostly' barn owl and of course............Some lovely gold bars!