So instead of a early morning tench fishers dawn, I had to settle for a tench fishers sunset instead, but I had to find them first.
I had been out on the boat during the week to scout out some likely looking areas but this is a water like none I have ever seen or fished. It is a hybrid of different water body types, in some places its like a broads river, in another section its a farm pond and then you have a mere. To me it id idyllic, one of a kind and a special sort of something that I have lusted after for a good few years, and now I can fish it.
So I was on the bank this time and selected a swim on the broads river and I begun raking spots on the far bank. the cast able weed rake is an invaluable tool for a tench angler, I not a fan of raking out tonnes of weed for two reason 1) it bloody hard word 2) it really not necessary in my humble option.
With the spot raked and the distance marked, the far bank rod was clipped up to the required distance using a piece of electrical tape on the spool. Pinpoint casting was important otherwise I'd end up in the overhanging trees.
The magic of the place is the wildlife, its not uncommon to see a number of birds of prey plus warblers, cockoo's and even the change of a bitten.
On the drive in I had seen a hoby and a tawny owl and that was before I even got to the lake.
The far bank rod was to be another bolt ring, but the inline maggot feeder had been changed to a inline method feeder couple with a short hook link baited with three fake maggots on the hair. With the presents of a very active population of silvers, I wanted scent to go in with small morsels of bait rather than a particle bed. The plan was top up the scent with a recast every 45-60 minutes. The feeder dropped on the money and was set onto the alarm.
The third rod out was a simple float rod rigged so I could fish on the bottom using anything that wouldn't attract too much attention from the silvers.
The day was warm and sunny, even with the blustery wind blowing down the lake and control of the float was difficult, but not impossible. What was impossible was to stop the attention of the hordes of rudd and roach which intercepted the bait big or small before it had change to hit the bottom and before long ten or more had been landed and returned.
With the attention firmly on the float, I missed the first couple of bleeps on the margin rod, this soon change when the bleeps got quicker and the baitrunner spun. Something had self hooked its self and was running along the bank. I clamped down on the spool and the rod took a healthy curve, could it be a good tench or even be a carp. I started to get control of the fish and clawed back line against this weight. The water clarity wasn't good so I didn't get to see the fish until it was underneath the rod tip. The long cream under belly soon gave the mystery fish's identity away and it seem that a pike had take a liking to the fish meal boilie tipped off with fake corn.
I tried to bully the pike into the net as I didn't want to exhaust it. It was neatly hooked in the scissors so a bite off was unlikely, but as the pike came toward the sunken net, it surge and the hook pulled free.
With the boilie and fake corn still attached and with not much damage, it was swung back out.
The feeder rod had been cast every 45 minutes and hadn't been touched, so the mix had bit of molasses mixed in to give it something else before it went out again.
It was time for tea, and not a cuppa, but the evening meal. A nice tin of curry with some pre prepared rice was on the menu and this was to be washed down with a mug of tea.
The sun was pleasantly warm this evening and it was a pleasure to be there enjoying the sights and sounds of the lake. The hoby had returned, but a barn owl was also out hunting out over the farmland. I watched the barn owl as it swoop down from it hover, but my attention was drawn away by the sound of an alarm screaming. The feeder rod was away and again the spool was spinning. I clamped down on the spool and connected with another running fish, but this felt different and I hoped it was as it felt. The fish stayed deep on the bottom and I couldn't make it out in the brown tinged water what it was. Even the surface swirl didn't give its identity away until the paddle tail broke the surface. It was a tench and a nice one too. I played it carefully not wanting to loose it on my first outing and I had the net submerged and waiting for the tench to come to it. I had the tench near to the net only for it to use its large tail and it was away again. I extended the net so I could reach further out, so when or if I got it close there would be no mistake.
The next few minutes I just stood looking at the lump in the net. It was hooked neatly in the edge of the mouth and didn't take much to unhook. Next was the weight.
With shaking hands, I weighted it and settled on 8lb 6oz of female tench. Final job was the photo's which I was very grateful of a helping hand.
The next three hours were uneventful and nothing else graced the net anywhere near the scale of the tinca and with the sun setting it was time to leave.