Tough Tench Fishing TimesPallatrax Angling
When I began my regular blogs it had been my intention to report back at least fortnightly, but I have to admit that I am finding that impossible. The pressure on my time is just too intense at the moment. This hasn’t been made any easier by being commissioned to write another book. I have been contemplating for two years writing an update on my book of the eighties, Complete Specimen Hunter, as things have moved on apace in the big fish world in the last thirty years. That has now become reality, as Little Egret Press have just sent the contract. The planned publication date is next Spring and as the word count for the book, which I’m calling simply Specimen Fishing, is likely to exceed 150,000 words I’ve got to get cracking! However, I am totally committed to Pallatrax and so, starting with this feature, I intend to report back on a monthly basis.
At the end of my last blog, you will recall that I said I was about to start serious tench fishing, and the water involved contains some very big fish, certainly to over double figures. It can however, be mega tough at times mainly because, in a water of well over 100 acres, location is always an issue. Along with half a dozen other club members, we have fished hard over the last month but the results have been poor in the extreme. The sum total of my action has been one 6lb tench plus a big carp lost. Only one member has caught a “real” tench. One morning he found himself in the right swim to take four fish to over 9lbs, but that was not to be repeated. All the other lads have fared similarly to me, either blanking or just managing one tench.
When you are undergoing tough times like this it’s important to have an occasional change to catch a few fish and restore confidence. I had a fun session at a gravel pit which has a good head of tench, although the chances of a real monster are remote. Having said that, I did have one of 9lb 9ozs a few years ago, which was well above the norm for the water. This is a water where no night fishing is allowed unless you pay for an exorbitantly expensive night permit. So I wind in at dusk, sleep in the van and recommence fishing at first light.
I tackled the fishing in a very traditional way, with maggot feeder tactics, and from the first cast starting catching rudd to about 8ozs. I have taken them there to well over 2lbs in the past but that wasn’t to be the case on this trip and at the end of the 36-hour session I’d probably had thirty rudd to just about a pound in weight at most. In amongst the rudd though was a very nice roach of 1lb 9ozs and a 7lb bream. As far as tench were concerned, I again had to work hard for the fish. After the first three hours of daylight each day, the chances of tench had disappeared but I did manage half a dozen fish to just under 7lbs. Nothing spectacular certainly but at least I had a regular bend in the rod. One bit of excitement was when my left hand rod literally flew off the rests without warning; the angler in the next swim had hooked a 25lb common carp which had decided to plough through my rods. That was entertaining while it lasted!
At the end of June, I had another super day at my local carp fishery, where the 21lb common came from I told you about in the last blog. It was a foul day weather wise as, about an hour after I started the rain came and stayed until I packed up at dusk. Once again I kept faith in paste wrapped 14mm Multiworm boilies, firing in 200 baits before I started and topping up with another fifty after each fish. The action kicked off after only an hour with a 16-12 common and then carp came regularly through the day. When I packed up, I’d had eight carp from 13lb 4ozs to 17lb 10ozs. Amazingly, all the fish were commons despite the water having roughly equal stocks of commons and mirrors. The last fish I had that day was a roach of 1lb 8ozs, fairly hooked on a size 6 Gripz. It took a bait that had only been in the water about two minutes and was probably around 24mm if taking account of the paste wrap.
So that was June, a tough old month as far as specimen tench are concerned. As always though, I enjoyed every second of it!
All the best for now and tight lines, Tony.