Friday, 12 June 2009

Long Time Comin'

I was quite pleased with my bream success. I had decided on a target of a 12 pounder this year and of course I had met my target on the first fish. A twelve pound bream may not be big by national standards but it's a good fish for here in the NorthWest these days.

My tench target was more ambitious. I wanted a NorthWest 'nine' again and while I knew it would be difficult, it certainly is possible as I've proved in the past. As it turned out though, it was going to be a lot more difficult than I expected. May ended with no tench at all to show for my efforts and I was already lowering my sights. "An eight will do" I told myself.

Why the tench wouldn't come out to play was a mystery but I took comfort in the fact that most other people were struggling to catch them too. Indeed I never even saw a tench on the bank right through May and early June though they could be seen rolling in several places. The weed was one of the big problems. It's grown up much thicker and faster than usual this year and it isn't hard to spot the reason why. This lake usually has upward of a hundred coots living on it but this year I've never seen more than a dozen. The tufted duck are thin on the water too and with so few birds eating the weed it has grown out of control.

Where are all the birds then? Well that's another mystery but I'm guessing that the very cold winter has seen a lot of them off. With the water frozen for several weeks they will have struggled to find food and I expect a lot of them died.

The lake's been very busy too. The controlling club have stocked a lot of carp and the no-hopers who can't catch in a natural water have flocked to it. Every swim is now occupied every weekend - am I glad I work shifts and can fish midweek!
I've fished a different swim every trip, partly to try and find some feeding tench and partly to find an area where I could present some bait without it becoming buried in the weed. I nearly had a success last week when, after fishing hard and feeding maggots for eight hours I fanally got a bite - only for the hook length to part inexplicably in the middle. I was getting desperate and lowered my sights still further, first to a seven pounder and then to a tench - any tench!

Today, at long last I put a couple on the bank. I fished a deeper area - again to try and avoid the weed and as a result I expected to catch bream. I wasn't disappointed there, taking two bream in the night topped by a big-framed male fish. Both of the bream took mini boilies which pleased me rather since I've switched to a new, fruity flavour and this was the first time I've tried them. I was getting quite a few line bites early in the night and picked the two bream up both before midnight so I thought I might be on for a big hit. The clear sky and nearly full moon put paid to that though, all activity drying up once the white face was on show.
In the morning I started to get line bites to the maggot rods at around ten. This went on for some time until at mid-day the first rod was away and I pulled in a plump five pounder. I've never been so pleased to catch such a modest tench but there was better to come. An hour later I struck into a better fish and after a very hard scrap slid the net under a 7lb 14oz female.

I caught two pike too, one of them a double so it was a nice mixed bag.

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