Friday, 28 May 2010

Some Like it Hot

I've managed a few sessions after the tench and like many people on the lake I've found it quite tough. Tench in the springtime respond well to the sun. The hotter it gets, the better they like it. This is all a bubble of course. The tench come out in the sun, they feed, they get fatter and fatter and then they burst, or in this case, they spawn.

Last year the spring was a cool one and the tench fishing was hard as a result. This year we've had some early hot weather and this has brought results for the lucky ones who were able to get out fishing in the sun. Now me, I was at work when it was sunny and when my rest days came around the temperature was falling fast. We went from the high twenties to the low teens in just a few days and the fish didn't like it at all.

Don't worry, this isn't just another whinge. I've actually managed a few fish and one decent one at that. Tench will take most baits but for me there are two that stand head and shoulders above the rest. They adore maggots and will work over a bed of maggots for hours. There are logistical problems in delivering maggots into the swim of course, they can't be catapulted very far and if you try to mix them in with groundbait they have a nasty habit of crawling out of the bucket when wet. What's more they gulp in air when they're wet and then they don't sink. The only sure way of getting maggots into your swim (unless you have a boat/baitboat) is by swimfeeder.

My swimfeeder approach is on two levels. I tend to use one rod with a simple running feeder and use a bobbin as indicator. This is my preferred method as I've said before but it's probably not the most efficient. On my second rod I fish a heavy feeder which is semi-fixed. This is fished in-line with a short hooklink and the tench just hook themselves and steam off with the lot. Indeed it's this rig that's caught most of my tench so far this year but it wasn't maggots on the hook!

Maggots are good but there's one bait that's even better - casters. Tench will eat casters until they come out of their gills and when times are tough, as they have been, casters will often produce the only fish of the day. You can see my rig in the photograph. The feeder depicted is one I've had for many years, I only have two and they are no longer made so I don't know what I'll do when I lose one. The hookbait actually consists of one plastic caster and one real one.

Best fish so far this season is this rather nice 8lb 4oz specimen. You can tell it's cold from the jumper I'm wearing.

1 comment:

Paddy Pike said...

Well happy for you Eric, In the picture you might be wearing a jumper but the smile your wearing is as big as the Tench,