Friday, 20 May 2011

Job Done!

Ok, my three months of employment has finally come to an end. Money in the bank, courtesy of the Office for National Statistics and I'm a free agent again ready to catch some fish. The job caused me to miss the end of the pike fishing season and I had to shelve any plans to make the annual pilgrimage to Scotland so the money was hard won but it did enable me to invest in a novel piece of equipment - more about that later in the season I think.

In the modern age, May herald's the start of the tench and bream fishing season for me. Previous years have seen me at a particular water in the North West where I've taken tench to over nine pounds and bream to more than twelve but I've decided a change is in order. I've never been one for sticking at the same place for year after year like some, I prefer to fish around a bit so I've moved on.

My new water is quite a big place so there's plenty of choice swim-wise but after a few days I'm beginning to understand how popular it is. Three early morning starts (very early) saw me competing for the swim I wanted and indeed I only got into it once. It wasn't easy either, I had several line bites on the first morning but didn't catch anything and then had two mornings where the bobbins didn't move at all. The fish were there alright, they taunted me by rolling and splashing in front of me but they weren't to be tempted.

There were other problems too. A layer of bottom weed carpets this lake, bistort I think, although I'm not an expert and this presents a number of problems. I started off using bolt tactics with heavy feeders and short hooklengths but soon abandoned this idea. The feeders were getting well stuck in the weed and I'm sure the baited hook was simply being buried by it. I soon changed to more traditional paternoster and running feeder rigs to combat this, hoping that the longer hooklengths would allow the bait to settle on top of the weed rather than be swamped by it.

Day four saw me arrive at dawn with some company. Denis had joined me this time and we were fortunate enough to get the swim we wanted, indeed we didn't see another angler all morning. Several nice tench rolled in front of us as we were tackling up and with heavy cloud cover and warm muggy conditions our expectation was high. We spodded in a couple of pints of maggots, cast in our loaded feeders and sat back to await developments.

It wasn't long before the action started, indeed the line bites began almost immediately and before long I had a more positive indication which saw me strike into a heavy fish. It didn't end happily however as the fish ran into thick marginal weed where it became stuck. A few moments of heaving by me on one end and the fish on the other saw the 4.12lb hooklength snap and it was gone. I replaced the hooklength with a heavier one, 5.14lb this time and recast and sure enough another run ensued. I landed this one, a nice bream of 10lbs 5oz which fought well (for a bream).

An hour passed with many line bites keeping me on the edge of my seat before another positive indication which resulted in the capture of a spirited 6lb 2oz tench. I was a very happy bunny at this point with both target species in the bag and finished off the morning with another bream which went 8lb 14oz.

That was it for my return to fishing in 2011, job done and lessons learned. I'll be after those tench and bream again next week. Denis? well he didn't have much luck I'm afraid, perhaps it'll be his turn next.

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