Sunday, 27 May 2012

Getting Warmer

The tench fishing is still pretty tough but the weather is warming up - just!

May has followed a similar pattern to April so far with low temperatures for the time of year and rain, rain and more rain. Fish are coming to the net in dribs and drabs but there's definitely been improvement in the last few days. I'm on nine tench now and while Denis still hasn't had any tench he has at least had a large bream, a pb for him.
It's taken real determination to keep getting up at stupid o'clock and sticking it out in frost (yes frost in May!) or rain or wind or sometimes all three. The lack of bites has made things doubly hard and it's not as if we're just failing to catch the fish that are there, for the most part they're just not there!

It's easy to tell if the fish move into the swim as it's relatively shallow and they give their presence away with line bites. Most of the time, no line bites but the fishing has fallen into a familiar pattern. We sit there for several hours and then one of us gets a line bite. Then, usually within five minutes or so, I get a proper bite and bring in a tench. After that, nothing for the rest of the morning. It's as if a single tench comes into the swim and is then quite easily caught leaving the swim empty of fish.

What's complicated things rather is a succession of anglers coming down to fish for the bream and "piling in the pud". We've never been there when this has happened but I've had reports from various people that the breamers have been there and they've caught nothing at all. The end result is a mountain of cereal feed lying on the bottom until the tufties clear it up - which they do with gusto! It's madness to bait a swim heavily in these conditions, the bream aren't coming in in numbers just yet - or at least they weren't!

Things changed a little yesterday. Both Denis and I had line bites from the off and after an hour or so Denis had a lovely drop back bite which he failed to connect with. I commented that it looked a lot like a bream bite and this tied in with the large number of line bites to suggest that we had several "snotties" in the swim. Before long his bobbin started to jiggle in the butt ring and he pulled in a big bream, 12lbs 9oz and a pb by nearly four pounds. It was a female, heavy with spawn and quite a good fish for this lake so Denis was well chuffed.

The improvement continued today but it was tench on the menu this morning. It was a fould day, probably the worst weather I've fished in this year so far and I had the lake to myself, Denis opting for a lie-in and to go swimming instead. The wind was blowing right in at me and driving the rain in at my face. The air temperature was just five degrees and it felt really cold. I got the bait out and cast in both rods before hunkering down behind the flimsy brolly, hanging on to the pole for dear life. The line bites started quite early and for an hour or so i was constantly disturbed by the bleeping alarms. In time though, the wind started to decrease and the rain started to ease. That was when I got the first run, a 7lb 15oz tench was away with the plastic casters. Shortly afterwards, another tench, a six pounder this time and then I hooked another which unfortunately shed the hook.

I eyed the time anxiously. I had to be away early this time to supervise the arrival of my elderly father-in-law's shed, sod's law that this was the only time I couldn't stay and make hay. Ten minutes before I had to leave i got another run and after a good fight pulled in an 8lb 2oz fish.

I was well pleased!

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