As the days gradually get longer my attentions switch to Tench. So equipped with feeder rods I head to a local a gravel pit lake that holds some of the intended species.
One of the modern ‘problems’ of fishing for tench this way means that there is a chance of Carp being caught. They tend to be the dominant species in most gravel pits; well certainly in my area of the country.
Now I am not averse to catching the odd carp, as Carp fishing made up nearly 100% of my fishing for over twenty years. But it does mean your tackle has to be strong enough to cope with landing them, especially if a lot of weed is present. This means most of my gravel pit Tench fishing is angled for using a pair of 1 3/4 lb test curve rods and 4000 size bait runner reels loaded with 10lb monofilament.
Typically in April the water temperatures are still quite cool and I generally opt for a minimal feed option, as opposed to an all out heavy partical approach. This means Groundbait Method feeders with hair rigged mini boilies or Maggot feeders with hair rigged maggot or worm. These feeders are fished in-line and cast every 20 minutes to start with and then, after a couple of hours, every 40 minutes. This means there is enough feed in the swim to attract and encourage the Tench to feed, but not too much to fill them up and bring the Carp in.
Arriving at the lake at just before 7:30 I spent 20 minutes looking for signs of fish, such as rolling or bubbles. There was a little Carp activity around and eventually saw what I thought was possibly a Tench rolling 30 yards out in one corner of the lake. Then another was spotted shortly after the first sighting giving me enough confidence to try the corner swim for the day.
Before setting up the tackle I prepared some groundbait for the feeders and put the kettle on. I was settled and fishing within 30 minutes and counting down the time before a recast.
I wasn’t expecting early action as it can normally take some time to get enough groundbait out there and it can often be difficult to get a bite at all at this time of year. It wasn’t until after midday that I started to get the odd line bite indicating that something was in the swim. Shortly after 2 pm the right hand rod bite indicator rose to the rod but and the line tightened to the baitrunner. I lifted the rod into a fish and felt the tug tug of my first Tench of the season.
My first Tench of the Season was a 4lb 8oz male caught on a white popped up mini boile with Groundbait Method feeder.
Pleased I had got off the mark, it wasn’t long before I was into another one. This time 4lb 2oz and another male fish to the mini boilie. Then 20 minutes later the left hand rod indicated a fast take on the worm rig. Just as this was being netted the other rod registered a bite and I found myself into another Tench. As mentioned earlier being prepared for Carp meant that I had a Carp landing net also set up and it was this that was used to land this second fish.
Sitting back in the late April sunshine I was enjoying another cup of tea when the boilie rod indicated another bite. This proved to be another male Tench of 5lb 4oz. Again, just before 6pm and this time on the worm rod, I was into what felt like a heavier fish. This was confirmed on the scales at 5lb 15oz. A great way to finish the day.
So, for the record, six Tench to just under 6lb. With the two biggest falling to the worm.
Great start to the Tench season. Can’t wait to return.