With the bank holiday upon us I was desperate to get out somewhere for a few hours fishing. I had planned on going to my tench water for a few hours in the evening but due to other commitments it wasn’t to be so it looked like being an early morning somewhere. It’s fair to say we’re not blessed with good stillwaters round our neck of the woods. I don’t particularly rate my club waters either. I’ve never done well on them when it comes to bigger fish and I didn’t particularly want to go bit bashing.
So when I went to bed the previous night I was all in a quandary and when the alarm went off at 4am the next morning I was still undecided on where to go. Over breakfast I decided to go to a gravel pit next to the Derwent. When I walked round a couple of years back I saw some good shoals of Bream on the surface so thought it might be worth giving it a go. On arrival I checked the catch return book and saw plenty of “NIL’s” in there. I had a walk round but the water looked dead. No small fish dimpling the surface and no tell tale bubbles of fish feeding on the bottom. This didn’t look good so I drove to a nearby complex of pits. My second choice of venue had plenty of small fish topping but I couldn’t find a peg that wasn’t overgrown. Feeling frustrated I took a look at my third choice which looked as dead as the first.
With my confidence at an all time low I decided to take a look at the club’s carp lake, not that I was after carp mind. I was after Bream, Tench and Perch and I didn’t mind which order they came in.
What greeted me was a sight of fish feeding on the bottom giving their presence away by patches of bubbles rising to the surface. The water was very clear and suddenly I found myself fumbling around desperately trying to get a bait in the water. My first line of attack was to be a small open ended swim feeder packed with chopped worm and maggots.
Expectations were high as I put out my first feeder and as it sank to the bottom I was surprised how deep it was just a few rod lengths out. The first few casts yielded nothing as I put a bed of bait out before the tip tentatively twitched round and I hit into something small but fiesty. It turned out to be a pristine little Perch. I was expecting more bites to follow but nothing materialised despite what looked like plenty of feeding fish. At this point I decided to switch to the float so I could present the bait just off the bottom. I set the float at 10 feet in nearly 11 feet of water. It seemed to work as another beautiful little Perch came thrashing in. I was fishing a whole dendrobaena just so I didn’t get plagued by any micro fish and the Perch so far had been in the 6-8 ounce bracket.
The amount of bubbles around the bait were growing in numbers and I was expecting a Tench or Bream anytime soon and it wasn’t long before the float was slowly pulled under and I was fighting a nice Tench. The water was incredibly clear and I could see the fish making for the lilies to my right. After a spirited battle a lovely male Tench around the 3lb mark slid over the rim of the net. A couple more males followed before I hooked into a much better fish. It was obviously another Tench. It was incredibly strong in the clear water and I managed to keep it away from the lilies. I could now see the fish and it was somewhere in the 5-6lb bracket. Unfortunately I misjudged the depth at which I had set the float as foolishly I allowed it to get into a patch of rushes to my left. I could see the fish just out of reach of the landing net. Just at that point the barbless hook gave away. I cursed at allowing myself to be so slack. I rebaited and the next fish turned out to be a Bream around 4lb. The next Bream was even bigger and I decided to weigh it and it came in at 6.12.
It turned out to be a fantastic morning as I landed 3 more Tench with the biggest about 4lb. I ended my morning session with 6 Tench, 2 Bream and several pristine Perch which never looked like they had been caught before.