Gravel Pit Tench

Gravel Pit TenchI was quite excited at the prospect of fishing a new water that had become available on one of my club tickets.  Previously it was only available as premium ticket due to a stock of large carp.  Rumour had it that there were big Tench to be had so clocking off time at work couldn’t come quick enough.

3pm arrived and I was off to the car like a shot.  It was only a short 30 minute drive to the pit so I envisaged fishing by 4pm.  What greeted me on arrival was not what I was expecting at all.  The pit was lovely and the water clear which is how I like it on this kind of water but it was choked with weed.  What’s more I could pretty much see the bottom all the way to the middle with the polaroids on.  I was expecting it to be deeper.  Nontheless I decided to have a walk round in the hope of finding some deeper water.  I eventually found a spot in the corner of the pit that had reasonable depth.  Feeling around with the plummet it also had a gravel bottom that was clear of weed.

I setup with a reasonable weighted waggler with a shotting pattern to counteract the strong wind.  I was only fishing a couple of rod lengths out so it made sense to use a float under the circumstances.  I was not confident at all though and after 30 minutes I decided to pack up and fish one of the other pits on my club ticket.  By this time it was just after 5pm and I could be fishing again by 6pm.

In actual fact it was 5:45pm by the time I was fishing again.  I had chosen a lovely looking spot with lilies to my left and right but a nice big clear area in front of me in which to play any fish.  It was also perfect for fishing the pole.  I’d got a reasonable depth of 5 foot at 7 metres.  My pole rig consists of a .5gram carp float attached to 7.6lb line and a 6.12 hook link.  More than adequate for getting any decent tench to the net.

The first 90 minutes were slow with only a few small Perch to show.  There was also a small Pike at my feet that was desperately trying to get any Perch that I hooked.  I then hooked into a much better fish.  The pole worked fantastic as the elastic stretched a good way across the pit.  Holding the pole up high I could keep the fish exactly where I wanted it until it was ready for the net.  As it drew closer I could see it was a good fish and when it was in the net I could see that it was the best Tench I had caught in a long time.  The scales pulled round to 5.14 which equalled my pb for the species.  I was chuffed to bits and hoped this was the start of something good.

On that note I decided to have a break from the pole while I had a sandwich.  I put the float rod out and before I had chance to unwrap my ham sarnie the float tip sailed away and I was into my second Tench with this one being slightly smaller at 4.6.  The Tench gods did allow me to finish my sandwich before I decided to go back out on the pole.  After a short while the float went under again and I was into another good fish.  This one stretched the elastic even further as big clusters of bubbles came up to the surface.  It was obviously another good Tench and it had no intentions of coming to the net.  I checked the time and i’d had it on for five minutes and was fighting much harder than the 5.14 that I caught earlier.  Slowly but surly the pole did it’s job and drew the fish closer.  I had the net ready in the water and broke the pole down to the last three sections.  At this point I still hadn’t seen the fish but I knew it was going to be a pb.  The fish made another lunge and then the hook pulled.  I can’t deny that I did curse very loudly and the 12 hours that have passed since have not calmed me down any.  I don’t know if it’s just me but I seem to have developed a habit of losing good Tench.  I don’t know if i’m striking too early or if it’s bad luck but it’s really annoying.  As if to rub salt in the wounds a guy fishing in the next peg shouted me a bit later and showed me a 7lb fish that he had just landed.

After that I decided to go back on the float rod to give myself a break from constantly holding the pole.  I’m enjoying fishing the pole but it’s something I can only do for a short while.  The lost fish killed the swim for quite a while and it wasn’t until about 9pm before fish started to move.  I managed to catch another 3 Tench before I packed up a little after 10pm.  None of them were as big as the first two but they gave very impressive fights.

It had been a really enjoyable session and the 5 fish that I caught were in great condition.  I’m going to be unable to fish very much over the next few weeks so I want to pack as many sessions in as I can over the next week and this place is somewhere I definitely want to head back to.

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