Saturday, 2 June 2012

Fishing and catching

It’s a long time since I updated this. Partly due to a self-imposed break and also down to the fact that my tench season so far hasn’t exactly got off to a flyer. In short I’ve barely caught a fish for two and a half months.

First of the season.

One trip to a large reservoir in sub tropical temperatures gave Hannibal and myself a total blank for what was, for once, not a short session. Eleven hours in the baking sun, for nil, nada, zilch.

My visits to one of the local meres gave me one lost tench in 5 or so short outings and not much else, now this place has been kind to me in years past and I strongly believe that I should have had my landing net slimed up by now. So I had a total rethink of my tackle and tactics and decided to change.

My target this year has been to move away from two leger rods and use the float each session with the second rod on the alarm using a method feeder or pva bag. Regardless, neither have had anything like the desired effect so the rods were stripped and I started again.

The float set up had been standard 6lb mainline, coupled with a hi-tec hook link of either 4 or 6lb. I changed the reel line to hi-tec mainline of about 5lb, this aided casting and would also make life a little easier when slider fishing, the thinner diameter also allowed me to use a lighter float.

On the second rod I had been using a flat method feeder with groundbait but decided to go back to the straight lead, with a boilie on the hook, using a pva stocking filled with pellets/boilies and a nice bag mix of ground pellet and boilie to hopefully increase the attraction.

Saturday I arrived at first light and a very fine rain greeted my arrival. The bag mix was really strong smelling, so strong I could smell it as I was walking to my swim. The reason soon became clear upon arrival; said mix had emptied out of the container and covered the entire contents of the rucksack. Tremendous. By hook or by crook I rescued most of it and very soon was casting a pva bag and boilie hookbait to what had been a productive area a few years before. On the float line I fire a few pult full’s of corn and 6mm pellets, double corn hookbait under a 4bb wag, it’s 5am and we’re off!

I was soon joined by a little vole-y/mouse-y thing who was sneaking out to nick bits of pellet and corn, sadly though, he was a bit camera shy. Still, I waited patiently, camera hooked around my wrist, one eye on the float, the other waiting for the critter. I look round to see the float sail away, strike, fish on, camera swinging wildly on my ‘rod hand’. This is interesting; I’ve never played a fish with a camera swinging around my wrist before. 

A very spirited scrap and at 6am a tench of 4.6 hits the net, my first of the year, yeeeehaaaa. The very next cast a 2lb snotty is landed and the cast after that another tinca of about 4lb. Three fish in half an hour, I’m officially ace, once again.

It’s clear they’re on the corn, so my boilie bait is changed for a real/artificial corn combo on the second rod, a pva bag of pellets is attached and recast and within minutes I have a take but the fish comes off. Next cast a really decent sized bream is landed without any dramas but the hook gets stuck in the net which slows down my rhythm, I then find that my scales have given up the ghost so a potential PB goes back unweighed!
Probable PB

The fish seem to have backed away from the float line and all the action is on the leger rod as again the corn combo is taken and the delk sings. The fish feels like a bream and comes in quite easily, but underneath the rod tip it remembers it’s a tench after all. Thirty metres with no hassle, the next thing it has swam around a clump of rushes, twice, and then tried to find open water, brilliant. I stab the landing net through the reeds but the cord doesn’t have the same degree of purchase as a metal framed spoon would have done, however after a bit of impromptu weed dragging the biggest tinca of the day is in the mesh which looks about 5.8.

At 9am I’m ready for the off when the float buries and something shoots off to my right ripping line off the reel, I get the rod hard down to my left but can do nothing and after about thirty seconds the hook pulls. Never mind. Time to go.

A few thoughts. There’s fishing, and then there’s catching. Fishing is easy but getting back into the zone of catching and at the same time keeping things fluid takes me some time when I’ve had a barren spell. I would have made more of that session today had I been used to actually catching fish and not been as rusty, still, I can’t complain, I'm somewhere near where I want to be.

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