I fished a tench lake that has been very kind to me in the past. I arrived at 3:00pm and set up my marker rod first. The weather was sunny and reasonably warm (well I was in a tshirt )The area in front of me gradually sloped away to about 7 ft depth. The bottom was fairly uniform made up of gravel with a slight covering of silt in places. The only thing to avoid was the fronds of Canadian pond weed that were starting their annual climb towards the surface. I found a patch of gravel that had a little weed but not enough to cause me a problem.
Next I catapulted 10 balls of ground bait out to the marker float, made up of brown crumb and swim stim green betaine. The final ingredient was to spod out some corn caster, maggots and hemp and the banquet was set. I used a 2.25 lb TC carp rod which I has a nice progressive action and is alot more accurate than my other 3lbTC spod rod that is like a broom stick in comparison.
The first rod on the baited area was my new Greys Prodigy Specimen rod that was on it's debut outing. I set it up with the 2lb tip section to handle the weight of the fox 2 oz method feeder. The hooklink was a 3" length of 15lb sink link braid with hair rigged rubber corn on an T6 raptor hook in size 10. The second rod (Prodigy Barbel 1.5 tc) was rigged with a drennan in line maggot feeder, with a short braided hooklink as before except with a Korum S3 hook in size 14 balanced with two rubber maggots. I also added a pva ball of casters on the hook each cast.
The method rod was in by 4:00pm, with the second maggot feeder rod in by about 4:30pm as it needed setting up from scratch. These were left in until five thirty and were both recast back in position again by 5:45. Ten minutes later and I had seen no sign of any fish in my swim, the only activity was about 70 yards out to my right. The weather was now cloudy with both dark grey and white areas and felt quite muggy, light rain was falling now.
Just after seven o'clock it started to rain proper followed by a bit of a take about 10 minutes later but as i started to shift my weight to get up off the chair the take stopped and the bobbin stopped rising. The hook had not found its target for whatever reason ? Still it was some action at least and a clear sign that there were fish in the swim now at least. Fingers were crossed for another take.
By 8:00pm I had only had a small bleep on the method rod again straight after another recast. I also changed the rig on the maggot feeder from a popped up double maggot grub to a couple of rubber caster grubs instead, to see if that provoked any interest? It had been raining solid for a hour now and was quite heavy at times. It was nice to know my umbrella still does its job after twenty years plus(amazing). I shall only get rid of it when it finally decides it's had enough and falls apart ! I do want to get myself a shelter though, something like a Fox evo or similar.. for those more lengthy sessions I occasionally do into the small hours.
20:06pm and it finally stopped raining (hooray)hopefully the fish would feed now I thought. It wasn't long before they did, as at 20:35pm I caught a 4lb 7oz lovely female Tench with a beautiful rich orange belly the colour of a honey dew melon.
There was one more aborted take after this and so I will be checking that rig closely in my test tank for any obvious flaws?
The rain had started falling heavily again so I started to pack my tackle away. By 9:00pm I was more or less ready to go but with one obligatory rod left in right to the last minute. I couldn't help thinking but for the rain I would have had a few more takes. The fish had definitely moved onto my bait and were responding well to the corn and method rig but the heavier rain did seem to put them off their feeding.
The maggot/ caster rig never received any attention all session. This might be because the fish haven't seen any maggots over the winter months, and apparently according to the bailiff I am the first to fish for non predatory fish so far this spring.
My attempt to give an arty atmosphere to a nice shot of the right hand flank of the fish ! Really it was in an effort to try and improve the shot. I have discovered over time that you have to be careful taking shots in low light levels, like at dusk. Often when using the self take facility on digital cameras, this function can cause the camera to struggle to get a good focus in such conditions. I need to read up on the subject more and see if there is a trick to improving the problem? Other than that I find you get better shots in full daylight or even in full darkness rather than the low levels of dusk or twilight.