After finishing an exam in the morning for my Construction Course, I was in urgent need of a wind down, back to the Tench lake I went again arriving about 1:30 pm. This time I was in a peg I'd never fished before on the north east bank. I had been baiting up a swim over a gravel bar with hemp, castor and dead maggots for the previous four days. The afternoon weather was overcast with a warm westerly breeze blowing across the lake straight towards me. I fired in about 10 balls of groundbait and spodded in another 1/2 gallon of hemp, pellet and corn over the area before setting up my rods.
After an hour I stared to get the odd bleep, and then suddenly the left hand corn rod took off. I struck and was pleased to feel the fish was on. It came in straight at me and didn't really fight that much doing a good impression of a Bream, however when I got her head up on the surface it turned out to be a Tench after all.
The fish weighed 4lb 1oz and was in good nick but was quite wiry curling its body up and making it difficult to get a good photo of her. It looked like quite a young fish to me and I could see no evidence of any sporn. I put her quickly back and recast the rod.
Straight away I had a dropped run on the RH fake maggot rod and as soon as I had sorted this rod; the fake corn did the business again on the LH rod. I struck into what felt like a better fish, it kited to my right and headed up the lake. I must have been a bit too heavy handed trying to turn it as I felt the disappointing jolt of the rod springing back at me when the hook pulled! Never mind I thought, just get the rod back out there quickly while they're still feeding.
I brought the maggot rod in to change the rig over to a piece of fake corn. As I was in the process of doing this the other LH corn rod was away again! This time I heeded my earlier lesson and gave the fish some line and allowed it to run for a while. It kited to the right in the same direction as the earlier fish I'd just lost and was soon in towards the bank to my right, heading under an overhanging tree. Now was the time to give it some "stick" or risk being snagged, so I bullied the fish away from the tree – praying!
The fish stayed deep generally, but I did see a boil on the surface under the tree's branches at one stage. Thankfully it started to give in and came towards me and the waiting net. After a little tussle in front of me, again staying deep, the fish finally relented and rose up through the surface layers and into the net. It had put up a good fight, more like a Carp than a Tench and I soon realised why when I saw the size if it's fins.
At 5lb 9oz it's by far the largest male fish I have ever seen, let alone caught. So I now had a Male Tench PB of 5lb 9oz, which was a nice bonus.
I had been texting Steve with progress updates, whipping him up into a frenzy, when I spoke on the phone shortly after the capture of the male. He said he would be bringing his float rod down for a quick session that evening.
The second fish had been landed an hour after the first at 4:15pm, and the action continued for a while with a few more dropped runs until about 6pm when Steve arrived. The wind had picked up by now and the temperature was dropping slightly. I caught no more fish and only had a dropped run on the RH maggot rod by the time I packed up at 10pm. There had been no further noticeable activity over my baited area but in the next swim along to my right I saw about 6 or 7 fish rolling at dusk. These were at about the same range of 30 yards out and one or two of them looked quite decent, so I guess they had moved on, my bait not enough to hold them.