The tench lake was empty on arrival, due probably to the sporadic showers that were falling intermittently. With the fall in temperature I was a bit concerned that the fish might be off the feed. Keith and Danny had been down the day before and I'd not heard any news, so I presumed they'd not fared well?
I chose to fish the same swim as last time, predictable maybe, but I have unfinished business there now after the fish I lost last time. Also the snag has been removed so I hoped I'd have more chance of landing any hooked fish. The rods were still clipped up so I just had to get the bait spodded out and get fishing. As I was setting the bobbin on the first rod, it ripped up to the blank signalling an indication, then settled back down again. This wasn't just the rig settling but definite signs of fish. I raced to get the other rod set up and in the water.
Half an hour later the second rod ripped off after a few single bleeps minutes before. The fish came in quick to the right hand bank under an overhanging tree. I tussled with the fish to keep it from snagging on any trailing branches, feeling a sickening grinding on the line for a second. Luckily it came through and was in front of me in 6 ft of water off the marginal shelf. I thrust the net out and drew the fish up and in first time.
I had to wait two hours for the next fish, but with a dropped take and a few indications in between to keep me hopeful it was worth the wait. This second fish came in to the right again and headed for the same tree, it was a bit more powerful and threatened to head for any snags that might lurk near the bank. I had to drop the rod tip down into the water and heave the fish out. Thankfully this worked and again the fish was out in front of me, but I still had quite a tussle as it did a couple of powerful dives to try and break for freedom. The clutch took the strain and the fish finally succumbed and was netted.
|another stunner hits the mat..
I spoke to Keith soon after and whilst chatting to him the same rod was away again, but it was another dropped take, the strike only meeting with the weight of the feeder and not a powerful tench ! I wondered if this might be a problem with my rig set up? I read an interesting article in C.A.T. where Dan Williams talks about the same problem, putting it down to the use of short hook links. His observation is that the feeder will swing about near the head sometmes causing the hook to pull free when playing the fish. My problem is with dropped takes so I'm not sure what was happening for me, as the hooks were coming back sharp and the bait was pushed far enough back on the hook to not be a hindrance to achieving a good hold in mouth of the fish.
My links were 12lb ESP Ghost Fluoro as I wanted a reasonably stiff link to keep them from tangling on the helicopter rigs I had been using. However I had changed one rig over to my usual inline feeder so the need for the stifflink would be less important. I usually use amnesia on this set up which is more supple allowing more movement of the hook and allowing it to lift up easily off the feeder and into the fishes mouth. So I wonder if the use of a stiffer short link was preventing a good hook hold as the fish took the bait and belted off, the weight of the feeder might be dragging the hook back out at some critical pressure point during the run. I will be experimenting over the next few sessions to see if I can eradicate this problem, especially considering any of the fish that take my bait could easily be a possible new pb !