Thursday, 27 July 2017

A BIRTHDAY TENCH


If you’re a passionate angler like me, what could be better than a birthday tench. Beautiful but feisty, big enough to fight back when hooked and a joy to behold when finally on the bank, they make the perfect present.
a perfect six pounds of birthday present
Fishing for them on my special day has become a tradition, so each year I venture forth in an attempt to prove that I’m not yet past my sell by date.
nearly seven pounds and thin but what a birthday beauty


waiting for the bobbins to fly
The locations for my adventures have been purposefully varied. This year and last I have been on a wonderfully scenic gravel pit in Hampshire. I’m there right now as I write.

this tame robin has noticed a bite on the buzzer
Two years ago it was in the Cotswold Water Park, the pictures taken by my good friend Mark Woodage.
nearly safely in the net and time for some relief


a beautiful fat Bradleys eight pounder
an inspiring place to fish
It was snared from Bradleys, a huge but inspiring clear-water wildlife haven that is challenging at the best of times.
spring fishing can be freezing in the wind and Mark is well wrapped up preparing for a blank

there are wildfowl galore to keep us entertained
lots of small fry provide food for many grebes and big perch
the odd couple but inseparable
I love it there and would fish it more often if it wasn’t a distance away.

a simply gorgeous tench and at 8lbs the ultimate river prize
In contrast, this next fish was taken from the intimate waters of the upper Bristol Avon. At exactly eight pounds it is the best tench I’ve ever caught, not because it’s the biggest but because it was caught from a river, on a traditional float and pin, used to edge a lobworm under an alder tree. The catch included an 8lb15oz bream and a 2lb6oz perch so it was a memorable day.

what a gorgeous start to any day
a lobworm snaffling tench from under the willow
On several years I’ve tench fished in the Fens, a place close to my heart as I grew up there dreaming of catching tench instead of the ubiquitous bream.
what a remarkable place to grow up and sing for my supper

I never did succeed when I was at school in Ely but recently the lovely Lodes have provided me with a few, including this six pound battler.
Fenland tench seem to fight harder than any others but the tackle held - just
the beautiful Fenland Lode from which I caught several good tench and bream

My biggest tench is stuck on 8lb9ozs. I’ve caught one this size from five different waters, the first from Sywell in the good old days. You’ll be relieved to hear that I have no pics of any of these big tench but I’m after a double, aren’t we all, and when I catch it I’ll make sure I take a pic. Hopefully it will come along on my birthday ; now wouldn’t that be a present and a half.
those lilies scream tench, especially during this magic hour


1 comment:

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