05/06/18 – After some great success on another lake bagging fish up to a new PB of 8lb 14oz it was time to move back onto the main lake in search of that elusive double figure fish. I have been fishing this particular lake for over three years now and despite putting in a considerable amount of time I hadn’t managed to catch my target. I planned a long session in late May as my last real attempt to catch one prior to spawning and this would literally be my last session of the season so If I didn’t managed my target fish I would have to wait a whole year until I returned.
I arrived at the lake on an extremely warm afternoon and was lucky enough to find one of the swims that has a record of producing big tench free and so I decided to start fishing here. Obviously I would move if I spotted fish rolling elsewhere on the lake but during this time of day it was a good place to start. Following my session on the other lake in which I landed twenty or so tench in 24 hours on a hard 40 acre pit I was confident in the rigs and bait that I was using and so stuck to what I knew best. In this particular swim I had to fish at a longer distance of about 40 yards and so made sure I was baiting accurately with a spomb and fishing in between two prevalent bars that were visible from the bank.
The evening soon arrived and I kept my eyes peeled watching the water for rolling fish that would give away their location and was lucky enough to see two tench roll where I was fishing. I was confident of a take but nothing materialised and the night passed uneventful. I was up at 3am with a coffee waiting for the sun to rise and once visibility was good enough to see the area I was fishing I caught sight of a tench rolling a bit further out. Following this another rolled in the same spot and so I decided to leave the rods for an hour and if I didn’t have at take I would move them to fish further out to the showing fish. They were only ten yards passed my spot so it wasn’t necessary to move straight on them and I was hoping they would move onto my bait but I was convinced they were occupied with the blood worm beds. This particular lake is extremely rich with natural food and the tench don’t even need anglers baits to sustain themselves.
Finally I decided to get a rod further out and three hours later it was away. I bent into a fish and was convinced it was a carp as the weight seemed to heavy for a tench but further into the fight I started to think it actually could be a big tench. It wasn’t unstoppable as a carp would be and just felt heavy plodding around and not taking much line. Now my next challenge was to bring the fish over the bar which went from about one and a half feet down to seven very suddenly and it’s a real problem when playing fish to ensure you don’t get cut of or snagged. I have lost tackle just reeling in cage feeders in this swim so when playing a big fish it can very worrying indeed. I could feel the line grating and so lifted the rod as high up into the air as possible and patiently persuaded the fish over the danger area and into clear water. It didn’t take long and the fish surrendered surfacing quite a way out and I started to ease her closer to the waiting landing net. I could see she was a big fish and the reality set in the this could be my target tench that for years I have been trying to catch. Luckily she played ball and didn’t go on another run which allowed my to scoop her in the net.
After taking some time to recover from all the excitement I peered in the net and nearly lost it when I realised how big she actually was. Never had I seen a tench of such proportions and although very fat with spawn the frame of the fish was enormous. I managed to get a carp fisherman fishing on the lake adjacent to take some photos and help with the weighing. The scales went 11lb 3oz and I was in fishing heaven. My previous PB was 8lb 14oz and I had now jumped straight to 11lb 3oz. After taking some pictures I returned the fish and marveled as she swam back into watery home. What an incredible creature and I feel so privileged to have caught it. All the time and effort over the last three years had finally paid off. I packed up early finishing the session after just one more night and went home to spend some time with the kids.