Bloggers Challenge – Tench Time

So, the great Fishing Blogger’s Challenge of 2015/16 is underway! Big-up Russell, Jeff and George for setting it all up.

I think it’ll help me focus on looking for some of the more obscure point scoring opportunities through the year; encourage me to explore a bit beyond what I already know; and perhaps even force me to get out on the bank a little more. I’m looking forward to it.

My efforts began on bank holiday Monday in search of tench. My local venue is just starting to produce a few green beauties and there’s always the chance of a (locally) big fish – I had one of 8lbs 1oz this time last year.

I arrived around 6.30am, with a view to fishing until 9.30 or 10. It was calm and sunny and patches of pin-prick bubbles could be seen erupting sporadically around the deep, clear lake, showing the tench were indeed on the feed.

My plan was to float fish close-in. Nothing complicated – the old John Wilson Avon rod, 6lbs line and corn or pellet on a short hair fished over regular, golf ball sized nuggets of micro pellet laced groundbait.

The plan was to float fish - but the wind made it hard to do so.
The plan was to float fish – but the wind made it hard to do so.

I swear it was on the first cast that the wind started to filter down the lake, and after an hour or so it became virtually impossible to float fish effectively. To compound my frustration, when the wind did drop a touch I could see patches of bubbles emanating from where my groundbait was.

Time for a rethink. I switched over to a straight lead and simply watched the tip of the Avon rod.

It really was no more than a couple of minutes before the tip whacked round and I was in. After a reasonable tussle a bloody huge eel presented itself on the surface – I was already thinking of the challenge points when it found the hole in my landing net and went straight through. I tried, and failed, with a kind of reverse landing technique, swore a bit before applying brute force in an effort to land the thing. I almost didn’t mind when the hooklink parted.

I introduced some more groundbait and flicked out the bait again. The wind was really driving down the lake by this point and although the sun was warm, the wind chill made it a bit uncomfortable. Fortunately another bite and really good tussle saw my first tench of the day in the net. I forgot about the cold wind instantly. A short stocky male tench of 4lbs 1oz was my reward and I was again reminded how much I enjoy fishing for these beautiful fish. I always find clear water tench far more stunning than their murky water dwelling cousins, taking on that wonderful deep green/yellow belly combination.

Off the mark - a lovely 4lbs 1oz male tench.
Off the mark – a lovely 4lbs 1oz male tench.

I added another female fish of around three pounds to complete the brace before heading home for a bank holiday breakfast, very happy.


Author: tescovalue79

Age: 37. Work: Marketing & communications. Like: fishing, art, ITFC, good music, bad pubs.

7 thoughts on “Bloggers Challenge – Tench Time”

  1. Ah, obscure point scoring, eh? Ben, I think that might the strength of the thing when gross points become hard to find, don’t you think? Martin has already put a stillwater barbel on. Briefly (very briefly!), he was in pole position because of it…

    1. Absoultely, Jeff.

      Canal grayling? River crucian? Stillwater dace? Any of those could swing it!

      There have already been some almighty tench caught by Russell and Joe that I can’t see myself beating. The question then is do I continue fishing for them or go and do something completely different?

      Good fun. It’ll be really interesting to see how it pans out…

      1. Hi Ben, lovely tench and I’ve experienced the eel scenario a few times myself – there’s no way out once that happens! They’re so incredibly strong that once they find even the smallest hole they’ll literally tear it open.

        Re the challenge, I think I’ve topped out on canal tench already myself but I’m enjoying it so much I will probably carry on fishing for them, even though if I was just thinking in terms of the challenge, I’d fish for bream.

        I wouldn’t mind ticking off a Stillwater barbel actually. Would have to travel though.

        All the best

    1. Cheers Monty! Totally buzzing for Saturday. They are the better team and we’ve overachieved this season, but you just never know! Good to see Cresswell getting a few player of the year awards for you guys. Really pleased for him, he’s a good player.

    1. Thanks for the kind words, Dan. Good luck with the river fishing mate and let me know how you get on. Ben

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