Honestly I have never seen anything like this on this lake. Coombe has been and will be again a harsh and fickle mistress. I have known it give so much and then take it all back again and again. But right now I find myself having to use a word that I never thought I would use in reference to Coombe pool fishery. Consistent! I know I will probably regret that as I've probably cursed my run, but Coombe right now is very consistent (holy crap, I said it again). It's been so consistent (that's three times!) that my sessions are becoming a blur and I find myself having to make notes to retain information and combine two or three sessions into one write up as I am fishing there so much.
Only forty eight hours had passed before I was again in the southern lily swim. I know I've been fishing in this area a lot as most of the banks side wildlife has become oblivious to my presence. The rabbits don't even run in panic, the normally twitchy moorhen that lives in the reeds won't even give me a second look and a grass snake slithered right over my feet the other day and may have winked at me as it did so.
Like me the tench were once again around and after causing a little commotion baiting up they were soon well aware that dinner was served. Although the wind wasn't playing big a factor, the lake did for some reason seem to be towing hard tonight. Luckily I still had the heavier rig set up from the last outing and that was soon cast just beyond the lillies. I had to wait for an age sitting on my hands for the fish to actually come onto my spot , which was an uncomfortable situation as the sky was clear and the sun was reflecting off the water up into my face. Eventually it sank below the trees and on the now golden surface the tench were sending up signs that I was about to have a visitor.
I missed a proper sitter of a bite somehow. It was the real deal as well, fizz bob lift the works. After toughing it out through the glare I was livid, but I hadn't caused a disturbance and that was the important thing. Then within a quarter of an hour the float shot up I struck and the fish went for the pads. Some how I turned it, then I shot out into the lake like a bullet and rinsed me out totally. Now I was kicking myself and my swim was surely done. I don't know why I cast again but I did. Just as the light really began to go I saw signs that a fresh batch of tench were drifting along the lily bed.
It got to that stage when you can hardly make out your float through the dark I waited so long. My patience was rewarded though when my float just slowly lifted and lay on the surface. Lucky it did do that as if it sank I really don't think I would have spotted it there was so little light, were as the white quill lying on the surface was easily seen in the dark. My strike was met with no venomous run but instead by dead weight. A big humped back appeared lolling around around on the top. It was a bream that wallowed in and as I dragged it toward the net I realised that this ancient scabby old slab was only the forth one I had caught this season from this supposed bream mecca.
It might seem that I was not that happy in the picture which honestly I wasn't, not because I had only caught a slimy old brama but instead because I'd just seen the state of my net and knew the combination of all that snot and my nice hot car would make the journey home a little special. After the that I decided that if the bream were around Id be better off leaving it for tonight and so baited up the north swim and headed of whilst there was still some light in the sky.
Within twenty four hours I was back on the previously baited northern spot with the sun again blazing back up off the surface of the lake, probably irreparably damaging my retinas. I may have mentioned before that this year theres been a bit of a weed explosion on Coombe. In most places there is some kind of weed, be it patchy or dense. My spots that I have been repeatedly baiting are smooth as a tiled floor. The fish are obviously repeatedly coming in whenever there is fresh bait on and truffling around so much that no weed seems to be able to stick around very long.
Once again I topped up a with a reasonable helping of my special and favourite ground bait laden with casters and other goodies. Strangely I did no see a single sign of feeding fish anywhere along the patrol and certainly not where I was fishing. That was until my float did that happy little dance I am becoming addicted to seeing and I found myself playing another classical summer estate lake tench.
There were other fish around in the swim though; I know that because I saw the bow waves and disturbed water they caused as they exited the area. With one under my belt and a now vacant swim I decided to spend the few hours I had left checking out a new area one of the carp anglers I have become friendly with tipped me off about.
I know this chap very well as he too spends large proportions of time on the lake in the summer after the monster carp which seem to go uncaught for ever on this weird water. He told me that whilst fishing a margin spot that had been good to him in the past he was getting plagued by tench. I knew he wasn't in the swim as I walked past it earlier that evening so tonight seemed just right to see if anything was in that margin.
A quick look out through the over hanging tree proved a waste of time so I opted to just go for it and sneakily placed a couple of balls out with my pole cup before swinging a bait over the top. Truthfully I just wanted a sign that something was moving in the swim and so I waited for any kind of something to happen, and it did! And it certainly wasn't what I expected to see as I will explain next time...