With me spending so much time on the banks of the lake I had become oblivious in large to what was happening before my very eyes. It wasn't until I took a little break from my bank side lingering and stared at a couple of other bodies of water then came back, that I saw a noticeable change.
I was only away for a little over ten days, in which time I had grown bored of the repetitive playing of carp and annoyed with the incessant nibbling of silver fish on two heavily stocked venues. I needed to get back and feed my obsession once again. Dumbstruck is the only word I can use to describe how I felt when I returned for another night. To some the changes that had happened might seem inconsequential, but for me what I was seeing was of vital importance.
On my last visit the weed and algae that is to be blooming and using all the nitrates deposited during the floods, had formed a definite boundary at a particular snaggy tree. Now though, the weed had resumed its march across the water and patches of it not seem to be spreading out further into the main body of the lake. I don't believe the weed itself is necessarily a bad thing, but saying that, where the weed blossoms the water clarity increases and the fish have no love of this clear water with so many predators around.
The clear water now extended right into the area I had been fishing and visibly there was a serious lack of fish moving around in the gin clear water. After seeing this I took the time to track along the bank with my Polaroids on until I found a little colour. As soon as I found that wonderful tinge of brown I began seeing topping fish and other fishy signs, and I knew I was where I wanted to be.
Though the night ahead fishing would be given over to the pursuit of more predatory fish, I couldn't easily forget that last sessions tench and how they homed in on my bait. So I planned to try and replicate what I had done before. Once set up and ready to cast out soon as dusk fell, I mixed up a pungent stew of fishy fodder and deposited it onto a clear patch of silt about the size of a small car located close to my right hand margin. I then went about casting out two dumbbell rigs laden with massive writhing lob worms.
I'd had one bait out in position for a little while whilst I tweaked the second rig and just as I had the second rod held aloft ready to cast I had a strange stuttering run. I have to admit I was a little perplexed at what was going on and had to check that I hadn't done something stupid, like catch the line on my leg in the tight swim. It did turn out to be a run, but once again my strike contacted nothing.
In the end I finally got both rods cast out tangle free and bobbing nicely in the ripple. That's when I took the time to reapply more weapons grade strength mozzie replant, not that it did any good! The little buzzing bastards instead of targeting my repellent covered hands and face instead went for my legs and feet, through my trousers might I say! On one leg and foot alone I took nine bites. Worst of all I missed the very tip of my nose and that now has a healthy clown-like glow where something had bitten me.
The night again yielded nothing, though I did get another dropped run which added to the two others I have had in the last two sessions, which makes me think the rig I am using needs fine tuning. I am thinking that something is not liking the resistance on the rig and if I want to find out what that something is the rigs needs to be more free running.
Anyway, morning soon arrived and happily as the sun rose on a new week I was standing on the banks scratching my arse rather than fighting my way to work through the Monday morning traffic. And what a view I had.
As if to add some substance to my perfect Monday morning the tench too had shown up, and were happily rooting around on the bait I had deposited the night before as way of insurance should the nights fishing have been as bad as it was. Getting one of the dumbbell rigs out of the water proved to be a bit of a task, as the night before I had not given any thought to how I might retrieve three ounces of lead with a quite large poly ball contraption attached. There was no way I could leave it in the water as I knew any hooked fish would certainly cut thought the line as the line was actually going right alongside where the tench were feeding. In the end I had to set the reel in free spool and hold the rod as high as possible whilst traversing round to the next swim in order to remove the rig without dragging it through the fish.
To say the water I was about to cast into was shallow would be a gross understatement. When I came to the edge and nestled down into the damp reeds I could actually see individual tail patterns swirling on the surface from up ended tench. It took less than ten minutes for me to slip the net under my first one and after quickly returning that a way away from the swim I was quickly cast out and into another. Those first two fish were fairly average ones of four or five pounds but I knew with them feeding so hard that I could probably root out a few more so I didn't bother taking pictures and wasting time.
The tench did seem to drift off the spot for a while after the second fish but soon enough they drifted back sending up plumes of muddy water and patches of fizz. Having kept a bait on the spot I sat waiting as they homed back onto the free food, and sure enough the float did its little dance and I struck into a better fish. Some of the tench the lake has produced the last month or so have been have been immaculate but this one could only be described as perfect.
The fun wasn't over either! As after seeing more tail patterns on the surface I cast back onto the still buzzing spot eager to get another. This time the float didn't dither or dally one bit, it just shot out of the water like a rocket. Before I'd even had chance to strike, the clutch of my reel was squealing like a stuck pig. At first I was chuckling thinking I had some insane little male tench trying to turn me over. So I put a bit of side strain on and lent into it and that's when I realised that this was no tench attached to the end of my line. After easing off as much as I dared I watched as my line cut diagonally off to my left and as the the line zipped away a huge trail of bubbles emanated in it's wake. With only four pound line connecting me to the fish there was little I could do to stop it and all I could hope was that I could just hold on. But that wasn't to be as the fish decided one of the large new beds of weed was it best option. I braked the spool as much as I dared but in the end the strain was to much on my delicate float gear and after after a violent jerk the line was suddenly floating disappointingly in the wind. Strangely though I hadn't actually been snapped off and it would seem that the hook had pulled from the mystery fish. It would have been nice to land that fish and seen what it was that had been drawn in along with the tench, especially as I know I could land just about most tench on that tackle. Which leads me to believe that I am sure it was a big old Coombe Abbey carp.