I was a little pessimistic about today's trip as it was to a water I have not fished for a good number of years. It is also very large, not heavily stocked and is often solid with weed. On the plus side it has been throwing a few up over the last couple of weeks and my friend JD had a pb tench of just over 4lb last week.
To be honest I was actually quite looking forward to fishing the old mature lake with more traditional baits and methods, too many places these days respond well to some kind of fishmeal groundbait and or pellets. You can't hide the fact that fish do have a liking for it but I felt this place did not require it.
So, at around 7.30am I loaded the gear onto the barrow and headed to the field side on the upper lake at Nostell Priory, once I had my self comfy I set about mixing my all time favourite groundbait up, sensas lake, sensas magic and brown crumb mixed in equal parts. This stuff just smells so good I could eat it my self! into the mix went a good helping each of dead maggots, hemp, corn and casters. I had a few chucks around and found a nice clear spot in the remains of last years weed which seems not to have fully died off and chucked ten big feeder loads out to try and entice the fish to come and dine. I knew that I could be in for a long wait and just got my self into a rhythm of changing hook baits and re-casting every 15 minuets or so.
After what seemed like forever but was actually around two hours the tip slammed round and stayed put. two red worms and a rubber caster had enticed a fish to bits, I lifted into it and the rod hooped over. I managed to gain a few turns of the reel to give me some leeway as I was fishing clipped up, it felt a very good fish but one big shake of its head and it was gone. All that remained was the tell tale rubbery slime of a tench on my hook link. I was gutted, sat two hours for what could very easily be my only bite of the day and I lost it to a hook pull. I was also ruing my choice of hook as when tackling up I couldn't decide weather to go for a 16 or 14 hook and with it still been on the cool side I had opted for the smaller. I made the decision then to put on a bigger hook, at least I knew there were fish about and feeding.
So back into a rhythm of casting and changing baits again. At around 11am I was out again with a worm hook bait but this time tipped with two dead red maggots when the tip twitched and steadily pulled around, again the rod hooped over but this fish was not as big and I was slowly gaining line from the off as it kited to my left. It was coming right into the bank so I grabbed the net and waded out to the edge of the near side weeds and regained control of the fish, it rolled on the surface and I saw it was a good tench of around 4lb's, it woke up then and went on a couple of short runs before I turned it towards the net. That's when disaster struck, as soon as it saw the net it turned away and shook its head leaving me feeling sick as a dog. I wound in only to find the curly whirly bit of line on my hook link where my hook used to be. It was my own incompetence that led to the fish escaping and I was angry with my self for allowing it to happen.
I carried on for a few more hours without look before coming to the conclusion the tench, like usual had shut up shop for the day by dinner time. As i was about to start packing up JD appeared on the bank with his gear and decided he would jump into the swim I was vacating. No doubt he will empty it this evening!
make that two nil to JD too!
He's not only gone and bagged a good 5 but also an absolute cracker of 7lb 4oz. Well done mate. I will be back for revenge