Its been a while since i was last on the bank due to taking on the task or extending the driveway at home and flagging along the house, which in turn meant installing 15 meters of surface drain to please the local council.
So today saw me making a dawn return to the old estate lake where i suffered at the hands of the tench last time out. I felt i was right in my tactics but in hindsight knew i could do a little more to entice a few more fish, and so this well planned trip proved. I had half of last week and the rest of this booked off work mainly to crack on at home but i managed to get lots done before the weekend leaving me plenty of time for fishing. I have been keeping a watchful eye on the weather and with a low front forecast to move across the area last night bringing warmer temperatures and a nice south westerly wind with it i knew today had to be the day. I made a change to my gear yesterday from my previous session in that i opted to dump the seat box and usual still water rods in favour of my chair and a pair of avon type rods. i still wanted to fish a quiver tip as its just nice to sit and be alert rather than be behind alarms all day so my light avon was chosen for this task, i also rigged up my heavier avon rod to fish as a sleeper with an alarm and bolt rigged maggot feeder set up.
I sat in the dining room yesterday evening full of eager anticipation of what this morning would bring as i rigged the rods up and get everything sorted ready to go.
I arrived around 5am just as the sun was peeking through the trees behind me and the lake looked stunning with the morning mist starting to rise and the fresh growth of the rushes swaying around in the light breeze. I got settled into my chosen swim and had both rods out for 5.30. The bolt rigged maggot feeder was punched well out past now ever expanding weed bed and the groundbait feeder was placed perfectly on a clear area around 40 yards out along with half a dozen previous casts to get some bait down. Like last time my mix consisted of sensas lake, magic and brown crumb along with liberal helpings of dead maggots, casters, hemp and corn although i also added a good helping of chopped worm as i learnt last time the tench in here do have a taste for it, and so it proved. I gave it 30 Min's or so before re-casting both rods and making changes to hook baits, i knew it would be a waiting game but it was a glorious morning just to be out on the bank, I even had my coat off for the first time this year before half 6!
Before i knew it was was 7am and i was feeling a little peckish now so i tooked into pot of nice warm instant porridge. I was just putting the flask and spoon back in my bag when i noticed the quiver tip nudge a couple of times before been dragged lake wards, a dogged fight lasted a good 5 minuets before the fish decided it wanted to be in the nearside reed bed. Luckily i just managed to keep it out of the thick stuff and guide it into the net with the water swilling almost around my welly tops. I realised then i should really have brought the waders rather than boots. The fish was a real old warrior of a tench, very dark and almost round in shape with a few old deep scars along its flanks. I was well happy that I had finally broken my tench duck for the year and it went 4lb 8oz on the scales.
I waited only an hour or less for the next bite when out of the blue the tip was savagely ripped around and the fish took a powerful short run, again with the water around my welly tops i wadded out and managed to keep this one away from the nearside reeds as it came into the shallow margins and into the net after making 3 very powerful runs from under the rod tip and this one went 5lb dead.
It was now around 9am and feeling hungry again I decided to re-cast the rods before making some more porridge and a cup of tea, the rods had not been back out 5 minuets when just as i was pouring water the tip ripped around again. This fish went on a good few runs before deciding it too liked the nearside reed bed and buried its head right in there. I waded along only to find the fish well stuck a little further out, now how far dare i get to try and scoop the fish from the weed? You guessed it, TOO FAR. Water just seeped over the tops as i scooped the fish up weed and all and although not a proper boot full my legs and socks were a little damp. I kind of guessed from the fight that this fish would be a little bigger and as i parted the weed in the net i could see it was and a very nice golden colour, on the scales she went 5lb 4oz. not quite a PB but worth slightly soggy feet.
What happened shortly afterwards almost scared me to death and I momentarily sat and stared before realising what i should be doing. After over 4 hours the silent bite alarm on the sleeper rod gave out a couple of beeps before the bobbin slowly rose to the rod before the the alarm sounded an almighty one toner and the bait runner nearly went into melt down! I picked up the rod and wound down to see it hoop over and the clutch start to give line, the fish felt heavy and rather angry as I could feel it shaking its head to try and dislodge the hook, well after another heavy run and a couple of shakes the beast succeeded as the line went slack. Bummer, that's twice I have lost a big fish on this water. Tench? or one of Nostell's resident large carp? I'm not sure but it felt a big old heavy lump. Anyway onwards and upwards as they say.
Shortly after I hooked another good fish on the tip and again she decided she liked the look of the nearside reeds. After a couple of good runs she kitted left, how the hell do they know from 40 yards????? this time I took a step too far and I squelched back to the bank with another at bang on 5lb in the net, waders are defiantly required next time!
I was now running short of time as I had to be home for 12 to take the other half to work, so with cold wet feet I decided to call it a day and squelched back to the car one happy angler.