There was a definite warmth in the sun today that's not been felt for quite some time, and although I didn't expect much, if any action it was a glorious morning to be by the water at dawn even after I scraped the ice and over night sprinkling of snow off the car.
I arrived at my target tench water for the coming months as the sun started to poke it's head up this morning with the intention of getting everything ready for the forth coming warm weather. Dawn is the best time to find the fish on here as they duly give them self's away with streams of bubbles, even with the cold there were a few, not many but the very odd small scattered patch of bubbles right where I expected the fish to be. However fishing was to come second today as I wanted to make good use of the quiet time by putting the marker float to good use.
I had a quick walk around the lake a couple of weeks back and found the deeper areas in what is a rather shallow, very silty water. Now I knew where they were I wanted to make the most of them. I dropped into the first swim and thrashed the water until I was happy I had found a spot that I hoped the fish would like. I then got the rods out and cast my rigs to the marked spots and made notes of what to aim at on the far bank. They were then clipped up and marker knots tied on with light pole elastic. Numerous casts were made to the marker until I was 100% happy that the rigs would be bang on the money.
Next up was the job of clipping up the spod rod, again I made plenty of casts Until I was happy that this was also spot on. The only draw back with this was that the small light weight spod falls a bit short of my furthest target when empty and the only thing to do was to put some bait in as it has holes top to bottom and with not having any kind of tape with me I couldn't fill it with water. Once happy that everything was spot on I moved onto the next swim that I fancy.
To make things easier for me should I not be able to get in my first choice swim I intend to fish the same distance from which ever one I fish meaning I can leave all the rods clipped up and ready to on every trip. As look would have it one spot I have picked (that I fished a lot last season) falls half way between two swims meaning, subject to a friendly word and an OK from who ever jumps in my swim before me I should be able to fish the same spot from two swims. Another stroke of look is that the feature I'm fishing to is a long deeper channel that runs along 3 or 4 swims and once I had a good chuck about with the marker again I found that my clipped up rods could be fished on good areas in all of them.
It was well after 9am by the time I got a bait in the water and as I wasn't expecting a great deal even before I had spent 2 hours chucking leads and rigs about I set about doing a bit of testing. Last year I fished the water with one standard heavy feeder rod outfit and a sleeper rod on an alarm. Looking back I don't think this was the best approach and with the size and power of the tench in there I have decided this year to fish both rods on alarms. I tried a couple of new rigs out to see how they cast and also to make sure they didn't tangle and I must say the Korum Helli rig kits work a treat.
I have a lot of faith in imitation, fake, rubber call them what you like baits but really only used them along side naturals. This year I will be going a step further and using them exclusively on one rod at all times so, I tested a few of these out in the margins too. Corn stacks, mag aligners and my personal favourite so far, D-rigged fake casters. 3 of these tied to 8lb fluro carbon and a size 10 hook just look awesome fluttering down on to the lake bed ready to be hoovered up. And as some of you know, last year I started working on my own baits. Firstly came the ground bait that was responsible for double figure PB carp and barbel, now I have started to play around with one for the tench and today gave me the first opportunity to try it out.
As expected I didn't catch but it was a rewarding day all the same, the sun felt great for once when the wind dropped. The water fowl were busy collecting material to build nests with and I just got a feeling that any time soon everything will just wake up and go mental trying to make up for lost time and I can't wait.