Posts Tagged ‘Sweetcorn’

Preparing a Tench Swim

Tuesday, May 26th, 2015

Air temperatures are warming after a late cold snap and my thoughts turn to tench. A visit to a known water reveals banks of Canadian Pondweed (Elodea canadensis) growing in the shallow areas and around the perimeter, all told at least half the pond is unfishable. Arranging to meet Thomas at the venue we begin the job of clearing a swim. Putting in about four hours over two days we open up an area of 15 x 10 meters which is more than enough space for the two of us.

Clearing Canadian pondweed from a swim.

Using a garden rake head attached to a suitable length of rope the task is both simple and tiring, chuck the rake head out, let it sink, drag it back through the weed and remove what is gathered. Initially big clumps come away releasing gases from the mud which fizz on the surface. Space appears quickly but this is deceptive as one now has to go through a process of gathering the broken off pieces which litter the area, some but not all floating on the surface. Eventually though, even allowing for the chest waders, damp and muddy the job was completed, now for Mr. Tench.

Casting the feeder for tench.

Setting up 25 gram feeder rigs we cast towards likely spots along the invasive weed edge as this signifies where the water deepens, a likely area where tench may feed. Employing a combination of red maggot and sweetcorn bites are scarce, only small perch and rudd showing an interest. It is possible the cold snap of recent weeks may have put the tench back a fortnight, if so with temperatures now rising our hard work will shortly be rewarded, of that I am certain…….


Feeding the Barrow

Sunday, April 19th, 2015

Last Friday 17th April while feeder fishing the River Barrow at St Mullins I had the pleasure of meeting and fishing alongside a kindred spirit, his name Thomas Cosgrave, like myself ¬†born in England of Irish emigrants who traveled over in the 1950′s, Thomas had recently taken early retirement and decided to move lock stock and barrel back to the old sod.

Thomas Cosgrave feeder fishing the River Barrow at St Mullins.

A competent angler Thomas surprisingly stated that although he has no regrets about retiring to Ireland he does miss the coarse fishing that he enjoyed in England citing that his coarse fishing experience on the River Barrow does not match up to the Irish fisheries board marketing blurb. With historical experience of fishing the river during holiday visits he categorically states that the bream/hybrid fishing has seriously declined with one very visible cause, predation emanating from within the eastern European community.

Playing a roach on feeder gear at St Mullins, Co. Carlow, Ireland.

That said, we had a fine afternoon casting into a rising tide catching dace, a few plump roach and an odd trout tempted by four red maggot. Fishing eased over the top of the tide as is my experience and we called it a day round about six bells. The large bream and hybrids were marked absent which should not be given the time of year, the mild winter and the fact that Irish people do not eat coarse fish.

On the positive side Thomas and I exchanged numbers and we will definitely fish together again very soon, the local tench population had better watch out.

Tinca Time

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

The tench is a lusty fighter”, so wrote Geoffrey Bucknall in his 1966 published volume of fishing reminiscences FISHING DAYS. One of the first angling books that I possessed and still a favourite today, Bucknall’s narrative is quirky, full of historical anecdotes, and really brings to life his angling¬† journey from fishing roach ponds in the Weald of Kent during the summer of 1940 while Messerschmidt 109′s and Spitfires fought dogfights overhead, to casting a fly line on the great reservoirs of Chew and Blagdon.

A plump Irish tench tempted by maggot and sweetcorn.

Bucknall observes that the tench is a lover of shallow margins, muddy bottoms and weed beds where they grub around fanning the silt with their fins in search of food items, and that the fish hibernates for a large part of the year because it does not like the cold. That good tench swims catch the sun early so warming up the water which gets old tinca tinca on the feed and most importantly on being hooked they make a beeline for sanctuary amongst the nearest lily pads. Having hooked my first tench only a week ago, I can vouch that over a span of some 47 years G.B’s observations still hold true today.

Groundbait mix and red maggots for the feeder.

Setting up a feeder rig to six pound main line with a meter long tail to a size 12 hook, I baited with double maggot and sweetcorn then built up a swim close to a bed of lily pads. Within an hour line bites commenced before a more determined take resulted in a hook up and initial tench like run which at first made Mr. Bucknall a liar by heading for open water. However Mr tench quickly reverted to type cutting right before swimming at full belt into the weeds close to my pitch. Landing net extended the fish was unceremoniously lifted ashore.

A welcome perch.

On recasting bites became more frequent, not from tench however but perch. Small though they were the little predators hinted at possible larger fish and an extended season on this new water. Tench, perch, rudd, what awaits next a bloody great pike maybe, time will tell………..

See also: Tench from a New Water.

Tench from a New Water

Saturday, June 1st, 2013

Gary’s quiver tip jumped ever so slightly, a single knock, could this be the moment. A minute passed, two pairs of eyes glued to the tension induced curve of the rod, mainline taught between tip and feeder. A double knock spurs Gary into action, rod in hand he leans back reeling hard to connect with the in swimming fish. Veering left his rod heels over hard, “that’s a tench Gary”. “Certainly feels like it Ash”, and so it proved to be. Three and a half hours into our exploratory session on a new water we hit pay dirt, a plump tench running close to four pound.

A four pound Irish tench for Gary Robinson.

Homework to include web research, Google maps, visiting a few potential sites, plus asking locals the right questions resulted in Gary and I preparing coarse fishing tackle for an 03.30am wake up call. Struggling out of bed, half an hour later car packed and fortified by strong coffee we set off. At 05.30am just as the sun was rising, mist wafting off the water, our first casts broke the surface thirty meters out. Utilising a 15 gram feeder every 60 seconds a bed of particle mix was laid down. After fifteen minutes the frequency was lengthened. Combining red maggot and sweetcorn on a size twelve hook to a one meter tail, perseverence and belief eventually paid off, a great moment.

Landing a fat Irish tench.

Affectionately called “tinca” the tench has a reputation for being a hard fighting fish, a lover of still waters and weed beds. They supposedly feed best at first and last light during summer time especially if it is warm and muggy, hence our early start. Although dry and bright a brisk west wind added a chill to proceedings. An hour after Gary’s success my rod gave a double knock, lifting, a thump thump transferred through the rod as tinca number two swam up through the gears, these fish are powerful scrapping all the way to the net.

A first tench for Ashley Hayden.

My first tench, becoming two an hour later, mission accomplished. Not a red letter session but highly successful nonetheless. Gary and I had set out to fish a strange water with a view to catching a tench and netted three. Part one of my planned June bank holiday double is in the bag, now for that beach caught tope………

See also: Royal Tench.