Blog Posts by Michael Wickens
My first night on a new big water
I'm a true believer that in fishing preparation is key. Yes
it takes time, but the results are most often worth it, as I hope this article
will prove. With spring finally ‘springing' after what seemed an eternity I had
tench at the back of my mind, and rigs, bait and location were all things I had
to think about. Firstly, my chosen venue was a 13 acre estate lake that has
produced tench to over 7lb in the past, with a typical depth for an estate lake
of roughly 4-5foot, but deepening off towards the damn. Rigs were simple; 6" of
10lb braid, and a size 10 hook fished blowback style.
Bait was an easy option, so earlier in the week I mixed up Chapel Baits' new carpet feed, halibut pellets, trout pellets and chopped boilies, both Nutty and a custom boilie designed by myself using the custom range. The final ingredients added to my spod mix was a tin of sweet corn, and a good helping of strawberry glug and green lipped mussel groundbait to both thicken the mix up, and increase the smell attraction. With my armoury well equipped I set off in hope the weather wasn't going to be as bad as forecasted!
Arriving around 4pm, I struggled on my swim choice after
seeing no signs of fish, but decided to settle into a swim that controlled a
large amount of water, but it was the snags and trees to the left that looked
interesting. The marker float confirmed a depth of 4 foot, and soon enough I
had spodded ten spods of the mix in a fairly tight area in between some
scaffolding protruding from the water and a large overhanging tree.
With a simple lead clip set-up, a fluorocarbon leader pinned
down with korda sinkers, and a 14mm Nutty boilie tipped with yellow fake corn
inside a solid PVA bag of crushed nutty boilies, I had one rod out. Prior to
the session I had extensively tested the rig, finding that the method feeder
presentation I had also tested was far less desirable. The solid bag would
slowly settle onto the thick silt, leaving a pile of crushed nutty boilies
around one whole hook bait; perfect!
The other rod was a very similar set-up, although this time
an inline lead, corn on the hair tipped with a green buoyant piece, and around
15 spods over the top at sixty yards range to open water. As the light faded I
had a couple of line bites and a small carp or tench rolling over the top of
the other rod, it looked promising!
It is certainly safe to say I did not get a good night's
sleep with line bites roughly every half hour waking me and the rain hammering
the top of my bivvy. With both lines back-leaded and leaders pinned down, they
really must have been tearing the bait up, but still no fish. 11.20pm and the
bobbin lifted, stopped momentarily then hit the butt ring before line gently
peeling off the spool, but after a few seconds the hook pulled. How gutting,
however the fish were ‘on it' as they say.
I counted to twenty one times around two placed bank sticks, clipped up, and clipped on another rig and PVA bag, then accurately got the rig back on the spot. The liners continued, which I thought were most likely bream, however perseverance paid off and at 12.30 the left hand was off again off, but this time the culprit wasn't getting away. After a spirited fight at the net I landed my first fish, an absolutely pristine 10lb 3oz common.
After checking the rig and finding the braid in poor
condition (most likely from rubbing on snags), I clipped on a new rig and again
clipped up the line and got the rig out. You'll notice I use rig clips a lot,
because I think they save copious amounts of time and stop you from becoming
lazy when it comes to rigs. By leaving the first rig on, it would have probably
cost me a fish, but this is something that can so easily be avoided by
More liners ensued, but at 4.30am I had a screaming run, again on the left hand rod. This time a bream coated in hard spawning tubicles, weighing 5lb 6oz.
Just 40 minutes later the left hand rod again rattled off and I had a good fight on my hands. Bending my 2.25lb test curve Daiwa rods to the max, I sketchily steered the fish from the snags and into the folds of my awaiting landing net. The moon reflected off the large expanse of water, and there was silence apart from the ticking off my clutch and the odd splash of the fish – Wow!
Being slightly bigger than the first carp, at 11lb 6oz, I was suitably chuffed!
So apart from the lack of big tench, my first session on a
big water was a complete success! This approach was very against my usual
baiting pattern, but I went in with swords drawn, put out a very substantial
amount of bait and sat it out, and it paid off. Try locating hard patches, weed
beds, gravels bars, snags with a marker float and the fish won't be too far
off, especially if you put in a good amount of bait. Conceal your lines, be
patient and well prepared, and you're half way there already.
Beware Tench… I will be back!