Categories
Cameron Harris Sea

Only 2 of These Have Been Caught On This Boat!

So if you read my last blog know that been fishing with a close mate of mine who runs a charter boat, well today we left the rivers and went back to his prime, the sea! Whilst waiting for the punters to arrive we were talking and both know what to expect due to it being October we had the chance at literally anything! my expectations for this trip was NOT what it turned out to be. Upon arrival of the mark we dropped down baits, squid for me uptiding hoping for a late bass or hound, and ever so quickly i was blessed with a slack line bite i knew it was something proper, the tide was ripping and my mind was racing, big bass? hound? ray? blue shark?! When i finally managed to bully the big girl up in the water column Dan did a sterling job of netting her, hook was out in seconds and returned to live another day.

As expected whilst waiting for the tide to sort itself out it went pretty quiet, apart from a super interesting bite on a clients rod, no big head shakes, no line taken but a very interesting bite indeed. As he picked the rod up, an guided him and helped him with the best way to play the fish, the big net was put in hand and we were all on the edges of our seats. When it came up everyone was shocked, this was the first time id ever seen one of these, never mind hold it. It was a Dover sole! in ramsgate! Dans only had one of these on the boat before and a super rare catch for this area. Holding one was something to experience slimy like a snake and moves like one an interesting fish, a very interesting fish.

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A pretty fish non the less

A little bit later on the boat and i got another very heave bite, big rod tip movement, i kept watching it for 5 mins, id seen this bite before i knew what it was so i didn’t want to rush it, but as it just kept bobbing away instead of going solid i thought id just pick it up, as i struck into the fish and caught up with all the slack line i felt it… rod bent in double heavy shakes and a cruising fish, i knew this was a ray so instead of wearing myself out i just applied pressure and waited for it to glide up in the tide, finally netted and landed my first spiky rat since around march nice to get back on track just in time for winter. If you haven’t tried rays on light tackle i suggest it its super fun! i posted a video a couple months ago on it.

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This made a really fun video, apologies about the wind noise but if you’d like to know how to use your time wisely at this time of the year then give the video a watch there might be something for you to learn in there!

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Cameron Harris Lure River

Lures VS Dead baits!

So on this trip me and a mate decided to visit a small dyke very well known for its large perch and pike, well between me and a few mates its well known. I went with Dan Taylor a charter captain who fishes from Better Days in ramsgate marina. Hes recently got into the freshwater stuff which i think is brilliant, its always good to expand your knowledge and keep learning! Dans had some fantastic perch recently but you can tell hes fallen in love with pike more, and i cant blame him! i decided to take some dead baits so i could make a dead bait vs Lures video and its very easy to tell which was the better choice for this time of year! About 10 mins after setting my bait down i started to get takes unfortunately due to the clarity they were being a bit off and i forgot to add a weight!! so fair to say i deserved to miss that fish. about 20 yards down the river Dan had hooked up onto his first pike ever and on a lure! no better way! after wrestling with hooks, teeth and stinging nettles we finally managed to bank the slender pike, she was hungry!

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Not bad for a dyke fish!

After that fish it went quiet until we got to the area where Dan had his first, BANG fish on! weather this was the same fish or not who knows but this one was smart and managed to t-bar himself on the weeds and get off the hook, grr! As we sat patiently waiting for the next bite, Dan & I decided to take the lure rods give up on the bait and see if anything wanted to play, Dan cast a little paddle tail out and this pike came from under the weeds and smashed it, second fish, smaller but its another fish so who cares!

I blanked and today baits were 110% outfished by lures, was it luck or skill? lets call it luck 😉

Categories
Bailey Payne Coarse River

River Chelmer – A Successful evening Roaching

Today’s session is a quick after work trip down to the River Chelmer. Hoping to target some of the lovely Roach which reside in this stretch of River. I have personally caught them up to 2lbs, and heard of some 3’s.

The approach for my River Roach fishing is to keep things as simple as possible. For bait…Bread, blitzed bread to feed, breadflake on the hook.

In terms of tackle, a nice light quiver rod, in this case the 8ft Specalist Quiver, it has a lovely and soft 1oz tip, perfect for detecting the delicate bites from these Roach, Light line, 6lb in this case, down to a free running plastic cage feeder with less holes, its a deep river so I want my feed closer to the bottom. Then a quick change bead into a long (16inch) hook length with a size 16 hook.

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A city fishing scene

The session started quick, with rip round bites coming, but I could never connect to any of the bites, became frustrating, however knowing there were some fish feeding filled me with confidence that I would catch.

I plugged away, and made sure I kept holding the rod to react to the quick bites, and it paid off, hitting into the first Roach of the day, proving to be a nice one! The next few bites came quickly and the next two fish were also tidy Roach.

Sadly after the great triple start, the fish did soon slow down. And did get a bit smaller. However for a quick session after work for an hour. I was very happy with the fish I had caught. A few good size Roach, and for a first river roach session of the season, it made it even better, surely it can only get better!

Hope you guys enjoyed this quick after work blog! If you did, check out the video on it! Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel to see the videos sooner!

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Bailey Payne Lure River

Dropshot for Perch on the Chelmer: A Ruffe End!

Today’s blog is a bit of a wet session back down the River Chelmer, targeting Perch using the Dropshot technique. This time I had my dad with me again as he fancied a taste for some Perch. It really is great fun this type of fishing, a light rod (Fish Rig 180) and some worms!

We walked the usual bridges I like to fish, giving a range of chances of catching a lot of wasp size Perch, some chunkier ones, and if we are lucky maybe a Perch of the 1lb mark. Nothing huge, but great fun!

It wasn’t long until the first bridge provided a bite, while slowly working the worm back. It a felt a good size fish, however it came off at the net! Agonising way to start the day!

I preserved on, and it wasn’t long before I had another Perch!

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The day continued catching perch of this size, and smaller wasps pretty much constantly, a lot of action and great fun!

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These bridges become such holding grounds for Perch, with slight undercuts in them, where some chunky perch reside!

The best Perch of the day came at the furthest away bridge, so about halfway through our session, as we fished the bridges again on the way back!

It smashed the worm and put a fantastic bend in the rod, and put up a great fight, It was swiftly in the net though! And what a great fish it was, not the biggest Perch, but a lovely fish!

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Sadly we never had a Perch as big as this again this day, this bridge always seems to hold the slightly bigger Perch of this size, I feel like I have caught this same fish a few times now!

On the walk back we continued to catch more wasps and small yet chunky Perch. And on the last bridge before the car, we had a few worms left so decided just to try and use them, although this did become quite hard work, after a few perch they soon wise up!

However, I had a hit and struck, to what I initially though was nothing…yet it turned out to be something very special…

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A Ruffe!!!

This is the first ruffe I have ever caught, and there can’t be too many left in Essex or the River Chelmer, I was chuffed and it was a great way to end the day!

Hope you guys enjoyed this blog, if you did please watch the video of it below! If you could leave a like and a sub that would be amazing!

Categories
Bailey Payne River

Roach Fishing a Tiny River

Well today’s blog is a quick after work session down a local bit of river on a lovely sunny evening. I was fishing with bread/worm in hope for a few good Roach and maybe the odd surprise. I have learnt this bit of river holds some great roach for the size of river, but also some good dace and chub, and catching any of them would be a great bonus.

The first swim was a bit more of an open part of the River, with a nice reed bed in, casting just to the side of this towards a tree too, I was hoping for some quick action, and the action did come quickly! With the first bite and fish of the day being a lovely Rudd!

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Wasn’t complaining at all with this lovely fish, I thought I would have a few more chucks here, missing a few bites, but connecting to two good fish!

Two cracking roach from a tiny river! You won’t see many complain with this stamp of Roach!

Moving onto the next swim, a lovely over hanging tree swim, I was confident again of a few fish living here!

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And again, fish where straight on the bread flake, with another few nice Roach coming from this swim!

This little river is really getting a warm place in my heart for being reliable in throwing up some fish, and those of a good stamp too!

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The last swim fished is a lovely long overhanging tree going into the river, so have to be careful while casting here, although this is a swim I have even seen goldfish swimming around! So catching one of them would be great!

The bites continued into this swim with another 2 fish from here! The first being again…another lovely Roach!

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What quality fish from this little river!

The next bite took a tad longer, however on landing, I quickly noticed is was one of the resident good Dace which live in this stretch of the river!

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And that sadly was the end of my session, and what a little evening session it was. To go to a river after work for barely 2 hours, and catch these fish, I was chuffed!

Hope you guys enjoyed! Here is my video from this session to so you can see the action in real time! Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube!

Tight Lines all!

Categories
Bailey Payne River

Tiny River, Big Surprise!

I had a few hours spare one weekday evening, I decided to pick up my little River Ambush quiver rod and a tub of worms, with the plan of light ledgering some worm, and hopefully getting a bite on a tiny river nearby…

The River Crouch, this river had really suffered with pollution spike after pollution going right through Wickford, the fish population has really taken a hit, however most of the river is too shallow for most species to be anyway!

I headed down and chose quite a tempting looking swim with a very out of control growing tree! I had previously seen people fish here and catch a few.

As I was getting my bits together, I saw a fish swim past…orange? It was a bloody gold fish! Swimming around this tiny urban river! Something I will definitely have to go back and try to target, a river goldfish!

As I was sitting after my first cast…I saw…another goldfish! Orange and white this time! Clearly a few people have decided to abandon their pets in this little river! And they have really put on a bit of size!

Before I could watch too much, my tip was wobbling everywhere, and for the next 10 minutes or so, I proceeded to miss bite after bite!

Until I finally hooked into the fish! As it came up, it was an eel! Not sure how I seem to attracting so many eels, luckily for me, it spat the hook and I didn’t have to worry about unhooking it!

I tried a few other swims with no touches, until after almost an hour there, I managed to break the blank, with a tiny little Perch (Check out the vid below to see it!).

I then got greedy and went for the next fish, which is the main surprise of this blog, not the goldfish!

I went back to the first swim, and got gradual little taps, until the tip went round! And I finally hooked into a decent fish, as I netted it, I thought I had a lovely chublet!

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However, from looking at the fish, it appeared to be a rather incredible dace, for a river you can jump across in parts, and also won’t go over your shoes in parts! I was over the moon with this incredible fish! Probably my PB dace, from a very unlikely place! What. A. Fish.

Unfortunately, the rest of the session was quiet, if you wanted to check out the video for this session check it out here! And please subscribe if you want to see more content like this!

Tight Lines all…

Categories
Bob Dellar Coarse

The River Prince: An Encounter With A Wye Barbel


I don’t think there’s a more iconic and revered coarse fish than the barbel. A bold statement perhaps when you consider the hold that carp have over the fishing fraternity but you could argue that the sheer over exposure and ubiquitous nature of carp angling in the UK has diluted the enigma and mystery of the carp itself. I don’t think that’s the case with the barbel as yet, although there are nowadays many anglers involved in their pursuit. It may be that the barbel will be spared the decline into mundanity simply because of its habitat. Whereas many carp are stocked into manicured, man-made, tackle-shop-on-site, bacon-butty-delivered-to-your-swim fishing fun-parks, barbel inhabit fast-flowing wild rivers with gravel runs, streamer weed, razor-edged rocks to slice through you mainline and swims so precipitous you need a degree in mountaineering to even consider tackling them. Such was the case with the peg I’d chosen to fish on the river Wye near Hereford, during a recent trip there with my kayaking wife Cath and mountain goat of a dog Indy. 

This was my very first trip to the Wye and I have to tell you that it’s as impressive a river as I’ve ever seen, truly magnificent. Cutting its way through wooded, high-sided valleys and gently rolling farmland it’s a river that shouts barbel in every snaking meander, eddying slack and bubbling gravel run. Or so I thought. That first evening’s fishing produced four chub to 4lb on feeder-fished 8mm pellets. I was perched on a muddy ledge with barely enough room for my bony arse and a rod-rest. My landing net had to be fully extended to even touch the water. At the top of the back on a sun-kissed, grassy plateau sat my wife and dog, enjoying a picnic and totally indifferent to my precarious teetering. I had to sit to cast and to land fish as I darn’t move too much. Maybe it was just as well I didn’t hook a barbel as it probably would have pulled me in.

Nonetheless, four wide-mouthed, brassy-backed chub were a treat to behold and one of them pulled so hard I thought it was a barbel! 

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A nice Wye chub from a very steep peg!

That afternoon I’d bought a day ticket for some local stretches of the Wye from the famous Woody’s Tackle Shop in Hereford and Woody himself told me that a second spawning period had made the barbel lay-low over recent days. Not the news I wanted to hear. This was verified by the numerous anglers I met in and around the caravan park we were staying in. They’d been catching lots of chub, very few barbel. “Bollocks! I thought, trust me to book a fishing holiday during bonking barbel week.” Saying that, the odd one or two had been showing so I wasn’t too downhearted, and the Wye is so spectacular it was enough just to sit by it and marvel.

One early morning, while my wife kayaked her way up and down a mist shrouded river, I settled myself on a rocky spit built for salmon anglers. Here, the river raced over a shallow gravel run flanked on the near side by a deeper, slower “crease” that was crying out for a cast. On the way down to the peg, I slipped the last six foot on my arse, nearly snapping my rod tip in the process. Indy my sure-footed dog just sat and watched me floundering around, offering no help whatsoever. 

Eventually, and after some baiting up, I made my first cast, sat back and waited…and waited. I continued to trickle pellets in to try and draw the fish up but nothing happened until the sun had burnt the mist away and dog walkers began to appear on the footpath above me. Two pristine chub to 4lb in quick succession, then mild sun stroke. By late morning the sun was strong enough to make the stony spit hot to touch and the dog seek refuge in the cool, shady shallows. Time to adjourn to the caravan for a cold one.

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The salmon angler’s swim

That evening, after paying the wife off with the promise of a slap-up restaurant meal, I’d coaxed my way into another likely looking swim that boasted a small, pebbly beach and a gently sloping bank that didn’t require crampons to tackle.

The opposite bank was replete with a wall of huge willows that cascaded over the river.  At some point, a massive limb had crashed into the water creating a gently eddying pool that looked promising. There was also one of those hospitable creases closer to the near bank that was also worth investigating, so I had a couple of options. For the first twenty minutes or so I fed both swims with 12mm and 8mm pellets. Then I sent a feeder over to the far bank. Despite fish showing with reckless abandon, the far bank produced not a single twitch. So I tried the near bank crease and straight away caught a small chub, followed by a bigger fish of about 3.5lb, then nothing for an hour as dark descended and pellet supply dwindled.

What followed was one of those events that never happens to you but happens a lot to other anglers you read about. The classic “one last cast” and “I’d packed everything away apart from the rod and landing net” scenario. Because that’s how it played out as the sun set fiery-red behind the willows. I engaged the bait runner and got up to delve around in my rucksack for a head torch. Like a woman’s handbag, finding anything in there is a major operation. Cursing softly as I delved fruitlessly around, I noticed a sudden movement out the corner of my eye and turned to witness my 1.75lb test curve rod bent double and twitching furiously. Then the rasping whizz as line tore from the bait runner. I couldn’t take it in for a second, an actual wrap-around bite, that mythical phenomenon so synonymous with barbel. I grabbed the rod and immediately the fish thundered downstream, ably assisted by the strong current. Its power was breathtaking and it took line in shuddering jolts and surges for a heart-stopping spell, but eventually I began to gain line and soon had a golden torpedo resting in the net. It wasn’t a big fish, maybe five or six pounds but my God what a fight! I took a quick, poor quality photo and had it back in the river resting again until it kicked away, back out into the now dark-silvered, rippling Wye, a river that had delivered my first barbel for over a decade, and a river that I will return to, because once fished, never forgotten.

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My very first hard fighting Wye barbel.
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A conversation explaining the difference between dog treats and halibut pellets.

Categories
Bailey Payne Coarse

Chigboro Fisheries – Tench Fishing

This was a bit of a special session, not really for any of the Fish caught, however, myself, Joe and Tom, the first people I brought into Essex Anglers, went down to Chigboro, a venue which has big carp, bream and tench, so something for everyone, to celebrate a year since Essex Anglers was started! (24th June) – Before we get into the nitty gritty of the fishing, a huge thank you to all of our loyal readers, it’s great to know a few people are enjoying these, and heres to another year!

Tom and Joe arrived at the venue about an hour or two before myself. And initially say on Heybridge Mere, a lake rumoured to have a few more Tench in. When I arrived nothing had been caught yet, so looked like a hard day. I setup with worm krill groundbait in a hybrid feeder and corn/small boilles on the hook. I was hoping for the Tench or Bream.

After a few chucks on the first lake, and the amount of weed being pulled back, we soon all realised feeder fishing here was probably going to be to no avail.

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We soon just took the pegs behind us on the main lake, where there was a hell of lot less weed. And started working on the swims.

We were behind a big island, which had a slight cove into it, I was in the middle of the cove and just cast into the middle of the cove, my hope was with constant accurate casting, I may be able to draw a few fish in.

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I was recasting with a full small hybrid feeder ever 5-10 minutes, and done a fairly good job at hitting the same area. The slight worry was, the lack of notifications I was getting.

Eventually, without warning, the tip bent round, fairly slowly, looked like a classic bream bite, and pulling into the fish, it came back fairly docile, fully creating the picture of a big bream on the end. However, it clearly woke up as it close in, seeing the margin snacks, and turned into a Tench!

He really put up a big fight when he got into the margin, and I had to be smart to keep him out the snags, quickly getting his head up, the net was straight under him.

Not a huge Tench, however a good few pound, it was nice to be off the mark.

I got back to my casting, and kept the same rate as it brought the first bite. and the next hour went by fairly quickly with no more signs of live, apart from a few fish topping.

I took the quiet time, to have a look on my phone, and some social media, and of course, as fishermen, we all know, thats when you get a bite!

The tip ripped round, with the rod heading lake bound! I grabbed the rod and struck, and the Fish steamed off, at first, I was worried I had hooked into a big carp, and was prepared for a long fight, however, I got the fish turned and really got the line back and got him up, to see a nice sizable Tench!

He still had a bit of fight left, but he was soon in my net! And what a beautiful male Tench he was, certinaly looked bigger than his size weighing in at 4lb!

Unfortunately, this was most of the action for all of us on our anniversary fish! With Tom managed a small Rudd, and Joe losing a good mirror by the net!

However, I do feel a good reason why it was so hard, is on a thursday, the lake was packed, and had a lot of Carpers spodding a lot of bait in. I can’t imagine that amount of pressure on a lake would mean for good fishing.

You do get a lot of the typical day ticket carpers on there too, as in the swim next to me, I had a bit of a drifting cast, and through the day his casting and spodding got gradually closer to me. Which of course, is fairly annoying, as I feel it ruined the careful casting I had been doing throughout the day. However, it is a common occourance on big carp day ticket venues.

I will definetly be back at Chigboro in the future, as I certinaly want a few more Tench, and hopefully some of the big bream which live there!

Tight Lines all, and thanks again for your committed reading!

Categories
Bailey Payne Lure River

Dropshot for Perch: Creature Lures & Worms!

Something different from me today, I go to try and get the grasps of lure/dropshot fishing for Perch. I have previously tried, and failed, although so far only have 2 lure caught fish to my name, a Pike and a Trout. So I’m not the most confident when it comes to lure fishing and the Perch has evaded me so far.

I was hoping to christen my Rigged & Ready Fish Rig 180 a super light rod ideal for Dropshot and lure fishing for Perch. This time, my dad decided to come along and give Dropshot for a few perch a go too. We headed down to the River Chelmer, a river with an abundance of Perch, or we were hoping for anyway! We focused on fishing structures where we thought likely for the Perch to be, bridges etc etc.

I started the day using a FFS INBE Creature Lure in Get Bit colour, really hoping I would get my first Lure Caught perch! The lure is only small, so it gave me a lot of confidence the little wasps would go for it. At the first bridge, the water was crystal clear and we could see a lot of Perch darting around, although a lot where close in just staring at where the wall met the water, possibly after larvae?

The first cast saw instant attraction, with a group of Perch following the lure through the water as I jigged it. However none of them seemed to keen? Maybe I had to tweak retrieve to spark interest? (If anyone can comment or message me tips It would be greatly appreciated as I am still learning this technique!) I went for quick bursts which seemed to really get the perch chasing the lure, a quick burst, then stop, drag, quick and repeat…BANG! First Perch had grabbed the lure! And was quickly lifted in!

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My first lure caught Perch!

I was chuffed to get my first lure caught Perch! A lovely little wasp! This bridge struggled to provide much else for us, so we wandered down to the next, where again it wasn’t long before I managed to get another on the same Lure!

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I started to struggle to keep enticing these Perch to take, so swapped over to using worms on the dropshot for the rest of the day, which certinaily gave me more fish, clearly it was a worm day, however the Perch still seemd pre-occupied (Any thoughts maybe?).

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A lovely little wasp by the Rigged & Ready Fish Rig 180.

The Perch were coming quite quickly for us through most of the day, and we caught a lot of the smaller wasps just on sight fishing, which is great fun watching the Perch suck in the worm and lure! My dad managed a few Perch too, and even a little Pike which put up a good fight!

The best Perch of the day came as the water started to colour up, preharps the more coloured water on the upper chelmer starting to come through, or just the sheer amount of boats that had been going past us?

The best Perch came from the middle of the River under a bridge, and was on the retrieve, still on Dropshot and Worm. And put up a great scrap!

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The best Perch of the day!

On our wanders up and down this lovely bit of River, we did also stumble across a rather large grass snake, which I couldn’t leave out of my blog!

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Grass Snake

All in all, a good day, and really helped me build confidence on the Dropshot, hope to go out on the jig and catch a few more soon! Really got the bug of this type of fishing! I’ve always loved a Perch too!

Until next time, Tight Lines All…

Rigged & Ready Fish Rig 180: (If you interested in getting anything from Rigged & Ready use the following code for 10% off! ESSEX A+R&R)

FFS Lures INBE:

https://www.ffslures.com/product-page/inbe

I highly suggest checking both of these out! Tom @ FFS Lures is a great help and will take the time to answer questions and help you find what you need to get you catching!

Categories
Bailey Payne Coarse

Sunshine Tench

Well, we have finally had weather with some resemblance of Summer! It’s been a long time coming and from cold it’s seemed to have gone straight to hot! And clearly the fish have noticed this change to, with mass spawning taking place.

I headed back to Parsonage Farm Fishery, in hopes for maybe a few Tench. Same method as usual, a little hybrid feeder on my trusty quiver and Tincaberry groundbait, a good mix, and hopefully with the heat the Tench would fancy some berry flavoured goods!

Within 30 minutes of baiting up and fishing, the tip had smashed round, and a very un climaxing fight began, with the Tench almost giving up with barely any fight. However great to get off the mark!

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A Lovely Tench!

This beauty weighed in at around 3lb. With sadly a bit of damage to its upper lip, it was swiftly returned.

Unfortunately, the next few hours just provided constant line bites, never developing into anything. It’s always frustrating to see the rod tip moving so much but to no avail.

I opted for a change of tactic, others on the lake seemed to be catching well on float. So I quickly put the only float I had on! And hoped for some more Tench.

Using just corn on the hook, and casting just past the first ledge a few metres out. Similar to where other Tench where being caught, I was hopeful. Although I saw what seemed to be millions of Rudd buzzing around in my swim!

Providing a challenge to get past them, however catching these beautiful small fish really made time go by quickly, and it’s not long before you lose count!

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I possibly forgot about Tench fishing while catching these scale perfect little fish one a chuck, and really just forgot about taking photos. Sometimes it can be such a joy just to constantly catch like this. no matter the size of the fish. Especially sitting in the sun, catching one a chuck proved to be a great way to spend a day.

Before I knew it, my alarm went off and it was time to head home!

Tight Lines all…