It occurred to me that I hadn’t caught or focused on Tench for ages and decided to plan some classic Tench lake fishing in the warmer months. With some lovely weather forecast I managed to schedule a day at Charlton Towers – a day ticket Tench lake near Selby in Yorkshire.
This venue was proposed to me by Improve Your Coarse Fishing magazine who asked if they could shoot a feature for the magazine. The aim of the feature was to catch Tench on traditional float tactics – a perfect opportunity to get my fix!
The Tench lake at Charlton Towers is about 1.5 acres and contains some beautiful Tench up to 7lb in weight. It looks every bit like a classic Tench lake – reed lined with a silt bottom and lots of margin features like lily beds and overhanging trees.
With this in mind I selected a peg that was set back in some thick reed beds – it looked perfect for catching close in next to this marginal cover.
I set up two of my Shakespeare Agility EXP float rods up, one with a 3AA straight waggler, the other with a lighter 2BB dart.
I wanted to fish some bigger baits like corn or worm on the heavier float and fish it with a float ledger rig next to the reeds. The other rig was for fishing about 15m out with a bit more finesse and smaller maggot hook baits. Mainline on both was 4lb Trilene XT with a 0.16mm MACH XT hooklength.
I started by lose feeding maggots lightly but frequently on the longer line and set a few traps in the margins with corn and chopped worm. I had my first bite and hooked my first Tench after about an hour on the longer line.
Then I remembered something, how strong Tench fight! The fish was about 4lb in weight and it fought hard, finally managing to bury its self in the reeds. I could see the fish and by keeping pressure on it I managed to finally land it. I had to ‘go in’ standing in the margins up to my knees in order to get close enough to net. This amused Ian the cameraman greatly and was a bit embarrassing but at least I had a fish!
I decided to increase the size of the hook from a size 18 to 14 to try and give myself a better of a chance landing any more Tench a bit more easily. It worked and I caught a further 4 nice Tench up to 4lb on this line without having to get wet. Unfortunately the closer margin line didn’t work on this occasion, maybe due to all the disturbance but probably more because the fish where finicky and seemed to want to stay in the slightly deeper water.
I believe this lake is rather unique nowadays. It offers prolific Tench sport in comfortable and tranquil surroundings.
James Robbins’ key tips for Tench on the float: http://youtu.be/4UZ2m0PUiQ4