Time For Tench - Phil Spinks

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Once the spring weather warms up slightly, normally around the beginning of May, I turn my thoughts to tench fishing. It’s a style of fishing I really enjoy. Location can be extremely important and, how ever big the water is, most the tench fishing can be dominated by very few productive areas.

Once these hotspots have been discovered it’s a case of building up the swim with regular baiting via spodding and recasting the feeders. When the tench turn up and the bites come it’s very satisfying indeed.

I've managed a fairly productive trip recently, fishing a 12 acre gravel pit that I've been tench fishing on and off for the last three springs. Never have I fished such a moody lake, tench-wise. The tench can be very uncooperative at times, wanting just the balance of free offerings.

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It can be a mad rush getting to the pit after work and I choose to fish overnight mainly so I'm set up in what I feel is the right swim for first light. Most tench anglers will know that dawn is bite time.

Unusually, on my first trip this spring, by first light I had caught three tench already, with the best fish being 7lb 8oz. After each bite I dropped a single spod of casters and hemp onto the spot over the rig. The rigs were inline maggot feeders, my choice being the Korum grub feeders in 60grams with short 8lb fluorocarbon hooklinks baited with four red maggots on a size 12 hook. The stiffness of the fluorocarbon helps prevent the maggots crawling back into the feeder – a surprising problem on braided hooklinks.

I knew, thanks to the weather forecast, that I might have only had a small bite time window during the first couple of hours of the morning. Clear blue skies and bright sunshine can be the kiss of death for bites!

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Four more tench, including a very hard fighting 8lb 12oz male, came my way by 10am and I was on the way home by midday, feeling pleased with myself that I had caught seven tench on my first visit! I was particularly happy bearing in mind last spring on the same water I only managed one bite in around 4-5 trips, that being a 20lb+ carp.

I'm looking forward to my next visit hopefully this week, as I know a handful of double figure fish will be swimming around somewhere!

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