Justin Grapes Spring Sessions Part 2

The next weekend was the Tenchfishers fish-in at Bawburgh lakes so I had booked off a couple of days the next week to make it into a long weekend - to say I was looking forward to it was an understatement.

The Friday evening came around and I was on my way to the lakes again to see where I could fit in around the Tenchfishers guests. On arrival there wasn’t much available which I was expecting so after a quick catch up with Darryn and Tony I opted for a swim I’d not fished before but there had been a few fish seen rolling in that area that morning so I thought I’d give it a go. After finding a spot close in I settled down for the night and thought about what the morning would bring.

I was up at first light again watching the water for rolling fish or signs of feeding fish, but frustratingly they were where I couldn’t get to them so after a couple of hours I was packing up and I was on the move again. I had spoken to Darryn and he was in the same predicament and was moving also. I got a call back in the middle of packing up from Darryn saying he had moved and had caught a 9lb’er already and I should move into the bay as well as there was lots of fish showing, so I quickly packed away and got around there.

By the time I got around there, there was only a couple of hours until the start of the Tenchfishers BBQ , it looked like there was a few fish feeding in the swim so I just cast the rods out to see if I could nick a bite before the BBQ. I had a couple of line bites which made me think there was a few fish about so just before I went to the BBQ I reeled in and clipped up at a distance which felt nice and smooth and then put about 10 large spombs on that spot in hope they would be in there once I returned to the swim.

Sure enough after a brilliant BBQ and raffle which was a massive success, I got back to the swim and the fish were definitely there as after only a few minutes I had a bite which I missed, but on the next cast the rod was away again but this time I didn’t miss it and a lovely big 8lb+ tench was in the net and then just after another 8lb tench was in the net, things were starting to click .

With the fish still rolling and I was still getting line bites I put out some more bait to try and keep them there. Unfortunately, it went quiet for a few hours but I stayed awake till about midnight as I was confident of more bites and just as I was getting into my sleeping bag one of the rods was away and another tench was landed. I had an eel shortly after that so left it in until first light. Just before first light I was away again and another hard fighting tench was landed, things were going well. With first light I was up and about getting the rods out, so many other times in the past the fish can move on as quick as they turn up and this morning they had vacated the swim. I gave it a few hours to see if they came back as this bay warms up quickly and by now the sun was up and the temperature was rising, by lunchtime things hadn’t improved so I was thinking of a move again.

After saying goodbye to the leaving Tenchfishers I went for a look about. After a good look about I came up with a swim that throws up the odd big fish through the spring and over the weekend there had been a few fish out along that bank. I set up but only put the bare essentials in the swim so if nothing was going on then I could be off first thing in the morning. I found a nice spot on the back of a bar with some eel grass to the right of the spot and put a bit of bait on it but only enough for a bite, after about an hour of being there I was away with a nice 7lb+ male tench.

After an early fish I was hopeful of some action in the morning, but tench don’t normally play by the rules and after seeing a couple of fish show near the spot at first light it went dead and with that I started to pack things down for a move.

Darryn who was fishing just around from me was on some fish and catching a few so I popped around for a chat. He said he had seen lots of fish showing in an area he wasn’t fishing and told me to drop in beside him. So I thought bugger it, at least it will be a laugh watching Darryn fish, there’s always some tomfoolery going on and he didn’t disappoint.

Anyway, back to the fishing, it was dinner time by now, I put a bit of bait in and cast the rods out for a couple of hours before I went home for a shower. When I got back I had a bite and connected into a fish and after a short battle a lovely 8lb 9oz tench was in the net and it was a male tench as well which is a PB for me which was a bonus, after a few pics I slid the impressive looking beast back to fight another day.

Not long after that I had another bite and another modest tench hit the back cord. Nothing else happened until the early hours where I had that unmistakable bite from an eel, after wrestling with it to get the hook out she was safely released to no doubt grow bigger.

On getting up at first light again , there was a good number of fish showing and they were showing everywhere this morning, at 6 am I had my first bite of the day and it felt like a big fish but half way in it picked up my left hand rod and in the middle of the knot one pearl one it got into a snag and eventually the line got cut off - I was a little gutted to say the least. I don’t like losing any fish but especially on this lake when it could be a fish of a lifetime, but that’s fishing.

Nothing much else happened that morning until lunch time when out of the blue I had a bite and again it felt like a good fish . This time I was a little more careful to steer it away from the snags, thankfully it went safely into the net, and it did look a good fish . After unhooking her, I put her on the scales and she weighed 9lb on the nose Happy days. I say it every time that an 8lb tench is a massive fish so a 9lb’er is huge! I think we get very blasé on the size of tench on Bawburgh as the average size is so good.

That was the last of the action so I ended up packing up early and reluctantly went home as it was going to be a couple of weeks before I could get back to the bank. I did get a day off after 11 days but I was so knackered that I didn’t even feel like fishing, it was 7 days after that till I even sorted out a day trip.

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