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Season Update 650hrs - Darryn Stolworthy

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Season Update 650hrs - Darryn Stolworthy

It has been a while since I put the tench rods away. What a tough season it was on Bawburgh Lakes. Between the end of March and early July I did about 650hrs, mainly behind 3 rods, but occasionally getting the float rod out instead. I was a bit limited for time during the middle two weeks of May, so most of my fishing was either short evening or early morning sessions with the float rod. During two over-nighters, between work, I landed a total of zero fish!

The last week in May I had another week down the lakes. I nearly cancelled it because I thought maybe give it another fortnight and try then. But this particular week had been so good to me in the past, I just had to do it!

I started off on lodge lake, fishing a swim half way down, where I had seen fish a few days before. I didn’t do any marking up, because I’m quite familiar with this spot. The first day was a blank. I hadn’t gone mad baiting the granny out of it either. I was fishing mainly maggots with a feeder, only putting a couple of small Spombs of caster and hemp out every couple of hours.

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Nothing happened through the night and after I woke up at first light, I was pleased to see a number of fish rolling around my spot. But apart from the odd liner, still no takes. Then, at about 9.30, my right-hand rod was away. I soon had a male tench of about 6lb in the net. After a quick recast, I had just clipped the bobbin up on and the same rod, and it was away again. A few minutes later and I’ve got a female in the net, about the same size as the last fish. After about an hour of regularly casting the feeders, my middle rod tore off. This fish felt bigger and gave me a proper run around. Once in the net it looked big too, at 8lb 15oz. I was well pleased to be catching again, but that was it for the rest of the day.

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Quiet again through the night until about 9am, when I had two fish in 30 minutes, the best 7lb 12oz. Then nothing for the rest of the day. I didn’t see any fish that evening or the next morning. So, I fished up until 2pm and decided to move. I had a wander round the lake and had a look at the other two bigger lakes as well, but found nothing. I eventually dropped into a swim for the night which was near the van, in case I needed to move quickly in the morning.

Surprisingly nothing came my way. I spent most of the first few hours of the day looking for fish. The only thing I had to go on was finding some carp, so I moved into that swim about 100 yards from where I was originally. I didn’t get fishing until about 3pm, because I went home for a clean-up and to the shop to get fresh bait. That evening you wouldn’t have thought there was a fish in the lake, I saw nothing, not even a roach. However, the next morning I couldn’t believe my eyes, there were fish rolling everywhere! By 8am they were still rolling and I hadn’t had a beep! I thought blow it, I’m not sitting here watching you lot take the micky out of me, so I thought I’d get some shut eye for an hour or so. Nothing changes, shut your eyes and the right-hand rod is away! A nice 7lb female in the net. I never did get any sleep because the rest of that morning and early afternoon I had a further 6 tench. This included fish of 8lb 7oz and 8lb 1oz, plus a rogue Mirror Carp, estimated at about twenty pounds. That was all my time used up, so I had to pack up on feeding fish! I was really gutted, my only consolation being the fella who went in behind me blanked!

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I returned to the lakes the Friday night for a 24-hour social with Justin. The swim was free and the fish were still there. We managed just one each! Unreal, considering the amount of fish showing on the Saturday morning, but at least I was in good company.

I managed an overnighter on Colney the following week, arriving at the lakes around 6pm and decided on a swim I hadn’t really fished a great deal. I was up before 4am, despite having to work later. Rain had been promised by the Met Office. Well, the rain did come, but long after I’d packed up and gone to work. Another blank. I saw lots of fish near where I was fishing, but didn’t have enough time to catch any.

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I was due to go to a Tenchfisher fish-in at Sywell the following Friday, but I want to get back to Colney instead - where I’d fished that overnighter. So, Thursday night I’m back after work, having until Sunday afternoon. This was my last tench session of the spring. Friday morning came, after a quiet night. I put out a couple of Spombs of maggot and caster first thing and popped the kettle on. I noticed odd fish rolling near where my hook baits were. Soon after the kettle had boiled, my right-hand rod just tore off! After a good, hard fight, I had a rather large tench in the net, a really long, empty fish. But it was the best of the Spring season for me at 9lb 6oz. I took a few pictures and slipped her back. Lovely job I thought. Three more days to go and if this was anything to go by, I might just get a few images. Apart from a couple of 6lb male fish and another smaller one dropping off near the net, that was it. I did have a bit of fun on the Saturday afternoon with perch that were hitting fry in front of me. I had maybe a couple of dozen on free lined worm, to just over a pound.

That was it. For all my 650hrs, I managed 31 tench. But I loved every minute of it, chasing the fish all round the lakes. I can’t wait for next Spring when I’ll do it all over again!

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