Spring Tench Assault - Dean Macey

“Tench are one of my favourite species. I love the way they fight, I love the way they look and most importantly, I love the way you fish for them. I'm not taking about the traditional lift method next to a set of lilies, with the mist slowly rising as the sun pokes its head above the trees, oh no, I'm talking about three rods on Delkims and maggot feeders recast every 45 minutes over a spod mix of hemp, mixed pellet and caster. I do love watching a float sail away, but not on big gravel pits where bites can be few and far between. And on my first session of the spring, bites were definitely few and far between!

I arrived at Linear Fisheries in Oxford just in time for a significant drop in temperature, which is far from ideal. I was also faced with a very limited choice of swims on every lake a drove to. That said, there is so much to go at on Linear that there are always a few fish to be found somewhere, you just have to put in a little leg work at the start. Once I had found a lake and an area I was happy with I went about setting everything up as fast as possible, in the hope that by the time the forecast storm had arrived, I would be angling.

Fifteen balls of Mainline Activated Hemp Mix was loaded with dead maggots, caster, Hinders Hemp and Little Gemz pellets then balled in to kick-start the trip. Rig wise I used my adapted inline feeders with 12 inches of Dark Matter tubing, four inches of 9lb N-Gauge and a size-12 MWG B, loaded with two rubber maggots on the hair. I religiously cast my customised maggot feeders every hours in the hope of some action but the first evening drew to a close without a touch. First thing the next morning, as the rain battered my Trakker Camen Pro, I forced myself out of the warm sleeping bag to freshen the feeders up with new maggots and start the process all over again.

I saw nothing show until late morning and as soon as they started showing I had two bites within an hour and then they shut up shop again. That said, a mid-five-pound male and a 7lb 15oz female is still a reasonable result in chilly conditions. I stayed on for one more day and the exact same pattern emerged with an upper six pounder and a 7lb 7oz beauty to show for my efforts. It was by no means a memorable session, but one in which I had to work bloody hard for the two fish. I’ll be back as soon as I get some free time and I'm sure they will oblige that little bit more next time.”