Never afraid to put in the miles in search of big fish, Paul spent longer driving to and from the lake than he did fishing!
"Last season I totally missed out on tench fishing thanks to moving house, so this year I have been determined to get back on the tinca trail,” he revealed. “I only had a couple of weeks before the tench spawned I knew it was now or never if I wanted a big fish. With just a morning free to fish I made the three hour drive down to the lake late evening and got set up for a dawn start.
"With most of the fish showing at sixty yards range I cast one rod out along this patrol route and fished the other rod in the margins. It was the longer rod that roared off after a couple of hours and after a tense battle a rather tubby tench slid into the landing net. On the scales she registered a very pleasing 11lb 1oz."
Pineapple Crush flavoured grubs
Paul used his favourite 10ft 2.25 lb Scope rods with BP-4 reels loaded with 10 lb Hardcore mono. Size 10 hooks were baited with four Pineapple Crush flavoured maggots fished in a Webcast Ultraweave PVA bag of grubs mounted helicopter style using the neat Quick Change Chod Beads.
Tony's in on the tench action too
Meanwhile, fellow Nash backed specialist Tony Gibson has also been hauling at 90 acre Fen Drayton in Cambridgeshire, including a 9 lb 3 oz male tench and following it up with a superb brace of 14 lb bream the next session.
Tony’s green giant came early morning after the first night of a 72 hour trip: “Because of the weed in many of the swims that I searched for clean or clearer areas with a couple of false casts on each rod and stuck to fishing at reasonably short range,” explained Tony who used PVA sticks from the new Webcast on short hooklinks to bury the point of the hook and ensure good presentation.
“The bite was a couple of warning bleeps on the alarm, then a slight pause before it took off. It felt like a decent fish from the start, but only seemed to wake up by the net with lots of the powerful juddering typical of a good male. From memory it’s the second largest male tench I've ever caught.”
Snails on size 8 Twisters
Snails hair rigged on size 8 Twisters brought success the following trip, with Tony bagging a surprise Fen carp in the shape of a 27 lb 2 oz mirror along with his brace of 14 lb bream.
“I'd introduced some bait into this particular swim on two previous visits to the venue and was pleased to see two distinct clear patches where I could fish two separate hookbaits, one close in and one at about 35 yards,” he explained.
Late night paddle for a carp
“The first bite came around midnight on the first night from the 35 yard spot, a fantastic gnarly, old-looking, male bream weighing exactly 14 lb. Within the hour I was away again, clearly a carp gave me a bit of a run-around and I needed to take a late night paddle to net it after it got stuck on a trailing willow branch,” revealed Tony who used 12 lb NXT D-Cam and 15 lb Weed Combilink traces for security.
“It wasn't until dawn after the third night that there were any further signs in my swim and after another typical bream bite a second bream was landed without any drama - quite a contrast to the first fish, a lovely bronze fish that looked to be a female and weighed 14 lb 3 oz.”