Treowen, Tench Lake.
If the Brick Kiln lake deserves being called “The Carp Lake” then Treowen’s large lake should be known as “The Tench Lake”.
Each year the tench fishing gets better but it’s never simple or predictable.
This lake always seems to be a bit of a late starter but once it gets going, it goes on producing tench until autumn.
There seems to be no certain way of catching them from here. One day they can be caught on a boilly, but not any old boilly. Next day on bread flake, and then on corn or maggot. They have even been caught on a king prawn intended to lure a large perch. But the most consistent baits seem to be maggot or corn in three feet of water on the drop off, but it is essential to get your bain down to the bottom and past the small rudd fast.
When float fishing this means using a float that will take at least 3 x AA shot near the bottom and having as little hook length on the bed as possible. As I said it is essentiol to fish the slopeing drop off but when fishing further out or nearer in it means adjusting the float accordingly. When starting, I use a plumet and make a mental note of the float position relative to guide rings on my rod with the hook held level with the but. I do this for the furthest out position and the nearest. The slope being uniform it is easy to set the float for intermediate places. After a few visits and using the same rod, I no longer have to use a plumet at all.
Although I sometimes use a leger set up. This is when when I want to fish for rudd or perch on another, lighter and more suited rod. My pin ratchet then acts as a bite alarm.
Centre pin reels usually have a loud ratchet so noisy in the still of a spring or summer morning that it can be heard all over the lake. I hate to hear this so the pins I use for still water fishing have the ratchet spring backed off too almost not engaging at all or the spring weekened to give the same effect. This makes them much quieter and requiring less forcre bu a fish to turn the reel drum through the ratchet. I dont know why even the most expensive models dont have some sort of ratchet adjustment buit in. But that is another matter.
Anyway on a still water a very weak ratchet will stop the drum turning due to wind pressure and this is all that is necessary.
It is seldom or never necessary to fish for tench at a distance and this suits me because I just love to use one of my centre pin reels. I use them where ever and when ever I can in preference to a fixed spool reel. Even when legering.
Casting is more accurate and even quicher with a pin. Simple small adjustments to the slack line are so much easier and carried out with the thumb of my right hand. Similarly controlling a tench when it is set on reaching the weed or bolting for open water is so much easier with a just a bit of thunb pressuse on the rim of the reel and the amount of pressure to do so can be so easily controlled. Except for recovering line it is a one handed job with perfect control all the way. Such levels of control are just not possible with a fixed spool reel. Also I have a much greater feeling of the fish without a slipping clutch and a gear box in between me and the line.
Some days they are fizzing bubbles all over the lake but cannot be caught on anything. Other times a bait dropped into the centre of the bubbles brings an immediate response from the bubble blower. More often than not, when you catch a Treowen tench, there are is no bubble activity at all.
Most times, when hooked, your fish’s behaviour will panic all the others and you will wait ages for your next bite then sometimes they will fall one after another in complete oblivion as to what is going on top-side.
One day the tench will fed during the day, then another day they will only feed late in the evening. Sometimes not at all, specially in bright sunny weather. There is no rhyme or reason why their gastronomic behaviour should be so diverse. Except of course, they are tench.