Last season Teowen povided (for me) some of the best tench fishing ever but whilst numbers were higher the larger fish caught in the previous two years were not caught last season. Some fish dispalyed scars from old injuries and a recent outbreak of red spots on many tench made it easy to identify individual fish. I caught several individuals during each session and some two or even three times on a single visit, and some less frequently. There were two or three skinny emaciated tench with large heads. Perhaps they were ravenous and less cautious, but they still pulled hard. These were probably old larger female fish in their last year but they were caught regularly by me, and on a couple of occasions, once within ten minutes. All this showed me that there are less tench in the large lake than I previously thought and we catch the same fish far more often. It also proved that these fish forget quickly, are far less cautious about disturbance and tackle than I previously gave them credit for. They can be caught a few feet from the bank and within minutes using a weed rake. Fine tackle is not necessary which is a distinct advantage in keeping a fish out of the weed beds.
The changes we made to our by-laws restricting the number of rods used and limiting fishing at Treown to full members only, has certainly been successful and almost totally eliminated mouth injuries found in Treowen tench in 2019. As for relaxing the one rod rule, when I ocasionaly used two rods in the past I don’t think it produced that many more fish but on the occasions the when two fish were hooked at once the problems outweighed and advantage. Sometimes I have one rod set up for a float and another for a ledgering but only use one at a time. The swims are too small. It does however save time when changing the tackle on one rod, Often we would like to target tench on one rod whilst fishing for larger perch on the other so there might be a reason to relax this rule. I love to float fish but weed is frequently a problem suspending the bait off the bottom. Most of the time legdering with a very short hook link gives a better presentation with the bait on or very near the bottom. However, somehow I don’t get the same pleasure when catching fish on a ledger rig.
As soon as we have the first frosts the water temperatures drops below 8 or 9 degrees and in late October/ November the Treowen tench go off the feed and soon it is difficult to get a bite even from the rudd. Roach are renowned for feeding at very low temperatures in some places yet fail to show for me in these lakes at this time of the year. Brick Kiln Lake is always coloured by carp stirring up the silt during the warmer months but in winter it becomes clear and the lake bed can be seen in all but the deeper areas. This is a good time to see where the deepest water lies.
I will not fish Treowen again until March but if anyone finds a way to tempt some fish please let us know here.
We were due to remove the fallen oak tree branches from the top end of the lake but lockdown and travel restrictions have prevented us from doing this.
Keep warm and safe. Mornings are visibly getting lighter earlier now and we will soon be fishing at Treowen again.