First day on Shepperton South Lake

Steve Gray who runs All Things Piscatorial (“Your one stop coaching site”) is the manager of a syndicate on the South Lake at Shepperton Marina and had convinced me to join this season. After the way he showed me up when I took him pike fishing he should have let me join for nothing…

Anyway, today was the opening day of the new season on the lake and was to be the first time I had fished it. I met Steve at the lake with Nigel Botherway (also a syndicate member) and we had a chat about the lake. I would liked to have stayed and chatted longer as I know Nigel from his days at Heathrow and there were many stories to re-tell but I wanted to get fishing. I imitated a News of the World reporter and made my excuses and left.

The swim Steve had recommended was peg one and had a patch of lillies to the right and an overhanging tree on the left but I was surprised to find it was thirteen feet deep. I just managed to fish it with a 3AAA Drennan Tench waggler float rather than a sliding float. The stop knot would have caused problems passing through the small rod rings when casting with the centrepin reel I was using. I fed some hemp and trout pellet. I was trying some tinned hemp from BCUK that Dave from Oham Lakes had given me.

Active range hemp with B1 additive

It smelled good and was very oily but today was not the day for a fair trial. The wind picked up soon after I arrived and then switched direction to come from the North, it was very cold and we were soon shivering in its blast. More like February than “Flaming June”.

I had my fist bite after an hour but as is so often the case it came when I was talking to a passing angler and I missed it. How do they know when you’re not looking? You watch the float all day and it doesn’t even twitch but you pour a cup of tea or look up at a singing bird and when you look back you see your float comming back up.

Shortly afterwards my second bite produced a hard fighting male tench of about three pounds that justified my decision to use six pound mainline. It tried to reach the lillies and when I turned it it went for the overhanging tree.

First tench from south lake

It’s always good to “break your duck” on a new water on the first outing. I will be spending a lot of time at Shepperton Marina this summer – there are problems to be solved due to the depth and my lack of knowledge of this water but I’m sure that this venue has great potential and I’m very much looking forward to it.