Start of my tench season

I had a day on the Old Lake at Bury Hill as the start of my tench fishing season. Unfortunately the weather has not been kind and the tench have not quite got into full swing. I did manage one tench at seven pounds but was plagued with tiny bites all day.

7lb tench at Bury Hill

On this water (which has a good head of carp and some big tench) it does not pay to fish too light. I like to fish with a centrepin reel wherever possible and on this occasion had coupled a 3 3/4 inch JW Youngs Purist with a stepped up Harrison float rod, 6lb main line and a five pounds hook length. Just before dusk I switched to the lift method with half a lobworm and hit the first lift of the float.

I thought I had hooked a small common carp and leaned over the edge of the fishing platform to unhook it in the water. I was soon grasping for the landing net when I saw it was the biggest crucian carp I have ever seen. It weighed three pounds fourteen ounces, just eight ounces short of the British record.

3lb 14oz crucian carp

To satisfy the doubters I took several photos from different angles to show all the fins and the mouth. Eric, one of the bailiffs, arrived and identified it as one of the original stocking of true crucians. Photos were sent to the Anglers Mail who failed to publish it as it wasn’t a fat twenty pounds mirror (a much lesser specimen) that they seem to favour.