Who am I?

An individual, of no great importance, who is unable to see the natural world as a place for competition. I catch fish, watch birds, derive immense pleasure from simply looking at butterflies, moths, bumble-bees, etc - without the need for rules! I am Dylan and this is my blog - if my opinions offend? Don't bother logging on again - simple!


Monday 6 July 2015

A wet net

I'd every intention to get back to the river, this evening, but a call from Benno, who was lure fishing with Luke and Chris, in Canterbury, warned me of some up-stream weed cutting and the resultant debris that was flowing downstream. A good enough excuse, if one were needed, to resort to my plan C - tench fishing on the East Kent Marshes.

My bait was already prepared and stored in the garden (my) freezer; left over from my recent trip down to the river. All it required was to remove it and allow to defrost - not a problem in the current conditions! I left home around 17.30 hrs but, due to access restrictions, did not arrive at my chosen swim much before 19.00 hrs - that's some walk. The drain hasn't seen any angling activity, which was obvious by the luxuriant bankside vegetation. Lily pads and extensive aquatic weed beds, in crystal clear water, made it a very picturesque scene, although finding and preparing a swim was a little problematic.

I eventually settled on a swim, casting a small lead around to establish the condition of the bottom and the extent of the weed growth. Once done, I proceeded to go through the routine of introducing my "munger" which consisted of nothing more than hemp and sweetcorn! Two Duncan Kay's, fitted out with Mitchell 300's were assembled and baits cast out onto my spots. Curried chick peas on the left hand rod, a neutral buoyancy 14 mm halibut pellet/flouro pop-up combi on the right. I've purchased some new buzzer bars, my aging Gardner ones being well past their sell-by date. I set about getting a few shots of my gear, but got distracted by several small patches of bubbles appearing over my baited areas. Some time after 20.00 hrs I was on the phone to Benno, talking about this and that when the left hand alarm screamed into action as the indicator smashed up to the rod. "I'm in - ring you back in a minute!" as I threw my phone down and grabbed the rod. The fish went nuts, careering through lily-pads, the line cutting through the stems of these wild plants, like cheese wire. It took three attempts to get the fish into my waiting net - wrong choice? A stunning Common Carp which tipped the scales at 18 lbs 2 oz! It had probably never seen a hook, it was absolutely pristine, beautifully dark, almost like it had been carved out of wood - a sensational creature. I did my best to get a record shot, but failed to do the fish true justice, my auto focus isn't much cop on timer delay.

A stunning fish which has probably never seen a hook before?
Just a little disappointed that my photos don't do the carp full justice - it was immaculate.
I continued to fish through to 23.30 hrs with just one more bite, this time on the pellet. A nice slow lift on the indicator, my strike being met by firm resistance - a sodding eel of 3 lbs 6 oz being my reward. I have to admit that it was quite an impressive creature and I did get a quick shot as it lay on my weigh sling. Still don't like the bloody things!

Well that was it; a superb first session after tench! I still haven't seen one, but I went through the ritual of depositing the remainder of my bait into my swim before I departed. I will be back there very shortly, for another bash, that's for sure.


  1. Great post Dylan,

    That eel would make my season ! Good luck with the tench, looks like an interesting venue.

    1. Cheers Darren,
      The eels of the Stour catchment are a ravenous hoard of bait devouring slime! I bloody despise the things. That they are so numerous speaks volumes about the quality of our freshwater habitats and, as such, I am very grateful. This particular venue is a beautiful and intimate place - I'm fishing completely blind, my efforts based upon a few fleeting glimpses of, what I thought were, tench way back in the winter. Only time will tell, but I'll happily put up with more carp of this stamp whilst I'm waiting for that tench I so desire.
      All the very best & tight lines mate - Dyl