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!


Thursday 23 May 2024

Planning ahead

With just over three weeks before the start of a new, "traditional", season I'm already thinking about my Tench project which will be the main focus of the angling efforts between June 16th and the start of my next Pike angling foray. What this means is that, if I'm to be successful in my close season Carp campaign, I need to land four "twenties" in what little time remains. Not beyond possibility, yet probably a step too far under the current circumstances? Still, it's always worth trying, as opposed to admitting defeat and not casting a bait into the water. 

Not my PB but, at 8 lbs 6 oz, it was my first proper Tench from Wilstone during
that period when the venue dominated UK Tench fishing

As  yet I have no weight target for this Tench campaign, I'll just be happy to catch a few. However, given this as a starting point, I am aware of rumours suggesting that there are some very large specimens swimming around in the two venues I'm going to concentrate my efforts upon. A new PB would be something I'd love to achieve yet will, realistically, be more than happy if I can tempt a seven pounder. I've not caught a Tench of this size since 1993 whilst still a member of the Tring.syndicate. I think that the best aspect of this next chapter will be the very simple fact that there will be no competition from other anglers? Obviously, I don't have any unique access advantage, so accept that other folk will also visit these venues during the summer period. What I am fairly confident of, however, is that they will be Carp anglers and, therefore, not a major problem to overcome?

I have formulated a few ideas about my baiting strategy and will see where it leads me as the project evolves. It's going to be very close range fishing and I'm very tempted to use my ABU Cardinal 44's for the very reason that they were the reels I originally used on Tring back in 1981. They didn't let me down then, so am confident that they'll perform perfectly when required. Failing that I have a pair of Cardinal 55's which are also well suited to the task albeit slightly bulkier in design. My good friend, Gareth Craddock, has offered the following advice, having already conducted a campaign of his own out on the flatlands. "Rake, bait and wait" is the summary of his thoughts and certainly something I will take into account as my own adventure unfolds. 

One, of over one hundred, 7lbs plus Tench I landed from the Tring complex between
June 1981 and March 1993

I would really love to begin the campaign as I had done at Wilstone Res. Tring way back in 1981. Bread/maggot cocktails and worms being the starting gambit, during those halcyon days, so why not give it a go in 2024?  Swim feeders and a bait dropper will feature highly in my bait application purely because it has worked for me in the past. It will be a very similar journey to that of the Stour Barbel caper, which was so ultimately rewarding, of 2013/14. What I can't guarantee is that I won't get distracted from the quest by other species such as Perch or Eels. What won't happen, however, is my deliberately targeting the Carp because of accidental encounters. I've had my fun with them and now seek fresh challenges to further my angling experience. 

My PB Bream, of 11 lbs 2 oz, taken way back in September 1992

There are a couple of other species which I'd love to deliberately target, at some point in the future, they being Roach and Bream. I think that the last time I deliberately went Roach fishing was on Startops Res, Tring, during that ridiculously hot summer of 1976. My only "double figure" Bream (two) came from Brogborough GP, Beds, in 1992 and were probably the most difficult targets I managed to achieve during that part of my angling adventure?


  1. Hello Dylan- Just back from bassing- Took one off Ramsgate, just gone dusk. Going to be absolutely brilliant seeing you hunt the marsh tench, mate- Will have a proper chat about them when we grab that pre-season beer, Speak soon, Gazza

    1. Hi Gazza,
      Sorry for the delay in my reply. Life is a little hectic at present! I'll email you shortly to confirm our June 14th "light ale" but would like to tell you that I saw three Tench in the dyke that flows through "Forgotten Fen", one of which was a very sizable individual - certainly 6 lbs plus!
      Good to hear that the Bass are playing ball - tight lines mate - Dyl