Blog 023 | 2022 Tench Campaign | In Search Of Glory (Pt 2)

Blog 023 | 2022 Tench Campaign | In Search Of Glory (Pt 2)

I was really hoping that the big pit would spring into life come the end of May but with the ever changing wind direction and the so called April showers, often with hail in them, coming somewhat late it just hasn’t happened. A couple of short morning sessions in different parts of the lake have been somewhat uneventful but all the time I’m moving around, keeping my eyes peeled and occasionally talking to others the puzzle is slowly coming together.

Close but no cigar!

That very first tench that looked massive on the mat fell somewhat short of the magical double, still a fantastic start and a very big fish at 9lb 3oz but having not seen a big tench for quite a while it did have me fouled somewhat. 

Big boy!

Finally back in one of my favoured areas and with a somewhat cold south west wind pushing into my face things looked somewhat promising, yet come 10.30am and with just a couple of nuisance pike picking up the worms it really didn’t look like it was going to happen, but then a screamer came out of the blue. Picking up the rod I wasn’t able to engage the bait runner as this fish, obviously a carp, had ideas of hitting the far bank. Slowing the spool with my finger I finally turned the handle and managed to get the fish under control, still convinced it was a carp as it was kitting well to my left. Time to put some side strain on as the previous week a friend had lost a big fish in the marginal snags and I didn’t want this happening to me. Turning the fish and getting in close it started to fell somewhat tench like and after the customary beating up close in I slipped the net under a big fish. Just the sheer power of the fish made me thinking it just had to be a double but the scales showed otherwise, 9lb 9oz, however it was when the weighing sling was removed that I realised this was something special as it was a male, the biggest male tench I had ever caught, a personal best so to speak!

Two at once!

No further action came but I just knew that if I could catch such an enormous male tench then the big female wasn’t far away and once again on the following trip in a new swim I thought I’d gone and done it. This session Id decided that with sport being so slow a third rod needed to be used, just to give me some better odds, yet the bait boat that I never feel happy using was left at home. Four hours into the session and after baiting a spot at sixteen wraps the wind grew and simply casting a feeder out was a result but amazingly one of the rod was away and the smallest tench so far was landed, another male weighing just over 6lb. Four hours later and with no more action coming it really did seem that anything more than one bite was a result however the third, left-hand rod that I had decided to use sprung into action. The bait runners, due to the extreme undertow, were now almost locked up and the bite, a single bleep saw the rod arch round similar to a barbel bite as the fish kited on a tight line sideward’s. Soon after picking the rod up the right hand rod started to bleep and thoughts were that I’d picked this line up but it wasn’t the case and fortunately my mate Chris was on hand to steer a 7lber into the net before scoping the net under another big tench. The brace weighed 7lb 7oz and 9lb 1oz and as they say, like buses, you don’t see one for ages then two come along.

Time running out

So that’s the story so far, three nines, a couple of eights, a number of sevens and just the one six. Certainly not rewriting the tench fishing history books at the moment but looking back over the years I can only remember catching one other nine, a 9lb 10oz from Thorpe Park whilst bream fishing. The number of eights caught over the years from venues such as Mill Lane, Frimley Pit 2 (scene of my 10lb 3oz personal best), Frensham Great Pond and others is countless so you can now see that this venue is something special and one I’ve only just started to scratch the surface.

Part 3

Let’s hope that’s there’s a part three this spring; if not there certainly will be next year!

Tight lines and be lucky…


DA - The big male, a personal best so to speak!

The big male, a personal best so to speak!  

DA - A proper bruiser!

A proper bruiser!

DA - The worm kebab doing its job.

The worm kebab doing its job.   

DA - Two at once including another nine.

Two at once including another nine.

About Duncan Charman:

As a capable and talented angler, Duncan is widely regarded as one of the most successful all-round anglers in the UK with personal bests including a 31lb pike, 16lb 5oz barbel and 140lb catfish alongside breaking two separate British Records (silver bream and pumpkinseed). 

In the public eye, Duncan is an Ambassador to the Angling Trust, a regular writer for the biggest magazines in both the United Kingdom and Europe (Anglers's Mail, Blinker etc) and has also made appearances on Sky Sports’ Tight Lines. Duncan is also an author having written his own book - Evolution of an Angler.

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