Blog 022 | 2022 Tench Campaign | In Search Of Glory (Pt 1)

Blog 022 | 2022 Tench Campaign | In Search Of Glory (Pt 1)

Targeting a massive gravel pit where depths can reach twenty feet plus was never going to be easy and the north-easterlies which blew for much of April and early part of May have just complicated matter further. In fact May on this lake really does feel like April so to be honest having little success for the first few short morning sessions in April didn’t come as a surprise. Just the lack of tench anglers told me that this venue takes time to wake up; it really is a daunting place even for someone like me that loves big pits.

Make hay when you can!

Last spring I thought I’d done my apprenticeship, studying the water, talking to others and on the way catching a few. In fact, I now know that catching five in a morning was somewhat of a result and how I wish I had stayed on and made hay that day! 

One problem

Probably the most soul destroying fact about this spring has been not being able to scan the water and spot any signs of moving fish, the daily strong north-easterlies put pay to this. My motto has always been if you can find them, then you can catch them” yet when you can’t do this, you really do feel a million miles away at times! Fortunately early May the winds eased and the lake fell silent. Arriving one early morning the lake was like a mirror and my hopes were heightened as tench could be seen everywhere, splashing that big paint brush tail as they descended. One major problem though as I didn’t see one show at less than 150yards, big problem! Thinking about this strange situation I can only assume that this lake in most cases is deeper close in with shallower areas at distance. Maybe these shallower areas were warmer, hence the height of activity at distance and my only comfort was that as the day’s progresses and the water warmed they would venture closer in. 

Just how big, is big?

I didn’t hold out too much hope of anything happening that morning but amazingly it did, rather sooner than I'd expected, as after casting the first rod out over a spodded bed of chopped worm and dead maggot, and before the second rod was even cast the alarm sprung into action. A lethargic fight commenced before what I thought was a modest tench glide over the drawstring but a quick look revealed something somewhat bigger. I’m not going to say just how big she was, you will have to wait and see but let’s just say I returned home a very happy angler, especially as minutes later another graced the net! Nothing else happened after those two quick bites and looking back I may have made a school-boy error spodding over the spot soon after as the water here is crystal clear and I may well have spooked any others.

Riding the waves

Even after those two tench, seeing so many at distance had convinced me that I needed to get at least one rod on them on my next return so the bait-boat batteries were charged and out went a rig, some 120yards on my next visit. Once again the second rod wasn’t even baited when the rod sprung into life and something that felt very much like a bream was hooked. All the way in I was convinced it was a bream but a few rod lengths out up came another good tench which then decided to beat me up under the rod tip. Thinking I’d hit the jackpot back out into the distance the boat headed, rig dropped, second rod positioned over a spodded mix, let the flood gates open. Four hours later and with no further action reality hit home!

Exceptional fish

Even though I have been restricted to just the odd early morning session the odd tench has obliged to keep my spirits high. Reports have been that the lake has fished even harder than previous years and that no big hits have been recorded but on a good note a couple of exceptional fish have been landed. The tench anglers have arrived in force, some might I say pushing their luck; let’s just hope I can drop into a decent area and that one of the big girls has my name on her during the coming weeks!

Tight lines and be lucky…


DA - She’s big but just how big?

She’s big but just how big?

DA - What a unit!

What a unit!

DA - Caught using the boat at distance.

Caught using the boat at distance.

DA - As black as they come.

As black as they come.

DA - A proper worm muncher!

A proper worm muncher!

DA - The worm kebab, devastating.

The worm kebab, devastating.

DA - Organisation is important.

Organisation is important.

DA - When caught whilst doing my apprenticeship!
When caught whilst doing my apprenticeship!

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.

Follow Duncan Charman:

Related News
Submit comment