In mid June I decided to have a final tench session on my syndicate lake as I thought the chances of a really big fish were very good. After a week of cool, wet weather i opted for a swim known as Big Point, which has some of the deepest water in the lake in front of it. I hoped the fish might still be in the deeper water. After 24 bite less hours it didn’t look like a good choice but I had seen a few tench in the area so decided to drag a new swim close in amongst light weed and give it another night. Mid-evening I landed an 8lb tench from the dragged swim and then a 7lb tench from the main gravel hump and I hoped that signalled the arrival of tench in the area. By 10am the next morning it was clear it did not and with warm weather forecast I decided to head for the shallow corner and hope the sun drew the tench there.

As I had fished the swim previously I knew the exact distances to the three clear spots I intended to fish. On previous sessions I had found I often got more bites when not putting lots of bait into a swim, just recasting a feeder every hour or so had often out-fished rods fished over a bed of hemp and pellets. With this in mind rather than bait heavily I decided to take a cautious approach and just fish feeders to each spot, which had the added advantage of minimising disturbance. By 11:30am I was set up with 2oz grub feeders and the rods were cast out, but by the time my mate Dave Carter arrived for a chat at 1:30pm the bobbins hadn’t moved so much as a millimetre.  An hour later Dave and I both saw the bobbin on the left hand rod pull up and the baitrunner started giving line, but no sound was forthcoming from the Delkim alarm - it apparently had got knocked off when moving. A 7lb female signalled the start of a short flurry of activity with four tench in about an hour.

With fish in the area I switched one rod to three popped up rubber maggots and half an hour after casting had a screaming take that tore off 15 yards of line in one run before getting weeded. Steady pressure got the fish moving and gradually it came back towards me. I was desperately hoping it was going to be a tench but the sheer weight suggested otherwise. It came through two thick bands of weed with little trouble and when it was about 10 yards out I saw that it was a carp, a large common. My tench rod allowed me to really bend into it and after a couple of short runs it was in my net. Dave got my extra large padded mat out of my car and a couple of minutes later it had been weighed at 36lb 8oz, photographed and returned without the kerfuffle carp anglers seem to save for such occasions.

At dark I switched rods to target eels but they did not make an appearance that night but after dark I had a 9lb 13oz female and 8lb male tench on a small bunches of maggots. After a quiet day the next day I decided to forget about eels and stick with my tench rods into dark. It was a good decision as at 10pm I had a 9lb 8oz tench and an hour later one of 9lb 13oz. By switching hook baits between worm kebabs and red maggots on a hair rig the 9s kept coming the following morning, with fish of 9lb 10oz and 9lb 13oz before lunch amongst another dozen or so tench. After three 9-13s surely there had to be double had to be out there. At 5pm I hooked a good fish that fought much better than the other tench. As it came to the net it kited left and as I peered into the water saw a large carp swimming exactly where my line entered the water. I was surprised, as it didn’t feel that big, then the hooked fish kited to the right and the carp carried on merrily to my left unaware of the confusion it had triggered.  Soon after I had a very large tench in the net – no doubting this was a double, all 11lb 2oz of it.  A golden day continued with two more ‘9s’ of 9lb 1oz and 9lb 8oz plus another double of 10lb 1oz before dark. In less than 24 hours I handed about 30 tench with the biggest eight having an average weight of 9lb 15oz.

Though things quietened down a bit in the following days I added thee more ‘10s’, all weighing in at 10lb 1oz. I say three but in fact it was two, the second and third proving to be the same fish caught at dawn and dusk on the last day of my trip.