No closed season blues this year, I'm planning to fish at least every couple of weeks while I'm waiting for the river season to re-open.
And the first trip was to Marsh Farm this weekend, in search of a tench with James and Richard. My tactics were simple; a bait and wait approach, lift method and as light gear as I dared.
Richard had a tench fairly quickly, while James wandered off exploring, the problem with fishing with these guys is they are rather good at catching fish, and as I was fishing differently I did start to doubt my tactics.
I stuck with it through very windy conditions and just after lunch I had my first bite. Then I started getting a few roach and skimmers while I waited for a larger fish to arrive.
I've never really fished for tench before and my PB was a tiny 12oz. A bumped off fish signalled the tench had arrived, next cast produced my prize, a 1lb 4oz tench (top photo) - the first of five times I was going to up my PB this afternoon.
James joined me and now it was a bite a cast. I had another tench followed by three bream.
Weighing and photographing everything slowed us down a bit but tench were new to me and I needed PBs!
With the action thick and fast me and James managed a double hook-up, two fish in the landing net at the same time.
They really didn't want to both pose at the same time for the camera, but Richard managed a photo under a stormy sky.
I had now upped my PB to a rather more respectable 4lb 7oz and running out of time one last cast upped it again to 4lb 14oz. With a swim full of fish it was difficult to drag ourselves away.
My final score was 9 tench, 3 bream and a dozen or so roach and skimmers. And an important new PB, next step is a five.
James managed 6 tench and a little roach and Richard managed 3 tench, about 9 or 10 nice bream and a dozen or so roach, skimmers and hybrids. A great day all round.
I think it's safe to say we'll all be back. I will be after a five pound tench and I think all three if us have an eye on a crucian carp PB...