Events were conspiring against me once more. In an ideal world I'd have fished Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, but I had to take my car in for its MOT first thing Wednesday. No worries. Wednesday night would do. The forecast was drier too. Except... A parcel that was due to arrive Wednesday was now arriving Thursday. When the fishing madness arrives chances get taken. If I could get back home before ten thirty I should be in time to take the delivery.
Wednesday started wet and ended dry. Not too warm with a bit of north in the westerly, but warm enough once I had the Groundhog up to take the edge off the wind. Overkill for one dry night but on a barrow it doesn't make life any more strenuous than a lighter brolly would. I had plenty of time to get settled in and baited up as this was a proper tench session on a different venue with fewer carp and I wasn't expecting anything until the morning.
With that in mind I got myself cosy and organised before plumbing up, baiting with maggots, seeds and pellets, and then chucking the baits out. Sure enough nothing happened save the occasional single bleep. After dark I swapped the plastic casters for a grain of glow in the dark corn which I have been assured is a guaranteed nocturnal tench magnet. More false propaganda.
One rat made a couple of brief appearances. A fish or two crashed out. At one point I was disturbed by a loud splashy swirl in front of the rods, followed by the sight of an animal swimming away, diving and resurfacing. It wasn't a rat. What it was remains a mystery as I didn't have my specs on and the glipse was all to brief. Probably a mink. I hope.
An overcast dawn arrived slowly. I made a brew then got up and wound the rods in, cast the marker back out and baited up again. After that the rods were recast, the glow in the dark pellet reverting to the tried and tested plastic asters on an in-line feeder rig. The sinking corn was swapped to popped up grains and the fish scarer stayed as it was.
After a threat of rain passed over the day warmed up. The wind had dropped considerably and there were signs of roach or rudd topping, and a few patches of bubbles appearing beyond my baited patch. The fish scarer was wound in to have a small mesh bag of pellets attached to the hook before getting cast somewhere close to where the bubbles were popping.
I was expecting action at any minute. Even so my attention wandered to watch the birdlife. A kingfisher was zipping about. It's surprising how vivid a bird can be in flight yet be difficult to spot when perching. A pair of chaffinches seemed to be busy. They kept flitting into a spot in amid the hawthorn blossom. Maybe they have nestlings to keep fed.
As I was still getting single bleeps and there were roach topping again I chanced removing the corn and fishing three live maggots on a heli-feeder. In no time at all I had a positive take on that rod. It shouldn't have been a surprise to find a bootlace had hooked itself. The maggot idea was shelved and the corn put back out again.
My cut-off time was nine thirty. When it arrived I'd still had no tench interest and started a slow tidy up. As I was loading my bedchair on the barrow the sounder box woke up at last. The tip of the corn rod was pulling round and the reel spool spinning. A decent scrap ensued before a solid female tench was in the net. Typical. The day was warm enough to remove my fleece, a tench had been netted, and I had to leave.
Walking off I spotted a deceased tench in the margin. The second one I've seen on this water this spring. I wasn't going to poke it to inspect for causes of death as it was pretty far gone. Fingers crossed it was natural causes and not murder.
Back home there was no note telling me a delivery had been attempted and the test match hadn't started. I'd just managed a tench and got home in plenty of time. No fishing for a while now as there's work to be done. Oh well.