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Martin James award-winning fisherman consultant,broadcaster,writer


19/10/2022 - Tench From The Crabtree Pool

Late season damsel


Around 0900 hrs on Monday my friend Martyn picked me up for a fifty minute drive to the fishery, on the way stopping off at Bodle Angling where I had a chat with Harry about the River Ouse, he gave me some good information, which will no doubt prove very useful. Having picked up my order of worms and, hempseed, I needed a landing net handle, I was in luck, Bodle angling had just the right item, that extended from 3 to 9 feet ideal for traveling on public transport. Twenty minutes later we pulled into the car park, to find a choice of swims. Conditions were ideal, there wasn’t a breath of wind to ruffle the water surface, it was a warm October, day, no need for a jacket. Looking across the water I spotted several patches of bubbles, a few fry burst from the surface close to the opposite bank, no doubt being pursued by a predator. Two moorhens were quietly moving around in some lily pads, a robin quickly appeared, also three ducks were feeding along the opposite bank. The last of the darters and hawkers were about, a damsel fly settled on a reed within two feet of me, this really did surprise me so late in the year. It was a perfect morning for angling. If I didn’t catch it wouldn’t matter, I was in such an idyllic place to spend a few hours.

Tackle Set Up

Today I chose to use an Edgar Sealey Rover rod 11 ft 3 piece built cane, I find ideal for tench, chub, bream and perch, though for roach, rudd, dace, grayling, I prefer to use a lighter cane rod. Having left my centre pin in another tackle bag, I used a Daiwa Certate 2500, I also have a 3500 model, both reels have the finest clutch system I’ve used on any fixed spool reel, these early models were made with top quality engineering in Japan. Having been a Mitchell 300 fan from the early 1950’s I felt I would never change, until I got the chance to use these Certate models. After threading the line through the guides, I attached a float stop followed by a 4 BB shot sliding quill float with an orange tip, then attaching a size 8 barbless hook, I lightly pinched on 4 BB shot a foot from the hook. Carefully plumbing the depth, I found the drop off, then adjusted the float, so a few inches of line was on the bottom among the bright green silk weed, where I expected the fish would root around.

Having put in four balls of brown crumb packed with chopped worms, I sat back and waited for fifteen, twenty minutes, soon there appeared patches of pin head bubbles, baiting with two half’s of a big lob, topped off by a red plastic gentle to stop the worms getting off the hook. Twenty minutes later the float moved across the surface submerging as it did so. Striking I got a hook up, as the rod tip was pulled downwards, line was taken, suddenly the fish was gone. Retrieving the tackle I was left with just two bits of worm. After putting in another ball of ground bait with chopped worms I cast back into the same area. Then sat watching a motionless float, while discussing everything Piscatorial with Martyn for around an hour, then it was time for a brew.

Success At Last

I suppose thirty minutes after I’d made a brew, the float slowly moved towards the reeds, striking I got a hook up, a few minutes, netting a small tench. But as we know even the small ones will pull the string and bend our stick as this one did. Twenty minutes later another fish slightly bigger, put a smile on my face. Just as we were packing up, Martyn’s rod shot javelin like into the pool, just a few inches of handle remained afloat. Eventually by a team effort of Martyn, myself also another angler it was retrieved, so ended a nice day at Crabtree.














One of my tench swims

Moorhens were often looking for food

Lift bite as float rises

Another tench swim

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Martin James Fishing
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