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Red Eyed Red Letter Day


With the arrival of the summer months and the temperatures soaring, the carp seemed to have other things on their mind due to spawning.

Taking this into account and with it,  having always having a passion to catch a large summer tench I asked Dave if he knew of any waters that inhabited such monsters?

Sure enough Dave knew of one such venue ,a secluded sand quarry in deepest darkest Cheshire and by Dave’s accounts a truly enigmatic water.

Dave had told me many stories about this jewel of a water and the monsters it once held ,not just Tench but so many species , however  the Tench was always his number one!

With this in mind I set off along with Dave  in pursuit of the mighty red eye!

On arrival I was not disappointed and what greeted me was amature ,steep side sand pit in excess of four acres, nestled in amongst densely populated pine and silver birch woodland, with depths plummeting down to in excess of 18ft in parts!

On arrival and with the late morning sun climbing high into the sky I could  not wait to get my rods out.

After a brief recce it was unfortunate that a number of our preferred swims were already occupied and so opted to fish the bottom right hand corner near to the out of bounds area.

As the afternoon turned to early evening the temperatures soared and we baked in the blistering sun as our alarms remained silent.

With light fading and following a brief discuss with the head bailiff we learned that one of the favoured swims had become free and so Dave having seen signs of bubbling tench set about loading our gear onto the barrow .

With the sun setting, our rods were cast out in eager anticipation of what the night would bring.

As darkness fell my left hand alarm  fished tight to a marginal shelf and overhanging tree burst into life and after a short tustle I was soon nursing my first tench, a stunning and well proportioned tinca at a little over 6lb!

My first tench from a new water, I was over the moon!!

Rods back out and it  wasn’t long before I was again connected to an angry red eye only this time it felt much bigger!

As the fish made one last bid for freedom I clamped down hard on the drag and as the rod hooped over I managed to steer it away from a marginal weed bed and into an awaiting net!

 In the beam of my head torch  I could see that this was a much bigger fish and as I heaved it into the scales if equaled my current PB of 8lb!

Pics done and a very well behaved specimen was slipped back to its watery home as I celebrated my capture with a well earned cup of tea.

That evening and into early morning my flurry of bites continued however Dave only managed to coax a single modest size tench onto his hook.

Into the second day and the daytime temperatures soared once more but this did not deter the tench from feeding and a regular introduction of hemp and sweet corn kept them coming bringing my tally to eight.

As the second evening arrived we welcomed the cooler air and Dave recast after rebating heavily over his two spots in an attempt to provoke a take.

At approximately 01:30 in the morning Dave’s left hand rod gave a screaming take and a better fish took flight, only it turned out to be a low double cat which had taken a liking to his bunch of chopped worms!

Not our target species but none the less very welcome.

Our alarms fell silent into early morning and we both drifted of into the land of nod ,no doubt dreaming of the leviathan of a Tench that we knew was just  lurking in the depths somewhere out there ready to snaffle our hookbaits.

Just after first light we were both rudely awakened by a screaming alarm as Dave’s LHR was away again only this time the fish felt heavy and ponderous as it dived deep in an attempt to avoid capture.

After a few moments and steady pressure the fish surfaced a few rod lengths out and we could see it was a Tench and good one at that!!

Sometimes I personally feel it’s best not to see what’s on the end of your line until the final moment as nerves can kick in and with Dave realising that he was potentially playing a new PB I could see the tension mounting in his face.

Two attempts at reaching a weedbed were averted and in a joint effort I  finally slipped the net under a huge tench!!…..

Dave let out a sigh of relief and punched the air in dubilation and there was just cause for such celebration as it rocked the scales at 9lb and 12oz!!

A magnificent fish and a new PB for Dave! He was ecstatic!

Trophy shots done and still shaking Dave slipped his prize back to fight another day! Truly awesome .

Rods recast and the perfect medicine of a cup of tea to settle his nerves was just what the “doctor fish” ordered 👍🏻😉

As we sat discussing the capture  over breakfast in the cool morning air,Dave’s RHR  gave out two intermittent bleeps before melting away!

Connecting with the fish the rod arched over and continued to take line and Dave believed himself to have hooked into one of the Vales carp due to the account it was giving of itself.

After a few minutes the fish came up onto a shallow sandbar, and then back into the depths once more before finally tasting air at which time seeing that is was a truly enormous fish I hastily engulfed it in the net!!!

Yes!!!! It was massive……..

With one huge tench already in the bag Dave couldn’t believe his eyes when the scales spun round to 10lb and beyond, finally settling on 10lb 8oz!!

His PB SMASHED twice in the space of a few hours , his first double figure tench and another new Pb and a brace of giants so many of us will ever dream of!

Trophy shots done and with Dave in a state of euphoria  and trying hard to compose himself, he decided that on this occasion he wasn’t gonna better this 

And with our allotted session time of 48hrs soon to end he set about with barrowing his gear back to the van.

With the sun climbing high in the late morning sun, I remained ever optimistic and hoped that maybe, just maybe one more bite was coming and was it my turn for a monster?

Sure enough the Tench gods must have been watching over me and with a screaming Delkim shattering the morning bliss, my prayers were answered!!

As my margin rod was fished tight to an undercut bank and overhanging bush I had to lock down and literally hit and hold to stop a very angry tench from seeking sanctuary in a labyrinth of roots and a weedbed.

My rod literally bent double,I kept the pressure on and with my rod and line under the water gently pumped the fish back towards me.

With Dave at the van and unaware of my ongoing battle royale, I glimpsed the fish as it came up from the depths and onto the marginal bar.

As it did so,in the crystal clear water I could see it was a good fish but I didn’t realise just how good.

In a quick flurry under the rodtip the fish made one last dermined run but I managed to slip the net under him first time!

You cant even begin to believe how relived I was and as my prize lay there in the bottom of the net I peered down to see that not only was I looking at a new potential PB but I could see that it was a male tench and it was enormous!

Moments later totally unaware Dave returned to see me stood Knee deep in the water, rod and net in hand.

“ Have you got one?” He said, to which I replied excitedly “yes I think it’s bigger that yours! Ha ha!”

As we heaved the fish onto the mat we admired my prize in all its glory and saw that it was a colossal Male Tench ,in pristine condition and with a paintbrush for a tail! What a beautiful fish.

Now for those of you that know about tench and to be honest I’m not professing to know a lot ,but what I do know is that a Male tech of such a size is very rare in deed.

The moment of truth had arrived and onto the scales he went.

5 6,7  8 pound and still the needle span round and we both couldn’t believe it when the needle finally settled on 9lb exactly!!! Wow ,I was simply blown away!

Pictures done and I couldn’t stop smiling ,what a way to end our session!

We ended with a total tally of thirteen tench between us,new PB’s For each of us and four very special green giants!! 

This truly was a Red letter day ,filled with so many special memories and can’t wait to get back ,however I don’t think we’ll be bettering this for a long time!!…………….?? 👍🏻🎣🐳😉