My First Tench from The Grand Canal – Vicarstown, Co.Laois – By Damien Byrne
It was Wednesday the 1st of June and I decided to go out fishing for a few hours, as it was a lovely warm evening, and I had fresh maggots and groundbait leftover from a days fishing on the Barrow the day before with my Brother.
I decided to go to the Canal at Vicarstown, with my friend Sarah and her dog, Suki. It was local and I knew the canal was easily accessible and wheelchair friendly (not a long walk from the car) although I hadn’t fished there in years! Many a time we drove over the bridge there recently, on the way to The Barrow up the road.
It was a late enough start, we were set up and ready to cast about 7.30pm, and still a lovely sunny evening. We found a nice spot in the sun, just near the end of the boats. I hadn’t got the box of floats handy, so opted to use the swim feeder as a running ledger, with a size 18 hook to match the maggots, unsure if we would have any luck?
After about 30 mins and a couple of casts of the feeder to build up the bait, we started to see some small bites rock the quiver tip, and got hopefull of maybe catching one! After a few more missed bites, the rod bent, I lifted it and was into a fish. Woohoo….Our first fish…It was a pretty Roach of medium size, and lifted our spirits! Suki was fascinated by her first catch, and was eager to lick it ! LoL
After a couple more missed bites, and a couple of hundred bites from the midgets (we forgot the insect repellant!) the rod bent again strongly and we we’re into another fish! Immediately this fish felt heavier and stronger than the first fish, and I had a real battle getting this fish up from the bottom! After a while I bullied the fish to the surface, where i got my first glimse of it, realising it was a Tench as it steamed for cover in the weeds. I shouted to Sarah, ” I need a net “, which we hadn’t got!…..Just habit I suppose from fishing with my brothers.
Realising I had to land this Tench without a net, I shortened the line more and got the fish under control, dragging him across the surface towards me to the edge of the bank, where I lay down and scooped him up with my hand! My first Tench from The Canal!