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Bury Hill Tench Days

As you will probably have read, the Specialist Committee runs a couple of days at Bury Hill Lakes in Dorking, Surrey each year, with the aim of catching a few tench.

Bury Hill is a beautiful old estate lake of some 20+ acres, with reed-lined margins and beds of lilies. In short, it’s a tench fishing paradise. One section of the lake is open only to the punts available on site, with no bankside fishing whatsoever, and we hire out all 8 available punts on the Saturday and Sunday to head for this area.

Strangely, over the last few years the specialist committee have managed to prove that we can catch everything but our target species on any given species-related day. The tench days have often proven this rule. In fact, last year we had five separate anglers break their carp personal best, but the tench were relatively few and far between.

Nevertheless, this year the confidence was high, particularly as day one of our expedition was being led by our Specialist Chairman Jon Hussey, and all round fishing guru Keith “I caught a barbel” Speer. Along with perennial Bury Hill Top Rods (Kev Laird and Andy Kaczmarek) and an assorted bunch of carp anglers, trout anglers and other ne’er-do-wells, our flotilla set sail…….

The first hour or so was spent trying to get the punts to row in a straight line, trying to avoid collisions, or actively looking to ram Keith’s boat. Bait was then dispatched in all directions, and a flurry of floats were flung far and wide. Some even hit the water.

Within minutes….SUCCESS! Chairman Jon, with the first tench of the day. Little did we know this would be the only tench we would see for hours and hours, and rumours started to surface that Jon had actually brought the tench with him in his extremely well-stocked Harrods hamper. But then, sharing a boat with Keith he would have to be well-stocked….

The fishing proved to be tricky, to say the least. A few bream were caught, and a few bites missed, but it was not the action-packed day we had hoped for. To be fair, heavy rain in the morning, followed by blazing sunshine in the afternoon probably didn’t help our cause. However, we stuck with it and kept the bait going in, as all the books say.

By late afternoon, Kev Laird had managed a couple of tench from his spot. The rest of us had resorted to childish banter between the boats in order to pass the time. And then, at about four o’clock, the place suddenly started fishing……even I managed a tench of about four pounds, and a few others were starting to get some action. Gary Stewart landed a nice carp and a tench, and lost about 200 other carp.

Ultimately, the fishing was a bit disappointing, but the surroundings, the company and the banter were, as ever, top notch. Despite a number of “blanks” it seemed that everyone had enjoyed the day.

Day Two saw the next intrepid band of Verulam hopefuls hit the water. They experienced pretty much the same weather conditions as us, and the fishing followed along similar lines. A few bream early on, and then the fishery turning on in the later afternoon to produce a few more bites. The tench were still relatively scarce, but the carp came out to play, with Matty landing seven of them to 17lbs, and losing a few. Which part of “TENCH day” didn’t you understand, Matty?

These really are great trips, and they book up fast. Watch out for them next Spring, as we will certainly be running them again. It’s a chance to fish differently in beautiful surroundings for a day, and all laid on for you.

And I didn’t even get a speeding ticket this year……

Oh, and for all those that were wondering, no Keith didn’t catch a tench. He is a mere mortal after all, you see…..although he did catch a barbel once, I hear…..

Hope to see you there next time.

Paul Hill
Specialist Committee

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