"My time has been quite limited for the last couple of months due to my business being incredibly busy and I was more than ready to get back on the bank for some much needed recuperation, with spring in full flow I naturally turned my attentions to tench.

"My first outing was on a feature for Improve Your Coarse Fishing magazine and for a change I had the opportunity to catch some tincas using float tactics while putting the cracking Ambition 11ft float rod through its paces, great fun and great weather just before Easter.

"Roll on a week or two and it was time to get have a crack at something a little larger. I broke out my new Neoteric 1.75 tc rods coupled with their namesake reels in 6000 size, a perfect combination with which to tackle the bigger waters I had in mind. I put great faith in the maggot approach for my tench fishing and with a few Korum products the method is incredibly easy to use. Firstly on to the 12lb Xpert mainline goes a Ready Heli kit, a link swivel is tied to the end of the line and to that I clip my feeder of choice, in this case a 2oz swivel grub feeder. The hooklink is about 5 inches of the new Smokescreen mono in 10lb to which is tied a size 12 Specimen hook, two or three fake maggots on a hair complete the rig, I never bother using real maggots on the hook I have complete faith in the artificials.

"My tactics are to fish the feeders over a bed of pellet and particles and to regular top up the maggots by constant recasting, I find with tench that often the disturbance of casting can actually provoke a bite.

"My first trip started with a bitterly cold fog which was less than encouraging though within a couple of hours of it clearing I had a bite and landed a lovely fish of 8lb 4oz, what a great start. Several more fish came my way proving the worth of the small bait approach despite the conditions not being ideal.

"My next day again started with a less than inspiring dawn, cold northerly winds and even a hail storm interrupted proceedings. Sport was intermittent with just a couple of bites during the day but as evening approached I had a flurry of bites and landed three more lovely tench. The best was yet to come though, just when I thought the day was done the alarm screamed again and I was playing another hard fighting fish. I could hardly believe my eyes when I parted the mesh, what a lump! The scales told me what I had already guessed plus some, 10lb 15oz of immaculate tench, what a fantastic start to the spring."