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Grantham Journal angling writer Coster comes up trumps with top tench from tiny tributary

Journal angling correspondent Dave Coster has been exploring around the Fossdyke Canal again, only this time fishing the tiny River Till that runs into it near Saxilby.

At this time of the year, much of the river is very weedy with hardly any flow, requiring a good raking. But it is possible to find a few cleared swims near access points, which is what Dave opted for on a recent trip.

Not knowing what to expect, he set up a couple of pole rigs, one close in to discover what species the river holds and one further across, aimed at finding any big fish that might be lurking there.

The River Till (40675792)
The River Till (40675792)

It quickly became apparent there are plenty of small skimmer bream, rudd, roach, perch and bleak in the waterway, but sport was interrupted several times by small jack pike.

As soon as some free bait built up a good head of fish in the swim, the predators became very active, stealing several fish off the end of Dave’s line. He landed one and moved it several yards away, but suspected there were more in the area because bites dried up altogether on the closer feed area.

It was time to have a look further out with a slightly stronger pole rig.

To begin with, a few rudd and silver bream responded on the second-choice feed line, before bites dried up there too. There was obviously something big down there, scaring the small fish away.

Just when Dave was thinking it might be pike again, his float went under and something heavy and powerful began ploughing up and down the narrow waterway. It was a tricky job trying to keep whatever it was from diving into the thick marginal weed beds, but eventually a superb 6lb 12oz tench was coaxed into the landing net.

After the big fish action, the going was tough, mainly because the water was very clear.

Local anglers informed Dave that the river fishes better when it is carrying some colour, which tends to turn the bigger skimmers, rudd and roach on to the feed. When the water is so clear, it is normally early or late sessions that score best, particularly for the tench.

Another very interesting venue, which only took Dave 40 minutes to reach by car from Grantham, via the A1, A46 and A57.

For details of fishing the River Till section that runs into the Fossdyke Canal, check out Lincoln and District Angling Association’s website.

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