By July, the Tench in my local Tench lake are difficult to catch. It’s my opinion, the Tench become conscious to the dangers of taking the common baits as the year wears on. I have tried different rigs and methods. I have also fished from different swims at different depths. The common thread through my dwindling catches though, is always the baits. Enter tutti frutti.
Back in the nineteen eighties, along with the increasing popularity in Carp fishing, came a raft of new baits and flavours. Being a young naive beginner, I fell hook line and sinker to the allure and exotic promise of Tutti Frutti. In it’s day Tutti Frutti was very popular and caught a lot of fish including Tench. Tutti Frutti is nothing like as popular as it used to be. So I doubt the fish in my local lake would have seen much of it.
Tutti Frutti test
I decide to fish the shady margins of a popular peg in one corner of the lake. To my left I have a tall reed bed and to my right there is a small patch of lilies in front of a reed bed. I’m going to use a small hybrid feeder. Partly because of it’s self hooking properties, but mainly because I can safely underarm cast short without tangles. To find the right place, I use a 1oz bomb to feel for flat areas on the lake bed where I can land a feeder. Fortunately I find flat spots, in the shade, on both sides of my peg.
To test my old school bait. I decide to feed very simply with mixed pellets, then use a Tutti Frutti banded pellet on the hook. To help my hook bait stands out, I add a little booster liquid before covering the pellet in groundbait.
I start fishing at about 4pm. I didn’t see any Tench for over two hours. Then from the right hand swim the first Tench pulled the tip round at about half six in the evening. It was a juvenile, but still a Tench. Ten minutes later, another juvenile. A little later the rod pulled round again in the right swim. A very lively Tench of about 3lb, the best so far in my Tutti Frutti test. Then finally a fourth fish and the last before I was expected home.
The second tutti frutti trip
One trip using Tutti Frutti is hardly conclusive, so I decide to try again a week later. This time I fish a swim in the opposite corner of the lake. Not for any clever watercraft reasons, but simply because it’s at the other end of the lake and seemed like a good way to see if Tutti Frutti actually works.
Like before, I arrive mid afternoon and fish into the evening. Weather conditions are the same, except the wind which is now blowing in the opposite direction. One big difference though, I’m going to fish a Waggler, my favourite way of catching Tench.
On this peg, I have lilies to my right and a reed bed to my left. Although I know the Tench like the lilies, with the sun beating down on them I fancy the reeds to be the better swim. Just as last time, I will feed and switch between swims every ten minutes.
Both swims are shallow and of the same depth, allowing me to use one rig on either. The float is shotted with all the floats capacity grouped around the base. Except for three No.8’s, which I have bulked together on the hook link. With the rig set a few inches over-depth and the No.8’s an inch or two above the bottom, It will be sensitive to both lift and dip bites.
Tutti Frutti worked just as well float fished as it did with the method feeder. I didn’t empty the place, there again I didn’t expect to. July is well past the best time of year for Tench. I am convinced though, Tutti Frutti is a flavour the Tench like. Since filming, I have also been reliably informed that Pineapple works here too. In future I will defiantly be adding Tutti Frutti to my list of good baits for Tench and perhaps, in time, other fruity flavours.