The landed Tench

I came across this wonderful sight just the other day as I walked along the Rochdale canal near to Castleton: a red-eyed Tench, full of Summer fight and green of flank just being brought to the lip of a fisherman’s landing net after a battle and a half.

I have chosen the above shot because although the Tench has been defeated and is awkwardly held as the fisherman struggles to grasp its slimy coating, the fish’s stunning beauty manages to radiate back to the viewer; also the slight swivel of that red-eye towards the fisherman’s thumb shows a noble restraint, even though its muscular body and fins could probably flip free at any time.

A quick check over and the fish was lowered back into the cool canal waters, where the fisherman supported the Tench beneath its belly until the oxygen from a few fresh gulps hit home and then with a flick of that huge paddle-shaped tail, it was off into the murky silt below to fight another day…

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