Last week whilst trying to organise a night out with my brothers and father I was chatting happily away on the phone suggesting that we all go out on Tuesday night when Jacky reminded me that the night in question in fact was my birthday. Now you know you're getting older when you begin to forget your own birthday! Shortly after this Jacky then asked me what I wanted for said birthday, to which I replied "I want to go fishing and not to work" her answer to this was simply "well book the day off and go". So Tuesday I was living the dream, a day off work to go fishing and even a early lift there from my beloved.
As some of the readers of this blog who also fish at Ryton they will know that as the warmer months progress the weed in Ryton's clear water blooms and the fishing can become rather limited due to this. But when I arrived early on Tuesday I got a proper shock! In the shallow bay where only a month or so ago you could freely cast anywhere the weed was now only inch's beneath the surface and the rest of the lake was not far behind it, thus limiting the fishing to the clear areas on the road side.
To my surprise I found a group of carp moving on the surface only a few rod lengths of a peg. Now I have never before dared to cast a floating bait into Ryton largely due to the masses of water birds but this was a opportunity not be missed. After stowing my gear at the top of the bank I crept into position with just my net and a single rod in hand. The fish were close enough in to cast a free lined bait to them. After landing the bait within a few feet I waited, but even when they passed right under it they seemed totally oblivious to it. After watching them swim around and around for about twenty minutes I knew they weren't that interested as they seemed to have other things on there minds. I heard through the grapevine that they had spawned the previous week, but the behavior seemed to indicate that they were still feeling a little fruity as two or three fish intently followed a single lead fish sniffing it's arse.
I gave up with my chance encounter and went back to my original plan to get onto one of the clear pegs and put down a good bed of flavored hemp and wait to try and intercept any patrolling tinicas.
It was a very slow day all round from what I could see and whilst standing on top of the high rod bank fish spotting on of my rods roared off and abruptly stopped before I could strike. After re baiting the offending rod it was cast out again and two minutes later the same happened again. this time the strike contacted with a fish for about a second before it fell slack. After repeating the baiting and recast for a third time I waited hovering of the rod. And yes it did go again resulting in a spirited fight from this nice 4lb female.
After this all went quite so I went off for a wander around the lake with the Polaroids to see if I could spot anything. I saw plenty of tench as I crept round the lake but like the carp their behavior seemed strange!
They were all swimming in twos or threes moving quite quickly very near the edge. What it was they were doing is any ones guess as I am not sure if the tench have spawned or not yet this year and as yet I haven't seen any spawn filled fish amongst any catches by myself or others who fish Ryton.
Another interesting thing I saw through the clear water was two perch both of around a pound who came wandering into my swim as I waited for a bite. They swam in side by side and both stopped simultaneously when they spotted some maggots that had dropped in the edge whilst I baited up. Immediately there dorsal fins went up and the slowly cruised up to each maggot and pounced on it. Intrigued by this little scene I scrated whatever maggots I could find left over in the bucket. As flicked each one into the water they slowly sank until they appeared in the line of sight of these two predators, where they would both dart towards the doomed wriggler. Not one single maggot made it to the bottom until a shoal of much smaller perch drifted up out of the darker water. When this happened I was even more surprised to see both the two larger perch take up a position between the spot where I was feeding and the shoal of competitors. The smaller perch who were much greater in numbers were instantly deterred by the two larger fishes offensive and quickly skulked back into the dark. Both remained in situe till I left even though the supply of maggots dried up hours ago. It was if they had found some sacred feeding area and weren't about to give it up any time soon.