I was well up for a full day on Ryton this Sunday. I had been watching the weather and had heard that a few fish both tench and carp had been caught through the week. So my confidence was through the roof come 6am Sunday morning. My heart sank a little when I arrived at 7.45am to a foggy Ryton hoping to be the first through the gate, only to see at least five other cars in front of me, all of them belonging anglers.
I all ready knew i wanted to fish the road bank. Unlike the others who had large quantity's of tackle with them. I had only my rods and rucksack to carry so I was first off round the lake.
Once in place I stuck to the same tactics as last week with a few minor adjustments. I was getting interest on both rods from the off, but again the fish were proving a little more than cagey. Early on i spotted a group of carp rolling (the first carp movement I've seen this year) close to an overhanging tree on the bank to my right. But sadly they were well out of my casting range. Though after seeing this i cast my chod rod onto the same tree line hoping at some point they may move down the bank towards me. Shortly after seeing this another angler arrived and began making their way round the pool. It took me few seconds to realize it was Roger. But when it did click i gave a pathetic whistle followed by a rather loud yell to try and get his attention so I could share my information. After waving back he hurried on straight into the right area and one of the few free pegs. After dropping his tackle off he returned for a little chat. After hearing my carp intel a wry smile appeared on his face as if to say "I knew they would be there".
Throughout the day i watched as the odd head or tail broke the surface and they edged ever closer to my bait. Watching this proved to be infuriating, but towards the end of the afternoon they were finally over my bait. It began with a few odd bleeps then after an age my bobbin rose a little, then a little more and then dropped back to it's original point. One of those carp definateley picked up the bait and dropped it. I could have screamed at this point. Then as if to mock me a carp breeched right over the bait, gayley splashing back into the lake. The little bugger may as well have yelled Ha Ha! as it did it.
I like fishing the road side bank as i think it gives a great vantage point over the lake. But sadly it has one draw back; the constant stream of visitors who pass by. Now i am not going to get on my high horse about them as we all have the right to use Ryton contry park and most are very considerate. As they pass i will hear them say to their kids "keep quiet there's a man fishing" which i always reward with a smile and a tip of my hat. But then there's always a few chav families whose kids seem generally oblivious the beauty of the place and are just intent on lobbing stones or branches into the lake, normally where I am fishing. Then finally there are the ex anglers or current anglers who always stop to have a chat which I really don't mind as with all anglers we allways have a tale to tell. But on Sunday there must have been at least twenty or more. In-fact I was thinking that I might lobby LAA to see if we could change the name of peg one to the 'Information desk' and who ever fishes it will have the task of sighing up new members as they pass by walking off there Sunday lunch.
Just before i had to leave i had another aborted run this time on PVA bag rod close in. The whole day was one of those that never quite lives up to what i think it should have been. All in all i was confident in what i was doing and other anglers around the lake didn't fare much better. The good thing is that the fish are definateley moving round progressively more as each day goes by.
Any regular followers of my blog may notice that the posting of this entry has been delayed by over a week. As it was completed the day after the session it describes happened. Before I had the chance to post it an old health problem reared it's ugly head and I found myself again waiting at the local hospital awaiting my second operation in twelve months to try and correct said problem. I now find myself in the awful situation of recovering just as the local fish population are just starting to feed. So I would like to make an appeal to my fellow angling bloggers to post as much as possible. As whilst I lie on my sofa recuperating I need to live vicariously through your blogs to give me hope that I soon will find myself once again find myself partaking of our beloved pastime!
With three individual mothers day stops to make this weekend there was no chance of getting out and having a session Sunday morning.
So I briskly dragged Jacky around the town on Saturday morning to enable me to get out for afternoon session. Though everyone I know has been desperately trying to cram as much time in on the rivers before they close, I was steering well clear! As the last fish i caught on the river was a good way to finish and another session would inevitably ruin that for me. So a few hours at Ryton seemed a good option.
It was meant to be sunny all day with temperatures of 10-11c, but as per normal the met office proved to be less than useless and it turned out to be overcast, windy and a little cold. Even with this i still felt that i had decent chance of a run or two considering that with every day that passes the cold winter fades away and the signs of spring appear. When I arrived Ryton was unusually busy so after settling in the only peg I fancied, I cast out my normal two rods.
Like most others fishing I was getting touches but nothing I thought justified a strike. After a little rig tweeking I again cast out, but this time the rig modification worked a treat and one of my bobbins kept twitching enough for me to be confident there was a fish on my bait.
I was hoping it was a carp but the lack of fight indicated a smaller culprit. After a short somewhat understated fight i was made up when my first Tench of 2010 was in the net. The rig modifications have made me think! How many of those odd bleeps have actually been fish and how many have mouthed my baits not even registering on the bite alarms.
I fished on till dusk came and finally the cloud cleared and the last few rays of sunlight lit the woods on the far side of the lake a beautiful burnt orange. A bit of sun and a tench in the bag; me thinks that spring doth approach. Roll on summer when the tench and carp will be in full swing.
An invite to fish the River Avon at stratford town with Keith, Jeff and Pete on tuesday afternoon seemed like a good oportunity to get one last session before the river season finished next week.
I knew from previous experience that the town waters here can on the right day be a prolific bream water. So with that in mind i diligently began preparing a hundred weight of luquidised bread and hemp the night before, in hope that the bream may have responded to the recent increase of day time tempratures.
Once settled in a swim above the weir with both Keith and Jeff down stream i put my plan of attack into action. One rod up stream with a large cage feeder and a second lighter lead rod fished in tandem down stream to pick up any fish that might be shying off the feeder but still being attracted by the luquidised bread.
The plan went perfectly and i was confident in how i was fishing. But sadly the fish were not so confident about it and the only bites i was getting were so shy that they hardly registered on my lightest quiver tips. None of the others were faring that well ether as by late afternoon only Keith had managed to winkle out a couple of small chub.
It wasn't until dusk arrived and the light began to fade that the river seemed to liven up with a few small fish topping here and there. Only a short time before this happened i had decided action must be taken to avoid an impending blank! Swapping my lead for a feeder on my lighter rod, and my feeder on my heavier outfit to a lead with a dead bait, to attract the attentions of any Zander spured into action by the failing light.
My dead bait out in position, i again settled down and cast my stuffed feeder back onto the spot where every other had landed before it. After only seconds in the water the tip began to tremble. My patience paid off as i sat on my hands and eventually the tip hooped sharply down. At first i thought i had hooked a small chub but a flash of silver soon changed that and moments later the biggest roach i have caught from the Avon in a long time lay in my net.
After calling Keith over to see it, news came up stream that Pete had just caught a bream and was into another one right now. This one however turned out not to be a bream but a double figure barbel, which from the pictures keith had taken was a awesome fish.
We fished on until the light totally went and the cold wind combined with a lack of action told us it was time to leave. My keep net was the very last thing packed away. Finally with Jeff behind the camera i pulled the net from the cold water and in the bottom lay a single bar of pure silver.
I was very impressed with Jeff, as before i had even put it in the bag to be weighed he gave an estimate of a pound and a quarter which as it turns out was spot on.
Though the fishing didn't live up to my expectations, the capture of a pound and quarter roach seemed a great way for me end the River season.
Between a busy period at work and the on and off weather i have had few opportunities to get out fishing. When i have the sessions have left me little to blog about if i am honest. But Wednesday last week was the first time i had ventured out in a few weeks and i did so with a job to do! Now i have never felt anything to do with fishing is a chore, but on this occasion i had to do something i have been putting of all winter. It's something i should have done before now. But with the obvious signs of spring beginning to show every where, I really needed to do some depth/feature finding work at Ryton to try and establish the under water features of this lake before the proper fishing starts. This is a job i should have done last year when i first started fishing the lake, but every time i turned up last summer there were feeding signs showing every where i looked, so i would be unable to resist and just ended up fishing.
I arrived at Ryton in the morning determined not to deviate from my plan, rod set up with a marker float and lead in one hand, another rod ready to go in the other, just in case i did see anything moving.
I am not going sit here and write paragraphs about doing this but needless to say i did a lot of casting, reeling in and paying off of line. All in all it was time well spent as the previously mysterious depths are now a little less of a mystery to me and i now have better idea of where i should be fishing later in the year.
Towards the end of the afternoon with a couple of hours to spare before i had to go and pick up Jacky from work, I dropped onto a swim i had left well alone with the marker float; partly because i already knew this area well and also because i just can't go out and cast rod all day without actually fishing! It didn't take long before i started getting some interest on my stick rod and the lack of diving ducks in the area confirmed the presence of some fish. But even though there were definatley fish near the baits my bobbins remained relatively still until about an twenty minutes before i had to leave, when my roaming pop up rod shot off only to fall silent as i got within inches of it.
Even though i didn't get into any fish this is the most positive action i have had at Ryton this year, and with my new knowledge of the lake gained on this trip I am looking forward to the warmer months.
Sunday i decided it was high time i put a little effort into the challenge i am taking part in with some fellow members of the blogging community. During the cold dark winter, in a quiet moment i sat down with a print out of the species list and wrote next to each of the species what i thought would be the best time of year, and the venues that i thought would afford me the best chance of getting near the record weight of that species.
The one that stuck out to me about now was perch and the venue scribbled next to it was Lanny's lagoon. This little woodland fishery has in the past provided me with some exceptional perch fishing around this time of year. The perch in the big lake come in two sizes, mini and xxxl! If you can get the tiddlers going they come thick and fast, and i have personally caught a giant at well over 3lb and also seen a friend catch one at close to four, though they are rare.
So with this in mind i headed out early only to arrive at Lanny's to find one lake drained and the other one with a large sign saying there was a match booked for today. Oh yes and i forgot a good layer of ice left by the freezing nighttime temperatures.
I really wanted to have a few casts this morning so i headed off to another lake near by i knew held a good head of gonks but this also was very frozen. Two more lakes later i found myself peering out over a frosty makins fishery. Now, it's been along time since i fished a commercial fishery such as this and frankly the reason for this is it aint exactly my cup of tea, but please understand i was desperate...
After three hours of fishing two rods (one for carp and a float rod) all i had two show for my efforts was five small roach. Now if my maths is correct, a day ticket at makins costs £5 i caught five roach thats a £1 each. In my freezer at home i have a pack of five roach that i bought from lanes for £2.90 thats 58p each. So as i see it i should have just gone to the tackle shop and bought myself another pack of roach (which i would own) and sat in my front room looking at them and saved myself £2.10.
What i found amazing was the vast numbers of anglers here fishing on this venue. It was quite a shock as most of the places i have fished over the last few years never have this many anglers crammed on them. I almost felt like telling them all as i passed on my way to the car that we do have other places to fish in the UK other than commercial carp pools.
If only all those anglers realized what good value club fishing is, the hey day of the fishing club might get back to what it was in the past.