Monday, 19 April 2010

A testing weekend

This weekend I had planned two days of dawn till dusk fishing as Jacky was meant to going on a work related mission to Athens. But the small incident involving some kind of bonfire in Iceland and the closure of most of Europe's air space changed my plans before I had chance to execute them. Though after returning from a fruitless morning at Birmingham airport Jacky, the little darling she is, told me not to change my plans and continue as if she wasn't there. Though I knew it wouldn't be fair to continue with my original plan of two fifteen hour back to back sessions, it didn't take a lot of convincing for me to go off for the day.

With a few things to do before I went out, I didn't arrive at ryton till 10am by which time I could see Roger, Barry and Andy around the pool. After settling down in a swim next to Roger I stood chatting to him whilst my rods sat silently warming themselves in the sun next to the water. Roger had caught a Tench before I arrived and I hoped there may be a few more around in the mood for a big munch on a sunny day.

To cut a long story short for the next six hours not a lot happened apart from Pete, of the challenge quartet, turning up and joining me on the disabled platform for a whole ten minutes before we were moved on like a couple of naughty school boys for fishing where we shouldn't. Though in our defence we were unaware that we couldn't fish there and were more than co-operative with the bailiffs request.

After moving for the third time I found myself fishing round the back of the island, but the only thing of interest to happen here was for me to get my first sighting of the fabled ryton turtle, when it popped up next to an overhanging tree nearby.

I know it looks like a stick but I can assure you it was a turtle (terrapin)

I was about to give up hope of getting a run when a new club member who had just been talking to me regarding the pool whistled me from the road bank whilst madly waving his hands and pointing at the water.  After investigation it turned out that he had been pointing to a group of carp sunning themselves in a warm snaggy bay behind me. It took no more than five minutes for me to hastily grab up all my gear and move again and once in position the true number of fish in front of me became apparent. At least fifteen different fish were in two groups - one on the opposite bank and the other tucked away in a corner on my own bank.
On any other lake I would have gone for a floater approach, but ryton's massive water bird population makes floater fishing impossible and irresponsible. So a couple of zigs seemed the best option. The splash of the rigs scattered the fish, but it didn't take long for them to appear back. 

There is nothing more infuriating than watching fish swimming round your bait paying little to no attention, in fact  I sometimes think your far better off not being able to see them at all. So I waited and waited then waited a little more. As I did Keith turned up with his kids and sat chatting to me whilst  I stood  within inches of the rods just in case.
As I stood nattering one of the rods went from silent to screaming as a carp hurtled towards the nearest snag. The fight was far from graceful. It was actually more brutal as the fish tried desperately to get into the snag and I tried to force it away from it. Once out from the snags the fish seemed to loose all it's fight and after declaring I didn't think it was a big fish I was shocked when a carp that looked like it had swallowed a football rolled into the net. I know there were much bigger fish amongst the group but I was made up with capture of this 13lb fish, as the carp that reside in ryton seem to be that bit more special than your average carp that can be caught at most commercial lakes. Keith did the honours with the camera and  his presence proved that Pete may be onto something with his theory that when he comes to visit whilst your fishing, the fish switch on. I may have to make some kind of Lucky Keith J totem for future use. 

Normally I would have thought that all the commotion would have scared of the fish, but straight away the group was back. But I only got one more run which turned out to be a liner where  my whole rig got shifted ten feet across the swim whilst caught on a fin.
Before I left I distributed a large amount of free offerings around the snag to try and keep any lingering fish around till the next morning.


I returned to ryton as soon a I could get through the gate in the morning with that morbid fear you get, that I would find someone else plundering my pre baited swim. But there was only one other car there before me which turned out to be Sean (off the oche) who came over and introduced himself. After a little chat I was desperate to get back (my apologies if I was a bit distracted Sean) But once back at the swim it seemed all quiet and yesterdays fish had moved on. The rest of the morning was no better and after moving round the lake it seemed most of the residents were keeping there heads down. A fact I think Sean discovered too, as by dinner time we had both gone home leaving the lake deserted.

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Back for more slimy green butterbellies.

My tench addiction has in the last week sparked off with vengeance and the only way to satisfy this ever present itch in my mind which causes me to think non stop about those little slimy green butterbellies is to go out and chase them.

With some lieu time burning a hole in my pocket and the sun shining, an afternoon session on Tuesday night seemed the perfect way to scratch said itch. I had heard on Monday night that Pete, another member of the challenge quartet, had bagged a few tench and a nice carp from the shallow bay at ryton that evening. So I knew they were still hanging round where I had been fishing the previous Sunday.

I arrived to a balmy but windswept ryton pool around 2.30pm. I cast out one rod with a pva bag into an area I suspected would yield a tench, and the other rod to some boisterous carp down the bank. I stood back and waited.

It didn't take long for the bag rod to go off, much to the delight of a couple of passing children. One of which had just proclaimed "theres no fish in here", and was promptly razzed by his companion when I bent into the fish. There faces were a picture when I unfolded the net and gave them a close up look at this nice female tench of around 3.5lb.

Though the sun was warm the wind was cutting into me as it blasted into my face and was causing me no end of problems as it battered my lines and hampered my casts. But perseverance paid off when the same rod went off again an hour later, resulting in a male tench of 4lb who once again proved that male tench have to be awkward as it ploughed around the swim trying to get into every snag within reach.

Not long after this fish the weather made a dramatic change as a band of cloud appeared on the horizon. Once the cloud blocked the sun, the temprature dropped at least five degrees which resulted in an instant stop to any bites. After sitting it out for another hour or so I was beginning to suffer and opted to make a move under the wind to a shelterd swim on the opposite bank for my own comfort for the last few hours. I did get a few liners in the new swim but the change in temp and light had by now taken it's effect and the lake had fallen quiet, as had my buzzers.

Monday, 12 April 2010

Ryton pays out a point.

With the heartbreak of last week behind me I decided to return to Ryton for a short morning session. I had been carefully studying the weather and knew that the fish were starting to move, which together I thought would give a decent chance of a run or two. For once I was right!

Upon arriving I was surprised to be the first one there. So with time on my hands I wandered round the lake before  beginning. There were no obvious signs of fish anywhere but with the wind blowing into the shallow bay and the recent high temps I decided to fish a swim in the woods, hoping it would be good place to start.

Fishing two rods, one with a pop up, the other with a pva bag full of goodies and bottom bait on the hook, it didn't take long for my bottom bait rod to shoot off with the bite alarm screaming. The first tench of the day, a fish of the 3.6lb was soon on the bank.

At this point I had a feeling a good session was on the cards and quickly recast back to the same spot. The next run came only fives minutes later this time a much bigger fish managed to escape only feet from the net. But it didn't take long to go again resulting in the biggest fish of the day a long 5.8lb female.

Now I knew there was few in front of me and that they were up for it I switched my other rod to an identical rig and made up two spare hook lengths, these combined with some Korda quick change swivels meant could recast a prebaited rig back onto the spot immedatley after reeling in or catching a fish.
All morning and afternoon my bite indicators were sounding with liners or runs and I added two more fish of 4lb and 2.5lb as well as losing another two.

Of all the fish this little herbert was the one that gave me the most trouble. Forcing me to step into the lake up to my knees to keep it from getting snagged up under a tree and was the only male fish I caught all day.

Finally I found myself in the unnerving position that I only needed one more fish to get my tench point. The waiting for this last fish was absolute agony but eventually the Baitrunner screamed again and my final fish of 3.8lb was in the net and with 18.6lb I was finally on the board at last..

I have to thank Barry (Return to Ryton) who was fishing down the bank, for helping my out by taking some of the photos and netting a couple of the fish as I tried to keep them out of a snag and from tangling my other line.

Eventually I had go home as this short session had overrun by at least four hours and I was more than a little hungry. As I drove home the rising smell of tench slime that was generously spread over my top by a couple of lively bars of soap brought a satisfied smile to my face.

I intend to go back one evening in the week to try and bag a few more, hopefully some bigger ones... 

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Not a glorious return

 Readers of a sensitive or religious nature may find some of the comments in this blog to be both upsetting and offensive!!!

It had been fifteen days and two hours since I last went fishing most of which I had spent lying on the sofa at home recovering. But finally after going back to work I was able to go out for a session, after agreeing with my partner Jacky that it would be a gentle transition back to the outside world and not too far from home.
So Monday afternoon Jacky dropped me off at Ryton. Two weeks off dreaming about what I thought the fishing would be like upon my glorious return was of course completely wrong and as it turned out the fishing was pretty much still as slow as it was when I last fished here. The afternoon passed slowly and my two rods remained silent as I chatted to Roger who was in the adjacent swim. Early on Roger had a screaming run which turned out to be a nice tench of around five pounds.

The time ticked away and although little was happening I was happy to finally be outside agian. As the visitors thinned out and the park quietened down I did get some interest, but a proper run remained elusive until about an hour before I had to leave, when my indicator sounded and the bobbin jerked up then slowy rose. My strike was met by no resistance whatsoever, but it was a good sign and i quickley rebaited and cast back to the same spot. I sat on that cast right to the bitter end but with only twenty minutes till Jacky arrived to pick me up I resinged myself to another blank and began packing up my my bag ready to leave.

My back was turned when it happened and it came with no warning at all, the alarm was screeming instantley and line fizzed from the baitrunner. There was no doubt in my mind as I lifted the rod that I would be met by something proper and I wasn't disappointed. The fish kited from right to left at an amazing speed, my heart was pounding out my chest as I tried to keep contact with it, then it turned and raced towards me. The majority of the fight took place only twenty feet from the bank and after a few savage runs I fianally got a glipse of a golden flank as it rolled on the surface. I knew instantley it wasn't a monster and it would have been lucky to be a double, but I was made up standing there grinning as I played it. Then it happened.... from nowhere my rig came flying straight out the water and landed about two feet from the bank. It took a minute or two for me to react. At first I just stood open mouthed, but then it welled up like a volcano errupting and I couldn't hold it in "You god dam mother fucking shit stabbing son of a bitch bastard knob head aaaaaaaaarrrrggggggggghhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
Needless to say I was incensed at this point, my insane ranting probably disturbed several rare species of wildlife around the contry park, and at hearing my screems every bird at roost for miles took flight.
I have never been so mad by the loss of a fish. If the dalai lama would of appeared in a ball of light and said "Find your inner peace and you will rewarded Daniel"  I would have probably strangled him with his own robe. If God himself would of decended from the heavens and said "worry not Daniel for your patience will again be rewarded" I would have him to fuck off and cram it. The only thing I could do to properly convey my sheer anger at that moment was to take this picture...

It's weird. I have lost fish before and much better ones than this, but after desperatley wanting to get out fishing, then resigning myself to blanking, then from nowhere having such excitment thrust upon me, then finally losing that fish it really got to me.
I can't at this point even say "it was just good to be out fishing again" as that would be like saying "yes it feels realy good getting kicked in the nads" but then again I am a angler and we all know exactly where I will go the first chance I get....
Back for another good kick in the balls...