Like a few others I have been dipping my toe in the fickle waters of Ryton pool on and off as the weather warms up, and a midweek session seemed the perfect opportunity to try again. A week or two of nice warm weather should be waking the fiskies from their winter slumber ready for a hearty breakfast. That's what I thought anyway...
Double figure temperatures and hazy sunshine made for good weather conditions and a few others thought so to as when I arrived there was three other anglers entrenched around the lake. I nearly always like to start out on the road bank but the peg I fancied was rather occupied by another regular and the only other free peg on that side was full of waring Canadian geese, so I opted to head for the shallow woodland bank.
Initially I started off in a swim called morris's but after punting a chod rig onto a holding feature on the opposite bank and a pva bag into open water, I spent the next hour scanning the lake for any signs of fish.
I sometimes amaze myself at my ability to discern the sound of a jumping carp from the noise a bunch of randy geese make when their kicking off, and somewhere in that racket I caught that lovely noise a carps tail makes as it propels its self skyward. Scrabbling along the bank I got into the next swim with enough time to see it breach again. The move was on!
Some frantic reeling and three trips later I was set up in a new swim and ready to fire the chod rig with upgraded lead as close to the area where the carp had jumped.
In front of this swim is a bar which acts as a fish highway so it seemed the obvious place for the bag rod to go. With the second rod out I settled in to make a few bags up ready for a quick change.
Early in the year I find putting the leads inside the bag reduces my runs for some reason, so instead I thread the bags direct onto the hook link, this allows the lead to sink first with the buoyant bag slowing its descent onto the bottom. I have tested this rig loads of times in the edge, and nine times out of ten when the bag begins to dissolve and sink the hook link ends up straight in line, ready to tag anything that picks up the hook bait that is nestled within the attractive free pellets and crushed boilie.
Straight away I was getting indications on the buzzers but nothing seemed to be having it and soon I felt something was a miss. I am a real fan of slack lines but on this occasion I felt fish were on the baits but getting away with out getting hooked up. So some tension was in order! I hate having bow taught lines cutting through the water as it is a recipe for spooking wary fish, so the answer was to recast with a fresh bag and tighten up the line to straighten it out. I then slackened off to let the line sink, and tightened up with the bobbins attached using only the free spool, so the weight of the bobbin was resting on the floor but the line was just under tension against the flying backlead.
I had loads of odd bleeps and was about to move on again before a different bleep sounded for the indicator and the bobbin rose slightly before dropping again. That was enough for me to strike and low and behold a dull resistance was felt through the rod. It felt heavy but wasn't pulling back much at all. What ever it was it came up to the top thirty yards out and wallowed on the top. A this point I thought I had hooked my first ever bream from this pool of which there are very few but which are very large but half way back I spotted green tail on the top.
My first Ryton tench of 2011 was soon in hand. Although it was on the lean side as they always are at this time of year it was a long female fish of 5.1lb. Later in the year when she's filled out she'll be well over six.
Later on I was just recasting after changing my chod rig over to another bag rig when mid cast the other rod screamed off on a proper one toner. I connected with a small but spirited common carp which vibrated its was right to the cord of the net before shedding the hook once in sight.
I only got two other runs both of which returned nothing but a sweetcorn masked off hook which I had added to the bag mix to add some continuity to the corn tipped hook baits. D'oh! but still they are waking up and give it few more weeks and both the carp and tench should be hard on the feed.