Tuesday, 24 March 2009

A Bronze Tench amidst March Winds - deja vue

Ryton Pool - 24.3.09 after work

It's tough at the moment. It's not summer. It felt like Spring last week but this week it's reverted back to late winter.

Tonight the wind was a cool stiff WNW on Ryton pool with 9C on the dial upon arrival and 5C upon departure. It also rained on and off for the duration.

I was targeting both Tench and Pike from Ryton. Having had one of those days - you know the ones - I had driven off from work leaving my maggot tub in my parking space (where it had sat under my car during the day). Thankfully my fishing pal and colleague Pete was on hand to rescue the grubs before security blew them up or evacuated the surrounding area.

Once at Ryton I elected to fish 'Roger's' peg. I call it Roger's for no other reason than Ryton regular Roger Booth built by hand it last year. In fact I did so well off it with the Tench last year I took it's photo.

I took another photo tonight for prosperity and you can compare the two below.


Last year;
It's funny isn't it, although my gear looks similar there are some big differences in the set-ups used. I always get that feeling when looking at old fishing photos - 'how little did I know back then!'. I suppose the day I stop getting that feeling is the day my fishing stops progressing.

Going back through my photo records it seems I also caught a Tench from the peg about this time last year.

Last year;

I had a two Tench tonight. The first was 3lb 12oz and the second weighed 5lbs 7oz and so gets me a bronze in the fishing challenge. I had it on bread flake under a lift method waggler. However, I think the five pounder is the same fish as the one I caught last year!! Check out the photos and look at the tail.


That's only my third Tench from Ryton this year and already I'm amongst the five pounders, I hope the reports of 9lb+ Tench from the pool carry some weight, we'll see.

One thing's for sure, once the clocks go forward next week these fishing reports will be appearing on the Wednesday rather than a Tuesday evening.

Finally, the bronze Tench brings me level with Pete in our challenge.

Suffice to say the Pike rod didn't twitch at all this evening. When I brought it in the bait was well weeded. Next week I'll have to either suspend the bait under a float or pop it up off the bottom and hope for a take. All of a sudden I need that 10lb Pike!!!!

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Fish Netting & Ryton

Mon 16th March - Fish netting Warwickshire Pool for LAA
Tuesday 17th - Ryton Pool

I once again assisted with a netting party on a Warwickshire pool this Monday with the aim of moving fish on to Leamington Angling Assoc. waters.

Nineteen double figure Carp went into Snitterfield reservoir (max 14lbs). Roach, Rudd and Bream went into College Pool at Wasperton. The Leamington Angling Assoc. website will carry full details in a short time.

The netting went really well. Attached are a few snaps of the silvers and Carp going into their respective new homes.

Some cracking Rudd went into College Pool...

And some mint Carp went into Snitterfield reservoir...


I had a short session after work with Pete for the Tench at Ryton Pool. We plumped for the shallower bank opposite the road. Pete fished at range and got a result with a 14lbs 4oz Common.

I fished the margins with one rod on float and the other with corn on a lead. Although I lost a Carp on the ledger just as dusk was closing in I had nothing other than a few bleeps to report. The float stayed perfectly still all evening.

I worked out that I've approx twelve evening sessions to get one of these good Tench. It doesn't sound like very long when you say t like that though!

Sunday, 15 March 2009

It's all over...... To the still waters men!!

Stratford Theatre section, LAA, noon til dusk.

So the rivers are now out until mid-June. Time to morph those images that rush through your mind the night before a days fishing from slender aerodynamic things into something decidedly more plump.

Also though a time for still water, which although not as hypnotic as the running variety reveals more on it's surface to an angler by way of rooting, bubbling and rolling fish. You know summer's arrived when a pincer movement of bubble streams home in on your baited area.

You're also reminded you're a duffer when the bubble streams just suddenly stop making the beeline to your hookbait and disappear, presumably because the concentration of bait on the deck triggers an instinct in the fish that the area's not safe . The number of times I've seen this at Brandon! A three pronged attack of bubble streams from three different angles all stop suddenly about the same distance from the centre of the baited area - where my hookbait has been accurately cast.

All this is to look forward to....

Oh yes, the rivers, I remember them. My last day was spent on the theatre section at Stratford. Still slightly delusional from the events of the preceding week I thought I would sew up this fishing challenge thing with my mate by bagging a 2lb Roach.

Fishing simple, a single maggot under a waggler a third of the way across, and feeding light, I had a bite every cast for the first ten casts. I caught mostly Roach up to 10ozs with the odd Bleak intercepting the bait on the way down. [Having just this minute checked, a 10oz Roach gets me squat in the competition.] Although the bites slowed, I continued to catch Roach and Bleak steadily until Pike started to grab each fish I hooked.

I pulled a spinner through the swim but nothing was fooled.

I left the spinning rod set up, dropped the rest of the gear back at the car and went to join Pete who was fishing the weir. Within twenty minutes of my arrival he hooked a good Barbel on maggot feeder (and 3lb bottom!). I don't know whether the fish was foul hooked from the off or wrapped up in the fight but after about five minutes when it came to the surface it was facing the wrong way and looked tethered rather than hooked. Big triangular fins were proud of the water. I had my Polaroids on and could see it was a good fish beneath the surface - it was a bright day.

It then gave a kick and was off.

'The editors' were fishing the right hand flow of the weir and too lost a good fish on maggot feeder. Notably the grounbait and pellet approach only delivered knocks on the day.

I had a small Perch on the spinner which was about 3/4 of the baits length.

I'm going to continue posting here whilst the close season is among us, but it's going to be lakes from here on in.... tight lines.

Friday, 13 March 2009

PB Barbel - What a week

13.3.09 LAA stretch of Avon at Stratford

The fat lady's warming up her vocal chords and I've a loud ticking noise in my head. That can mean only one thing, it's the end of the season madness'!

This day has been booked off with work for some time, and I've a pass out from the missus tomorrow.

Still smiling from my earlier success in the week with the Chub, I decided to once again go all out for a Barbel before the curtain comes down.

Stratford was the venue and a bucket-load of home made 'special' groundbait with various hook baits was the plan of attack.

Arriving at about 08:30 in the recreation ground car park my heart sank as I saw through bushes an angler in what I thought was the spot I had my mind set on. As I drew closer I could see he was 'comfortably' downstream of where I wanted to be. Hands up who's not been in that awkward situation where you're in the favoured peg and someone sets up within spitting distance of you, making everyone uncomfortable for the duration.

I set two rods up. First a Barbel rod with a groundbait feeder and hair rig. Second a maggot feeder rod to while away the hours until dusk arrived - in my opinion the witching hour for Barbel.

Second cast on the Barbel rod and wallop - the tip bangs round and line is pulled from my bait runner before I've had chance to get my hands on the rod. The fight is powerful but thankfully incident free. I've soon hailed the guy downstream who joins me on the bank and who articulates my unspoken assessment of the situation - 'this is either a carp or a good Barbel'.

The fish powers upstream causing me to give my verdict - 'this is a Barbel'. I then catch sight of the fish in the water and see this is one serious Barbel. I start gibbering at this point and there's therefore no value in relating anything I said after this point as it's all rubbish.

Once in the net the sheer size of the fish becomes apparent. It was like as the guy lifted it up from the water in the net it took on a scale and proportion which couldn't be judged whilst it was 4ft below in the water and belting around. It took me a while to come back down to earth.

Anyway, enough verbiage. It was a fat fish that weighed 15lbs 14ozs. A new PB.

I met a guy in the afternoon who was there when the previous river record (16lb 4oz) was caught a couple of years ago around sausage island and he identified it as the same fish.

I went on to catch just two Bream both about 3lbs during the whole rest of the day.

One final thing. My fishing pal Pete with whom I am currently engaged in a fishing challenge spent last week on Gran Canaria chasing things other than carp but also finding some time for a carp fishing day trip during his stay. During the trip he caught a 29lb 3oz and 30lb 0oz Carp.

In the past few days I have argued vehemently that these fish should not be included in the scores for our fishing challenge. Principally because the targets we set were in the context of the fish we could hope to catch in the coming year. Assumed in this was that we lived and fished on waters we knew within the UK.

Suffering from the slight delirium of a two PB week, I have reluctantly agreed that these foreign fish are now valid within our competition.

I think this shows that despite being caught outside the UK, on loaned tackle and where the fishing guide had not-only pre-baited the swim but also tied, baited the rigs and cast them, my generosity is exceeded only by my model good looks.

So the scores on the doors are now......

The way this week's gone he's going to need every point he can lay his brummy hands on!!!! :)

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Pb Chub!

Plough AS, 10.3.09

Since catching that Tench at Ryton last Sunday my mind has been adjusting to the slim possibility that I'm not destined to catch just Chub for the rest of my life.

Hearing reports of good Barbel from the Avon on the grapevine and in the local press I decided that tonight would be an all out push to try and nick a Barbel before the curtain closes on the season and in particular the Plough (pronounced Pluff :).

I started upstream of where I eventually ended up. The peg is just upstream of my first ever Barbel from the stretch and where I caught a fish on the last day of last season.
The sun was out upon my arrival and everything felt right.

I fed small balls of groundbait into the run against the reeds on the far side and fished a pellet on a hair. After half an hour I had a pluck, but no more after that.

I moved downstream to a swim I have fished recently and where I have seen and hooked Barbel in the warmer months.

Within a few minutes of sitting down a Robin came to see if I could provide him with tea. After I'd shared some of my groundbait with him he sat upon my rod and started reciting the works of Shakespeare. Quickly realising I'd overdone the hallucinogens again I pulled myself together to concentrate on the matter in hand.

Concentrating on the pacy midstream water I again fished a pellet on a hair. After half an hour I had a pull round and felt the weight of a sturdy fish. It stayed low in the strong current and I thought I had connected with a Barbel. After some steady persuasion I drew the fish into the slack water on the near bank. I could now see it was a good Chub.

The fish pulled the scales round to 6lb 3ozs! A new Pb!

Unlike my previous Pb from this stretch this fish was in great nick, with hardly a mark on it.

I backed this fish up with one other of 3lb 15ozs, took a photo of the moon rising and retired to the pub.

Although I have still not regained my early lead, the scores on the doors on this years fishing challenge between me and my mate are looking more respectable tonight!

A break from the norm (it's not a Chub!)

Ryton Pool, LAA, Sunday 8th March 14:00 - 18:00 hrs

With the end of the river season looming I thought I'd better start to get in tune with still water once again.

In my minds eye I associate stillwaters with warmth, summer, and rolling fish. I managed one out of three.
Despite the golden glow in the photo, Ryton was earlier battered by a stiff wind and heavy showers during the afternoon. I was firmly under my brolly and so promptly fell asleep, making sure my alarm was on loud on the carp rod and clutch set to minimum on the float rod.

I put a chod rig over a bed of particles on the carp rod in the deep water by the car park, and set up a light float outfit fishing maggot under a waggler. Absolutely no watercraft was engaged during swim selection. The swim I chose was a) close to my car and b) out of the wind (Izaak forgive me). If it was warmer then I would have followed the stiff wind.

Nothing occurred until about 17:30 when I saw the first Tench roll over my bait. Shortly after I had a bite and connected with a small but thoroughly miserable looking Tench of about three pounds.
Despite seeing no fewer than seven Tench roll in and around my baited area, not more bites resulted. This pool has produced Tench of significant size this past year and so although the place has got little to do with the Warks Avon you might be hearing quite a bit about it during the pending hiatus on the rivers.

The air temperature dropped rapidly as the sun dipped and by the time I reached the car it was 3c on the dial. I did see one carp throwing itself about late on, but other than that Ryton looked to be still waking up to the fact the seasons are on the turn.

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

And so it came to pass; it's freezing again!

4.3.09 Plough stretch after work.

After last weeks (relative) success with the Chub, with maggot straight on the hook, I called in at Lanes and picked up two pints of whites on my way past.

It chucked it down over here last night. Heavy. Cold. Rain. It was like a flashback to the appalling weather on Jan / Feb. On the way into work this morning the Blythe was well up and threatening it's banks at junct. 4 of the M6. Taking this into account I elected to fish the middle section of the club water as the bottom section appears to spill over the bank if you so much as take a leak. Many a time I've seen anglers running for the safety of the hills because a big lad has vented his thermos upstream.

I was back in the swim I'd given a go a few weeks back, where I know there's plenty of Chub under the trees. I've caught Barbel there too but to be honest it was too cold for them to be a real prospect.
Starting with a maggot feeder in the slack / laminar water on the far side, the trembles and chobbles began on the first cast.

I didn't want my bait smashed up continuously so focused the feeder-loads more towards the main flow.

This resulted in a tap-tap bite which I in turn converted into a Chub. No great shakes, 3lb 2ozs.

I lost another Chub soon after this due to the shear force of the main flow. I hit a tentative bite and the fish was on, but as soon as it entered the flow the hook pulled with the lead flying past me upstream.

Bumped into Swivel (blog follower) once again who did much better than me with a new PB Chub of 5lb 6ozs. Nice work.

My pb Chub is from the very same swim and is 5lb 7ozs. My fish looked like it was a hundred years old though!! I also know for a fact that my pb Chub is also a guy on BFW's PB fish too. Small world eh?