Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Review of the year

With 2009 drawing to a close I thought I would do a round up of some of my favourite catches of the year.

'Ryton Carp' this blog was initially going to be an online diary of my Carp catches at Ryton Pool but you never know where fishing will take you next, different species, different waters and different styles of fishing not suited to Ryton have all seen me drift away from the place and return, I always keep an eye on what's happening there and as soon as the ice melts I'll be back on the lake fishing for the Pike but with one eye on the water looking for any early signs of Carpy activity. My first post was back in March this year, I'd just had one of those really good days at Ryton, (Rare, but they do happen!) it was a surprisingly warm day for the time of year considering we'd had a very cold winter and I managed to bag four good Carp as well as five Tench. The biggest Carp of the day was a Common of 22lb, this was to be my biggest Carp from Ryton Pool this year.

There have been rumours of a big Carp being caught at Ryton this year and from the descriptions I've heard, short and round like a beach ball, I believe it to be 'Melissa' the Common Carp I caught a couple of years ago when she was 27lb 13ozs, she now weighs in at 32lb! One to go for next year!!

'Melissa' at 27lb 13oz back in 2007

Carp on the fly.
I spent a lot of time at Jubilee Pools this year pursuing the Carp with fly tackle, something I'm not able to do at Ryton because of the lack of space for a cast. I find catching Carp on the fly as a really exciting branch of the sport and would highly recommend giving it a go if you have some old fly tackle at home. I get a lot of satisfaction from making the biscuit shaped flies and then see a Carp take one off the surface, the scrap you get even from the smaller fish is something else, the bigger fish, wow!!.

I lost count of how many Carp I caught on the fly this year but the largest was a Mirror of 15lb 12 oz, a real pretty fish.

Sea Fishing. On my Holidays this year in Devon and North Wales, the rods were taken and fish were caught but the weather did have an affect on the sport. At Westward Ho!, the change in wind direction made it unsafe to fish the nearby rock marks so a trip up the local estuary helped me find some small Bass. After a few days I got back onto the rock marks and caught some more Dogfish, I'd heard of a few Smoothhounds coming out from these marks but I wasn't able to gather enough of the correct bait, peeler crab, to catch any. I'm at the same place next summer so fingers crossed this time for a Smoothy.
North Wales was my annual camping jolly to Shell Island with more small Bass and Flounders. I've caught Bass to 6lb here on previous holidays but not this year, the one plus point about this years trip was that I caught my first ever Bass on a fly which was magic. I'm tying some new saltwater flies ready for next years trip, I hope the Bass like them!

Zander. I'd seen Zander being caught but never realised they were as prolific as they are in the canal and river systems in the midlands area. I caught my first Zed in the autumn of this year after being introduced to a stretch of canal that holds a good population, it's after fishing this stretch that I decided to try and catch a Zed from the local canal in Coventry this was the start of my 'Quest for an urban Zed' series of posts, most of these Zander were not monsters and only weighed a few pounds but I did get one very lucky catch of a fish weighing 9lb 11oz, caught on one of my first trips fishing into darkness for these predators.

Winter. The colder weather has either seen me at Ryton Pike fishing or on the Avon chasing Chub. The Pike have been very shy on deadbaits and I have done much better with spinning tactics on previous years but all these fish have been the smaller jacks and not any of the lakes larger ladies. I have had been told that the best time for them is at the beginning of the year so fingers crossed for a new PB Pike in 2010.
When Ryton and the canals have been frozen solid I've spent some time on a stretch of river I've not been to for a few years, the Avon at Coventry and it has produced some rather nice Chub over the past week when most places weren't fishable. I know there are good Chub in this stretch to over 5lb so fingers crossed for some better fish from this stretch of river for next year.

To all the anglers who have casually stumbled across these pages or who subscribe to my blog, may I wish you all the best for the new year and tight lines for 2010.

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