Sunday, 17 January 2010


Today was nice and mild with bright sunshine and compared to some of the weather we've had recently was perfect for a few hours of fishing. I knew the level in the river would be up after Saturday's rain and the melt water from all the snow. I thought Ryton would be worth a look at and maybe one of the canals but they'd been frozen solid over the Christmas break so I wasn't feeling lucky. Most of Ryton was solid with ice, one corner was clear but with all the condemned pegs in that corner, peg choice was limited, plus one of them was already occupied by an angler, one too many for the size of water available!. Time for a change of plan and venue, the canal at the Blue Lias wasn't that far away, the ice here was all smashed up from boat activity so there were a few clear spots including one in front of a set of lock gates which looked to good not to have a chuck, Barry had done well along this stretch on Christmas day catching three Zed's in a hole in the ice so I felt quite confident, plus I'd brought a pack of frozen Roach with me in case Ryton wasn't fishable, their perfect for Zed's so I baited up with these and set my sights on a Zander.
It was a good few hours before I had my first sniff at the bait, I'd tried the deeper holes in front of the gates and the weir on the far side of them and then along the line of rushes on the far bank and not had a touch, bait time in the water was limited by the chunks of ice, like icebergs, drifting around in the wind, at times I managed to sink my line and stay on a spot for about ten minutes before I had to reel in and recast. A couple of boats went through breaking up the ice a bit more so I brought the float back across the canal to the slightly deeper main channel and started to fish this line, it was whilst I was chatting with another angler, Gary, that I noticed the first twitch on the float, there were a few more twitches then whatever it was lost interest, I tried moving the bait a few inches to induce a take but the float didn't move. After checking the bait and recasting to the same spot and it wasn't long before it was off again, this time there were a couple of tugs and then a positive run with the float getting dragged under a sheet of ice, not wanting the float to go too far under the ice I struck but hit nothing.

Another blank but at least I had a run which shows the fish are willing to feed in the cold.
Something I did notice was how light it was at 5pm this evening!!

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