Sunday, 30 May 2010

Getting my fix!

I love to feed my addiction to fishing with a few short sessions here and there and did just that on Thursday evening at Jubilee. I arrived at the lake at around six thirty then fed a few spots with biscuits to see if the Carp would rise, It was tough and it took a while to get a fish on the top, in one of the swims being fed I had three fish  moving between  biscuits very cautiously, they were checking every bait before either taking or rejecting, this is the sort of fishing challenge I love and hooking one would give me the buzz I needed. After watching their feeding pattern I started to put longer casts out to the back of the area being fed as the Carp seemed to be more confident at taking a snack at that range, it still took a while to get the only fish of the evening but the scrap you get on light tackle was worth the wait.
Friday was a similar short session, I had commitments for the evening with a concert at the NIA in Birmingham and Sharon fancied a picnic lunch somewhere which included a pass to bring a rod and by two o'clock we were having lunch at Jubilee, my gear was ready to go from the previous evening so there was no messing around preparing stuff before leaving. Even though the sun was out the surface chop from the wind was keeping the fish down, I found a couple of spots where the fish would take off the top but as soon as the wind caused any surface ripple they would switch off. After a few moves I settled on a spot where the biscuits would drift on the wind to a calm area just in front of an overhanging tree where they were being scoffed by a couple of fish. I ate my lunch and fed the Carp before even attempting to cast a line to them, if I got the first cast wrong they would disappear. Some careful feeding had the fish further out from the tree giving me the room to present a fly better and the second chuck had a Carp rise right beneath the fly and take without hesitation. It didn't half strip some line for such a small thing but I had it under control fairly quickly and it was soon in the net.

I'd blown this spot, on a normal session I would leave it alone for an hour or so before returning for a look but we were due to leave soon so I waited and continued to feed, a few fish moved in and out of the swim but nothing would take off the top.

Monday, 24 May 2010

New PB!

I popped to Ryton early this afternoon to tend to my duties as bailiff and have a good look around, there was still a fair few fish in the shallows with anglers surrounding them on the disabled peg and on Morris's. The chap on the disabled peg (He had a key) had a couple of fish earlier on in the morning and lost a third at the net. The rest of the lake was free from anglers and I saw a fair few fish moving in areas that I've not fished yet this year so I'll have to try them soon.

Barry's tales of fly caught Carp got the better of me and I'd spent the morning getting the fly gear sorted after packing it away at the end of last year. Jubilee is only a short hop from Ryton and I arrived just before the match finished at two but I hadn't realised that it  was being held on the main lake. I was hoping that there would be a few spaces clear on the horseshoe lake as this usually gets busy  with regulars when matches are held on the island lake, luckily there was only a few people there so I had a fair few swims to chose from.
I got the fish feeding on the top fairly quickly as they were cruising around enjoying the sun, I had a take almost first chuck but it threw the hook. It wasn't too long before I had the first of five fish on the bank at 9lb 8oz's. I've had this fish out a few times (see July 2009 blog) it has a recognisable 'hunchback' kink to it's spine, it must love biscuits.

After a bite to eat I had the second fish at 10lb 12oz's, a quick move saw the biggest fish of the day on the bank, more about that in a bit. Another quick move saw a small 6lber in the folds of the net, I then found myself at my original swim and had a lengthy tussle with a 12lb 13oz common.

The best fish of the day came from a tight little swim that's done me well in the past, there were fish all over the place, I threw a few biscuits in front of the platform and a big fish came up out of no where and sucked two down before moving off. I flicked my biscuit fly into place and waited for it to return which it soon did engulfing two more biscuits the second having a hook in it, I leaned back into the fish and all hell broke loose as it tore off down the right margin, I was having a job to keep in touch with it as it was taking line off the spool at some speed, I leaned forward off the peg to keep the tip below the water to keep the line away from the roots and branches, it took a while to get it under control letting the clutch and spring of the rod cushion the lunges, it took a little longer than usual to land but when it was safely in the net I realised that it was a potential PB.

Scales confirmed it at 17lb 6oz's, a new PB fly caught Carp.

Sunday, 23 May 2010

So close?

After another blank on Friday I was in two minds whether to bother with Ryton at all.  The Carp had spawned earlier in the week and looked as though they just wanted to chill out in the afternoon sun, they were all over the top so a couple of zigs were tried to tempt a take but it wasn't happening, I even fired out some biscuits with the hope that a few fish may become interested in taking a snack off the top but that wasn't going to happen either. 
I woke up early on Saturday and headed to the lake for a morning session and only got half way round before spotting a large muddy patch in front of Morris's, "That'll do" I thought and settled in for the morning. A pop-up was the first bait out and I instantly started to get liners which slowed the setting up of the bottom bait rod but it wasn't too long before they were both in the murky stuff primed for a take. Other than a few bleeps from fish knocking the line nothing developed and after seeing a fish crash in the area to the front of the disabled peg I swapped over to a zig and cast it in that direction. I was sorting out another zig for the second rod when a one toner screamed out from the alarm, the tip pointing in the direction of a fish on the run, by the time I'd got to the rod it must have gone through several weed beds, I pulled into the fish and felt a few kicks back before the weight of the weed took over and I reeled in a huge clump of the stuff.

When clearing the weed from the line I notice something shiny on the bend of the hook, sadly it wasn't the big common I'd have liked but a fish scale, so close!

A sight I don't like to see is dead fish and I had to remove this good sized Tench from the lake during the morning, at first I thought it was the fish with the damaged jaw but it's mouth was perfect.

Another hot one is forecast for tomorrow and I really don't know what to do, Barry didn't help things ,  he arrived as I was packing up and told me of a 17lb Carp he'd had the night before at Jubilee, He'd caught it on a fly rod which makes it really tempting as I want to up my PB fly caught Carp this year.

Hmm, what do I do?

Monday, 17 May 2010


Fished a few times this weekend, started with a session on Friday afternoon/evening and blanked. I did see one Carp get caught from a corner where a few fish were visibly feeding but there was only room for the one angler on this spot.
An early start on Saturday saw me fishing the swim I couldn't get onto the previous evening and the fish were still having it, a few fish showed and all looked good for a run or two but nothing happened all morning so I put some food in with the view to return for a couple of hours in the evening, I did and blanked again.
Sunday was another afternoon/evening session and when I saw peg one free I was happy, on my way home the previous evening I had a quick look around the lake and saw four Carp feeding in front of the duck feeding area, the pot bellied fish from a few weeks ago was one of them so I was hoping that they would re-appear again that evening. I cast a couple of zigs around with the hope of a fish in the late afternoon sun before swapping over to bottom baits and placing them as tight to the wall as I'd dare cast ready for an evening run.
If I'd have won the lottery on Saturday, I don't think I'd have had enough money to buy a bite this weekend, it was PANTS!

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Tench and a Personal Goal.

Fished an early session on Saturday and after a walk around the lake and a quick chat with Andy who had just banked a nineteen pound plus common, I made my way to a swim that looked promising. I was fishing the point opposite the island and I put both rods out with PVA bags on to two spots I'd caught from before. The persistent and chilly north easterly wind was still with us and the sheltered area at the front of the island seemed to draw the fish in, there were plenty of bubblers showing and I decided to change one rod over to a chod rig to try and get a quick bite. I cast this to areas where these fish had been bubbling with the hope they would return and did have a couple of sharp tugs through the session, too quick to be liners, my hook can't have been sharp enough to snag whatever was tasting the bait. All the action came on the PVA bag and bottom bait with a single Carp, which I did mistake for a Tench until it broke the surface and five good sized Tench.

One of the tench was in a rather sorry state with a badly mangled bottom lip, it's jaw bones visible poking through the skin, not nice to see.

At the end of February I opened this years carp account at Ryton and over the next few weekends I managed to pull one out here and one out there, a few weeks ago I realised that I'd caught at least one Carp from the lake every weekend since the account was opened, since then I've still managed to catch but I decided to make it a goal to achieve this and see how far I could get. Today I reached my tenth consecutive weekend with a Ryton Carp on the bank, all be it just short of seven pounds.

I'm not one to gripe about things but something I do want to have a moan about is at Morris's. I'd left a few saplings grow there last year so they could be pruned back to provide some stalking cover for this summer, these were pruned back earlier in the year and other anglers who regularly fish this peg had noticed, some liking the idea so I wasn't just doing it for myself. I was told today that someone has cut these down and now left the peg wide open to any fish that swims past in the margins making it crap for stalking, thanks!!

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

The Evil One!

I missed a great opportunity on Sunday evening. A very good Carp rolled in front of me on my arrival at the log swim and I had a Tench fairly quickly off the spot but a few Carp were now beginning to show on the far side of the lake, something was telling me that I should move on these fish. I normally cast to fish that head and shoulder out of the lake and if they are out of range of a long cast then I move to a swim where I can reach them. I'd seen Carp show regularly in front of the logs on previous sessions and it's not often I can get onto this peg to fish it, I had a hunch that a Carp might make an appearance and being as the Tench were feeding then so might the Carp, I decided to stick it out. Carp continued to roll on one spot on the far side throughout the session, I should have gone with my instinct and moved on them!

Monday had me at the lake again for another late session, there were no signs of any fish and the cold spell we were experiencing wasn't helping matters, the wind was very cold and so were the rain showers. There was a heavy shower just before six after which the wind died down to a very light breeze, a few bubbler's started to show and I felt a bite might be on the cards, I was right and in the next half an hour I had three Tench on the bank, very hectic. I was holding out for a Carp as I'd done well here earlier this weekend, but it wasn't to be. It wasn't a complete loss though, I did bank four Tench.

Something I did see that wasn't very nice was the evil streak in the resident male mute swan, rather than pick on the geese like he normally does he picked on the newest additions to the lake, the group of eight ducklings, now seven. He followed the group across the lake quickly gaining on them before trapping them against the bank on the far side then grabbing one of the fleeing youngsters and drowning it, luckily there were no members of the public around with children to witness this.

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Saturday Zig.

An early start today and after dropping the gear off at peg two I headed off for a couple of laps of the lake in search of a feeding fish or two, I ended up settling on peg two as the only visible signs of fish bubbling were in front of the tree's on the no fishing bank. Rods were dispatched to their spots and I set about sorting out some fresh hook links and baits ready for the first recast. A good fish crashed out in the middle of the lake and was in casting distance from the log swim on the far side so I thought about a move to be on the fish and started to pack away my gear, I glanced around towards the logs and noticed a red jumper clad angler standing there, never mind, peg two it was.
As the sun rose higher I noticed more and more Carp up on the top, there were plenty of bubblers in between them so they must have been in a feeding mood. I quickly set up a zig and put it out amongst them. Nothing happened for a good hour so I changed boilie colour and whacked it back out. Anthony had dropped by for a chat about the pegs, the possible solution being steel cages (gabions) filled with rock to replace the wonky slabs, a good idea I think. We were in the swim next door chatting about how under cut the bank was and how a cage full of rock in front of the swim would make everything more stable, Anthony went to fetch his waders from the car to have a poke around some of the other swims and I went back to my rods, I noticed that the bobbin on the zig rod was tight up against the front of the alarm but there was no line leaving the spool, I hadn't switched on the alarm so missed the initial take, I picked up the rod, slowly tightened the line and could feel a few gentle nods through the tip, I switched off the baitrunner and lifted into a very heavy lump that pulled back, now it made a run. It felt a very good fish by the way it pulled line off the spool but I soon had it under control and slowly played it back to the net allowing it to go when it wanted to, I could hear some voices from the top of the bank behind me and tried not to let them bother me until the fish was safely in the net, the Carp plodded around in front of the swim for a while before submitting to the folds of mesh, I then turned round to find a small audience watching and even had a small round of applause.
A wader clad Anthony was on hand to help with the weighing and photography as a group of onlookers watched, Anthony read 19lb off the scales, nice!

I had a Tench at around lunchtime but all the Carp had disappeared off the top and I couldn't see any signs of feeding fish, the session finished at one.

Last one of the first quarter.

Only a short session on Friday, I didn't get to the lake till just after five thirty and I made a hasty start that didn't feel right, even though the wind was blowing into this swim from the right direction it just didn't feel 'Carpy' so I moved to the point opposite the island and just as I put my stuff down a Carp popped it's head out of the lake infront of my swim, that was more like it.
It was good half an hour into the session when a Tench made an appearance, they are very welcome and prove that the rigs work well but I was just hoping I wouldn't get too many more of these as Carp were my target, I'd already seen another good fish show on a slightly different spot and decided too put my next bait there and not long after I did it went off, something heavy was shaking it's head around in it's bid for freedom and it escaped, the rod was rebaited and put out onto the same spot.
Andy stopped for a chat on his way out of the park and we had a discussion about rigs and exchanged a few ideas, we also saw a Carp being caught on peg one which is always good to see. It was getting late and I was thinking about packing up when a one toner screamed out from one of the alarms, the rod tip was pulled round as a good fish made off with the bait, I picked up the rod and allowed the fish to run before engaging the clutch, it just carried on going and kited in towards the front of the island, I turned it and it came towards me twisting and turning along the way, the closer it came to the mesh the smaller it felt and at one point I even joked about it being a tail hooked tench, instead a nice Mirror Carp rolled over the cord and into the waiting net. Photo's were taken (Cheers Andy) and a lifted scale was attended to before it was released. It weighed in at 12lb 10oz's.

It was still light when this picture was taken, the flash makes it look like the middle of the night.