Tuesday, 31 August 2010

More Tench!

Another late afternoon/evening session at Ryton and I thought I'd have another go from the same swim as Friday evening. I really fancied a Carp from this swim and when the alarm on the left hand rod gave out a scream only moments after being cast out I thought I'd cracked it but when I struck all I felt was the thump, thump, thump of a head shaking Tench and It was to be the first of many. Every cast put into the gap in the tree's resulted in a Tench taking the bait and not every one made it to the net, I lost three fish which managed to twist their way off the hooks aided by the clumps of silty weed being brought in with them, six made it over the cord and they were all the usual size for Ryton. I tried altering the bait sizes and arrangements on the hair to try and avoid a Tench take but they still managed to scoff everything I threw at them and get hooked in the process. 

Tried a triple boilie 'snowman' and still got Tench!

Even though no Carp made a show it turned into a very enjoyable but hectic session.

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Saved by a Tench.

Friday evening and a very short session at Ryton. After last weekends surprise capture of a couple of small carp I thought I would try my luck again. With Colin on the information desk and another angler on the disabled platform, I suspected that any carp at this end of the lake were probably aware of the angling activity going on around them so rather than add more lines to the same area I thought I would tuck myself away in a quiet swim behind the island and fish a spot that saw a few fish out for me earlier in the year. Just as I arrived at my chosen peg a good fish rolled over a spot where I was planning to place one of my baits and there were a few other fish cruising around the bay, I had to wait a few minutes for these Carp to move off before placing the baits up against the tree line, things were looking good.
A good hour passed before I had the first run, the fish came in easily enough with a lump of weed covering it's head and as I pulled it over the cord I could see it was a reasonable sized Tench, it wasn't the Carp I was hoping for but at least it wasn't going to be a fishless session.

Both rods were recast to the tree line and then began another wait. Using binoculars, I could see plenty of activity around the bay with a few bubblers here and there but as I scanned along the tree line where I'd positioned my baits I could see no signs of anything Carpy going on below the surface. Doubts as to whether I'd cast my baits to the right spot or indeed chosen the right swim began to worm their way into my head but as tempting as it was to make a move and cast a line elsewhere in the lake I stayed put. I know Carp move along here so there's always a chance.
Another hour passed and it appeared to be getting darker quickly but a cloud bank had moved over which wasn't helping with the low light, I was at the top of the bank starting to get my kit packed away when typically one of my rods went off, I struck and felt nothing and reeled in a boilieless hook festooned in weed and no lead on the clip, something had snaffled my bait and got away without getting hooked.

Monday, 23 August 2010

Box Break!

Having spent all my free time over the past two weeks packing my flat into lots of little cardboard boxes ready for the big move, I thought a break would be good to clear the head and a few hours on the bank was an excellent idea. I'd neglected the fishing since we returned from the holiday in Wales a couple of weeks ago and rather than choose a guaranteed fish on the bank session like fly fishing for the Carp at Jubilee I found myself fancying a few hours sitting behind alarms and opted for a session at Ryton.

On arrival, I had a quick look around and with only one other angler on the disabled peg I had the choice of swims it's a shame the fish wouldn't make things a bit more interesting as the only Carp  both on top and visibly feeding were in front of the information desk. The first couple of casts were with zigs set at different depths to try and snag one of the cruisers milling around in the area but as more and more bubblers started to show themselves I changed over to bottom baits and PVA sticks to mask the hook point and give me a bit more confidence fishing over the beds of dying weed. 
I had a couple of very quick aborted runs which I put down to Tench and this was confirmed by slime on the hook length, I wasn't feeling too bothered by what I caught today but a Tench would save a blank. 
I had one very fast take which I did think was a Tench, it went all over the place and at some speed but the fight got heavier as it came closer to the bank and it turned out to be one of the smaller Carp, only about 8lb but welcome all the same.

As the evening went on I lost a couple of Tench at the net but still had loads of fish feeding in the area where I'd been casting throughout the afternoon, the last casts of the evening went out and I had a hunch that the left rod would go at any time as the bubbles in the area I'd cast went berserk. As if ordered, off it went and I was soon playing a Tench, I'd lifted the right hand rod off the alarm and dropped the tip into the water so the fish wouldn't get tangled in the line but I heard the clutch give out a series of ticks just before the tench surfaced so I thought it had caught the line, after netting I cut the line next to the leader to avoid any further tangling and lifted the right hand rod out of the water to assess how bad things were, they weren't bad at all, it was another energetic fish that felt like another Tench and it wasn't till it came to the net that I realised it was a small Carp of around three to four pounds and a little smaller in length to the Tench already in the net.

A great finish to the evening but someone hadn't charged the camera batteries since the welsh trip so no photo.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

In Menai's shadow.

Another old haunt was at Menai Bridge and I used to fish here a lot with my father. You can fish here at any state of the tide as there is always water to be found and it's deep. We used to spin for Pollack with a one ounce Toby lure, on the right gear they cast like a dream and you can chuck them a fair distance. One of our favourite spots was right underneath the Menai bridge which is only accessible on the low cycle of a big spring tide. We would only have an hour to venture across the uncovered channel to reach the rock the bridge sits on, the edge of these rocks drop off into the main channel, fish could be caught by jigging the lures in front of us it was that deep. Thankfully we never got cut off by the rising tide but I do remember a couple of close calls. The Menai Bridge pier was another spot worth fishing with bottom baits but when the University's ship the 'Prince Madog' was moored alongside it made things difficult, I considered fishing there last week but the modern version of the same ship was moored in the same place and the rest of the pier was covered in kids crab fishing.

I made an error with this trip and brought the wrong box of lures, instead of a box of heavy metal bars I ended up with a box of balsa fish, these would have been fine for the estuary at shell island but not really suitable for the depths I wanted to fish in the straits, rather than go out and equip myself with another set of spinners for this trip I decided to try something a little different, a sliding float with bait.

The neap tides didn't allow me to cross the channel to the rock under the bridge so I fished close by on the high tide. It took a good few casts to find the depth and the stop knot ended up being just over three rod lengths away from the hook and I was using one of my twelve foot Avon rods. The worm bait was flicked out to the edge of the flow coming from under the bridge as this is where we used to catch the Pollack many years ago, it didn't take to long to find that they were still there and they put up a fair scrap on the Avon rod.

After adjusting the depth to drift over what I thought was a rock I started receiving some very sharp tugs on the float totally different to a Pollack, I persevered and changed hook size till I contacted with the fish which ended up being small Wrasse, I caught two species, Ballan Wrasse and the smaller Goldsinny Wrasse.

Even though they were all small fish they were great fun to catch, thinking back the Goldsinny is only a small species so this one was probably a specimen!!

Back to my roots

A change of plan this year and the canvas we normally sleep under was left at home as we spent a week at my parents on Anglesey. (They live in the village with the very long name) Instead of the usual camping trip to shell island and the angling for Bass in the estuary, the fishing was back to grass roots stuff at some of my old haunts on the Menai Straits. This is where I started my fishing at six years old catching gobby's from rock pools with a six foot rod that was bought for me from Woolworth's. Yes, I can remember when Woolworth's used to sell all sorts of fishing tackle and I invested loads of my pocket money on a few of the rods and reels they had in their range, my first beach multiplier was from there and I remember learning to cast with it in my early teens and once mastered I made the change from fixed spool to multiplier casting for most of my beach fishing as well as the clubs casting competitions. As a junior, I used to be a member of the Llanfairpwll and district sea angling club and we had competitions every other weekend through the spring /summer months with a few one off matches in the winter,  we even had casting competitions run in conjunction with the Sea Angler magazines casting club, these were great fun and I did achieve the 175 metre casting club badge, a long way for a heavy lump of soft metal. Sadly, all this was given up when I left the area to go to university, that is when the fishing changed but that's another story.

The first session was on the quay at Pwllfanogl and is where I used to fish several times a week after school, we used to fish mostly for Codling and Flatties with the odd trip for Congers, this session was more to do with seeing if anything had changed. Lug and Crab had been collected from the beach and the fishing was around low tide, one hour down, three up which used to bring the best results along this section of the straits, things hadn't changed and I started getting rattly bites straight away the culprits being some very small Codling no bigger than the top of my box.

They were feeding along the edge of a bank at around one hundred metres out, on the edge of the main flow, and were taking the bait as soon as it hit the bottom. After a hectic hour on the Cod I dropped the casts short onto the rougher ground infront of the quay with the intention of a Doggie or two, they used to be fairly predictable and very useful during the club competitions. After a couple of casts to find the spots I had the first of many on the bank.

Had it been November, the Codling would have been much bigger as this is when the main run of Cod used to pass through the straits with double figure fish being fairly common, catching a few small Codling together with a few Dogfish (Or should I call them Catsharks!!) had me smiling all the way back to the village.