Monday, 27 February 2012

It's what it's about!

It's been a long time since I've visited Ryton with the sole purpose of bagging a Carp in mind, I've chased a few of the toothy ones in the lake over the winter always with one eye on what the Carp were up to and I'd made note of a few spots where fish had shown themselves, it was nice to be able to apply this knowledge. The last weekend in February has always been good for me and seen a Carp on the bank, after having a year off the place catching a Carp would be nice.

An angler was occupying the swim next to the peg I had planned to fish and one of  his line cut across where I wanted to cast one of the rods to so the session had to start on the point. The sun was lovely and warm as I sat there organising tackle, baiting extra hooklinks and tying PVA sticks whilst waiting for a take, if it wasn't for the lack of leaves on the trees you'd have thought we'd jumped forward a season. A good couple of hours passed and I'd just re-cast one of the rods and sunk the line, I was waiting for the line to fully settle on the bottom before attaching my bobbin and was having a chat with one of the parks rangers at the same time but I didn't miss the whir of the reel as it went into meltdown, something was off with the bait and I'd not even switched on the alarm yet. The bait was dropped and when I reeled in the small PVA stick was still on the end, although chewed up and the hooklink was covered in slime, Tench!. The rod was back on the spot as quick as I could get it there but nothing else happened.

The original swim I'd wanted to fish was free by early afternoon so I made a quick move and not long after I did Barry arrived for a mooch around, he wasn't fishing.
Guess what happened a few minutes after he arrived?

I got a run!

My first thought was 'Tench' and it took a fair while to convince myself that I had a Carp on the end of the line but it was. I really took my time bringing this fish to the waiting net as I didn't want to lose it and Barry did an excellent job of landing it.

Ryton Carp, it's what it's about!
My first Ryton Carp for ages and in lovely condition at a chunky eleven and a half pounds.

I carried on fishing for a while but with 'bite time' being so short at this time of year, I didn't get any more takes, I was happy.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

An invite to Poach!

We were on the canal at long itch last Saturday, yes, in all that rain. As well as feeling uncomfortable with the damp conditions an old back injury had flared up on the Thursday which added to the days discomforts. I did try to shelter under my brolly but it wasn't good for my back, however, our gear did stay nice and dry. The rain did eventually ease off and it became a rather pleasant afternoon.

Very welcome in all the rain.
Barry was first of the post with a small Zed followed shortly after by another of a similar size that looked as though it had just been grabbed and chewed on by something very toothy. I was struggling to get anything to sniff at my bait and just to rub salt into the wounds Barry pulled out a third fish, a Perch.
It took a good couple of hours but something began to show an interest in the wrigglers I was fishing on one rod, the hope was for a big Perch and the bobbin danced as something began snacking on the worms, it wasn't the fish I was hoping for, it was a rather small excuse for a Zed.
Things went a bit quiet for a while then Barry started to get some dropped runs but did manage to bank another Zander, he then lost something a little bigger. Now, not wanting to look a gift horse in the mouth, after losing this bigger fish Barry said I should try a cast to where he was fishing, I was on it like a shot as you don't often get a licence to poach a mates swim. It only took a few moments for the line from the tip to tighten and the bobbin twitch as something showed an interest in my bait, I struck and felt a resistance that was much bigger than the Zed's Barry had been catching, it was a Pike.

Poached Pike and some trendy headgear.
I really don't know how I managed to bank this fish as the single size two hook wasn't even stuck in the Pike's jaw, I just lifted the baited hook out, it must have been just playing with it's dinner.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Art for Africa

During a Christmas visit to my parents, I saw an old friend from my art college days at Bangor. Claire is off to Uganda later this year to do some work with a charity, EAP (East African Playgrounds), to raise funds she asked me to produce a piece of art for an exhibition in March/April with an auction on the last day of the exhibition to raise cash.

I racked my brains for weeks thinking about what to paint or draw as it's not something I do much of these days, I thought back to some work I'd done at university and remembered something 'Fishy' based that I'd created for a fashion illustration project.

Torn Paper Illustration, 1990.
Rather than give this piece in to be exhibited/auctioned I had a flood of inspiration and decided to chop up some of my old fishing mag's and create something new.

It's taken dozens of pictures of Carp to create this one.
I'm quite pleased with my results so far but I've started work on a second piece made in the same way, more on that soon.

The EAP Art Exhibition will be on from March 23rd to April 6th at the 'Seven' cafe/bar on Blenheim Terrace, Leeds, LS5 3JH.

Bait Shack - Part one

I've started to construct my bait shack, (Garden shed) it's only a frame at the moment but all four sides are ready to be clad in feather edge boards. The laborious task of painting the boards before their attached lies ahead but as soon as this has been done the big erection can take place then a roof can be put on top to keep the weather out.

Front and back panels

Side panel with window
It's only the weather that's stopping anything from happening at the moment but I should be able to do a bit more work on my shack in the next few weeks. It's also the weather that's keeping me from the bank, everywhere I want to go is solid under ice, I might go down to the river soon as I haven't had a Chub yet this year.