No weekend fishing for me this time around, but Monday saw me with a day off work and I headed down to Ryton Pool. With memories of past years' early season Ryton trips in mind, I was more inclined towards pessimism than optimism. An overnight frost and bright conditions did nothing to bolster my confidence.
Those thoughts aside, I wasn't at work and the day was pleasant enough, so I'd give it my best shot and just enjoy a relaxing session doing what I enjoy. I wandered round to the sand bank area and opted for the right hand peg. I baited up and rigged up a straight lead sleeper rod to sit on the alarm, while also planning to do some float fishing.
It was only when I'd set up the float rod and threaded the line through the rings that I realised the minimum requirement for float fishing is having at least one float at your disposal! I'd slipped up because I had an enforced garage clear out in the week, due to the gas board doing work in our area and wanting access. Naturally, I cleared the fishing gear out of harms way.
The float box which was surplus to requirements on my previous trip got moved and didn't make it back into my bag. Float fishing was therefore off limits. Plan B was to simply fish two straight lead rigs and it gave me an excuse to test out my new bite indicators.
Plan C then had to be hatched because I now realised that during the time wasted in setting up the float rod, the Coots had moved in. Four of the little buggers were dive bombing the baited area with ever increasing vigour. They thought that Christmas had come early! I tried to dissuade them as best as I could, but it became all too clear that they weren't going anywhere. In all honesty I knew it was only likely to end in a hooked bird at some point if I didn't constantly keep on their case. Yelling out obscenities at wildfowl for an entire session isn't good for your state of mind. Something had to give...
So, plan C was to leave them to gorge on the baited area and I would rebait the left hand peg on the sand bank. The theory was that they wouldn't bother me if I didn't bother them and that's the way it worked out. It cost me a bit of wasted bait, but probably worth it in the end. I had lost a lot of time and it was gone 10-30 before I wet a line properly.
Not long after a second Tench put in an appearance. This one was a little better at 4lb 4oz.
I gave it a few extra minutes to try for one more fish and I duly connected to a Rudd of maybe 8-10oz that slipped the hook close in. I would have liked to carry on fishing, but time got the better of me again.
I can't recall getting amongst the Tench at Ryton during March before, so I was more than happy to bank a brace. I'll be giving them some stick over the next few months for sure. I always like the challenge at Ryton - it can be such a fickle place, but get it right and it can bring some nice rewards.
I also noted that the bank work has now started on the road bank which now looks very open and bland - there's a lot of information desk pegs now! I'll reserve judgement for now.