Sunday, 17 November 2019

'Not Quite' The Close Season Zander Quest Pt.144 – Thunderclaps and Thummikins

It might sound like an easy challenge, but chowing down on a super hot chilli should come with a health warning. A chilli-head like me you see ended up in A&E suffering "thunderclap" headaches after eating the world's hottest chilli pepper

The unnamed man began dry heaving as soon as he swallowed the Carolina Reaper chilli pepper. His pain was so severe he rushed to hospital, where concerned doctors tested him for a number of neurological conditions.But when those tests came back negative, the patient was sent for a CT scan.

Now it showed several arteries in the man's brain had narrowed, making it harder for blood to flow through. Doctors diagnosed him with thunderclap headaches, caused by reversible cerebral  (RCVS)  vasoconstriction syndrome, that's narrowed arteries to the pork pie consumers.

Apparently RCVS is temporary, and causes sudden narrowing of the blood vessels. As a result, a sufferer is left with a drop in blood flow to the brain, and a surging headache.  Known as a thunderclap headache, there is often no obvious cause, but it in this case it was put down to eating the Carolina Reaper which is 1,641,183 Scoville units, give or take.

If you've not seen them they are red, round and wrinkly, with a little tail.

They noted the condition can be caused by a reaction to certain prescription drugs, or after taking illegal drugs. While it's the first case of thunderclap headaches triggered by the fiery fruit, other peppers have caused similar reactions elsewhere in the body.

Cut Zeds using deadbaits, a waiting game !!!
Cayenne peppers have been known to narrow the artery supplying blood to the heart. The result of a sudden constriction of the coronary artery is basically a heart attack.

So why then have I bought some and decided to give them a go ? well in my case I've some dried ones not fresh ones but certainly when her indoors is out for the evening I'll manage to get it in to one's meal somehow. Probably a beef chilli where I do like a hot one especially if it's covered in fresh coriander, cheese and birds-eye chili's

Now the bird's eye chilli is small, but is quite hot It measures around 50,000 - 100,000 Scoville units, which is at the lower half of the range for the hotter habanero, but still much hotter than a common jalapeño, the reaper is on a different scale though, but heck what have I got to lose.

I just need to remember to use plastic gloves to crumble it up, I've made that mistake before, albeit with a scotch bonnet where rubbing one's eye post chopping probably wasn't a good idea. Anyway I'll let you know how I get on, if my blog goes quiet for a while, you will know why, it's been nice knowing you. 

Then a brain wave, you see hot spicy additives stimulate senses within an animals feeding palette and as a result trigger a response. In the case of carp, a positive response is provoked, often leading to a harder feeding reaction.

Now there is no way I'd eat all the reapers, it was just out of curiosity really so with time to kill over the weekend I decided to make up my Chub cheesepaste and clear out the cheese draw in the fridge. With winter on the way and last years job-lot more or less gone it would be a waste to chuck it whilst it could be put to better use.

It's a simple recipe really, the base is a Jus-Rol shortcrust pastry block and then grated mature cheddar and grated blue cheese, in this case Shropshire Blue, Stilton, and Gorgonzola. Then add whatever you want, garlic or krill powder or whatever is lying around in your bait fridge that looks suitable.

So out with a couple of reapers for added attraction, to get the Chub's big lips burning, to be fair they are the most gluttonous of fish, I bet they will love it, it's something different after all, the edge I may need to start looking at catching a 6 lber.

Knead everything together, jobs a good'un !!!!

So with that done and dusted with tackle still in the car, it was back down the canal, the rivers after all really are not worth looking it, not for a while most likely either. This time though it was back to where it all started, in-fact home to ones 2 biggest Zander. A stretch I've trodden many times for my quest for a cut double.

What an odd session, it was like I'd woken up to a set from 28 days later, abandoned boats, no one around and a spooky silence about the whole place. It was clear from the Zedlet I caught yesterday the fish are likely to be laying up as it was covered in leeches so it was a roving session. Now that didn't help as the towpath couldn't have gotten any muddier.

The properly sticky clingy stuff too so not exactly easy to walk in it, Sam wasn't with me for this one and a good job really as I knew he would likely end on his backside. I covered a total distance of 3.5 miles and tried to drop on the fish, in some banker swims as well and yet not even a bite. Very much twiddling the thumbs session this and despite hardly blanking on this stretch, I did this morning.

A blank !!!!

Saturday, 16 November 2019

'Not Quite' The Close Season Zander Quest Pt.143 – Mahometan Gruels and Myrmidons

It seems that the rain hasn't stopped for the past couple of months, the river, lakes and streams bulging at the seams at the result of the wet weather that doesn't seem to be letting up.

It's over the banks and in the fields in many areas and the water table is well and truly full to the brim. Usually there is options to fish locally on flowing water, but over the last couple of weeks those opportunities to get bankside have become very few and far between.

As I type this there was heavy rain heavy rain overnight that will last all day so again that glimmer of hope to get out the weekend on the rivers just ain't going to happen. Many of the local rivers particularly the smaller ones will most likely peak beyond the most recent highs of 2012.

Now for a S.A.D suffer this is where I start to struggle you see, every opportunity to get out fishing must be taken when the nights start drawing in.

It's the tonic I need basically, some much needed solitude to look forward to,  after a busy week at work, standing water on the A46 in Coventry  eventually get in the way of the braindead and the road network was carnage.

An hour and a half to get home Thursday, four routes I tried to take were shut, eventually back home after taking the car through the largest amount of standing water I'd ever seen, where it was over the bonnet in many of them luckily the Jimny has more or less  ground clearance as a defender as it might be a different story.

Now a venture out with the family to Charlcote Park as pictured above and below a high Barford the small river Dene was unrecognisable and only small area of the grounds were open due to the waterlogged grounds.

The Warwickshire Avon in the fields and so high you couldn't really tell where the river started and finished. I dread to think what it looks like now as it's another metre higher or something like that.

It was nice to be out though and it was quite a pleasant day to be fair, the kicking of leaves, jumping in puddles and sharing an autumnal scene with Jacob sheep and many deer just getting on with their business is very therapeutic indeed, especially when you know you'd be rewarded later with a slap-up Sunday dinner, a decent bottle of red and a snifter of a Rum I've really taken to.

Rum for some reason has recently taken over from my usual Glevlivet cask strength dram so much so Whisky has taken a backseat. A decent rum drank neat is really hard to beat for one's palate at the minute. Those simple things in life, good food and drink adding to one's wellbeing.

I suppose my eagerness to get back to the river fishing is that one's lead in the bloggers challenge river section is starting to reduce. 13 species down, a thousand points at one time, now almost 200 points down, and in the 800's.

The scoring for this years challenge based on a percentage of a competitors weight, not on the British Record as in previous years. So for instance only two Ruffe caught so far, one by me, one by Russ Hilton but because his was nearly the double the size of my effort my 100 points have dwindled to 67.

However another big spanner in the works, other than when bigger fish are caught by the competitors is that, young James Denison  is now back fishing after his recent lay off because of a bad back, and is now back doing what he does best, that's catching specimen fish. He is fast climbing up the leaderboard and he is only going one way because it's the only way he knows how.

James may certainly have an advantage, according to Sam Newey

“Yeah but he fishes in London and that’s a bit like fishing at Tunnel Barn, it’s too easy”

I put him straight, "Sam, James is a fish catching machine, it wouldn't matter where he fishes, he would still catch the biggest out of the shoal, it's just what he does"

So Grayling, Silver Bream, Roach Bream Hybrid and Carp my targets before I get back to try and catch bigger specimens on the species I've already registered a score for. Certainly doable but if the local rivers are fishable that is.

Sometimes though just being out waterside is all I need. The picture below from the last session, thick morning mist, crisp under foot and the sun just rising to illuminate the river in its full glory

Sadly the fish were just not interested, the heavy frost and low air temperature not helping I suppose I didn't even manage a single bite.

The barbel not forthcoming despite 24 hours before a friend managing two decent fish, one a double in the same area.

It resets the cogs though, whilst seemingly the world rests I'm enjoying what most people don't get to see, and to be honest, I'd rather keep it that way, I'd the whole stretch to myself for that session, for a solitude seeker, what more could I ask for.

Well a session where I wouldn't blank would be nice to be fair....

So yeap, canal zander were the target for this session, at least an opportunity for a bite in these turbid waters is more likely than trying to find somewhere on the river to fish.

Luckily I'm a dab-hand targeting these interesting fish where I've had plenty of 5, 6, and 7 pounds, culminating in a fish of 8lb 10oz and 9lb on the noggin which is currently my PB.

The bigger fish start to show in these colder months and to conclude my quest to catch a 10 lber at least with the rivers out of sorts it gives me another strike on the tally, it's a numbers game basically and some luck I suppose, luck I've not had just yet, but I'll keep on plugging away till one comes along.

Despite not raining it was a rather damp morning, the leaves clinging on the dirt, the feeder streams making the canal even dirtier than it usually is.

I hotfooted it to a swim where the is nearly always fish there and after positioning the floats and enjoying a cup of coffee the left float starts to bob. I thought it was the leaves that had stuck to the line that might have moved it out of position but no it was a bite.

Not exactly a spirited fight meant that I knew it would be a small fish and indeed it was, a schoolie with eyes clearly bigger than his belly. At least it was a fish, not seen one of them for a while. I thought that could be the start to some further bites having had bite after bite session here before but no, that was it.

So a few more likely holding spots sought and leapfrogged but oddly no more bites, a very quiet morning indeed. Only roach used today, my confidence using it is nothing like smelt, I need to get some more sorted asap.

Saturday, 9 November 2019

Warwickshire Avon – Slabbering Bibs and Slubber De Gullions

Ones love of receptive beats started a while back and still today, despite my age still managing to catch up with the DJ's I used to go and see during my clubbing days. November sees a trip to see Orbital do what they do and then all the Cream DJ's are congregating in early December where we will be attending for the whole weekend.

Those proper clubbing days latest a good 10 years or so and I lost count of the decent nights I had with the likeminded. That rave culture unlikely to be repeated and confined to the history books.

Over 25 years ago now the UK Government attempted to make rave culture illegal with a law that banned public performance of music “wholly or predominantly characterised by the emission of a succession of repetitive beats”; essentially trying to criminalise electronic dance music itself.

No, the aforementioned is not some suggested public order from a septuagenarian who doesn’t her nightly knitting soundtracked by sick beats. Britain’s Parliament passed the Criminal Justice and Public Order act on November 3, 1994.

It granted police the power to confiscate sound systems, interfere with groups of people suspected of setting up raves, and turn back revellers who are within a mile radius of an offending site.

Now Another section of the act was Part V, ‘Public Order: Collective Trespass or Nuisance on Land’. It was essentially brought into place to give police the right to remove “squatters” in the midst of the “traveller” movement.

The Public Order was said to be sparked by a mass rave in 2002 when an estimated 20,000 party-goers took over Castlemorton Common for a six-day rave. 

Now known as “the rave that changed the law”, the invite was sent out via an answering machine message which said: “Right, listen up revellers. It’s happening now and for the rest of the weekend, so get yourself out of the house and on to Castlemorton Common… Be there, all weekend, hardcore.”

Now recently Extinction Rebellion (XR) has won a landmark legal challenge to an attempt by the Metropolitan Police to halt its Autumn Uprising protest in London.

During the second week of protests, the police imposed a new condition on the activists under Section 14 of the Public Order Act 1986, meaning that anyone who continued to protest after at 9pm on Monday 14th October could be arrested.

Apparently Lord Justice Dingemans and Justice Chamberlain ruled in favour of the activists, saying that the police had acted unlawfully because the wording of Section 14 is clear that there is no power to prohibit a gathering that has not yet begun, and that it could only be used to impose conditions.

Clearly LSD users back in the day because the Public Order Collective legislation could have been used surely Shirley. Maybe the police and those peruke wears that are meant to sense of formality and solemnity to proceedings like a good gathering to remind themselves of how it used to be.

There must be a way to stop these chaos causers like they did back in the day !!!!

Anyway back on track, now when I had money to burn and lead that single life I still look back on as a the decade I loved. 

The love of dance music turned in to DJ'ing, and part of that was I had a dedicated room to create dance tracks myself and also to create the Mick's Mix series that had rather risqué covers. A mix series that went from TDK Cassettes, progressed to CD's and then to tracks I created under the names Angybeats and Peakhour.

Dance music, decks and Cerwin Vega's, what's not to like !!!!

Anyway the mix series was supplied FOC to good friends who loved the culture and 120bpm's just as much as I did and often it was played in the car on-route to the next gathering of tinnitus sufferers.

So times have changed somewhat but with my Skullcandy crusher headphones and the Mixcloud app on my phone a week designing parts for a rather exciting electric car goes rather quickly indeed. A little like fishing I don't tend to think of much when I'm listening to music, those matters on the mind we all have banished to the back of the cortex till it sadly comes to the forefront again.

Barbel fishing for me can offer the solitude I need to seek as often as I can. For this short session I was in the swim a good friend Dave Roberts had winkled out a couple of good fish less than 24 hours earlier.

For me though the morning couldn't have been any more different, a hard overnight frost, air temperatures no bettering 4 or 5 degrees throughout the day, not a sausage !!!!

4 hours, two swims, the garlic spam and ramiz paste plug not doing it today sadly.

Shame as I'd have liked a picture of a Barbel in the morning mist that took an age to lift. But it was lovely to be out, I love conditions like this, the rods might be sat motionless but there are other distractions that keeps the mind in check.

So these blanks are getting a pain now, at least I've a belated birthday meal out with the lovely Mrs Newey later, ones resolve is not quite tested yet.

Friday, 8 November 2019

Warwickshire Avon - Hoydons and Hodmandods

I'd a couple of hours to kill afterwork before picking the wriggling wallet raiders up, luckily I was near an area where zander are present, it would be rude not to have a dangle wouldn't it, it's a stretch of convenience, the Jimny making a meal of the rutted road of rumpus. I've lost a big Zander here some time ago so it's always been on my radar. The stretch despite the river over its banks in many places, is just about fishable.

The rivers at the minute are still a little out of sorts and the other river species I'm after to try and maintain my lead at the head of the table on the running stuff, would unlikely to be interested.  However a canal zander or two may be forthcoming in these testing and turbid water conditions, I find that canal fish in-particular seem to get bigger when the weather gets colder.  But then I suppose fish are wanting to get their winter coats on, it's a good time for fishing, if you can get to the water that is.

Now for those that have read this blog of mine for a while, and ones quest to catch a canal double figure zander will know my method to tackle these fascinating fish by now, I fish a deadbait under a small pike float which has banked canal zeds to 7, 8 and 9lb's in weight.

The labouring lunkers more conducive to picking up a static deadbait rather than chasing a lure.

The baits (usually roach or smelt) are fished over-depth and with the float sat on the surface any interest whatsoever is registered on the ridiculously sensitive set-up, the sensitivity needs to be believed.

So 2 rods in the armoury and I leapfrog sections of cover, it just works, regimented I suppose but for fishing short sessions an ideal method.

For the river however I tend to fish for Zander the same way, albeit everything is upscaled and as there is a chance of a pike, wire replaces fluorocarbon.

Obviously floats are fine fished where depths are suitable and allow it, but anything over about 8 foot the float is ditched and I fish a simple running lead setup with a light bobbin and an alarm. Zander are known to be tackle shy and don't like resistance but I've never found that to be an issue.

The float I believe is the best way to fish for them, not only is the tackle required reduced which is great for roving, but you can see what the fish is doing under a float far better that you can a moving bobbin and beeping alarm.

This area is deep in places though so one sleeper rod as a running set-up and then a float set-up to fish the slacks.

So a quick session this, anything doing ?

Well when I got to river I was very hopeful indeed, despite the levels where most of the staging was underwater some of the swims looked ideal for Zander. However after the 2nd swim without a beep or a bob I needed to try and drop on the fish that would be holding up and give it fifteen or twenty minutes in each swim.

The last swim looked perfect and after the float was stationary for a while it moved off station and I thought eventually I had a bite. Sadly it was debris on the line which to be fair wasn't an issue throughout the 2 hour session.

A friend Dave was catching decent Barbel further down the stretch so with a morning free tomorrow I fancy trying for one myself. So another blank to add to the long list, sadly these short sessions seems to be getting shorter, I'm struggling for time at the minute, they are just not long enough.
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