Monday, 26 September 2016

Warwickshire Avon – Bogey Fools and Horses

So this Kryston Bogey stuff, is it an edge that is worth a go? I stumbled upon it when perusing some of the free videos on fishing TV and looked worth a dabble.

Bogey is a sticky jelly-like glue that enables you to create solid seed hook-baits from the particle of your choice.

It’s been out for a while and I‘m surprised I’ve not seen it before.

A quick google it seems that some users had difficulty getting the particles to fix but I followed the instructions on the video and it worked no problem.

So a hair rigged ball of hemp that was resistance to nuisance fish looked ideal to try for a wary Barbel. After all, despite fishing a few times for Barbel in the day now I’ve only caught them when it’s approaching dusk and the light has started to go.

Unscrew pot

Wet fingers

With curled index finger remove a ball of bogey and when it starts to stretch, ‘snap’ quickly so you are left with a slug of material.

Using moist fingers hold the edges of the Bogey in each hand within moist finger and thumb. Now move both hands apart slowly stretching it just like a piece of chewing gum.

Its appearance has changed appearing to be very shiny and extremely sticky.

Stretch it apart and gently fold it back on itself.

Once folded simply drop it into a bag of dry hempseed or particle of your choice.

The hemp will adhere to the material on contact, roll it around to fully coat it.

Roll it between palms of hands which will compress the seed further in to the sticky surface.

The uncooked hemp bogey concoction was then left in water for 24 hours which darkened the seeds and the result of which turns the floating bait in to a sinking one.

It’s certainly looks the part….

What I did notice though, is if you leave it at room temperature it will start to lose its shape, a bit of a poor show that maybe I had a bad batch ?, but as I’d be bankside in 15 minutes after leaving the house, it should hold up.

To maximise the attraction I also glugged them in halibut and hemp oil.

At the start of the session I used a bait dropper to carpet the river bed with hemp and small stinky krill pellets and then it was sit back and wait.

Now this stuff is a cracking idea, but it practice it failed somewhat short. I'm not sure if the hemp flavoring I used did something to the molecular structure but it lost it's shape pretty quickly. A nice neat ball turned in to something flatter than a witches tit. It was still was attached to the hair though so if there was a Barbel around hopefully he would find it.

What also didn't help was there had to be Barbel in the swim, now there had be a match on the stretch the day before and it was still very clear indeed so maybe they were in hiding. The few anglers on the stretch were also struggling it seemed, I'm sure come dusk as always here, a Barbel would have been banked.

Nearly four hours in one swim, one hour in the other, without even a chub knock or pull. 

But that's fishing for you, don't want it too easy now do we.I still enjoyed catching minnows and small fish on the float, sadly the Perch were not biting either, a small jack that was it.

Will I buy some more ? well the half used pot is in the bin, shame really as it showed promise.

Back to the drawing board. 

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Warwickshire Avon – Colder of Fortune

I could see its silhouette crawling along the dimly lit wood floor, it looked huge, easily the biggest spider I’ve seen this year, and it was headed towards me.

I’d caught and released countless ‘daddy longlegs’ up to now, but this brute needed to be tackled in a different manner.

Luckily the Wife was upstairs because she has an irrational fear of anything eight legged and this really would have kicked in her arachnophobia, big time.

She would have jumped out of her skin and woken up the kids in the process.

Now I don’t particularly like handling spider and I was in no mood to chase it round the living room so, quickly over to the lights, and with the space now illuminated it’s stuck in its tracks.

Rick Stein’s Mediterranean Escapes book comes to hand and with a swift underarm throw, its spider bound.

This thing is ginormous, I see its fear, but not for long…..

Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaannnnnnnnnngggggggggggggggggg !!!!!!!!!!!

This air-breathing arthropod is no more, it’s deaded, I’m already feeling the quilt.

The resulting splat got me thinking, maybe it’s worth trying an all out deadbait assault for these large Warwickshire Avon Zander, I’d had a run last time you see but didn’t connect but then I’d fished the last half hour without a bleeding bait on for Gods sake, that won’t help now will it.

6lb 2oz being the biggest from this stretch up till now…..

Anyone else noticed how quickly dusk is creeping up on us, gone are the evenings where I could finish work, see the kids, eat ones dinner and then still have reasonable bankside time to catch a fish. My twice weekly fishing fix is headed towards one session only, and I’m not looking forward to it. I’ve a night session planned on a guest ticket soon mind you so depending on how I do, I may well in the future anyway broaden my horizons and fish another area of the Avon.

I seem to be fishing more than ever, maybe because up to now my results have been very mediocre and I need to bank something half decent.

For this stupidly quick session of an hour and a half I didn’t have time to mess about, the rods were set-up with matching running set-ups, the deadbaits defrosted, so it was out with the baits and wait for any interest.

I’d noticed when fishing the local cut that Zander feeder much better when it’s cold, there was a notable difference in catch rate, not only that but the bigger fish seem to be more interested too.

So with the Autumnal temperatures gradually kicking in would a larger Zander be biting?

What an odd session, it was surprisingly mild compared to the start of the week, so maybe the session was a little premature. The first fish came within half an hour or so and at first I thought it might be a half decent Zander as it was giving a good pull on the string but when it surfaced it was a greedy Chub that took a liking to the headless Roach. I'd caught one on deadbait before but considering the amount of time I've used deadbait it was still a rare occurrence.

It had a distinctive tail, so should be able to recognise it if I catch it again. Still plenty of filling out to do but it still weighed 4lb 8oz's.

The next fish came on the other rod and it was a small Zander complete with someones end tackle. I removed it the best I could but the little fella had properly swallowed the rig and taken the bait right down. It gave a reasonable scrap so hopefully it will survive the ordeal.

After putting out a bait after catching the Chub I noticed the odd little tap on the rod tip, but not enough to sound the Delkim, I didn't think much of it but when retrieving the rods at dusk I thought initially on the last rod I'd snagged up some weed but on closer inspection a crayfish was hanging on to the bait like its (short) life depended on it.

That could explain the end tackle found, maybe a suspended bait is needed.

Monday, 19 September 2016

Warwickshire Avon – Arse Wasps

This particular chilli must have been topping the 300,000 level on the Scoville scale, far hotter than other varieties I’d had. Maybe it was the super skunk of the cannabis world as usually Scotch Bonnet’s go through my torturous intestinal passages without issue.

It wanted to attack me ever since I took a knife too it, as stupidly I’d not worn gloves, so not only I got it in my eyes but whilst siphoning ones python.

I now know what it’s like putting deep heat on ones nether regions....hopefully not to be repeated.

Thing is it was in good company, fresh garlic, fresh ginger, coriander stalks and onion as a base and then wilted spinach, chopped fresh tomatoes, peppers and the contents of my masala dabba. Even the lamb wasn’t any old rubbish, I knew the farmer who lovingly cared for it before he shoved it in the van and passed it over to the abattoir.

All stomach were not created equally and mine seems to be up there with the robust and hardy, however, Jesus, this Chilli was determined to give me a boot where hurt and when I was doubled over come back for more. The capsicum cramps had properly set in and it was man down…

Roving was out of the question, uncomfortable to the extreme, a static approach was necessary.

So the swim….

Middle and far,cover with decent pace.

Inside, overhanging trees, pedestrian, reeds and lily pads.

Barbel, yes, has to be, Pike and Perch, no-doubt, Chub what a stupid question.

So, for this extended session, I decided to set my stall out and go lob-handed. As a bait the humble lobworm is hard to beat so the plan was to do a bit of trotting but also allow one to roll around the swim with a light link ledger.

Both methods are good at searching swims and often bites can come very quick indeed so it was a matter of alternating between the rods and see what popped up.

For the last hour I'd also put out a bait to see if a Perch or Pike popped up.

What a fantastic morning, a heavy mist blanketed the river and that lovely Autumnal cold fresh air that has been missing as of late, you could really notice the change, I could even see my breath. Then when the sun came up, wow.

You don't get to see that in bed, now do you....

I was hopeful for some fish, it looked that good.

Weirdly bites were hard to come by, but eventually after feeding red maggots and also switching to maggot on the hook, dace and small chublets turned it. The water is still incredibly clear you see and this venue in-particular I've found tough going.

I switched to a static offering with feeder but the first fish that I thought might have been a nice Perch was a greedy little jack pike that couldn't be very good at catching fish as his stomach was really hollow.

Maybe I should have switched swims as It can be very peggy here but ones derriere didn't allow it.

So out with a bait it was and after half an hour eventually the float went under, this was no Perch but a greedy little Pike. Not the biggest but a nice fight on light tackle. A chat with a member from the village he has given me a few pointers, so looking forward to trying some of those out.

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Warwickshire Avon – Eye candy and the Laggard

I was hoping to distract the Zander schoolies with a tethered pole dancer, some highly visible eye candy to provide a girlfriend rib digging.

The small fish were a pain last time, nibbling and not quite talking the bait and despite the float sinking under the surface like a diving submarine they were difficult to hook up.

I had a six pounder in the vicinity after all, so I’m sure there were bigger fish to be had

A hot and humid sundown in Warwickshire
My mate Wardy is similar when he discovers salad or vegetable on his plate and they rarely reach his stomach….

Similar to the Ibiza weekender this was a quick session to find my feet again so I couldn’t afford to go through that palava again. My fishing time with the light going quicker than ever means I’ve got to try and make most of the bank time I have.

I was hoping the resulting upstream mêlée would put a bigger fish on to the static offering I had further downstream, a laggard, an idler, the loafer who is happy to fall behind others whilst cherry picking the food offerings.

So how did the session go…?

Well despite my Zander T-Shirt I couldn't manage one. There was a tad of extra colour in the water which was good but in an hour or so, only a couple of forgettable bites.

I am however going back armed with deadbaits as the first bite I had came from one, sadly I struck in to fresh air.

As I was packing upon the retrieve I realised the bait had dropped off when I put it out again.

One of those sessions sadly, oh well, you live and learn. Martin had a couple of Chub upstream but nothing of note.

With an extended session available to me Sunday, decisions decisions...

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Warwickshire Avon - Brat Jack

Martin Roberts and I failed to hook in to a decent Perch yesterday evening.

Sadly Pike, Pike and more Pike and with a Chub lost at last knockings to a hook pull, it was a forgettable session.

I'd like to have another dabble the weekend but the next sunset I'll see will be at Ibiza at the annual pilgrimage.

Monday, 5 September 2016

Warwickshire Avon – Bolt-ons and Boilies

Hilly guessed early 40’s, Wardy the same, she clearly wasn’t happy.

38 hmmmmm, not sure about that

She looked more mid forties to me, but to be fair she was very well turned out and the tight fitting dress had other women looking all begrudging.

A bit skinny mind but with a couple of obvious enhancements….

….proportionally perfect bolt-ons

To be fair they we not OTT, but still looked a little odd on her slender frame.

I kept on getting flash backs of Eddie Hitler as Edwina in the TV series Bottom though, there was a resemblance there that’s for sure. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, it may well have been the hair that didn’t look quite hers.

The enhancements certainly turned the average in to the extraordinary, 'they' turned heads I’ll put it like that.

Anyway I digress….

You know when you get that feeling after a big Sunday dinner that something’s stuck midway down the oesophagus well, at the Wife’s advice, I needed to walk it off.

One too many Yorkshire puddings me thinks….

So for this quick evening session there was no messing around, I walked to the bottom of the stretch set-up the rods and had an hour or so before dusk and the need to vacate the peg.

I didn’t have time to bait and wait, so I decided to cobble together whatever I had in the bait fridge to try and enhance the hookbaits to make a bait, no hungry fish could refuse. So two hard boilies, wrapped in separate paste and hemp, small pellets and krill powder added around and within the paste to boost its power of attraction.

Both rods went out, sit back and wait….

The Chub taps and pulls started quite quickly but it’s a matter of sitting back on ones hand’s and wait till the tip goes riverward and the centrepin starts singing.

I proper wrap over came on the right hand rod within half an hour but I lifted in to fresh air, so the bait went back out again with added enhancements and sure enough with 5 minutes one short pull, them wham !!!!! the unmistakable Barbel bite, a fish was on.

The ratchet was going ten to the dozen and it powered off downstream, despite the low levels it has some pace here so a small Barbel can hide its size well. So after turning the fish and comforting its lunges I saw its flanks. After a spirited fight it and after resting in the net I weighed it I cobbled together a quick photo on the phone and gave it time to recover again before putting it back.

Not disappointing, far from it, as it’s the target species but not the size I’ll like.

I’ll get there though, I’m sure.

I'm sure it was a fellow blogger I bumped in to on the way back to car, then again it was dark after all, I could be mistaken.

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Warwickshire Avon - Shanghai AC Match

I do enjoy these regular Shanghai AC matches....

Fellow automotive engineers engaging in piscatorial pursuits, the thing is I'm not a match angler, but hey any type of fishing is worth doing isn't it especially when there are out and out match anglers who take these events a little more seriously than I do.They have trollies, poles and everything.

It keeps ones interest up....

Now I knew the match would be tough, a clear river for starters but also monitoring the clubs Facebook page the results have been mediocre to say the least.

Prior to the match I had a plan, fishmeal groundbait with dead maggots, chopped worm and caster which I'd use in the feeder and worm and caster on the hook. When the whistle went I'd throw in a few orange sized balls to kick things off.

There was 8 of us in attendance, I drew peg 15, the end peg.

For the first 2 hours or so I'd caught a small Perch but I stuck to my plan and eventually I landed a few skimmers and a couple of chunkier Perch and small small Roach At least it wasn't a blank.

Then all went quiet, hmmmm

Something grabbed the feeder on the retrieve, yeap, there were Pike milling around.

With half an hour left, the quiver bent properly over and I thought I was in do a decent fish, maybe a sizeable bream, but sadly through the clear water I could see it was a Jack of a couple of pound or so which when nearing the net the inevitable happened and it cut through the line.

I'd baited the margin to try an catch a patrolling carp but for the remaining of the match the boilies remained untouched.

I'd started to pack up early and Rich and Dave had too, they found it super tough going too. But then that's river fishing for you isn't it.

The last match nearly every angler had to have two weighs, because the amount of fish caught, this was back reality I suppose.

The match was close, Mark blanked, Simon had one small Perch the rest a smattering of small fish.

Somehow I managed to win, with Breezy and Dave joint second.

Can we have some rain please.

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Warwickshire Avon – Deadliest Snatch

It was near dark when I returned.

Boot open, plip pressed, Fleming’s left hand rule energised

The garage roller shutter judders in to life.

It’s half way up its travel, the PIR activates and the bright LED light tube illuminates up the space.

Buuuuuuzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz !!!!! Buuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz !!!!!

“What the f**k is that?”

A flying insect of gigantic proportions has just entered the garage.

It’s light bound and sounds angry.

My eyes focus, it’s a Hornet, a size which I’ve never seen before.

It’s huge, with my calibrated engineer’s eyes, 38.5mm in length.

Now unlike the Wife who has a rational fear of wasps, they don’t really bother me, but this thing looked like a wasp on Stanozolol with a sizeable venom sack, the contents of, I’d rather not experience.

I did think about dumping the tackle quickly, getting the hell out of there and keeping one’s mouth stum for the Wife to deal with it in the morning but my conscience got the better of me. She would have had a heart attack.

I had to deal with it !!!!

It’s hovering in and around the lamps shade, bouncing off the perspex in a cartoony motion.

Then, the door in to the kitchen opens, the Wife emerges, wine glass in hand.

“Oh Hello, all ok ?, “just emptying the washing machine”

Then before I could say anything the Hornet which appears to be in a distressed state, is in motion again and boob bound.

The Wife appears to have just stared death in the face as her eyes show a distress I’d not seen before.

She screams at the top of her voice "AAAAIIIIEEEEE” !!!! "AAAAIIIIEEEEE” !!!!

The fire door slams the Wine surprisingly held upright, but the Hornet has been caught by the commotion. Now it’s angry !!!!

About-turn it is now headed my way,pace quickened, eyes focused on the target.

I’m out of here !!!!!!!

I’ve pegged it out the garage with sweeping brush in hand, the Hornet in pursuit….

I spot one of the neighbours peering through their side door….

“Hello Mick, everything ok”

“Yeah fine thanks, I’ve not murdered the Wife, I’ve just made a rather large Hornet angry”

“oh, ok” “ just making sure everything’s ok as I’ve just heard some loud screams”

“yeah, sorry about that”

Luckily it’s vanished, never to be seen again.

Sometimes spending hours during the day sat behind ones rods leads to diddly-squat, however the hour heading up to dusk when the bats come out and the light is lost can be very productive indeed. 

So this session was a quick one, there would be no messing about....

....a quick snatch and grab for a dusk Barbel.

There isn't much science to it, rock up after work, reccy the area,in goes a dropper of hemp with krill pellets and crushed boilies, twiddle ones thumbs, then lay the trap and wait for the unmistakable bite.

The rig is simple, a running rig with a couple of small boilies attached to a decent length hair. As usual it's a matter of sitting on ones hands and ignoring the Chub twangs and rattles and wait for the rod to go properly over and the centrepin ratchet to sing. A PVA bag goes out with the bait so there is always a carpet under it.

As soon as the light was starting to go the river came alive, fish topping everywhere and some decent sized ones too. As the switch was pressed the previous motionless rod was now having some pulls, twangs and bangs. Some were outrageous too but hey, got to wait, no need to strike. That's why I like hard hookbaits as you'll always be wondering if the bait is still on or not.

Martin who was fishing upstream texted me to say he had a 5lber with a lovely black back as a result of of the sun and the clear water and no sooner as I put the phone down, my rod tip was headed riverward and the centrepin was signing and I was in to a fish.

You can see why us maggot danglers love catching Barbel as lb for lb they give a right good scrap as this one was talking me all over the river. Unusually it gave up early and was quickly in the net. Probably one of the smallest Barbel I've caught but a welcome sight all the same.

It was quickly returned and another short smash and grab session worked as they usually do. With the baits still intact I returned the bait to the river and after 15 minutes I had another wrap over that unfortunately didn't connect to a fish. Dusk was now here and time to leave.

So same time next week me thinks....

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Warwickshire Avon – Wading Places

I bumped in to a couple of scythe wavers the other evening who were clearing some pegs of weed and reeds prior to a large match that was going to take place on the stretch of the Avon I’m fishing, during a natter they mentioned a peg they had recently cut which would require wading....

....a peg B so to speak.

I’d noticed the bank disturbance during a previous roving session but didn’t realise what it was for. I thought one of the horses might have been chomping on it because of the large heap of manure I stepped in.

So I just had to fish it….

The preferred evening session in to dusk was out so at least I might get a bend in the rod as the anglers I’ve spoken to here are finding it tough going at the minute.

I initially started upstream in one of my favourite pegs where there is no need to wade as you can fish from the bank but there is a lovely channel of water where I’d seen some clonking Chub last time. They were properly tucked out the way though and very cagey so I only managed some small'uns.

I could see them and they could see me….

Simple tactics, a centrepin, a stick float and a banded pellet.

There was a little extra water here though after some recent rain so the levels were up but the water still clear.

I’d drip feed the pellets in and let the float run down to try and intercept any fish coming up in the water. There is some streamer weed here too so I’m sure there would be some Barbel milling around. By switching swims I’d hopefully follow the fish downstream.

The first few runs went through unhindered but then as the float got the end of the swim it sailed under, yeap the first fish.

A small Chub but because there is plenty of cover here and the fish uses the flow to its advantage it’s great sport. A 2 lb Chub feels like a 4lber.

In a couple of hours I’d managed 6 or 7 Chub and after I hooked in to a much larger fish that I lost to a hook pull I donned the waders and I was peg B bound.

From an elevated position the swim only looked 2ft or so deep and after getting in the water it felt even shallower. I’d change tactics a little too as I need to mask the hook, the stream weed was much thicker here to an exposed point would quickly get snagged it.

So I snipped off the bait band and the hard pellet was changed for a squidgy hooker pellet. I also changed the float to a small crystal chubber as it would suit the shallow swim better.

Two channels flow in to one here so the water has some proper pace to it but the float was flowing through nicely and I was quickly in to a small Chub, again a good sporting fight where if fishing static I might be sat behind motionless rods.

The swim went quiet for a while, but I kept on trickling the pellets in hope there were bigger fish in wait. 

One plus point about fishing in the water is this area has some of the most vibrant Kingfishers I’ve ever seen, the tell tale chirping sound giving their location away, I don’t think I’ll ever tire of seeing them in flight, visually stunning.

Anyway, with 20 minutes of the session to go I noticed the flickering golden flanks of a Barbel at the end of the swim.

I decided to keep on drip feeding the pellets for a while and keep the float out of the water to try and give the fish(s) some confidence in feeding.

A couple of MAMIL’s stopped on the bridge to have a nose at the river and give themselves a much needed rest so I’m sure they were delighted to see an angler bent in to a fish.

Because a Barbel was on, a proper powerful lunging take and it started to power-off downstream, I initially couldn’t do much with it but after a couple more lunges the rod was getting on top of the fight. I turned the fish and felt in control of it but then all went solid….


I let the line go slack but nothing doing….

Another couple of pulls, arrrrrrhhhhhhhhh. I’m sure I’ve lost the fish.

With the rod elevated I get back on the bank and walked downstream to track where the line went, sure enough, the culprit.

A submerged log nailed to the bed not only that but what looks like a dumped road sign….I managed to recover the hooklink intact but by now the swim was buggered.

So back in the water, with both snags removed hopefully I’ll do better next time. I don’t think it was a monster Barbel, but hey, any Barbel at the moment would be nice.The walk back to car it seemed I was the only one catching, at least it wasn't a blank.

Luckily the belated weekly Sunday roast made up for the loss....

The Shanghai AC have a match here Friday afternoon, albeit upstream so it will be interesting to see what turns up. I makes a change from a commercial water anyway. I'm going for a fishmeal groundbait feeder approach with worm and caster. There has to be some bream about.

I'm hoping to squeeze a quick dusk session in as it will be the best time to get them off guard.

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Warwickshire Avon – Paranormal Fragility

The Wife and I and two other couples sailed the seas of the British Virgin Islands for a couple of weeks on a Lagoon 440 Catamaran. Amongst the islands visited on our journey of discovery was a long sail to mere tree high Anegada where I tucked in to fresh caught Lobster, we got stuck on a one palm tree sand bar opposite Richard Bransons Necker Island and the snorkeling around Dead Chest Island where the first turn of my head beneath the surface I spotted 3 rather large barracuda laying in wait like Pike do.

I even caught a small Tuna off the back of the boat in waters that couldn’t be bluer....

....but it was the Soggy Dollar Bar visit on White Bay on Jost Van Dyke (the merciless Dutch pirate) that stuck in my mind though, because after mooring the catamaran and whizzing over to the white sands on the dingy we got stuck in to the infamous.

‘Pain Killer Cocktail’

The easy drinking concoction of pineapple juice and orange juice, coconut cream and grated nutmeg masked the huge hit of the Navy strength Pussers’s rum. So after a couple or five of these it’s only when one attempted to stand up and having to sit down again I realised the strength of them.

So why oh why did I make a few the night before using some Goslings 151 proof Black Seal Rum, let’s just say I was a little fragile. Its hit cannot be scientifically explained, because as a drinker of all manner of alcoholic beverages this has some paranormal effect on me. Give one a try, they are moorish when you get going with them.

So my planned roving session was out of the question and a more static approach was needed.

Hey, I know what….River Carp

I’ve targeted them the past but it’s mostly been off the surface where I’ve spotted them through ones cocoons under the waters surface, however a surprise PB carp turned up on a bottom bait at the very end of the bloggers challenge that got me thinking about targeting carp from other areas of the Avon I fish where there would likely be a similar patrol route.

The (new to me )area I intended to try for this session is very deep you see so unless they are sunning themselves they would be nigh on impossible to spot. Then again spend the amount of hours I do on the canal for example big carp can turn up in the most unlikely of places but they only tend to reveal themselves when they are off guard. There are thick lilies in abundance here but watch, study and stare long enough you’d end up spotting some no doubt.

I haven’t the time, or the patience….

So plan B it was….

If these large and lengthy marginal nymphaeaceae provide one of their natural patrol routes then leaving a snare, well a boilie and a few freebies via a bolt rig I might be able to intercept one, which is exactly what happened much further downstream when the surprise mud sifter turned up.

I fancied a bit of double dipping though, so a Zander rod was also deployed, again possibly a patrol route, but pedestrian pace, deep and plenty of cover, I’m sure there are some milling about in this area.

Unless you’re a pole and keepnet user, this area is largely uncharted me thinks and I’m looking forward to seeing what I can pick up.

Problem as always though, is so much of the stretch to cover , and not enough time.

I tried 2 swims, 2 hours each without even a nibble on either rod and there didn't appear to be many fish moving or topping either.  Even some freebee floaters remained untouched. It's a big expanse of river though so bit like the canal, there must be areas that are largely devoid of fish. I'm surprised there were not takers of the deadbait though as apparently apart from the Zander there are Pike here too.

I got back to the car after a blank with the fresh air clearing my head and and then I remembered my lure rod was stuck at the bottom of the boot so with a rattling diving lure fitted I decided to have another half hour on the first peg.

The third cast, bang something nailed it....

I thought it was a Perch at first, but nope a small Zander that impaled itself.

Another 40 or 50 casts, nothing....

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Warwickshire Avon – Suicidal Pie Avoiders

Luckily I’m an early riser, well, to be fair, It’s not by choice….

….after starting work at 6.00am for many a year, my body clock is beyond knackered and hence I’ve never used an alarm for years.

I’m usually bolt upright before the dawn chorus, the Wife miraculously still in another one of her deep sleeps.

I just cannot stay in bed, I get restless.... it’s out of bed I go.

However for fishing early mornings as we do, my buggered body clock is ideal but I’ve noticed the mornings getting darker since returning from holiday and that dusk is also getting closer so the knock on effect is that is my after work sessions are getting shorter.

It’s got its plus point though as my commute to work is a breeze, with the average speed pretty ridiculous, and nearly twice the speed of the return journey.

There are also far less numbers pigeons on the road and the commute to work is more pleasant as I’ve now not got to run the gauntlet with the suicidal pie avoiders.

2.7 millions pairs in the UK apparently, yeap, they are all over the shop and hard to avoid.

Apart from an air hostess from Coventry who I had a brief liaison with back in my youth, Is there a more vacuous bird?, I don’t think so.

To be fair, she was extremely good to look at….I’ll give her that, the Pigeon not so, ten a penny.

Ok, I’ve brushed over their long distance navigating ability, but then again, there isn’t much to hit in the sky is there. Well apart from planes which they do from time to time.

Maybe I’m a little hard on this humble bird, after all, it has a 340 degree field of view and processes the surroundings in 74fps so ‘apparently’ only needs to take avoiding action until absolutely necessary.

So why then after many an interrupted fffff’ing and blinding journeys in to work with slowing and braking heavily for large numbers of these seemingly flying lemmings the first time I decided to keep my toe in prodding and poking the 300 raging horses….

….yeap, you guessed it, I hit the unfortunate short straw picking bird turning it in to....

....a visual explosion of feathers and claret which the result of, marked VW’s not very durable water based paint.

More fool coo….

So the days and nights are drawing in, and my favourite seasons, autumn and winter are on the way.

Sometimes a static five hour session is too much for me these days so a short one like this one is ideal, two to three hours, job’s a good’un.

The Barbel were not playing ball on the last session so I was back on the Zander hunt, this time Martin Roberts fancied trying for one of these intriguing fishes, to try and better his PB of 3.8lb. So before the pub decided to ring the beer bell, prior to dusk, we were river bound.

There is so much to go at here but I decided to concentrate on an area I’d caught Zander before. I’ve caught hundreds of canal Zander but fish from flowing water is still relatively new to me.

I’m still learning the ropes you see….

Luckily certain principals from my experience from the fishing the cut can be transferred to fishing for them in this completely different environment, so despite only fishing a handful of sessions on two entirely different rivers I’d been reasonably successful using some of the lessons learnt and those would be implied here.

There was one significant change in my canal verses river set-up which seems to work brilliantly, but….

….is that the time, better crack on.

One thing I've learnt about my canal jaunts is that cold weather is far better when targeting Zander, there was a notable difference in my catch rate when it warmed up. It was humid and very close for this session and I knew it might be tough.

With the swim chosen I fished to the right, Martin to the left. There is plenty of cover here so even when it's midday with the sun high there are some nice shady spots for predators to hide. The first cast of my float within seconds it went under and with a slightly premature strike and a strike in to thin air I could see the flanks of a small Zander.

And that's how the session continued, plenty of bites particularly for Martin but tricky to hook up, eventually Martin winkled one out at around a couple or three pound, fairly hollow which considering the amount of feed for these fish quite a surprise.

Yeap, a swim full of schoolies which if you've ever discovered a shoal of them on the cut they can be hugely frustrating and often gets you questioning ones rig choice.

The method works fine, but the time must be right....this time conditions were against us.

Monday, 22 August 2016

Warwickshire Avon – A spuff patch

With the evening not available to me, this morning session was a roving one to try and find a Barbel. The middle part of the stretch there was a match on so I’d try the swims at the tail end. Not a bad thing mind you as this is where the shallower and pacier swims are.

Tactics are simple for this sort of fishing, a large hook, a chunk of meat and I like to pinch a large jumbo shot on the line where I can mould a lump of plasticine around.

As I thought the banks were deserted because despite the recent rain it’s still very clear and tough going. 

Dusk is far the best time for a static bait 'but' a moving bait can be as effective…

You just need to find the fish and put something in front of them they cannot refuse.

After about 3 hours without a touch in various tasty looking swims I moved to one with heavy cover and sure enough after about the 3rd run through a bite was felt through my fingers.

The bend in the rod and the telltale fight, this was no Barbel or Chub, yeap

A bleeding eel….

There seems to be loads of the around at the moment, ok not a blank, it’s the mess they make I don’t like. Luckily this got himself free from the hook so no need to handle it.

The slime sticks like sh*t to a blanket though, it’s a bugger to get off the net.

Any tips welcome….

The last swim I could see the bottom and despite looking ideal for a Barbel with streamer weed and gravel and the bait going through nicely no fish were spotted and no bites came of it.

The rivers going through a bit of a rough patch at the minute it seems.

So I’ll be after the Zander again midweek, they seem to be on a different rule book.