Monday, 17 October 2016

Canal Zander – Professlowalism

“Are they moving ?”

“Not sure to be honest”

“Oh yes, I think they are”

Careful now, got to line the boat up with ponderous precision, it’s a small opening after all.

“I never knew a barge could go so slowly”

They are eventually in, should have brought my gas stove, could have cooked us up a full English whilst we wait to get the bait out. We’ve no choice but to become gongoozlers.

The Jack Russell’s out complete with life-jacket, the elderly owner with windlass in hand.

He’s surveying his quandary, hmmm, hang on a minute he’s attached it to the paddles.

“We’re getting somewhere”

Easy now, don’t turn it too fast, might put your back out.

“Good, take your time, half a turn then stop, then repeat” “He’s succeeded”

Back, against paddles

“CRACK !!!!!!!”

Whoops, he’s bottomed out the gates, I thought it was his knee for a minute, yeap, he’s tried to close them. Oh I know what, I’ll push them the other way, that should work.

Finally, they are out, and on to the next one in a sloth like manner.

I’d give Hatton flight a miss if I were you....

Luckily it was the last swim Danny and I were to fish. We had planned to fish the Avon for Zander in to dark, but both agreed we probably we wasting our time and the session would likely end fruitless.

So it was an early start on the cut to see if the Zander were biting. As like-minded canal Zander anglers it’s always good to meet up. We’ve a professional and businesslike approach to targeting them and successful because of it.

We both have had some decent fish from the canal now and my biggest of 9lb to date, Danny even bigger and I’m sure a double is there for the taking. The conditions were not ideal though, some horrible rain for the first couple of hours put a dampener on it but still Zander were caught.

Nothing of size but with Zander fishing we both agree, you stumble on a bigger fish the likely hood it won’t be in the same swim again. The bigger specimens are transient so it’s a matter of getting as much banktime as possible.

Danny’s ‘washed’ out looking baits out did my fresher looking roach deadbaits and I’ve said before the condition of them doesn’t really matter that much.

They were in scrapping mood too, not the biggest of fish but the bend in the rod was deceptive the result an average cut schoolie.

Danny alternated between dead and lure, dead and dead. I for the majority of my canal Zander fishing, exclusively floatfished deadbaits.

What I’ve found though, is the colder the better so once the first frosts hit, they will likely be feeding more heavily particular the larger fish. Still, find some pocket of fish and they are decent sport when the river is out of sorts.

Come March when I’ll start my Zander challenge again, I’ll be concentrating one particular canal and plan to fish pastures new and stretches very familiar to me.

I cannot wait….

Friday, 14 October 2016

Warwickshire Avon – Inbreadible

I had the ‘drunchies’ not eating that much didn’t help, but after a few large nosing glasses of Auchentoshan Valinch it was back to raiding the kitchen to see what delights could quell the feeling of an empty stomach and satisfy the munchies. To be fair it’s a feeling I often get after wetting ones palate with a cask strength single malt.

ffff'iing, Dog-hungry…

I was after the giant crumpets Warburton’s do, ok being slathered in Anchors finest isn’t the healthiest of breakfasts, but heck they taste good.

No luck, looks like the kids have had them, bugger…


Wholemeal Roti’s, half a loaf of brown bread past its best, Haribo eggs, drumsticks, Nah….

Hey what’s this though, ¾’s of a loaf of Warburton’s blue and still fresh too after being riddled with calcium propionate.

Hmm not tried bread for a while, with this clear water, probably a good bet to be honest, I couldn’t do any worse than I have been doing.

The frazzles took a battering as did the breakaway’s….

So better sort a fishing trip hadn’t I….

I fancied sitting out this one, I don’t leave my bait nearly long enough me thinks, so two rods were cobbled together

The first a small boilie rigged Barbel rod the other a light link ledger setup with some liquidised bread and some hemp in the small cage feeder.

The reason being was there was some Perch potential here too, so I’d also bring my lure rod equipped with a fake wriggly worm which I’d use from time to time in the neighbouring swims if they were angler less.

Small live baits, only attracted the Jacks last time, maybe something visually completely different would make the difference.

Best laid plans and all that...

Wow, what an incredibly tough session, I should have gone to the pub.

After 4 biteless swims, I settled in one that's has had some major tree surgery. The large cover canopy had gone but it meant a nice pool had been created by removal of the thicket.

As soon as I cast the bread flake something honed on to it straight away.

Hmmm, a small Dace.

And that's the way it continued for more or less the rest of the session. I couldn't get anywhere near a decent fish and after the umpteenth small fish I decided to go back to the Perch swims and stick it out for the last hour and a bit.

Bugger all, my fortunes would have changed at dusk but wow, that was tough going.

Where were the Chub...?

Luckily I have an extended fishing opportunity next weekend, the Zander meet is off due to many on holidays and double booked so I can fish in to dusk for two evenings, I want a decent pull on my rod.

Same story with other anglers, glad it's not just me.

Anyway, Sunday I'm off to the cut.

Monday, 10 October 2016

Warwickshire Avon – Bloodless verses the Bogus

This ‘zander’ pack of roach freezer baits looked past their best to be honest, after all they were left over from the Zander challenge back in June and my ‘Quest for a Cut Double”.

Now readers of this blog will know I didn’t quite get that elusive double figure fish, but did bank a few nice Zander accumulating in a fish of smack bang on 9lb which ain’t to be sniffed at considering I’ve caught hundreds and hundreds of the little schoolie buggers that would barely make an amuse-bouche in a posh French restaurant.

I’d grown to like the single minded approach….and I miss fishing the cut, yes really....

I rarely fish lakes and pools these days spending most of my time on running water but I’ve become to love fishing the cut. Probably because I’ve spent so much time there during one’s quest. Now I’m not saying next March cannot come round soon enough but it will be nice to get in a mindset knowing what I’m fishing for my next session.

In my experience, fishing for Zander on the canals I wasn’t too bothered about the condition of these baits, ok fresher the better, but these colourless, pale and pallid small Roach deadbaits would still catch fish. It wasn't an issue, so for this session river Zander were my target and from a couple of swims I’d not fished before.

To hedge my bets and keep myself active I’d also brought my lure rod, if bites were not forthcoming maybe they fancied something different than an obvious deadbait, it’s still clear and tough going after all, and they’ve seen it all these fish, and it's not lured fished much from what I've found out. It’s a bit like those tried and tested chat up lines, you need to work harder than that to get anywhere near the forbidden, something a little out of the ordinary maybe.

This season because of the conditions have been a little haphazard and my results have been mediocre to say the least but maybe for my 400’th post going forward maybe I should start a river Chub challenge, the ‘Quest for a River 5lber” ?

I’m sure I’m missing a trick....Mick, shape up, or ship out, my results have been mediocre up to now.

It was only a short session this but I wanted to try one particular swim that looked deeper than the swims either side of it. Those I could see the bottom in these rain baron times and I thought if a predator was here then it is likely to be lurking here.

The session was a quick one with around 45 minutes in each swim, very quiet indeed but eventually after the third move I received my first bite on the deadbait. I thought it was a decent Zander at first but in the clear water I could see a Pike of around 6 or 7 pound had the bait in its jaws broadside.

I saw him, he saw me so he ejects the baits and plunges back to the depths. Oh well...

The last swim I managed two Jacks, one on the lure the other on a deadbait which it nabbed on the retrieve. Some lovely markings hence the picture.

At least I didn't blank. As soon as the first frost comes I think I will give the Perch a back further downstream.

Martin was out too, fishing downstream and proved that the Barbel will feed in the day. After a quick natter I might mirror his tactics when I get a chance, it certainly seems to work effectively.

Friday, 7 October 2016

Warwickshire Avon – Restless Legs and the Pearl Necklace

I thought Barbel were a bit like Kim Kardashian’s bodyguard Pascal Duvier, all brawn and no brains, after all whilst he was out partying with her younger and more attractive sisters his square rigged equipped employer was tied up at gun point by the assailants who were dressed as police officers. They managed get away with millions of pounds worth of her jewels, according to the news anyway….

Did they manage a pearl necklace when they dumped her in the bath, nah, just a ridiculously huge diamond ring and the contents of her jewelry box. I doubt she will be so keen to show it all off next time.

I’m not that up with current affairs and this modern phenomenon of reality TV if I’m honest, apart from her circus freakish backside remind me why she is so famous again?

As I ain't got a clue....

Anyway these thieves made it look easy and made the bodyguard look a right clod hopper but at the moment these battling Barbel are making me look the fool too.

The only success I’ve had is once the light goes, certainly not on my terms as I want a daytime fish you see.

A couple or three attempts during the day have remained fruitless but for this session a change of tactics were in order.

My Willis-Ekbom disease kicks in, restless legs if you will, particularly on a weekend when I cannot just sit there and do nothing, my legs start to ache and I need to get them moving.

At work I’ve no choice but to put up with it but when I can, one is always on one’s feet.

So for this roving session, it was a matter of fishing as many swims as possible and try and put a bait where in this clear water they would likely be seeking sanctuary away from angling pressure.

Overhanging trees, snags, rafts and cover….

I use a centrepin for the majority of my Barbel fishing but to reach certain swims I knew I would have to swap to fixed spool reel. I also rigged up my beefier Fox rod and chose that over my usual 1.75TC Harrison.

Bait was simple flavoured cubes of luncheon meat that were defrosted and refrozen a few times to soak in the coating better to make it more pungent. I find the Sonubaits flavour shakers brilliant for this, particularly the Super Krill, Spicy Sausage and Cheesy Garlic, they are not bad value for money either as they last a long time.

I wanted the bait to behave as naturally as possible so I decided to try and much longer hooklength than I usually use and I’d fish it link ledger style so I could vary the shot to just hold bottom. A lift of the rod on a slack line would carry the meat further downstream to try and put the bait under the nose of a Barbus to try and tempt one like a kid walking past a fairground dougnnut maker that has just removed them from the oil….

Irresistible, well that’s what I was hoping anyway.

If a Barbel wasn't forthcoming then I'd have a quick smash and grab session after work before the clocks go back.

Tough or what, after a good number of swims without even a tap and not even spotting any fish under ones cocoons, an underarm cast got the bait right next to a raft, to the right of it was static water so ideal really as after watching the lump of meat trundle down slowly to the bed it didn't take long for a fish to pick it up.

A big drop back bite and a fish was on. It powered under the raft but was soon under control and sadly I knew it was a greedy Chub, to be fair it was under-gunned but it gave a good account for himself. 3.5lb ish something like that.

On the way back to the car I stopped for a natter with a few other anglers who were finding it tough too, biteless and fish less, not good.

Especially when one chap said he'd been up to the Trent last week and had plenty of barbel and chub on the float. I couldn't believe how difficult it is on the Avon at the minute.

Come dusk, his fortunes would change, no doubt about that.

So the last swim, again, tight to a raft and within ten minutes all hell breaks loose and another fish is on, this one must have hooked himself and felt the resistance and it went a bit mental.

A small Chub again, this one around 3lb.

So looks like back to a plan B, a Tuesday or Wednesday smash and grab.

Monday, 3 October 2016

Warwickshire Avon – Hoi Deploy

The Warwickshire Avon can be funny at times, really really tough going especially when it’s clear but once the light drops and the inhibitions drop the fish can be relatively easy to catch.

Fish all day, naff all….

…but as soon as the bats come out, keep hold of one’s rod as the change really is dramatic.

If you ever fished a commercial where the carp all of a sudden start mooching around in the margins I’m sure it’s the same sort of thing with river fish….

….as soon as the dinner bell is rung, the eating begins.

So I was looking forward to this in to dark session, whilst the proletariat would likely be in a state of bladderation watching some rubbish on TV, dining at the local cliquey Gastro Pub on pan fried lambs liver and bacon or watching some God awful football match, Martin, Sean and I would be after some of those larger nocturnal fish that have proved a blank saver for me in the past.

I wanted a Barbel or a Zander, and those only, so on one of the rods the highly selective Gluttonous Chub – Poka-Yoke rig would be deployed over a bed of hemp and small pellets and then on the other rod fished Barbel style a headless Roach on a light running rig.

I want to catch a Chub on my own terms, I find a Barbel rod is over gunned and even with a decent Chub they will quickly overpower a greedy Chevin and it will be in the net. Part of the fun of fishing is using balanced tackle so you can enjoy the fight from the fish, rather than haul it in with a broom handle.

Now I’d not fished this stretch before so I was going in blind so tactics and baits I know that work made sense as confidence is everything in fishing and especially when it’s dark there is nothing worse than having to mess about re-baiting ones rods after a greedy chub has got in on the act first.

A veritable gobstopper is the only method for me come sundown and its proved its worth in the past….the deadbait, well, could be a Pike, Eel or Zander, I was hoping the latter.

I decided to bring my lure rod prior to setting my stall out as the water is so ridiculously clear I was hoping to catch a predator or two and I was desperate to try a new lure I’d bought.

Martin had set his stall out when I got there and had been enjoying himself with centrepin and maggots and had a Perch on a deabait, he was fishing upstream from Sean who was just setting up his deadbait rod. It had been raining all day and as I drove to the venue I could see some huge black clouds heading our way. Sure enough eventually it was right over us and I had no choice but to shelter under Martins umbrella. I put a deadbait rod out to at least tempt a fish but for an hour or so no bites. 

With a break in the rain I wandered downstream with the lure rod and about the 5th cast a fish was on. It didn't feel particularly big and when it broke surface I think it was a small jack but for some reason it throw the hooks pretty quickly. Maybe it was a Perch, if it was it was a good'un.

After half an hour without any fish I moved up near Sean to put some hemp out before putting my bait over the top. After a good natter both rods went out and it was a matter of waiting. Both Martin and Sean had been catching jacks prior to this but as the light was starting to go we were hopeful for a Zander. 

The rain continued and Sean, who had only planned to fish just in to dark packed leaving me and Martin to sit it out.Weirdly the stretch was devoid of fish, usually coming up in to dusk and beyond is when the fish start moving around, topping and at least the Chub anyway start banging and tapping at the hook-bait. Sadly it was all too quiet for me and for Martin also.

With the annoying rain now quite heavy I donned my Poncho and stood and starred at my motionless rod tips.Especially Zander, I've found if they are there, they will find the bait, so maybe we were just not on them this evening.

 My phone rings "hey, Mick, how you doing"

"pretty quiet here old chap"

"give it another half an hour ?"

"yeah, suits me"

So the session was cut short, a couple or three hours before we intended it to end, but we still managed to fish nearly two hours in to dark so gave it a good go.

Thumbs down for this session, but hopefully better luck next time.

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.