Sunday, 23 June 2019

Warwickshire Avon - Gonks and Gingambobs

A late night, hot air balloons, a fairground and fireworks. A midnight bedtime didn't put Sam off waking up early to go down the river, like me he cannot wait for his next trip. So a pint of maggots, and a float, the simplest of tactics. For a 7 year old bites are what keeps him happy, what keeps him from mischief, what keep his mind focussed.

The verbal diherrea continues to flow mind you, but the inner working of a 7 year old and their thought process and their off the wall questions is always nice to be a part of. A break from his noisy brother, two anglers talking all things fish.

We hot footed it to an area we know where fishing in the summer is not somewhere for a rest, it's an area where small fry are in numbers, in big quantities and a dangle of the float in most swims brings instant results.

Now we were here for Gudgeon, and one particular 'Gonk' swim they are generally a larger stamp. Fish over the gravel in and around the weeds and lilies they start small when you've located the shoal and then generally they get bigger.

Eventually after wading through fish after fish, getting bite after bite we had everything but gudgeon. We switched swims 3 times before receiving a more confident bite and a gudgeon was on. Strangely they got smaller after this one, not bigger. It going 0.62oz on the dealer scales.

An enjoyable roving session though and the stretch to ourselves. Seven dinky species as pictured caught, gudgeon, dave, chub, minnow, roach, bleak and perch. The best fish a chublet not pictured and quite a few Perch were caught and the biggest went 6oz's. Kingfishers, dragonflies and some of the most vibrant butterflies you've ever seen, a great place to spend a couple of hours.

Saturday, 22 June 2019

Warwickshire Avon - Coxcombs and Conny Wabbles

An area where things go big, the dock leaves enough to provide shelter for more than one, the weeds towering above the treetops in places with stems as thick as bamboo. The rubbish more than I'm used to such the footfall. The fish, well who knows because this is only the second time I've fished this area, the first time I did a 'Burton', and blanked.

But that didn't put me off, it just looked right, the flow, the colour, the holding features. It screamed Chub, but us anglers know that fishing can be strange at times, fish when they are having an off day and not feeding, despite their gluttonous nature, nothing that you can do can spur them on to feed.

This morning was a different story, I've never had such a good Chub session. Now usually in these warm and sunny conditions I like to try and get the fish feeding off the top.

But the last chub session on another part of the Avon was tough and I could see them rising up to the bait, but they actively ignored the bread and the desire for a full belly and let the bread float past such they suspicion.

Change of tactics though, a slow sinking large piece of doughy bread which when first cast I had a fish on within seconds I knew I would have a good day.

They were properly on it, four fish within half an hour, the biggest going 4lb 8oz the smallest a pound less.If I had retained them I would have possibly had more but after another two fish, there was a now a good wait for the next bite.

At the end of the session with the last fish caught another 4 pounder I lost count of the Chub I caught, there were some chublets getting in on the act as well. It was certainly over 10, probably heading towards 15. The sun was strong when I left and that certainly put them off, but I can only imagine the size they would get come winter. This area will always remain on my radar now. A memorable session indeed.

Friday, 21 June 2019

Warwickshire Avon - Snotties and Snub Devils

There are quite a few places where I know Bream reside, but 2 years ago I fished this one particular area where bites were plentiful so I was back for a second bite of the cherry. I need to register some bream points for the bloggers challenge and this seemed like a no brainer. So an early start and simple tactics. 2 rods, method feeders, short hook-links and a variety of pellets for hookbait, soft and hard.

Bream seems to get a bit of a bad press, but for me when I target them from time to time, I quite like catching them. It's a different kind of fight and are they really that slimy ? When they average 3lb plus like they do down here, they are quite impressive looking creatures as well.

A lovely morning indeed but I knew I had to act fast. The sun was rising and with a relatively clear body of water this can sometimes stop the fish from feeding. The trip here last time the float was more or less redundant and the sleeper rod was getting the most attention. The feeder acting like a dinner bell ? who knows but certainly it was the method that was working on the day.

The rig is more or less self-hooking but you would think you could sit behind the rods and relax but it never really feels like that as when the fish are feeding, the rod tips are banging away all the time from the small fish and eventually those knocks and taps turn in to a proper clanger.

It didn't take long for the first bream to come along either, half an hour in to the session a proper screamer of a run and the fish slab was on. They are a good average size here as well, that was the first fish of 5 or so and I also lost one that wriggled in slow motion, caught its tail on the line and pinged out the barbless hook and swam back from where it came to join the shoal.

Double 5mm soft krill pellets seems to work the best, they do properly stink though but you can go through them quite quickly because once out the water there are too soft to recast as you wouldn't know that the bait was on.

As suspected the bites dried up when the sun was strong but I preserved with the casting and baiting and eventually a different kind of bite developed and initially I thought it was a small chublet but it turned out to be a welcome roach of 12 oz's. Now this took a rather large robin red hard pellet with a corn hair stop. Maybe I'll come back in the winter and give them a proper go.

Cracking condition as well, a dark back and a bulging belly. I end up moving swims as I baited one of the margins when on-route to the first swim but after a failed attempt for a carp after being biteless for a good while, it was time to head off, pop to the tackle shop and also to test drive a potential new car. A car more suitable to my needs.

Thursday, 20 June 2019

Warwickshire Avon - Windlestraws and Witticasters

Followers of my ramblings over the years will know more recently I tend to blog about every session, the reason for this is because for one, I can keep track of my pastime and how my trips are increasing but also because it shows sometimes it’s not that easy out there. Yesterday for instance a news report came in and a picture quickly followed of a beast of a fish caught by Sean Dowling. Then Russ Hilton (remember him) followed with a picture of the swim he was fishing, I just had to get out !!!!

I did say I’d have a quiet night in because after all “you never relax” but after sorting the kids out for bed and me pacing up and down the house looking generally restless, “why don’t you go fishing” . “Well I could do I suppose, I’ll just go for an hour, anyway it’s already half past eight” Luckily for me 14 minutes travel time total there and back I can be at the banks of the Warwickshire Avon, not only that one of my favourite haunts.

Unbeknown to the Wife the tackle was already in the car, as was the loaf of bread I bought earlier. I don’t tend to fish this stretch in the summer months, it is winter here I spend most of my time because not only do I have the stretch to myself most of the time, but there are some cracking fish to be had. 

The chub rise here to take bread off the top and knowing the swims intimately, I headed straight to one that usually has fish holding up. 

Sure enough after creeping down in to the swim and with a couple of bits of bread torn off the slice I set them going upstream. Well I say that the swim is only twenty foot max as there is trees and overhangs each side, but that’s why the love it here, very sheltered and secluded. 

Sure enough within seconds of the bait going out the tell-tale rise of the chub and the ‘pop’ on the surface. 

They wise up quickly though these fish and they don’t get big from being stupid. They literally nudge the bait with their noggins and don’t take it first go till they are happy with it. 

Confidence is the key so after a good 15 or 20 minutes of feeding bread I now had 4 or 5 fish taking bread happily off the surface. I can clearly see the fish rising through ones polarised sunglasses and the biggest looked 4lb at least. 

The rig well, simply a hook attached to the line a centrepin reel and my tippy Peregrine rod that has some backbone. So the bait goes out the bread swirling on the surface till it hits the pacier water and then it proceeds downstream, sure enough it was engulfed after a pre-nudge and I felt the fish through the line, sadly for a split second though as somehow it manged to bump itself off, damn !!!! 

The problem with that is, when you catch a fish from the swim it goes dead and you have to move on, but it’s exactly the same for a lost fish, you’ve buggered it. 

With half an hour left I tried to find some more surface feeding fish but sadly the swim I wanted to fish was occupied and the other 6ft high nettles. So only one thing for it, whack on the plasticine and fish a bottom bait. Small baits can be ignored here but put on a huge chunk of bread it’s too much for a gluttonous Chevin to ignore. 

So after settling down in to a swim with an overhanging tree the bait went out. Within ten minutes a couple of plucks and rattles turned in to a proper pull round. Sadly only a chublet but that ended the session, I agreed I’d be back for ‘Wine Wednesday’ and as I headed back to the car and just having seen a kingfisher in close quarters as they are very active down here , the sunset confirmed just how much this sort of fishing does wonders for one’s mind. I’ll be back !!!!
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