Thursday, 5 December 2019

Warwickshire Avon - Chasms and Crateriforms

The sucker fish was out in daylight hours, now usually its nocturnal in its nature and its tucked up out from view. Usually it's a sign you see, yes really, I need to go fishing. It doesn't happen very often either but seems to coincide with a capture of a decent fish.

The thing with limpet lips must be on to something !!!!

Decision was made, especially with a busy social weekend coming up again, so with a few roach deadbaits at my disposal the gear was cobbled together the same evening and I'd have a think about where to go fishing.

To be honest it didn't take much thought, I was back at the bomb hole for this short after work session in to dusk, this time I'd tackle up for it a little differently.

I used the deeper to map this area and after a few passses I found this facinating feature, a landmark if you will over at the far bank, and also the way the water was flowing I could find it again easily.

A little further to cast than I'd like but heck, this could well be a hotspot. There were bait fish showing on the scan last time so was this crater a haven for a big Zander to lay in wait.

It was certainly worth a try because any feature will likely hold fish, and something this different than the norm even more likely.

Running rigs and deads positioned in 16ft of water there must be something hiding, surely Shirley. The more I think about it, this 'hole' is unique really, the change of depth isn't gradual, it goes from 4 or 5 foot to 15 or 16 over a short distance.

I'd love to get the scuba gear on and have a butchers, heck I could even sell tickets and do tours such its magnificence.

Is there a gigantion Zander lurking here in this hidden hole ? !!!!

Now talking of hidden and undiscovered some exceptionally rare treasure dating back to the ‘birth of England’ has been lost to the nation after two metal detectives stole buried loot worth up to £12m.

The ancient Viking hoard included a ninth-century gold ring, dragon’s head bracelet and fifth century crystal rock pendant, which experts said gave fresh information about England’s unification.

The men behind the theft were jailed after failing to declare the haul found on Herefordshire farmland.

It is thought the trove, much of which has yet to be recovered, was buried by someone serving in the Great Viking Army in either 878 or 879, as they were driven east by an alliance of Saxon forces previously not thought to exist between the kings of Mercia and Wessex. 

They really must have peed off the establishment with their understandable greed, because finders keepers ringleader Powell was jailed for 10 years while his oppo received eight-and-a-half years. Two others were also jailed for conspiring to conceal the find.

Now these nighthawkers should have under the Treasure Act declared their find, you see anything found that is more than 300 years old should be reported to the local coroners office within 14 days and its value shared between those who discovered it, as well as landlords and other stakeholders.

Only 31 of the 300 coins, some dating to the reign of King Alfred – Alfred the Great have been recovered, although deleted photographs on one of their phones found by police showed the larger hoard intact, in a freshly dug hole.

Five of the coins are examples of the exceptionally rare Two Emperors penny, so-called as they depict King Alfred and a lesser known monarch, Ceolwulf II, who reigned in the old kingdom of Mercia. They are valued at up to £50,000 each.

Yes you heard right, £50,000 each !!!!

If they were not so greedy they could have easily walked away with half a million quid each most probably but now will careful not to drop the soap. Thing is the, sentencing is mad in this country, more serious crimes get pathetic jail times...

Anyway back to the fishing....

To cut a long story short, very disappointed indeed as I blanked, apart from a decent fish topping when I got there there the water seemed dead.

The sky clear, the moon out, the ground was getting a covering of frost too.

There were certainly chub in the swim though so that was encouraging as every fifteen minutes or so the fish were snatching at the bait trying to snatch the bait off the hook, but sadly nothing developed.

So it was back home to enjoy the fire with the Wife and warm ones cockles, it was certainly cold for this session, maybe that was putting the fish off.

(Excuse 10073)

Monday, 2 December 2019

Warwickshire Avon - Misers and Marplots

A roving approach to angling has always been my favorite style of fishing, travelling light to me does not involve a chair, most sessions all I have with me is a rod, a net and a small bag with the bare essentials.

It was barely above freezing for this session where I'd try to wickle out a chub or two. There is no real science to it really, with the river up it is a matter of dropping in to as many swims as possible and give it no more than 10 to 15 minutes in each swim.

I do pre-bait with a few freebies on the way up the stretch and as I move down hopefully those freebies will have drawn fish in to the swim. The river looked a good tinge as well, the colour starting to drop out of it where bread I'd also got with me, might have been the better bet.

Oddly I'd not walked the whole of this stretch and as you proceed along the track it gets more tricky to make progress. The banks becoming steeper, narrower and the swims available less and less.

I've had some good chub here in the past however looking back the majority of those have been in dusk and beyond when I fish this stretch, as it's one of those handful of venues on the Warwickshire Avon I can fish in to dark.

The footprints here of late, only me and an otter it seemed hence probably why it's quite productive in to dark as they can be cautious to feed during the day as they are fed up of back watching.

I don't know what was more of a shock, paying £5.95 for an average pint of  'Quest' Ale a couple of days ago in the Butchers Social in Henley in Arden or after 3 swims not having a bite here, it appeared to be all a conspiracy. There are plenty of better pubs in the area that keep a much better pint and nothing like the cost, one even next door.

Now I did question the bill even though the Wife was paying but apparently, yeah "that's how much it costs in here", which is by far the most expensive pint on the whole road, fine dining Cheals included. Luckily on the whole the food is good (Onglet steak or salted caramel, honeycomb and bacon chicken wings my favorites ) despite the drinks prices being ridiculous, however people will vote with their feet though, so take note.

That could well be why the place was pretty dead on a Friday afternoon. Sadly it was dead here as well. I must have fished 6 or 7 swims without even a nudge. A last gasp bread mash fed in the last swim to try and buy a bite, did sort of work, albeit the fish that were biting were small.

I'm sure if I fish a maggot on a size 18 hook I'd have caught quite a few fish, but they were not what I was after. All very disappointing especially as next weekend I'm away raving it up again.

Sometimes though it's just nice being out especially when I had the banks to myself.

Saturday, 30 November 2019

Warwickshire Avon - Knack Shops and Knob Twiddlers

Blending a psychedelic sensory overload with riotous club bangers the Chemical Brothers certainly transported me away from all what's been going on of late.

If you've read these ramblings of mine for a while you'd know repetitive beats and especially when combined with acid visuals that trigger altered thoughts, feelings, and awareness of one's surroundings, culminating in perceptual anomalies transporting me back to those rave days.

Ok to the layman they are a couple of knob-twiddlers on stage giving the woofers a good working out whilst projecting some computer graphics, lasers and lights to fill the venue, but they know what they are doing I tell thee, hence the audience made up of many kids born in the 70's like me.

It never leaves you if you embraced all things EDM in the 80's and 90's and even now I'm getting on a bit, with my knees hurting occasionally and I'm finding myself asleep on the sofa post Sunday roast, I'll probably still be doing this in 20 years time.

They were the tonic that I needed to end quite a turbulent week, an extraordinary multi-sensorial experience in contrast to sitting on a river bank. The thing is there are similarities believe it or not, the mind in a good place for a start, thoughts banished for a few hours in good company and with the like minded.

Now things are gradually getting back to normal luckily, as I felt I may need to reach out for the unmentionables, but then life can be tough, you just have to do what you need to do, and try and do those things that boost your own serotonin and good mood levels. I'm lucky in that respect, as I know which buttons to press and levers to pull to get me functioning properly again.

Shame I cannot say the same for the local rivers, as they reached flood levels again during the week, where yet again it was very wet one indeed. There is light at the end of the tunnel though as the weather for the weekend is cold but dry and I'm hoping that will continue.The best season to be fishing has largely been a washout.

When I have managed to get to the river and it has been fishable results have been ok to be fair, the fish for a good while now having to tuck themselves up out of harm's way, and now able to venture out to try and quell their hunger pangs and fill their stomachs.

For this early session I quite fancied sitting it out and enjoying the cold fresh air.

I decided on a swim I remembered that is always fishable when the river is high. It is sheltered away from the main flow a so debris catching the line would be less of a problem and fish could seek sanctuary if they really wanted to.

A session of double dipping then this, a Peperami Fire Stick offering to try and temp a Barbel or Chub with some smelly groundbait in the feeder, and then on the sleeper rod a roach deadbait to try and tempt a Zander.

The deadbait would be more or less under the rod tip, as there some decent depth close in and a firm bottom !!!

I even had the gas burner with me, streaky bacon, a couple of Lashfords, a fried egg and a few squirts of HP's finest. Feel good food of the Gods !!!!

I'd not caught Zander from this area but I knew others had and it looked the ideal area for a decent size predator to layup waiting for a tasty morsel to venture in to its path.

My registered score on the bloggers challenge is easily beatable, and I want to try and keep the momentum going on the rivers scoreboard and try and catch species that would likely bite in these conditions, Zander being one of them.

So anyway, enough of the waffling, how did it go ?

Well it was a cold foggy start and crisp underfoot, but the fresh clean air was welcome as I hardly had an opportunity to top up the levels in the week just gone. The river as expected well up but a nice clarity for a bite I thought.

After an hour without a bite the stove was lit, the bacon smell unmistakable, washed down with a cup of tea, I was on the only angler brave enough to tackle the conditions for this morning it seems. Another hour went by without much more than a couple of taps so as the sun rose behind the trees I decided to move swims and fish the last half of the session upstream.

All very confusing, I thought at least I'd have a chub or two. Within a few minutes after settling in the new swim with a bait dropped in the margin the bobbin jumped in to life. I lifted the rod and felt the resistance straight away and I lifted in to the fish.

I thought it was a Zander at first, but nope, a jack that wolfed down a small roach.

And that was the lot, a couple of pulls on the Peperami which for the last hour was wrapped in stinky Ramiz Paste, maybe those still tucked up in bed knew something I didn't.

Monday, 25 November 2019

Warwickshire Avon - Quagmires and Quarromes

With the temperature still mild the tangleator fancied a trip out whilst he could still feel his fingers. When it's freezing or just above he doesn't cope with the cold very well and despite wearing all his winter gear his extremities start to go blue. 

The river was up a good foot or maybe more from the morning before not a million of miles away and the colour had changed to something more turbid.

Feed maggots though, here there are bait fish in numbers, it can take a while for the fish to turn up but when they do it's a bite a chuck. Not the biggest of fish admittedly, but to keep Sam from getting bored bites are what is needed.

Here the swim is quite wide and throughout the short session the water went from almost static to a decent pace on it so more casting was required more than I'd especially as there was snags close in to get caught up in.

Oddly throughout the session the only fish we caught were bleak, there are usually dace and roach here in shoals as well but not today. Baitfish attracts the attention of predators and whilst Sam was sat on the comfortable chair I was sat on the bucket waiting for the sleeper rods to jump in to life.

Two rods both with  a roach flapper, one close in, one further out where there is a nice clear bottom. I'd caught Pike here before so knew they were around, sometimes it's nice sitting back and relaxing whilst someone else does the fishing.

The first dropped take came quite quick and on inspection of the bait it looked like a Zander had to hold of it, the tell-tale stab marks only that species can give. Oddly me and others that fish here haven't had a Zed either, so that to me was encouraging, even though I didn't see the fish.

With the swim fast becoming a quagmire and the mud acting like a wick up Sam's wellies and up his trousers the left hand rod that was fished closed in jumps in to life.

It was taking line quite quickly so I didn't hesitate and leant in to the fish, I don't think it realised it was hooked at first till it surfaced and then saw me most probably. It bolted off on a couple of powerful runs and tail-walked at one point as it existed the water and I had to steer it away from the platform.

With Sam doing the landing duties the fish was in the net, "Feels like a good fish Daddy, what's your biggest again ?"

"Not far off this I reckon"

I knew it was a double but the scales went round past 11 and stopped at 11lb 8oz. Quite a hollow fish so if it gets its head down feeding over winter it will easily better my mediocre PB, which is only 2 ounces more.

The water clarity didn't scream Pike so just goes to show, put a bait in the right place or attract baitfish in the swim, bites can be forthcoming when odds are stacked against you.
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