Saturday, 22 July 2017

Warwickshire Avon - Barbel and Badonkadonks

It was a head turner that for sure, to be honest a freak of nature, a proper badonkadonk, so much so, I forgot to buy the very item I went in for.

Even the Wife was impressed, "wow, I wished I had that backside."

"Yours is fine, my Dear" as I take a sneaky second look....

So being spam'less with the river a nice colour, I cobbled together a set-up....

This morning session with Sam we were fishing an area of that is often fishable in even flood conditions, you see the nature and flow of the river means this small stretch is pedestrian in any given weather conditions.

We didn't really have a target in mind, set-ups were a link ledgered couple or three maggots, a Barbel set-up with a couple of krill boilies and from time to time a shallow float set-up.

It didn't take long for the first fish either, a small perch, then a small rare Ruffe to add a few points to the bloggers challenge.

All 0.96oz of it....

Soon after a chub that I didn't weigh but looked like it wouldn't make 3lb, this slow section of the Avon was fishing rather well.

Now when a decent bite was received not long after putting the Chub back, I thought, what the heck was this, it was stripping line off the drag for a start so I had to tighten the clutch, at first I thought it was a monster Chub or maybe even a carp but when it surfaced after an arm aching battle, it was a Barbel of all things.

Sam was amazed it was the first Barbel he had seen in the flesh and wanted to give it like I do the care it deserves, rested in the net, then weighed, rested in the net and released it went 7lb 14oz's.

It had a mark on it's mouth, so should be easy identified in the future. Not a bad morning, and we luckily left before the heavens opened.

Friday, 21 July 2017

Warwickshire Avon – Hard Body and Rubber Legs

Don’t ask how much I paid for this lure, you don’t want to know.

Manufactures blurb….

The Realis Shinmushi has incorporated the actions of a “hard” body and “soft” rubber legs, creating a 3 dimensional pulsation that predator scant resist.

The most important factor for the “Bug” lure is the “sound” the bug makes when falling on the surface of the water. The hard body of the Shinmushi will enable any angler to create this effect. In addition, the rubber legs and feather on the tail hook will also induce bites from the bass.

The wings works as a “stopper”, limiting the lure from traveling too far, while staging a “freestyle” swimming action when retrieving. Anglers will be able to approach the fish in a versatile manner.

This ultimate “bug” lure will automatically induce bites from the bass while “stopping” it or “moving” it.

Separate body structure: The body of the Shinmushi is a two piece structure separating from the belly and the back section. By removing the belly hook eye, anglers will be able to separate the body to customize the lure depending on the given situation.

Wing: We made it a point to design the wings as a fixed feature instead of a free moving wing, for its function as a stopper. It was also carefully designed to enable to the lure stage a ”freestyle” action while retrieving. We have employed elastomer as its material minimizing any drag while casting.

Rubber legs: The length of the legs are 70mm and are so soft that it will continue shimmering even when holding it still in your hand.

So enough of that….

I wanted to try this unusual surface lure for Chub on this nice stretch of the Warwickshire Avon, come dusk you see, I’ve seen some big fish surface and yet a static bait and trotting maggots has been ignored.

Barbel won’t be on my radar till much later on in the season and to be honest as I do like variety in my fishing, apart from the dedication I give the Zander challenge I need much needed multifariousness otherwise I’d get bored.

However after the capture of one last weekend for a little double dipping, a bait dropper of hemp, small pellets and dead maggots went next to a overhanging tree and half and hour before dusk I'd put a boilie bait over the top.

Enough of the preamble, how did it go....?

The first chub came pretty quick, properly nailed the lure and on light gear gave a pretty goo scrap too.

Wow what a great way to fish, the swim has reasonable depth and flow so it was a matter of casting upstream and allowing the lure to drift down on the surface, giving it a quick, flick now and again to make it look like an injured insect.

Reeling it in like a normal lure it's wings rotate causing a surface disturbance with added noise.

As the light goes, the bigger fish start moving about, but not long after the first fish, the second one comes along. This feels like a much better fish and after it got stuck in some marginal reeds I managed to get it out.

3lb 14oz's, a mint fish with a bronze back.

I know a bigger fish will come winter, but a nice fish all the same.

With the sun now setting it was time to sit behind the barbel rod....

The odd sharp tug and twang it was uneventful but having to leave at dusk, I know for well, that stay an hour in to dark, a Barbel would likely be forthcoming.

The weekend, well, I'm in two minds what to do as weather don't look the best and Sam coming with me.

Monday, 17 July 2017

Warwickshire Avon – Slacks, Sabbaths and Snollygosters

Got to love a weir pool, all manner of fish present and more often than not, something special turns up. I’d not actually fished this weir before, not sure why either as having walked past it a few times it was certainly inviting and just looked fishy.

Now not being one to worship a high and mighty, Sunday for me is about rest and recuperation, however more often than not, that goes out the window. You see I reckon I suffer from Willis-Ekbom disease or restless syndrome, where I have an overwhelming, irresistible urge to move ones legs. So even If I have a chance to lie in or put my feet up, I just cannot manage it.

Half the problem however is as someone who has started work at 6.00am for nearly 20 years now, I’m often so knackered come the weekend I struggle staying awake. The plus point as an hourly paid contractor I’m one of those that can be relied on, take note those congressional snollygosters and politicians, I’m a man of principles.

Take note Nadhim Zahawi….

Net results, I’m rarely out of work, but one big problem, the regular Sunday roast for example, if I had that at lunchtime, I’d asleep by 2.00pm.

What at knackered body clock does give me though is not only to I rarely use an alarm, as an angler I have a slight advantage over the other maggot downers is that often I’ve the pick of the swims as the majority are still tucked up in bed, whilst I’m swim bound as I’m awake and twiddling my thumbs at 5.00am Sunday morning.

ShhhhhShhh it’s also free parking in some places on a Sunday, what’s not to like.

Start work at 6.00am, it’s the way forward.

So this weir pool….

I wanted to fish the slacker and calmer water to see what I could pick up, a running feeder set-up with maggot on the hook, one fake, one real.

The feeder filled with small 4mm pellets, hemp and dead maggots.

I didn’t really have a target either, just happy to see what would turn up.

Perch, Bream, Roach, you name it, more or less a bite a chuck. Nothing outstanding and after a quick natter with the Bailiff who has a right job on his hands patrolling and dishing out day tickets, evicting people maybe the tactics were a little wrong.

But hey, that's fishing for you....

Anyway after a few hours with nothing of note the tip wraps round and a Barbel is on, the unmistakable fight a fit and powerful Barbel can only give the light set-up was being tested especially as it went straight in to the heart of the weir. Eventually I turned it and I was getting control, certainly arm aching mind you, as someone that doesn't fish for Barbel that often, you can see why people like catching them.

I wouldn't say I was disappointed when it surfaced as it gave a good scrap but I thought it was bigger than it actually was.

Sometimes though, those smaller fish fight harder than a double figure fish.

5lb 4oz's on the nose...

Maybe I should give them a proper go soon, as I know where some bigger ones reside.

So I learnt lots today and I'll definitely be back, next time however, different tactics all together.

Back home, out for some lunch with the family, all before midday.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Warwickshire Avon – Hemp, Halieutics and Hedonism

The simple pleasures in life are to be treasured, last Sunday after an afternoon of cracking food, good company, bladderation in moderation, I wasn’t ready to go to bed.

It was warm after all, so with the kids conked out asleep, the Wife watching another dross American show on Sky Atlantic I wanted a little solitude.

Viken Arman, Live at Belvédère des Caillettes on the Bluetooth speaker, a nice bottle of Red and a big fat cigar that I enjoy from time to time.


Port and Stilton, another one of my hedonistic pleasures.

Oh yes….can life get any better….?

Even the bats seem to be more prevalent than ever, as if they came to watch.

Fishing for many, and for me can offer so much pleasure in some may ways, for instance one scenario after watching motionless rod tips for a couple of hours completely out of the blue, a Barbel has finally moved in to the baited area picked up the hookbait bait, felt something isn’t right with it, and bolted downstream.

Silence to Violence in a split second….

where if the baitrunner wasn’t activated, or the clutch set properly, the rod if you weren’t quick enough would end up being ripped out of the rest and would be river bound never to be seen again.

It’s something unless you have experienced it firsthand you wouldn’t think a fish could do that.

I take that a little further but using a centepin reel with a ratchet, not only does it offer, for me anyway more control over a powerful Barbel run but it also offer an audible bite indication that is a sensory overload in itself.

It must be seen to be believed….dare I say it the ‘Three foot Twitch’.

For this session Barbel would be the target. I didn’t have much time either, this was a stupidly short session.

The swim I wanted to fish has a large canopy that hangs over this relatively narrow stretch of the Warwickshire Avon. When it’s low and clear as it is now, the fish tuck themselves out of the way under this overly large parasol and venture out when the light goes. You can catch them if you can get a bait underneath by casting upstream and rolling some meat but a recent snag that has appeared recently has made that nigh on impossible.

Bait and wait is the way to go….

So with half a pint of casters I had to use up I bait dropped a Smörgåsbord consisting of about a pint of hemp, small pellets and some broken boilies to match the one I’d use on the hair.

Boy they love hemp, doesn’t everyone.

The rig, well an adaptation of the Gluttonous Chub – Poka-Yoke Rig

So a large spicy squid boilie rather than an overly large pellet. The problem is Chub are always around so meat is a no go because I when they move in I want to know that the bait is still intact after they go on their bait stripping mission.

Ok sometimes the Chub will eventually hang itself but it’s surprising just how many powerful pulls and tugs the rig can tolerate and the hookbait is still staying put where it needs to be. Meat you are in two minds whether the bait is still there and the last thing you want to do is keep on recasting.

So a tough skinned boilie, large stop, long hair is the way to go for this approach.

So best laid plans and all that....

A bed of bait down, leave for an hour, whilst I had a small quiver rod with link ledger set-up to try and catch a few Gonks, and a few Gonks I did.

A bite a chuck, the best went 1.35oz so 0.09 more than I managed before.

Rods went out, sit back and bait....

After 10 minutes the first indication, a smash and grab chub bite, bang, rattle, pull, tug till eventually I got bored and struck.

Yeap a small Chub the culprit.

Rod out again, dusk upon us, the right rod goes this time, bang, rattle, pull, tug. bang, rattle, pull, tug, yeap, this one has hooked itself.

Damn Chub, sadly with the light about to go and club rules and all that, I'm off.

Btw if the Focus estate driver is reading this, yes I had a tyre inflator, 
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