Saturday, 23 September 2017

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Warwickshire Avon – Albuttbarbelbutt and Autothaumaturgists

It’s a long story so I won’t bore you with it, but during a fishy related bedtime story the mysterious and biggest Barbel in the Warwickshire Avon which has eluded me so far has been nicknamed by 6 year old Sam as the infamous,

Albuttbarbelbutt !!!!

Albuttbarbelbutt
Now Albuttbarbelbutt has been spotted by me sometime ago now and more recently by someone I bumped in to from a club water we fish. You see, because of an additional book for the season, he had strayed off his patch and found himself in waters very familiar to me. So with the river low and clear as it is, he had, like I tend to do, went from swim to swim to check out the contours and features of the river as it will be of benefit when the waters are up.

Bed mapping if you will.

Holes, deep runs that sort of thing.

One particular swim where I have fished from time to time for winter Chub, the nameless spotted a Barbel of brobdingnagian proportions calmly going about its business.

Albuttbarbelbutt, bold as brass, right there.


Having seen this mythical creature with my own eyes, it’s nice to know someone else has seen its unmistakable silhouette, after all, seeing is believing.

"It was massive"

"sadly motionless tips after trying for a few times"

Since the sharing of information I fished it once since, and remained biteless, but this short evening session, I was here in to dusk, if it’s around, I was hoping to tempt.


To be honest any Barbel would be nice here, for starters there seem to be less of them now, but not only that, the ones that I have caught here in the past have been a good stamp, culminating in my mediocre PB of 11lb 11oz's.

It’s a decent size swim with no pressure, so two rods, upstream rod a 18mm Mainline Spicy Crab wafter, the downstream rod a Hinders Barbel Bomb Chunks, both with PVA bags of freebies, also a scattering of small boilies.

I've had success with big baits for Barbel especially when trying to avoid the Chub, so these are my standard fodder to be honest.


So three quarters of an hour before dusk the rods go in....

Nothing much happened till the isotopes and bats were prevalent and then the Chub moved in to the swim, these are not quite the Poka-Yoke rig I developed but bang, tug, twang the baits were getting attention but nothing properly doing.

Then 10 minutes before my leaving time as don't want to take the pee, the left hand rod does the three confident pulls before usually the rod hoops over and it's a Barbel but this time it didn't get past the pulls, hmmmmm.

With one rod retrieved and packed away a few taps develop in to a bite and a fish is on.

Sadly a small Chub that got my landing net wet, the little ******

I'll be back, as Arnie said....

No I haven't been drinking, well no more than usual anyway.

Monday, 18 September 2017

Warwickshire Avon - Lures and Lycanthropy

Sam was convinced he heard a werewolf the other day, and out of the animals and creatures he is frightened of , such as foxes, wolves and yeti’s, werewolf’s, even though he knows they are not real, scares him the most.

Now talking about werewolfs, the American Werewolf in London, is one of my favourite films, so much so I visited some of the locations in the film when I found myself in Builth Wells, which was a stand in for ‘Yorkshire’

The moors were filmed around the Black Mountains and ‘East Proctor’ was the tiny village of Crickadarn where the ‘Slaughtered Lamb’ can be found. The exterior was the actual pub, the interior somewhere entirely different. 


What is scary mind you, is that it was filmed on 1981, yes really, so time really is flying by as I remember is like yesterday.

The effects at the time masterminded by Rick Baker really were superb and he won some awards for it and quite rightly so.

The noise Sam actually heard was the fake farmer down the road who has some cows just to convince the local council he needed the barn he was retrospectively applying for planning permission for.

They really don’t sound like they look, and to the unwary especially in the dead of night can give you a right shock.


It put him out of kilter for a bit, but a promised lure fishing session got him back on track as he was convinced he was going to get nightmares.

This area of the Warwickshire Avon I’ve hardly fished, above it and below it more so, but others that have, it’s a good place for predators.

Zander suspicious in their absence, Pike very dominate.

It is still ridiculously clear so I knew it would be tough and after 3 hours chucking a lure around we were fishless.


Sean was fairing a little better fishing twitched dead’s, but I’m surprised nothing took a fancy to the lure.

Sam was very much independent with his casting though, which gave me the opportunity to fish myself.

Now the lack of Zander has got me interested, because if the Pike have eaten all the schoolies if there are any milling around, maybe they are biggies.


I’m not ready to give them a go yet, but heck I’m looking forward to.

Some extra colour would be nice, and if that is not forthcoming, fishing to dusk and a little beyond is the way forward.

At least the afternoon was a little more exciting. 


Friday, 15 September 2017

Warwickshire Avon – Maggots and Magnets

I caught something on the news the other day that got me thinking, hey maybe I should have a dabble in magnet fishing. I frequent so much water with this pastime of mine, maybe there are some hidden treasure to be had.

The other day a father and son who used magnets to trawl the bottom of a lake for sunken treasures were stunned to haul up a huge cache of guns from the depths.

From the murky depths of the Grey Lake at Kingsweston, in Somerset, Neil Hopkins and son Billy pulled up an astonishing total of 12 guns.

Their haul included a Thompson machine gun, a US Civil War pistol and a musket from the 1800s.

There appeared to be between 20 to 30 parts of firearms all of which are badly rusted including a Thompson machine gun, a US civil war pistol and an 1800s musket.

Ok hidden treasure may be a bit much, gold isn’t magnetic after all

But safes certainly are….



Surprising what can be picked up too, heck might even get Sam involved bet he would love partaking in it.

A diamond bracelet from the Thames, an ornate cutlass from a water in Coventry and a Tukaway pistol from the Babingley river in Norfolk.

I wonder what I could find in the Stratford-Upon-Avon canal.

Heck might even be able to retrieve the countless lureS I’ve lost after being snagged up.

So having a butchers on the net a 3.95” and 500lbs of pull Neodymium magnet should sort out all but the biggest safe.

Suppose why would you need a maget that strong, well not rocket science because these neodymium magnets are tested on a totally flat, clean piece of 1/2″ thick steel. When you go magnet fishing you will find items that has been in the water for many years, so there are rust, a lot of it.


Rust significantly decreases the pull power of the magnet. The power of the magnet will decrease up to 70% when pulling it horizontally. So, the higher pull power on the magnet, the bigger are the chances that you won’t drop your item you hooked on to.

The one I’ve found is a round base rare-earth cup neodymium magnet (NdFeB) is made with A3 steel plate and coated with Nickel-Copper-Nickel to be the strongest type of permanent magnet available.

I dread to think what could be discovered in the >13ft depths of the Warwickshire Avon stretch I'm enjoying discovering.

But then having watched a few you tube videos, read a few blogs, not sure I can be bothered.

Looks like a lot of hard work for not much return, unless you out there have had some success.


Now for this short Friday afternoon session where it is still relatively low and clear I wanted to fish one particular swim, you see after a narrow streamer weed and tree covered section the river opens up, gets deeper and it all flows nicely over gravel.

The plan, baitdrop a load of maggots and some hemp, leave for 45 minutes whilst I'd do some tight to snag fishing with lobworms and then, return to the swim, top it up and again leave it for a while before the last bait drop where I would fish some fake maggots on a hair over the top.

Upstream you see is such a great place for a decent Barbel to reside so a large buffet laid out on a dining table I was hoping it was an offering a giant barbel if it was around could not refuse.

I certainly wouldn't if I was house bound and a hog roast was set-up outside the front door.


Ones belly takes over in many circumstances....

Problem is my fishing sessions are generally dictated for me and sure enough when at the swim, it really is properly gin clean.

A Barbel was spotted pretty quickly but even a head raised above the swim, the odd chub that stuck their nose out were quickly back under their canopy.

Spooky as anything....

So with a few big droppers of maggots and hemp down I let it rest and went for a nose to see if I could spot any fish. In all but two swims I could clearly see everything in the swim and larger fish were very illusive indeed.

So some more droppers went out, left for half an hour and the when I returned to the swim after another mooch around this time the fake bait went out as did the last couple of droppers.


Usually if there was a Barbel dining a bite would come pretty quick....

After an hour without a wrap over, it was desperate measures, so a lob worm went out and vibrant Perch was caught. 20 minutes later I packed up and decided to fish under a canopy over a shallow swim.

I removed the float from the trotting set-up that was in my quiver and changed to a lump of plasticine on the line as a weight, line tied direct to a hook.

Bait this time was a couple of lobworms and sure enough the first run though and when the bait settled something took the bait with a positive bite.

This was as expected a Chub that as per usual was snag bound, with some decent side strain I managed to remove it from under the canopy and it was out in to the main river.

Not the biggest of fish, probably less that 3lb but at least the bend in the rod was decent and I do love this sort of fishing, its not all about BIG fish.


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