Thursday 18 June 2015

Warwickshire Avon – As black as Newgate’s knocker

I’d discovered this deep dark hole on the Warwickshire Avon sometime ago. It what one of those days when the light was right the river was stupidly low and the water gin clear. The expansive vivid gravel bed was visually interrupted by a huge dark shadow that looked entirely out of place. It was cave-like in appearance and seemed bottomless. What really did surprise me was without those perfect conditions you won’t know it was here; no change is pace, no rippling, nothing. It walked past it many a time and was none the wiser. It couldn’t really be plumbed either as a small marginal shelf drops away and changes to a considerable undercut, it would be like throwing a sausage up an alleyway. (the hole btw, not the Wife)

It HAD to be a fish holding area…and yet up until the session despite catching a few Barbel in the area I’d not fished it….

The day I discovered the black hole I also spotted a whacker of a Barbel that was disturbed when I’d hooked a Chub, it broke its nearside cover, swam upstream and disappeared amongst the thick streamer weed. I was shocked, my heart rate rose to dangerous levels, wow, what a fish. My PB stands at 11lb 11oz, this was its Dad. I usually fish for Barbel in the Autumn as I find early season they can be out of condition and underweight. However due to the decent water temperatures and mild’ish spring they appear to have got the spawning out the way and want to refill their trousers. The conditions didn’t really suit so I doubt if they were biting but I’d geared up for them.

In the warmer months with the river clear unless you’re fishing moving baits amongst the steamer weed in the faster, shallower areas this river can be a bugger to get bites, when it’s up and coloured, not an issue, a chunky piece of garlic spam is king.

I had taken my time over rig preparation for this session as there was no need to rush to get to the bank as I only intended to fish for a couple of hours. I’d lost big fish before because of my lackadaisical approach so I’ve become a bit more methodical of late. The swim is nice and flat and two rods can be fished with tips to butt 180 Degrees apart. There isn’t really any science involved with this type of fishing, for those that haven’t experienced a barbel bite; you sure ain’t going to miss it, they are savage and unmissable so sit back, ignore the taps, the small knocks and wait for all hell to break loose.

With baits positioned both rods were getting attention right from the off with taps and knocks a plenty. I only fished for a few hours but I ended up with 7 Chub to 4lb 5oz, 1 a repeat capture and also a nice bream of 5lb 2oz on a cell boilie. I’m sure something took the bait-tech hybrid barbel hookbait on the drop too so, another Chub or even a predator, who knows. This weekend is out of action due to family commitments so the next session will likely be on Monday evening. It’s good to be back.


  1. A nice bit of work there Mick, including the bonus bream.

    1. Cheers Sean I've caught some half decent bream from the Avon despite not really targeting them, I might give it a go. I need to catch a 5lb Chub this season, it's one of those targets that had eluded me.


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