Friday, 28 August 2015

Warwickshire Avon – Poka-Yoke and the Pestiferous Chub ( With Big Barbel Content)

Poka-Yoke is a familiar term for those like me who work in engineering and the like. Shigeo Shingo from the Toyota group introduced the concept in 1961, in a nutshell it means ‘mistake-proofing’ or ‘fool proofing’. Poka-yokes are mechanisms used to mistake-proof an entire process.

Can the same principle be applied to fishing I wonder….

Why you ask, well I’d been pestered by gluttonous Chub of late whilst evening fishing for Barbel, a couple of those sessions have been frustrating to say the least and I’ve ended the session prematurely. A large bait such as a 1/3 of a tin of garlic spam didn’t put them off the little blighters. There are a few swims I know where I could rock up in the middle of the day, trundle a bait through the swim and bank a splasher, but I wanted to try and target the big Barbel that I know are present here, a larger bait seems to be more selective in fish size in the areas I fish and that was the plan I intended to stick with.


The problem however is a Chub with their Leslie Ash lips can easily strip a lump of meat from a hair in a matter of seconds before it even reaches their pharyngeal teeth. A meat stop helps that situation but only to delay the inevitable, an unwanted Chevin. Either the bait would be removed entirely leaving the rig baitless or a Chub would be hooked. Rebaiting and casting in low-light or well in to dusk is a pain in the proverbials. Supergluing a couple of 8mm pellets on to a hair was probably the most effective method as at least you knew the bait was still likely to be there before the violent Barbel bite eventually came, however still lots of Chub were banked.


So the change I made for this session was to use an overly large fishmeal and liver based pellet made specifically for catfish which was glugged in pungent Salmon oil. Originally it was 30mm diameter and 40mm long, I halved it however which made a more manageable and cost effective bait. What I liked about it was that even though it was relatively easy to cut, it was effectively still a hard pellet and therefore relatively Chub resistant, and would be difficult to strip from the hair. Also being a big bait hopefully a larger Barbel will see it as more manageable mouthful unlike one of the smaller splashers where it would be a potential gobstopper. The pellet was secured on a long hair via a large pellet stop (tabs superglued) and for this session two rods were to used, one rod positioned just under a willow and the other in an area of slack just off the main flow. The plan was to sit back, ignore the rattles and twangs and wait for the rod to properly wrench over, simples. This was a 2 part session; the second would be a bit further downstream.



Would this set-up be as selective and chub-proof as I hoped?

I'd rocked up at 7.00pm added a couple of droppers of hemp and pellet into a very clear river, not as up as I expected either.Both rods went in half hour later and it was a matter of sitting back and waiting. It wasn't till dusk till both rods were getting attention and sure enough the Chub bites started, some of them one and a half footers too, but I knew unlike a 10mm pellet that reduces in size over time dunked in the water I knew the bait would still be there. I had intended to leave at 9.30pm however with clear skies and a full moon my rod without an isotope could still clearly be seen.

One of the rods had a pin fitted and the ratchet acts as a noisy bait runner effectively, the other a fixed spool with the bait runner activated. In my experience the Barbel because of the nature in the way they feed they tend to hook themselves. They are savage bites and there is no mistaking the 3ft twitch. I decided to stay another half an hour or so and sure enough at more or less 10.00pm, the rod violently wrenched over and the bait runner started to scream. It was a powerful fish too and already made some ground on me before I could get it under control, downstream is thick streamer weed and a snag riddled overhanging tree so with the rod bent double it was hold and hope.

I walked up the bank and tightened the drag and eventually felt more in control of it. After a cracking fight and breaking my landing net when the frame broke at the spreader block eventually I had the fish on the bank. I really did feel it would break my PB then again I haven't caught a double figure fish for a while, anyway it weighed 10lb 12oz. still pleased with it but upon resting and returning it and seeing it in the water swim away with my head torch I know for a fact there are bigger ones to be had.

A 10lb 12oz Warwickshire Avon Barbel
I was well pleased with the method and rig, it worked exactly as intended. I prefer fishing a moving bait if I'm honest but the bites Barbel give really are a sight to behold. For situations like this session though where it's clear, and there are Chub in residence and there bigger fish come out to play when it's dusk, it's ideal.




8 comments:

  1. Well done, Mick. Thwarted persistence demands innovation. Looks like you cracked it, mate.

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    1. Cheers Jeff, some of the Chub bites and pulls were outrageous but the rig worked as well as expected, couldn't ask more than that. That's why we all love fishing, there is more to it than dangling a maggot.

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  2. Nice one Mick, I know you have worked hard for that one. More to come too I bet.

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    1. Cheers Martin I'm hoping, next session planned for next week, albeit in a different swim.

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  3. I'd like to think my just into dark doubles were your inspiration ;) Great result, well done.

    My blog: http://leepoultney.blogspot.com

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    Replies
    1. Well it did make me stay longer that's for sure :)

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  4. Well done Mick. You've earned that one. The big one next perhaps...

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    Replies
    1. Cheers Sean, hopefully you never know, especially as I know it's there.

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