Thursday 25 August 2016

Warwickshire Avon – Suicidal Pie Avoiders

Luckily I’m an early riser, well, to be fair, It’s not by choice….

….after starting work at 6.00am for many a year, my body clock is beyond knackered and hence I’ve never used an alarm for years.

I’m usually bolt upright before the dawn chorus, the Wife miraculously still in another one of her deep sleeps.

I just cannot stay in bed, I get restless.... it’s out of bed I go.

However for fishing early mornings as we do, my buggered body clock is ideal but I’ve noticed the mornings getting darker since returning from holiday and that dusk is also getting closer so the knock on effect is that is my after work sessions are getting shorter.

It’s got its plus point though as my commute to work is a breeze, with the average speed pretty ridiculous, and nearly twice the speed of the return journey.

There are also far less numbers pigeons on the road and the commute to work is more pleasant as I’ve now not got to run the gauntlet with the suicidal pie avoiders.

2.7 millions pairs in the UK apparently, yeap, they are all over the shop and hard to avoid.

Apart from an air hostess from Coventry who I had a brief liaison with back in my youth, Is there a more vacuous bird?, I don’t think so.

To be fair, she was extremely good to look at….I’ll give her that, the Pigeon not so, ten a penny.

Ok, I’ve brushed over their long distance navigating ability, but then again, there isn’t much to hit in the sky is there. Well apart from planes which they do from time to time.

Maybe I’m a little hard on this humble bird, after all, it has a 340 degree field of view and processes the surroundings in 74fps so ‘apparently’ only needs to take avoiding action until absolutely necessary.

So why then after many an interrupted fffff’ing and blinding journeys in to work with slowing and braking heavily for large numbers of these seemingly flying lemmings the first time I decided to keep my toe in prodding and poking the 300 raging horses….

….yeap, you guessed it, I hit the unfortunate short straw picking bird turning it in to....

....a visual explosion of feathers and claret which the result of, marked VW’s not very durable water based paint.

More fool coo….

So the days and nights are drawing in, and my favourite seasons, autumn and winter are on the way.

Sometimes a static five hour session is too much for me these days so a short one like this one is ideal, two to three hours, job’s a good’un.

The Barbel were not playing ball on the last session so I was back on the Zander hunt, this time Martin Roberts fancied trying for one of these intriguing fishes, to try and better his PB of 3.8lb. So before the pub decided to ring the beer bell, prior to dusk, we were river bound.

There is so much to go at here but I decided to concentrate on an area I’d caught Zander before. I’ve caught hundreds of canal Zander but fish from flowing water is still relatively new to me.

I’m still learning the ropes you see….

Luckily certain principals from my experience from the fishing the cut can be transferred to fishing for them in this completely different environment, so despite only fishing a handful of sessions on two entirely different rivers I’d been reasonably successful using some of the lessons learnt and those would be implied here.

There was one significant change in my canal verses river set-up which seems to work brilliantly, but….

….is that the time, better crack on.

One thing I've learnt about my canal jaunts is that cold weather is far better when targeting Zander, there was a notable difference in my catch rate when it warmed up. It was humid and very close for this session and I knew it might be tough.

With the swim chosen I fished to the right, Martin to the left. There is plenty of cover here so even when it's midday with the sun high there are some nice shady spots for predators to hide. The first cast of my float within seconds it went under and with a slightly premature strike and a strike in to thin air I could see the flanks of a small Zander.

And that's how the session continued, plenty of bites particularly for Martin but tricky to hook up, eventually Martin winkled one out at around a couple or three pound, fairly hollow which considering the amount of feed for these fish quite a surprise.

Yeap, a swim full of schoolies which if you've ever discovered a shoal of them on the cut they can be hugely frustrating and often gets you questioning ones rig choice.

The method works fine, but the time must be right....this time conditions were against us.


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