Monday, 3 October 2016

Warwickshire Avon – Hoi Deploy

The Warwickshire Avon can be funny at times, really really tough going especially when it’s clear but once the light drops and the inhibitions drop the fish can be relatively easy to catch.

Fish all day, naff all….

…but as soon as the bats come out, keep hold of one’s rod as the change really is dramatic.

If you ever fished a commercial where the carp all of a sudden start mooching around in the margins I’m sure it’s the same sort of thing with river fish….

….as soon as the dinner bell is rung, the eating begins.

So I was looking forward to this in to dark session, whilst the proletariat would likely be in a state of bladderation watching some rubbish on TV, dining at the local cliquey Gastro Pub on pan fried lambs liver and bacon or watching some God awful football match, Martin, Sean and I would be after some of those larger nocturnal fish that have proved a blank saver for me in the past.

I wanted a Barbel or a Zander, and those only, so on one of the rods the highly selective Gluttonous Chub – Poka-Yoke rig would be deployed over a bed of hemp and small pellets and then on the other rod fished Barbel style a headless Roach on a light running rig.

I want to catch a Chub on my own terms, I find a Barbel rod is over gunned and even with a decent Chub they will quickly overpower a greedy Chevin and it will be in the net. Part of the fun of fishing is using balanced tackle so you can enjoy the fight from the fish, rather than haul it in with a broom handle.

Now I’d not fished this stretch before so I was going in blind so tactics and baits I know that work made sense as confidence is everything in fishing and especially when it’s dark there is nothing worse than having to mess about re-baiting ones rods after a greedy chub has got in on the act first.

A veritable gobstopper is the only method for me come sundown and its proved its worth in the past….the deadbait, well, could be a Pike, Eel or Zander, I was hoping the latter.

I decided to bring my lure rod prior to setting my stall out as the water is so ridiculously clear I was hoping to catch a predator or two and I was desperate to try a new lure I’d bought.

Martin had set his stall out when I got there and had been enjoying himself with centrepin and maggots and had a Perch on a deabait, he was fishing upstream from Sean who was just setting up his deadbait rod. It had been raining all day and as I drove to the venue I could see some huge black clouds heading our way. Sure enough eventually it was right over us and I had no choice but to shelter under Martins umbrella. I put a deadbait rod out to at least tempt a fish but for an hour or so no bites. 

With a break in the rain I wandered downstream with the lure rod and about the 5th cast a fish was on. It didn't feel particularly big and when it broke surface I think it was a small jack but for some reason it throw the hooks pretty quickly. Maybe it was a Perch, if it was it was a good'un.

After half an hour without any fish I moved up near Sean to put some hemp out before putting my bait over the top. After a good natter both rods went out and it was a matter of waiting. Both Martin and Sean had been catching jacks prior to this but as the light was starting to go we were hopeful for a Zander. 

The rain continued and Sean, who had only planned to fish just in to dark packed leaving me and Martin to sit it out.Weirdly the stretch was devoid of fish, usually coming up in to dusk and beyond is when the fish start moving around, topping and at least the Chub anyway start banging and tapping at the hook-bait. Sadly it was all too quiet for me and for Martin also.

With the annoying rain now quite heavy I donned my Poncho and stood and starred at my motionless rod tips.Especially Zander, I've found if they are there, they will find the bait, so maybe we were just not on them this evening.

 My phone rings "hey, Mick, how you doing"

"pretty quiet here old chap"

"give it another half an hour ?"

"yeah, suits me"

So the session was cut short, a couple or three hours before we intended it to end, but we still managed to fish nearly two hours in to dark so gave it a good go.

Thumbs down for this session, but hopefully better luck next time.


  1. Good company, but poor fishing and not the most pleasant conditions. Plenty to blame! Rain, clear water and a fair dip in temperature compared to recent times. Well done for making a blog post out of it!

  2. I like the look of the stretch though Sean, appreciated.

  3. That was a most fetching party dress you were wearing Mick, & dancing boots to match as well. You going clubbing in that lot ? Pity the fish weren't in the mood to have their pic took with you. Always next time though.

    1. I find it hides a multitude of sins :) every wardrobe should have one. Incidentally my roving quiver is now washed and up and functioning.

  4. hi mick
    found your blog recently im finding it quite interesting love some of the photography .
    im curious about the run ring , and buffer bead your using on the dead bait rig could you shed some light on these please not seen them before .

  5. Hi Gary, the run ring is from atomic tackle they can also be used as a back leadclip. and the XL buffer beads are from Gardner and from their target range, the swivel is called a kwik lok and enables me to quickly change hook lengths if required. The rig is my standard running rig for Zander, canal and river, on the canal I switch back to fluro rather than wire.

  6. Thanks Mick
    Keep up the great photos ...... Particularly like the rig photos .
    Very cool .

  7. Hi Mick, What make are those plastic run rings/lead clips you use in the photo.
    Regards, Steve

  8. Sorry Mick, just seen the answer above


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