Monday, 14 November 2016

Warwickshire Avon – God Mouldy Knows

I was hoping a little rain recently and the fact that the weather had turned cold that the Chub may be feeding. A large handful of the green and furry festering cheese paste was quickly squashed in to a small plastic tub and it was back in the fridge before the Wife could get her hackles up.

Then the memories were starting to come back, the smell all too familiar….

Over a couple of weeks I kept on getting a whiff of something rather unpleasant but couldn’t quite put my finger on it.

The lingering ‘Stinking Bishop’ esk smell seemed to follow me wherever I went and really put a dent in my self confidence. I kept on looking over my shoulder expecting to see a corpse shadowing me.

I even avoided women, who’d have thought it….

Had I caught the same manky foot fungi as a good friend Daz ‘fat lad’ Harrigan….? , as the sleeping bag he borrowed I had to incinerate as the stench of mouldy Stilton was that bad. Nothing would shift the pungent odour, nothing I tell thee.

Then something twigged….

The highly visible movable lump under the skin on my shoulder looked like half a crab apple. I didn’t think much of it and was told by the GP to ‘leave it be’ till it something changed or it went aggressive….. 

However this sebaceous cyst was now painful to the touch, had doubled in size and the ‘smell’ leaking out of oneself turned out was festering puss trying to escape from the now bright red dome which was struggling to contain the pressure.

It had unfortunately turned rogue and something needed to be done.

I booked an appointment with the GP and as soon as he saw the predicament I was in he quickly summoned the nurse and I found myself in lock-down and non urgent appointments cancelled.

“This might hurt a bit” said the nurse with the sizeable lump squished between thumb and forefinger.

The pressure and pain was ever increasing but then I caught the sight of a scalpel and its freshly unpacked blade my pain threshold quickly went up a couple of notches as I knew the inevitable outcome was what was needed.

A sharp pain was felt, contents airborne, nurse covered….

The smell unforgettable, the relief instant.

Now back to my quest for a Warwickshire 5lber….Where are they ? God only knows it’s not like I haven’t given it a good go.

I’ve caught quite a few Chub now not far off my target (4lb 13oz) but thus far I’ve failed in my mission even after catching what seems like hundreds of fish. I had planned to switch rivers to one with crayfish in numbers but it means my usual ten minute drive to get bankside would change to nearly half an hour.

For someone with limited fishing time, it didn’t make sense especially when I know the Avon does contain fish of the target size. So this was the first of many winter sessions to try and complete my mission.

Simple roving tactics, rod with centrepin, waist bag and landing net. Plop and drop, 10 minutes in each swim, no bites, time to move on. Rig was a simple quick change bead and a hooklink fitted with a paste cage tied to a hair which would grip the paste and help retain it. There is nothing worse than wondering if the bait is on or not and questioning ones set-up. Even if the main lump of paste has departed there will still be paste stuck inside the cage.

Now despite the recent rain, the Avon is still pretty clear, a slight tinge of colour but as soon as the sun came out the bottom could be seen in many of the swims. The banks were largely deserted and those anglers I did bump in to were struggling. 

Find trees and snags and you will find Chub. Eventually after about 6 or 7 swims without even a tap I managed a greedy little chublet whose eyes were larger than its belly who was seeking sanctuary under a raft. Hmmm not what I'm after.

For the last half an hour I positioned a bait tight to an upstream snag whose access was made easier as the swim was quite elevated. 

A pluck, a tap and a wham !!! within ten minutes the rod wrapped over and fish was on. With some decent side strain applied and the rod bent to the butt this Chub was determined to get to his intended target and sadly after five or six attempts he managed it. 

Stuck solid in some tree roots, I left it go slack but nothing, the hook had parted and I could see the roots lifting as I try to free the rig. 

Eventually the inevitable happened and the hooklink broke.

The only saving grace was I don't think it was the monster I was after. The Avon really does change for the better when there is more colour, I really am finding it tough going, it doesn't help fishing times of the day where I know it going to be difficult but naturally the family life takes priority.


  1. Unlucky Mick, it's never a nice feeling to lose a fish, I personally hate it but I do hope you find some of those bigger specimens that I know are there!

    1. I'm hoping when it goes properly cold my fortunes will change. Always seems to be the way with me.

  2. I have had a similar manky boil situation, blessed relif when burst. Now where is my festering cheese paste? Think I froze it in March.

    1. Cheese paste works well on the right day that's for sure...

  3. I think those new waders of yours need an outing Mick. Chub city the target. I was thinking of bouncing a worm around there to see if the bigger fish take a fancy.

    1. Not neoprene sadly :( lobworms are a good idea mind, does seem to single out the better fish.

    2. You have to man up Mick, Not neoprene ? How cold do you think it is ?

    3. You're probably right, It's not as if I've football player levels of body fat either.

  4. Ahh the sebaceous cyst. Another of my former foes. Quiet for years, then the volcano begins to vent...

    Still tough down there on the fishing front. I'm sure reward isn't too far away.

    1. Well you've done better than me so far on the PB front. I'm not ready to get back to my old stomping ground just yet, but not sure how long I can keep this resolve up.

  5. I was there with you on the Avon at the weekend Mick and had not so much as a bite. I was very surprised to find it so clear but, unlike you, can't muster the enthusiasm to write about it


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