Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Warwickshire Avon – Big bait, little bait, cardboard box

My youngest Sam was sat stark bollock naked in his large but Sam modified Amazon box just happened to be watching Bob the Builder on his iPad and the ‘Big Fish Little Fish Song’ on YouTube, and it dawned on me having been part of the dance music culture back in my youth that this song mimicked, that I’m not sure he will ever be able to enjoy the sense of freedom I experienced, such is this society of social media.

An overwhelming laissez faire, if you will, and at that moment in time, not a care in the world.

Ok the drug culture helped somewhat but the fact now all we’d see are people with their phones out purposely recording just to see someone mess up. It would never happen back then, people were so out of it and immersed in to the music and repetitive beats that they didn’t care what they danced like, what they looked like, they just wanted to be themselves and have a good time. Do the same thing nowadays it would be uploaded instantly to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and the like and go viral in a few hours.

A lifetime of ridicule, career limited, don’t want any of that now do we....

Now talking of ridicule, no I'm not talking about those Barbel captures who are named and shamed on social media because of the suggested weights that are always questioned by the high and mighty, I’m talking as someone who likes to fish very large gobstopper baits for Barbel. You see this stretch of the Warwickshire Avon I have been fishing probably hasn’t seen anything like the 30mm diameter catfish fishmeal baits I’ve been baiting my hair with.

Here small baits and small hooks seem the way to go….

Let’s just say when roving around with rods raised they have raised a few eyebrows....

But for me fishing further downstream on another part of the Warwickshire Avon, out of frustration the Gluttonous Chub Poka-Yoke Rig was born….

I’ve used this method successfully in the past to not only try and avoid catching Chub but also to try and be size selective by banking the biggest fish out the swim if there is more than one in residence. The fish when they find it, mess around with it for a bit but here is the thing, put ones hands under ones backside, ignore the plucks and bangs and wait for the rod to be more or less pulled in with the ratchet going ten to the dozen.

It’s a size of bait a big fish cannot refuse….

For someone who likes a good drink, it’s that food that will quell the hunger pangs.

So for these 3 short sessions nearing the end of the 2016/2017 river season I’d taken a wander down to the Avon where I know where there are some bigger fish hanging around in the quieter areas that exist here and also back to the familiar where I'd managed to bank a few Barbel, recently the best a near double. The plan was to fish a big bait on the downstream rod and the upstream rod a small boilie with a paste wrap with a PVA bag of freebies.

The problem with big pieces of meat I've found is that the method isn't foolproof as the most determined of Barbel or Chub will end up stripping it, the big pellet is a tougher nut to crack so to speak, but Barbel still love meat and it's such an effective bait, it's hard to look past it and the fact of the matter is I’ve never caught that many Chub down here and the coloured water they would be less likely to feed anyway so I'd swap between the two from time to time.

I don't want to give up my big fish selective set-up just yet....

If there was a lunker here I was hoping there was method in my madness and two of the sessions headed in to dusk in that the wrap over would happen and I’d have an end of season Barbel. It has been a frustrating season on the most part on these new to me club waters. There has been the odd high point though, with 2 further PB's so not all was lost.

I’m thinking come the new season I might change tactics depending on how these sessions went and try the smaller bait method.

In fact case in point, last week Martin Roberts banked a cracking 13 lber with the small bait set-up that has proved successful for him for some time now. I suppose it’s all about confidence, why change a method if it keeps on producing. The only problem I could see I likened to the canal Zander challenge, I might need to get through the schoolies before a decent first turned up, I don’t want any old Barbel to be honest, they just haven’t caught my attention like they have many.

Could I fish for them ALL the time, errrr no chance….

Next season I can night fish so that is going to put a different outlook and approach on my fishing altogether and trotting will certainly feature a lot more.

So anyway....

Session 1. 4.30pm - 6.45pm
No fish banked but Chub were particularly active in the swim and the half an hour up to dusk I had to change the meat bait twice as they stripped the big baits from the hair. A change to the large catfish pellet resulted in some outrageous bites but no fish were hooked. The small boilie bait with paste remained largely untouched throughout the session. There must have been a fair few fish in the swim too as the line was brushed quite a few times.

Session 2. 6.00am- 11.00am
Chub and Barbel were suspicious in their absence, a match the day before on the whole stretch might have put them off, who knows. A pike took a boilie bait to top another mediocre session off.

Session 3. 5.15pm - 7.30pm
With Martin giving me a running commentary of his and Joe's all-dayer, (what a cracker Martin ) one was stuck in work thinking maybe I should have done the same. Sadly I'm part of the don't work don't get paid crowd and with a stag do to the super expensive Chamonix the weekend I wanted a few beer tokens so this session was stupidly quick and not exactly convenient .

There would no messing around either, everything prepped, it was just a matter of positioning the baits and wait till I could make my way back the car without torchlight. Well the small sausage sizzle squab received bugger all attention but the big bait did and after many a ridiculous bites a fish hooked itself, sadly a chub of around 3 to 3.5lb. A few big fish topping, bites dried up and time to leave.

Oh well, at least I gave it a decent go. So many more plans in the new season, tactics need to change. rig tweaks, trotting and fishing lighter. Oh and a new club book I can fish in to dusk.

Biggest Barbel 9lb 10oz, not good enough.


  1. I'm sure you posted of the lost a big barbel early in the season. Some times you only get limited bites of that fishing cherry. Dont beat yourself up over it, next season is only a few weeks away.

    1. I did indeed, I'm wondering now it was the big'un as it was in the area :( I don't fish for Barbel enough that's my issue. Maybe I need to give them a proper go come September onwards.

  2. Mick/Martin,

    There is a new blogger's challenge in the pipeline - start date 1st May 2017.

    Please see this page on my blog for details and ask any questions on there, for the benefit of all.

    Hope you're both keeping well.


    1. cool, looking forward to it. I've sent u the details. I can add a tab for Martin if he wants to partake.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...