Saturday 6 January 2018

Warwickshire Avon – Pingers and Pauciloquents

Christmas and New Year came and went pretty quick as did 2017 overall I suppose then  again I did squeeze in 4 holidays, but looking back it was one of the most enjoyable Christmas spent with family and friends for a long while. There were a few absentees from the revelry however, the H3N2 flu strain knocked my folks for six and others that would usually share the foir rib and stuffed turkey were in sunnier climes."

The beef didn't go to waste though as there was plenty left over meat for the beef, red onion and horseradish sandwiches.

Simple pleasures, shame the fishing over the break was poor to mediocre....

The eldest was more in to opening presents this year which in the past he couldn’t give two hoots, but then Ben is Ben after all, the way his brain works is a week by week learning process. The ‘wizz kid’ award he received for using technology from his school, closed the year off nicely though. Still a big challenge with all his communication and other issues but family life isn’t meant to be easy is it, if it was I’d quickly get bored to be honest and just having the house to myself sometimes confirms that.

So anyway a couple of days before New Year’s Eve we hosted a get together for close friends where I ended up with more alcohol than I started with, now that won’t help ones resolve as a partaker in dry January but I'm hoping my willpower will holdup, come February though it will be appreciated that’s for sure. The party, well, the curry night is well proven now, the kids occupy themselves and each invitee makes a pot of curry and brings a bottle for everyone to dip in to.

I provide a mountain of popodums, homemade raita’s, salads, chutneys and naan breads for all to tuck in, and even the kids are up for it with a chicken korma , chips and chicken nuggets.

It’s a great format, good food, good company, plenty of drink, give it a go….

Curry’s for this do, well I did a chicken dhansak and beef massaman , Stewy a rich lamb saag, Sandra a chicken bhuna, Vanessa a rather spicy balti, Lorraine a rather nice fragrant chickpea jobbie and Brenda, well she brought the errrr…..contents of her rather large booze cupboard.

Then I’m thinking, hang on a minute there is a pattern here, out of all the curries made it was the mostly the ladies that donned the apron strings and chopped the onions, maybe I’m in the minority as I do most of the cooking in our household, well I enjoy it to be honest, and let’s be frank, as the Wife doesn’t read the blog, I’m probably the better cook and enjoy reading food blogs not just fishing related, bloggers such as locally based reviewer Meat and one Veg who eats out as much as I’d like to.

Hmmm complimentary food and taxi’s just by reviewing food, if I ever hang my rods up, as a food lover I fancy a bash at that…

I found 3 new saucepans under the tree you see from big Santa, and very well received I might add, as were the other presents I was recipient to. These days I’d rather have things I’d use and / or enjoy. I don’t think there was anything that had to be shoved to the back of a cupboard never to be seen again unlike the extending feather duster the Wife unwrapped from the tearaways.

So please excuse the cobwebs if you come round mine…

So the bigger of the three pans first outing, fillets of sea bass with that lovely crispy skin that you get when you fry them in butter, cooked and left to rest. Then whack in the same pan, some fresh ginger and red chilli but this time with a little oil, get them sizzling for a few minutes and add them as a topping to the fish. Garnish with some fat spring onions, a drizzle of lemon and a nadger of soy sauce. Oh and some skinny oven chips as a side, yes, sacrilege I know, but don’t let that get in the way of a tasty meal.

For the microwave pingers and oven clock watchers, whilst I was waiting to colour, from fridge to plate in less than fifteen minutes,

Give it a bash, it ain't hard, the cooking that is....

Now Barbel have a similar palate to mine especially in these winter coloured and cold water conditions where they can be enticed in to feeding if a bait is flavoured with garlic and spice as the flavours waft downstream.

It gets their barbules twitching and they actively seek the pungent offering out. So many times I fished the river where I’m thinking why would they like to feed in these conditions they just do, they just don’t seem to have a problem with it at all, almost revel in it sometimes.

So for this session, tactics I don’t usually employ, but needs must as one of my knees was giving me jip (old age) so I was sat behind two rods for damage limitation. One rod spicy meat the other a rather large glugged complex T-boilie with an additional paste wrap.I even had a chair for this session, and to counter the restless legs to keep me nailed to the chair a Zaftra Morgen mix and noticeable eardrum warmer.

So enough of the guff and preamble, did I catch anything?

Well errrr no...

A chap upstream from me managed a nice chub and small barbel really quick on lobworm and had blanked the day before using curried meat but my rods were motionless, bar one bite on the meat rod right at the end of the session, nothing much doing.

Not sure why either, temperatures were low but still high enough for barbel to feed in theory, the colour looked ideal and I was in a section with a steady flow. I moved once, but that didn't aid the session, so I blanked. It's usually quite a productive area for me as well.

Oh well best laid plans and all that, the knee feels a little better and it bored me to death sat behind two rods for three hours, so with the weather looking a little better for Barbel next weekend I might prep some of my favourite meat baits ready to do battle.

Then again don't want it that easy....

It's a hard frost overnight again so it might be Chub in the morning, this time I'll take a few of my remaining lobworms.


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