Piscatorial Quagswagging

...the diary of a specialist angler in around the Warwickshire Avon and its tributaries.

Monday 12 February 2018

Warwickshire Avon – D-Rigs and Daydreams

On my continued but seemingly impossible quest for a Warwickshire Avon 5lb Chub, I was back for another session. The grasp from the Monkey on my back is ever increasing it seems because despite catching quite a few 4lber’s this season on venues new, my PB over 4lb and 13ozs is still firmly intact.

I can daydream I suppose….

The other evening, dark, very dark, eyes fixated, tip watching for Chub bites, my mind starts to wander. The result, 3 positive bites missed, two strikes premature, l was fully expecting a blank. Eventually though the right hand rod starts to go, the tip continues on its trajectory and a fish is on, and a nice Chub of 4lb 10oz was landed.

That trip got me thinking though about the other trips down this neck of the woods and the ferocity of the bites I’d received with connecting to a fish. I specifically designed a rig to avoid the Chub when I was targeting barbel and The Gluttonous Chub Poka-Yoke rig was born. 

Maybe I could devise or use a rig to make use of them being bold biters, and try and put more fish on the bank because of it. 

Such the positivity of the bites, hmmm could a bolt rig work (the heathen). Could the mechanics that go behind it, with the aggressive hook pattern, short hook link and large lead to provide the self-hooking resistance do me any favours. 

For those non fisherman that read this, a bolt rig is where the lead is effectively fixed to the end of the hooklink and aims to induce the hook to be set by the fish as it pulls the hooklink to its fullest extent, thereby causing the fish to panic and bolt off at speed. The lead would typically be heavy in order to set the hook well, and the set up should be one which allows the lead to detach from the line should the line break, which then prevents the fish becoming tethered.

Here the Chub were active at dusk so much so, if the river had some decent clarity and the sun still up you’d be wasting your time. That certainly helps me with the quick sessions I enjoy as apart from being convenient for a quick after work sortie, it means I can generally fish more sessions as it doesn’t eat in to my family time as much.

I don’t usually fish for mud sifters but I happened upon the D-rig carpers use. It’s a set-up and I could certainly see working for Chevin.

The rig keeps the hookbait close to the eye of the hook – in a position that ensures the hook goes into the fish’s mouth even if it tentatively inhales the hookbait.

So on gazing through some the angling press the other day, some new hooks from Mustad called BBS UltraPoint hook collection caught my roving eye. It was Mustad’s answer to a D-Rig and with convenience in a packet. 

Tying or making a D loop is nothing new in the world of carp fishing, but it can be fiddly business and there’s no guarantee it will hold if a large, angry fish gets hold of your rig.

Nothing wrong with convenience in fishing now is there; it should be embraced not excluded.

So with some small laccy bands commandeered and a suitable bait purchased from the local tackle shop, only one way to find out, I need to give it a bash.The problem was a little design over function because despite the band being really thin, I couldn't get it though the bleeding hole.

Then I remember some bait screws I had from Avid that would probably work, and they did.


The Chub don’t really become active here till sundown so leaving a rod to do its thing whilst concentrating on the tip of another, maybe is a good way to go. Such the size of the swim, one rod feels lost and I’m always left wondering what I’d catch on the other rod if I hadn’t fished with it. I lost a good fish to a snag on one of the sessions as well, and that always spurs one interest, what if it was the 5lber I've been seeking.

One rod as normal with cheese paste on the link ledger, tip watching the isotope, the other, the bolt rig as a sleeper letting it do its own thing. Bite alarm, bait runner and bobbin. Every 10 or 15 minutes or so throw small balls of paste in to the swim just to get the fish interested and grubbing around. It certainly leads to more bites I’m sure of it. The krill wafter was glugged prior to its dunking.

When I got to the river it was up a little from last time I was here, the water temperature a little below 5 degrees. 2 feeding cormorants spotted within minutes, as per the norm here now, like it is on maybe stretches I fish now, not good. The fish were topping heading in to dusk though, so I had my fingers crossed for when the Chub start to head out to feed.

As the light was going the sleeper sprung in to life with the rod top nodding and a fish was on. I thought it was a big Chub at first but then the fight was rather placid and when it surfaced it was a decent Bream. Certainly looked bigger than my scores on the bloggers doors so landing net in water ready to land it and when it twisted its body out the water and managed to dislodge the hook somehow. A last gasp scoop with the net was unsuccessful so I watched it returning to its abode. Git !!!

The Chub were nowhere to be seen and after half an hour or so with a motionless tip and a silent bitealarm it was time to head off with a blank. I had to peel the frozen landing net off the staging, it was going to be a cold night.

I'm giving them a good go, you cannot argue with that, its merely a numbers game, that's what I'm telling myself. Another book to add to the growing collection, I'm hoping to find an edge I obviously need.


  1. Fancy blanking after I'd fed them a day earlier! Didn't want my baits either!

    Not impressed by the weather though. It's all over the place. Hoping for things to settle a bit - and pretty quickly!

  2. Yeap all over the place Sean, to be honest but the chub come dusk really do get feeding, they were put off for some reason though, probably after a stomach full of yours when you'd left :)


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