Piscatorial Quagswagging

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

Sunday 25 February 2018

Warwickshire Avon – Whims and Wondermongers

After stupidly thinking a recent National Curry Award would equal something a little special than the norm (Millennium Balti btw) myself and curry connoisseur Phippo left disappointed with an ok'ish starter, an overly sweet flavourless curry, sloppy under cooked naan and forgettable mediocrity I needed something to raise the spirits.

To be honest you can usually tell what it's going to be like when 2 completely different main courses ordered that turned up with exactly the same colour. The place was busy the other curry houses we passed dead, you can see why apparently half of curry houses will close in ten years if that's the best Leamington can muster up. Luckily the couple of proper pubs we visited served up a decent pint.

This little brook was calling me to fish over the weekend, I had maggots and lots of them, fresh too, and the little wand rod, a recent purchase, was a joy to use, a revelation to be honest’ I’m surprised I’d not added one to my armoury earlier, and I needed to use it again. But an 8oz dace is unlikely to put a proper bend in the rod, neither would a 3 inch bullhead.

Now, it is a popular fallacy that practical fishing is worth more than all the book learning one may acquire. I find that one learns either by one’s only mistakes or by the mistakes of others. The former is a lengthy process, and it is much better to gain knowledge from the accumulated experience of anglers who have learned their subject the hard way.

But what is successful angling ? For many it is hard to define. Certainly it is sufficient that they enjoy their fishing, but mainly, many believe, it is defined by BIG fish.Where do I stand ? Quite firmly on the fence to be honest, for me, variety in my fishing, different species, different locations, that sort of thing, if a big fish comes of it, so be it. Well apart from Chub and Canal Zander, yeap, I’d like those proper BIG please.

So the little brook will have to wait though because a big spanner in ones works, and I’m not talking about the recent South Wales Fire Service dealing with a man with a delicate situation. I had the predators moving of late down at the small stretch of Warwickshire Avon and I wanted to give the smelt another go before the season end. There was Zander in the swim last time, and I had a double figure Pike here the session before, the last trip out though it was just one of those where nothing was going right.

Bite after bite, missed or didn’t develop fully and sadly the clock watchers called an end to the session half an hour after digital dusk, me thinking what could have been. Now having felt the resistance on the end briefly a few times before the jaws opened and the bait ejected, I’m sure there was a lump among them. So I was back for a second bite of the cherry.

This time though I’d go fully kitted out rather than the cobbled together affair. So out with one of the Zandavan
rollover indicator so I could fish an open bail arm this time and fish one of the rods with a little less resistance.I had considered a float set-up but with the rods already made up it and in the quiver it dictated the approach.

I’m not one to sit behind rods especially when it’s cold and I like to be on the rove, but I had unfinished business. The weather has gone proper cold again, so the thought was with a sulking Zander or Pike with an extra layer on, a smelt to dine one would raise the spirits, raise the body temperature.

The set-up I used last week has caught me many a Zander and I’ve huge confidence in it, mainly because of its simplicity but something wasn’t quite last time, so I’m sure a little less resistance would help no end and good to pit one set-up against another.

I get restless legs quite quickly these days so these type of sessions I don't do very often, usual I needsomething to focus on, sadly the voyeuristic potential down this neck of the woods is very limited indeed, the last unfortunate incident I’m still trying to get it out from the back of my mind, it wasn’t pretty, if I wasn’t blessed with 20/20 vision I’d be none the wiser, that reminds me better iron my work shirts.

So anyway back to the fishing....

With this section of the river all to myself before settling down in the swim that had loads of activity last time I started out at the deep bit, it's 15 or so foot here so despite the river being 5.1 degrees at the bed it should be a little warmer. An hour and a half went by, without even a nudge or a liner. The sky was blue the air temperature around 2 degrees, this winter is probably one of the worse I can remember in recent times, more snow on the way too apparently.

Anyway, I headed down to another swim that has produced Zander and Pike in the past and again after an hour, not even the slightest bit of interest. The colour has almost gone completely now out of the Avon so maybe a roving approach with a lure rod might have been the better option, but hey ho.

So the last and final swim, I'd have preferred to fish this towards dusk again but as a family man I cannot have it on my terms all the time, it's all about a bit of give and take. Now talking of take, the right hand rod that has the roach on had some interest, the indicator rose, the ball bearing activated. But that's all it succumbed to, a dropped take and looking at the deadbait it had some interest too, a cray, quite possibly as the bait was stripped to the bones again. Two and a bit hours, with no more bites forthcoming, time to go home to get that chicken on.

Another blank !!


  1. I think the z's have a temp tolerance you know,not as finicky as the cyprinids but not quite as low as pike and perch. I've purchased a couple of the zandavan indicators myself,top bits of kit I reckon

    1. Certainly as a relatively resistance free indicator work really well, I've mainly used them for Perch and the odd time I've fished for eels. Time running out this season Mark so got to have a bait in the water but yeah they certainly don't seem to like it cold so a little worried about how the canal Zander challenge will start out, we'll see.

  2. Too true Mick,the Zander definitely are enigmatic little sods. I think that's why they deserve devoting some time to,they're just not as predictable as the other preds. For instance when do they spawn and where and how do they gather,there doesn't seem to be much literature written about the subject. As for the hoped for end of season bonanza,well I've all but written it off now.


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