Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Warwickshire Avon – Nomads and Numbnuts

The keema pizza turned out better than I expected it to, if you look past the base which didn't turn out the best, you see I rarely eat pizza, not really my thing, but a recipe turned up out the blue was tickled ones taste buds. Minced spiced lamb, mozzarella, green chilies, garlic, plum tomatoes, and sprinkled with coriander what's not to like.

Well to be honest the first batch of dough I tried to make was a sticky disaster and ended up straight in the bin, so the second batch, this time I stuck to the mix James, a colleague and expert pizza maker gave me to use to the letter. This was used in preference to the one from the recipe which was indian naan based.

The 3 hours proofing didn't get the yeast working as I thought it would, so rather than leaven the dough it merely expanded a little under fermentation. I'm sure chucking the yeast in with the dry mix didn't help as I'm sure I should have dissolved it in warm water first. Did I even put it in in the second mix that I made, hmmm, let me thing (hears cogs turning) that could explain it numbnuts.

Something to work on then !!!!

Nothing like experimenting though so I need to get back it, I see cooking like fishing, it needs some variety to keep ones pecker up. 

Oh and I might invest in a pizza stone for the oven that's got to help....

So the chub were off target for this session and my mind switches to predators. Perch everywhere are nomads wandering in search of food and staying only as long as the supply lasts. Traditionally, they are associated with lock cuttings and lily pads but in my experience, these much praised venues are the haunts of small and medium sized perch.

There appears to be no rhyme or reason for the smaller shoals of big fish. Sometimes they patrol a beat in a given area of a stream or river for several days and then apparently disappear. Other times they turn up in a swim one day and disappear on the next. You never know where you are with perch in running water and that’s the main problem.

In normal conditions, once you find perch you can generally find a way to catch them, but you do have to find them first. Location is the essential issue, as with all fish, but the perch it is accentuated. The perch comes and goes as it will, one day holding beneath rafts of floating debris, but when found there and you have returned to take advantage, it has moved on to reed-stems or dark water beneath the trees. There is no set pattern that we know.

Most of the good perch fishing comes about by luck and it is no freak of chance that prompts the specimen-hunting groups to ignore perch.

When fishing for chub the other day I saw some decent sized perch in the clear water chasing fry who were launching themselves out the water to try to escape from the rumbustious redfins. Sam and I had an encounter down this neck of the woods recently as well, you see after retrieving yet another half decent gonk a decent perch had followed it almost breaking the surface as it realised I could see it, and it could see me.

So for this stupidly quick afternoon session, perch were the target. There are a couple or three swims where they would feel comfortable in, so the plan was to do a bit of roving to try and track them down. Sam would be entertaining himself catching small stuff and I’d be trying to entice a sergeant out with a couple of big lobworms on a big hook or if a fat minnow turned up, heck, they are part of their diet after all.

When we got to the river I couldn't believe the change from when I was here last time. Up at least half a metre I'd say, a tinge of colour and a decent pace. In-fact the pace was a bit of a hindrance as I wanted to fish tight to some cover. Every time I managed to cast in the right area the flow brought the worm back to where it wanted it to stop.

A few perch were caught though, although nothing of size, however Sam was having a great time with a bite a chuck. Dace, gudgeon, roach were entertaining his quiver rod and all mint condition fish, certainly the river looked in fine fettle and I'm sure the bigger fish were enjoying more oxygen in the water.

We only stopped a couple of hours but it seems Sam has turned that corner now, not only does he know a stupid amount about coarse fishing, but he pestered me to go once I got back off work, but he also sacrificed his hour on fortnite a game he plays to go fishing instead. Encouraging signs I must admit for a kid that seemed to be falling out of favour with it all not long back.

He even wanted to do a bit of 'netting; before we left to see what small fry he could catch. A lovely sunset when we drove back, it turned out to be a nice evening. What next well I'm eager to get back down here for the Chub. Next time though, I might put out a static bsit for Chub, they might have worked me out, lets hope not, as there are some bigger fish to be had here than the 5lber I caught recently.

Hopefully with Sam, and the signs are there, he will be a chip off the old block !!!!


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