Friday 7 September 2018

Warwickshire Avon – Potters and Portmantologists

Sun, sea, sand and untold lack of solitude were firmly the order of the day for the last couple of weeks of the school holidays. Whilst those couple of weeks were enjoyable and on the most part relaxing, days are dictated by the needs of the kids and the appeasing of the family mantra, but it also ,as always confirms I need fishing as part of ones life routine.

As a solitude seeker, I needed my fix you see, to me it’s more than just a personal trajectory for one to take inventory on life, it’s a way of managing those difficulties life brings sometimes. It gets the cogs back in sync again, the wheels turning.

Now the Canaries, a group of seven Spanish islands situated right off the coast of North-western Africa, are blessed with a warm beach-going climate all year round. Unspoilt areas rich with native flora and fauna, such as their wild beaches, mountainous regions, and national parks.Most notably, the islands form a formidable volcanic archipelago.

Their landscapes include four of the highest peaks within Spanish territory and some mightily bizarre yet inspiring scenery, from black sand beaches with soaring cliffs to rugged, red, Mars-like panoramas. The breadth of these landscapes evokes regions from every corner of the planet, and even, sometimes, from others. Each of these seven islands is a completely different world, and adventure, in itself. 

The lack of wildlife, insects and general colour is in complete contrast to where I live, it’s baron, very baron indeed but when something other than a human is around it’s usually something of interest. Cockroaches, lizards and big moths commonplace, as are the stray cats and tatty looking dogs the Spanish culture seems to be happy with. Proper paella excellent and some dishes, such as the above as black as the volcanic landscape, with the contrasting prawns and cherry tomatoes showing up like the litter and rubbish that spoils this unique environment.

This third trip however something I’d not seen before really did get me pool bound with the Wife and kids who were splashing around in the natatorium, in hysterics despite the predicament I was in. Now it was my own fault I suppose because this year’s insect of note was a ‘potter wasp'. Think of a hornet but bigger and angrier looking, not something you’d approach given the opportunity let’s put it that way. It took offence to me cleaning the BBQ grill with a wire brush under a tap as it wanted a drink by all accounts.

The problem was, to hand was one of the kids spades for the beach and a slight, sorry, I’ll reiterate that, like the Tasmanian devil had got hold of it, then again my blog ain't hasn't got quagswagging in the title for nothing. You see, it didn’t like that I was trying to ‘coax’ it away by coming at me like kamikaze pilots against the allied naval vessels.

He was on a mission and he would die trying to complete it….

As I’m smarter than the average bear though, in a flash, a Cruyff Turn which completely fooled and flummoxed it and I managed to leg it away from danger, and I managed to jump in the pool without feeling the sting of this angry Delta Dimidiatipenne on one’s vunerable bits . Luckily it was the last day of our holiday, because it didn’t leave the villa seemingly getting off by being provoked and the fact I manged to escape it's clutches.

So what should I fish for, for the first quick evening session back? Chub perhaps? I’ve enjoyed catching them of late, or maybe a Barbel? 

Hey maybe venture to one of my syndicate waters where I’ve not even wet a line. Yeap you’ve guessed it, with the rod already made up and a loaf in the freezer, the Chevin it was. 

Dusk is approaching quicker as the weeks go by and the river low as it still is, this area is hard to ignore in the current conditions as not only has it produced decent Chub but it is also so damn convenient, so someone who struggles to find free time it’s ideal. 

Autumn and winter is more me for Barbel, Zander, Roach and the like when the water is coloured up I can fish morning weekend sessions for a likely bite, rather than a guaranteed blank.

The waters are still low though, so although I'd prefer to be roving some of the smaller rivers I fish, they are barely more than a piddle.

One particular area that I've only really targeted properly in the winter I also want to try in the Autumn. I'm sure there are Zander around despite being out numbered by the Pike that are here. It's about the only area of the Warwickshire Avon that I can fish in to dark.

Not only the Zander but I'm sure apart from the decent Chub there could well be some Barbel here that I am sure beyond dusk is the best time to target them. So one rod boilie and paste or meat and the other a deadbait.

Anyway back to the session, as the picture shows above here the Chub really are cagey and once one is caught the swim literally goes dead even a chub is retained in the landing net to avoid spooking the small head of fish . They beauty of the stretch though is the ability to fish four or five swims quite quickly, so I start upstream and work my way down, that way the freebies of bread that remain unhindered could well be intercepted by fish further down the river.

Quite a few times now I've heard fish take the bread that cannot be seen which gives me an indication where they are. They had started to work out my tactics mind you, so not fishing for a couple of weeks may well be what I needed to spur them on to feed again. I lost a right clonker, which I'm sure was bigger than the recent 5lber, so before I leave them be till the winter, I'd try and squeeze a couple of sessions in hoping that the other waters available to me improve condition wise.

My roving set-up
If there are Chub when the bread is loose fed there they show themselves quite quick but after a couple of swims without any showing I thought it might have been a wasted trip. The next swim though after creeping in to place after wading myself through stingers a couple of freebies I could see a few fish coming up in the water to inspect the bread and one nudged a piece too. After a good fifteen minutes or so after getting their confidence and them happily taking bread off the surface I put on a chunk as hookbait.

A big fish came up almost immediately but then it must have sensed something was wrong as it went back to the depths. As it reached the tail end of the swim which is only around 20ft long a smaller fish came up without a care in the world and nailed the bait.

It gave a pretty good scrap despite it's size and trying to get in to the platform under my feet but after steering it away from it, it ended up in the net. Not the biggest of fish for this area at 3lb 8oz but most welcome after not fishing for a couple of weeks. The swim went dead after that, and after a few more swims without any fish topping or any interest I decided to call it a day.

A lovely sunset followed quite quick after a vibrant rainbow that went as soon as it came out, it's very pleasant indeed being out in the English countryside again. The temperatures are dropping overnight so I'm sure that will bring more fish out after the conditions are more suited for them to feed. It certainly feels Autumnal that's for sure, after the ridiculous summer we are having hopefully we will get some seasonal normality back.


  1. My little visits to the Canaries have been enjoyable and must try hard to catch some big fish out there. As for the roving, it’s something I miss doing and must get back on it. The best time of the year is slowly creeping up on us all.

    1. It is indeed James, always tough going at the start of season even though I’ve already managed a PB


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