Piscatorial Quagswagging

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

Thursday 25 October 2018

Warwickshire Avon - Shankers and Soss-Brangles

What a cheek, hand-cut chips my backside, I’d had better from McCain’s finest, those OCD levels of uniformity and mushy mediocrity you served up were straight from the freezer,  in to the fryer.

Pull the wool over the customers’ eyes at your peril, people vote with their feet round these parts. How hard is it to serve up a proper chip these days, not rocket science is it, or maybe it is, maybe the basics have gone out the window because things like cooking in water baths and placing chips in small baskets are in vogue now remember, obviously ain’t got time to peel and cut, yes you heard ‘peel’, a few potatoes.

“Here, take these back to the kitchen please !!!!”

I’m sure there is a franchise chain to be created just serving up what made up the staple diet when I was a kid. The beef dripping you be reused over and over again and ended up making the chips tastier and tastier after every fry.

Ok ones cholesterol levels could take a battering, but it’s not as if I’m eating them everyday is it M'lud.

Now leaving the French and the Belgians to argue among themselves but the first chips fried in the UK apparently were on the site of Oldham’s Tommyfield Market in 1860. 
 A blue plaque in Oldham marks the origin of the fish and chip shop and fast food industries in Britain. 

In Scotland, chips were first sold in Dundee, in the 1870s, that glory of British gastronomy – the chip – was first sold by Belgian immigrant Edward De Gernier in the city’s Greenmarket. It's a staple food that needs to produced properly, not half arsed that seems to be the norm these days.

Maybe I’m getting stubborn in my old age, but I like what I like and that’s decent proper food, a savoy cabbage needs to look like one for example, not something that has been pulled out of the ground way to early from a far off land, and still has loads of growing to do.

Supermarkets take note, they are just as bad as some of these plastic pubs….

Luckily in the area there are plenty of farm shops selling local produce where I can still buy a carrot that looks like a man’s bits, tomatoes that looks like a woman’s and some various sized markies or maris pipers still with actual mud on, mud, MUD !!!!!! yes really.

For this cobbled together short session I was down at a convenient area that usual has a barbus mooching around at dusk for a belly buster. Rather than the garlic canned cooked meat concoction where the greedy chub nicked it time after time last time here till I reduced the bait size. So for this session the processed pork was out, and it was replaced with only the finest of ingredients, (the packaging says so) contained within the finest of boilies and the pungent of paste.

The beauty of fishing a bait like this is that the chub can do their level best to strip, pull and pluck the bait off the hair but it’s only when the rod properly goes over there is any need to strike, re-bait the or recast. For short sessions like this it’s ideal as the minimum of tackle is needed, rods already baited, a tub of paste, an hooking mat and scales and that’s about it.

Preparation is the key, as is fishing at the right time. In-fact thinking about it, all the Barbel I’ve caught this season have always been on short sessions prior to dusk.

No long 5 hour session sat on ones backside to be seen here. I seem to be traveling lighter and lighter these days when I rove around, suits my style and such, I cannot remember the last time I’ve brought my seat along.

Now talking of traveling light, I used to carry a portable LED floodlight as the iPhone is pretty rubbish in low light even after the software change where when the front camera is used, the screen illuminates white with the strongest of contrast prior to the picture being taken.

The floodlight for was ditched for a lightweight clip on light that I wanted to try out in service so to speak. Can be used for either the front or rear camera and when mounted on the front hopefully the selfie pics will be much better.

I hate messing around when I’m taking fish pictures and I was hoping this was exactly what I needed, the LED light was a bit of a faff, because it was maybe too bright, leaving to overexposure and reflections from the fish.

So the preamble was a waste of time, an hour and a half before dusk the rods went out, it was low and very clear too and with barbel particularly being on the body clock, in these conditions it was when the sun went down things should start to happen. Things did happen but it the savage chub that gone in on the act. The left hand rods top moved around a foot in a split section on a few occasions but didn't materialise in to a fish sadly.

If the clubs restrictions were not in place I'm sure eventfully a fish would have turned up but sadly the light remained in it's bag.

A big fat blank, but then you cannot win them all !!!!


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