Piscatorial Quagswagging

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

Thursday 15 November 2018

Warwickshire Avon – Shabbaroons and Shag-bags

I was 14 years old when Go Fishing started in 1986 and often it was a rare family gathering in the Newey household, to watch John Wilson with that famous laugh and infectious enthusiasm.

He hosted that fishing show that carried on for 30 odd years and 90 odd episodes such its popularity and paved the way for books and further TV work. Back then, pre-satellite and only 4 channels to choose from it really did stand out at the time, and was enjoyed by anglers and non-anglers alike.

He made me want to go fishing, and probably turned me in to the roving angler I am today. The salt water episodes and his travels abroad which I didn’t think I’d enjoy, but in the end I did, and that was due to John and his love for angling and a shared passion. He wasn’t just all about fishing, but also the love of the outdoors, and flora and fauna, heck, I suppose thinking about it, it turned me in to a bit of a forager, just look at this rosemary I picked on-route, ready for those roast potatoes.

The beauty of the post internet era with the various media platform options and the various ways to watch fishing these days, is that his programs can still be watched, but not only that, it highlights just how good he was at presenting, showing non-anglers why we do it and also why he stood out from today’s humdrum and those have to appease the sponsors at every opportunity. 

Back to basics fishing, what it all should be about, for me anyway.

Can we have some of them digitally remastered please, RIP John Wilson MBE.

Incidentally whilst tucking in to a homemade fish curry I put on one of my favorite episodes weir-pool magic and reminded me just how good they are to watch. Variety is the spice of life and with fishing, and we are lucky it can give us that, there are not many hobbies and pastimes like it if you think about it.

Now these quick after work dark sessions nicely break up the weeks heads down drudgery. A necessity I suppose to keep those wheels turning, and a short fishing session like this, can maintain ones sanity. It’s the part of life I’ve most control over, the fishing that is, it restores the work life balance in my favour and if gives me the solitude I seek.

I didn’t particularly enjoy fishing in the dark, far from it, but having done it numerous times now, it really is something different than the usual daylight sessions that sometime can become a little monotonous.

The senses are heightened obviously which can be difficult to get used to at first, but it’s the anticipation of something half decent turning up, because with many a predator on the prowl, often fish put their guard down come dusk and beyond, as they feel safe to do so.

I’d usually target the Chub here but despite the Pike dominance I’m sure there could well be a good Zander milling around that could well show themselves, when they are back being the apex predator. 

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m becoming to love Pike as a species but the Zander really are up there with my favourite species of all the fish I fish for, and the chance to do a bit of double dipping is a welcome change. 

Preparation is the key for these sessions as when arriving at dark, rods made up, leads, and chemical lights to hand, the minimum of tackle, so all you have to do is to bait the hooks.  The chub are bold biters here so soft meat is out as I like to know the bait is still on the hair once cast, so, it’s out with the pungent boilies and a paste wrap. 

The other rod, a ickle roach deadbait, but having caught plenty of Chub on small deadbaits in the past, it could well pick up a decent Chevin as well. Nothing wrong with hedging ones bets, especially come sundown, when the bigger fish start to move from their stations.

Now the baits went out at dusk and within minutes the bobbin was rising and in-fact the fish was taking line from the bait runner all within a split second. When I hooked in to the fish I realised it wasn't anything to right home about and I knew it was a small pike. Now this one was skinny, no weight to it and for some reason was slimier than the usual fish I catch here. Hmmmm, not exactly what I was after and I knew from experience, that could well be the only fish I catch hence the grumpy face.

I was right, after two and a half hours in to dark nothing else was forthcoming. Now I've concentrated on one particular area for these sessions but I need to try upstream where I discovered with the deeper it has decent depth. If there is any Zander here they could well be up there. I'm sure there are none though judging by the amount of lures and deadbaits that have been chucked here.

I was quite surprised the Chub didn't show though, because they are usually on the bait come dusk, maybe like sometimes happens, they are having an off day. The weather is turning cold though next week, so they could well switch on. 


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