Saturday, 19 January 2019

The River Leam – Double Juggs and Dilberries

In parts of the world blessed with effective, modern sanitation, it's widely understood that poo belongs inside a person, or a toilet. But if you like me, have stumbled upon the 'bowel movement bandit' like I have recently, there are people in society with obvious issues that like to defecate in public and leave their aftermath for all to see.

Yeap, in three different locations now over the last couple of weeks whilst bankside, in plain view, discarded dirty toilet paper with no attempt to hide it.

….WTAF !!!


Excuse my French !!!! now the horrible thing is, apart from the discarded dog poo bags that riddle the towpaths and public footpaths, we’ve now go to contend with the human stuff. Has any other pathology remained so unexplored? because a quick Google clearly this is a common problem, yet psychologists appear indifferent to or unaware of it, for God’s sake, there isn’t even a Wikipedia page about this!, I think I might start one.

There will always be accidents and emergencies, of course, and our shame may lead us to shirk responsibility for their consequences, heck I've been in a similar predicament but didn't have to stoop so low, but I hope you will join me in demanding that a behaviorist or relevant expert study the mind-set of habitually off-the-bowel bandits.


Do they yearn to return to prehistory, or just a time before plumbing? Are they resorting to the elemental means of marking one’s territory? Do they simply delight in disgusting the rest of us? I refuse to believe that we cannot know, it’s the truth we deserve, just not a big steaming pile of it.

*******’s You know who you are !!!!

Anyway back to the fish before ones blood pressure rises to dangerous levels, this little river in low summer conditions had looked incapable of supporting anything larger than an 8oz Roach but with the added depth and colour of the winter flow, it has taken a new and exciting appearance.

All the main river features are reproduced in miniature, fast runs between reed and rush beds opening in to quiet pools, smooth glides with even pace and depth, sharp bends with eddying slacks on the inside, and here and there overhanging trees and bushes with branches trailing in the beneath.


(Takes a breath !!!!)

The first reccy session here recently with George Burton showed that not only were there some nice Chub to be had, but also some cracking plump Dace as well. Now I don’t fish for Dace that often, however recently, the little Brook me and Sam discovered is now home to my beatable PB of 8oz’s, a water so small most wouldn't think there is anything in it. I should fish more of it maybe as I’ve only really fished a small section of it, and I’m sure there are more surprises to be had.

I love the spirited and almost Grayling like fight these ‘silver darts’ give, and despite being small, using balanced tackle they can give a nice bend in the rod.


It was a bitterly cold morning and a venue I’d only fished once before so the plan was to feed a little liquidised bread and fish a small piece of breadflake on the hook.

The rig consisted of a an Enterprise link ledger clip, a single SSG and on the quickchange swivel bead a Kamasan B520 size 12 hook to 3lb 2oz nylon on the business end, and that set-up would be used on my ickle 8ft Wand rod with 1.0oz tip fitted.


It’s a very sensitive blank indeed and can almost bend upon itself but it also has the backbone to get a Chub out from headed snag bound as it's predominately meant for winter F1 fishing on mud puddles. I'd probably use a small cage feeder on a slightly bigger river but the swims I wanted to concentrate on were that small that I'd rather try and keep less of a disturbance as possible.

This ickle set-up is great for ickle rivers like this....


Now this stretch despite being low and in need of more colour it was the sheltered deeper glides further down the stretch that I’m sure would hold some Dace of repute.

Its winter after all, so they retreat from the shallows and the faster oxygenated water like a lot of fish do to a bigger volume of the wet stuff where they feel more comfortable. Usually away from the shoal the larger fish are hanging in the wings rather than get involved in the kerfuffle.


I decided for this session to spend a little more time in each swim than I usually do, and as last time I wanted to walk the whole stretch to get an idea what swims were available I didn't spend that much time in each one. I still managed some nice Chub though, however despite Chub not being my target for this morning session they would be most welcome if I was struggling to track down the Dace.

So best laid plans and all that, Mick how did you get on....?


Well a bitterly cold morning meant wrapping up warm and there was bursts of light rain throughout the morning but the fishing made up for it 6 or 7 really plump dace from swims where could couldn't see the bottom, those swims meant roving to find them as the river was really low and clear as expected.

The Chub were biting as well with 5 smallish fish landed and 2 fish lost, the first fish got caught in the reeds near my feet and got properly wedged so I used the landing net to give it a nudge but that meant bumping it off :). The other Chub I lost was from quite an open swim but despite trying to restrain it's run the fine wire hook opened out and the fish stuck two fins at me, definitely the biggest fish I've hooked down here anyway, oh well....


"A river in decline" not what I've found, 2 sessions down this new stretch it's been great, especially as conditions haven't been that favourable. I cannot wait till it's up and has some colour, I'll go properly geared up for the Chub then, one swim in particular I've got my eye on. As I've said before ok not the biggest stamp of fish, but that's not what it it's all about, the peace the solitude and on my terms.

No discarded toilet paper today, just a couple of tree ornaments and couple of undisturbed dog turds....!!!!


Sunday, 13 January 2019

Small Brook Fishing Pt.6 - No Stones to be Upturned, Loach by Design

The chance discovery of a tiny brook that was home to certain species of fish I’d not caught before had whetted our appetites. Before we fished it you see I stumbled upon a field report that spurred us on even more because of the Dace potential. Over five or so ‘field’ trips , Sam and myself managed to catch some nice fat dace, brook brown trout and even some roach.

After a session on my tod when a bullhead was caught without even a nudge on the quiver we'd scaled down our tactics for the next session and managed to register bites from a few Miller’s Thumb's to add another tick to Sam's species caught tally. However the interest didn't stop there because like the bullhead there was another fish here we'd not caught before, let alone seen, and that was the Stone Loach.


Stone Loach by rod and line, Stone Loach by design I ask you ?

The field report (screen grab below) was carried out some time ago now and they were already starting to dwindle in numbers, then again , the bullheads are still here, the Loach too ?, no reason why they wouldn’t ? Ok it was 20 years since the report, that's a heck of a long time ago, I had some hair back then and a bulging bank balance, how times change.


After some much needed googling to get some background information on this little fish a plan was hatched, now the Beardie or Stone Loach is a small, purely freshwater, fish, 140mm (5.5”) in length at most. Its body is cylindrical except near the tail, where it is flattened sideways, its eyes are set high on its head and its mouth low all adaptations for life on the bottom in and amongst stones and debris which luckily makes up most of this little brooks bed.


Its most noticeable feature is the six barbels set around its mouth (from which it gets its name “Beardie”), with which it can sense prey, also an adaptation for bottom living. Generally grey and brown, its tail is bright orange. It spawns from spring to late summer, shedding its sticky eggs amongst gravel and vegetation. For a small fish it is very fecund, one 75mm female was found to spawn 10,000 eggs in total in spawning episodes from late April to early August.

The species is found in clean rivers and around loch shores throughout west, central and Eastern Europe and across Asia to the Pacific coast.

In the British Isles apparently they were originally found only in the South-east of England, but they have been widely spread by humans for use as bait, Loach Tails are still used as bait for Salmon in some places, or for food, yes really.

The problem is they are retiring fish, and by day they lie motionless under a stone, so their presence is often unsuspected in brooks that hold a good stock of them.


At night they leave their fastness’s and feed, though their very poor swimming powers limit the length of their excursions. Apparently they are extremely voracious and will eat any living matter, nymphs, insects, crustacians, worms etc and it is generally conceded that they feed by touch and smell, aided by their barbels rather than sight.

They supposedly feed at or very close to the bottom.

The fact that they are occasionally caught by anglers (generally Gudgeon anglers) shows their appetite sometimes overcomes shyness, but anyone wishing to catch loach and rod and line should fish in darkness.


Pffffffffffffttttttttttttttttttttttttttt !!!!

Not sure I could justify fishing in to dark for them....

The Loach however has an interesting structural peculiarity.

It can breathe like other fish through its gills, but when it finds itself in water insufficiently oxygenated it will come to the surface to gulp down air. The air is dealt with within the intestines, a process known as intestinal breathing and oxygen is passed to the body.


The stream dweller has little need for this secondary breathing apparatus, but many foreign species of Loaches live in waters that dry up seasonally, and they are capable of subsisting in mud, breathing in pure air, until the water returns.

Could they be spotted a little like topping Roach at dusk ?

Now it’s surprising what you can find on the web these days and I found a pretty good report which confirmed their nighttime feeding habits (Nocturnal Foraging in the Stone Loach Barbatula Barbatula Fixed or Environmentally Mediated Behaviour ( Yes really, who gets these jobs ?, I want in)  that concluded that the small benthic dweller in temperate rivers and lakes, gradually shifts to daytime foraging when fish are hungry and no acute predation risk is present.


Foraging activity in Stone Loach always remained significantly higher during the night compared to the twilight and the day, independent of food availability, even after the fish had lost more than 20% of their initial body weight. The absolute levels of daytime activity significantly decreased, while nocturnal movements significantly increased. Activity stopped almost completely when a predator was present.


Unlike the Wife, the Stone Loach did not adopt daytime foraging even when there was no acute daytime predation risk and the fish were starving. This indicates that in Stone Loach an anticipated rather than observed predation risk is taken into account when estimating the predation risk at any time of the day.

Such a strict behaviour might be especially important for benthic dwellers with a low swimming speed, and therefore escape potential, in relation to fast moving daytime predators.

But there were some encouraging signs for a daytime caught fish mind you because smaller fish, for example, spent a larger proportion of their time active during the day in order to compensate for their body size, even though daytime foraging was riskier in the short-term due to a higher predation risk.

There was a glimmer of hope to one’s obvious insanity !!!!

So how to tackle up for these wee bearded beasties then?
To be honest, looking at this weight, length graph I stumbled upon, they ain’t ‘that’ small, so if I could register a bite from a bullhead I should be able to register a bite from a Loach that’s for sure.

Now they like gravely bottoms (don’t we all) so the method in one’s madness was to ditch the quiver set-up for bite detection.


Then maybe fish a moving bait initially, or one that slowly dragged along the bottom to try and get the fish moving if there were any in the area.  

So it was out with the 2g Drennan Crystal Dibbers, a tiny pole float, small in stature and unobtrusive to be able to tackle these lilliputian lethiathans.

A small hook, straight through to a tiny hook and a single maggot or small worm as bait. A small worm has ridiculous wriggling ability, far more than any maggot anyway, to get these fish away from their lair anything to catch their eye is an advantage over a grub.

I'd switch between the two during the fishing as there are some nice Dace to be caught here as well. The float would be fished over-depth so the bait would slowly move over the bottom, that was the plan anyway.

Now the 8ft wand rod would stay because the good thing about it is that the line loaded on the reel that I purposely had this brook in mind for is a light as anything, so there is little to no resistance meaning that the float could be cast in theory despite only weighing a little more than a gnats nadger.

As a back-up we'd have Sam's 5ft 5" quiver rod just in case the swim suited a static rather than a moving bait.

We had only explored a very small section of this brook so locations new and old would be sought to try and close another one of my challenges.

So anyway, enough of the preamble Mick, how did the first session go?

Well this location we'd not fished it before, but the field report as described seemed to come from this area and the access looked a little easier for me and the Tangleator to get fishing quick, not only that but it looked a decent length to start off with as well so give us the best opportunity of covering as much of this diminutive waterway as possible.


No messing straight in to it.....

Well to be fair I had some time to kill before picking the kids up from school so I went to go and case it out first and apart from it being probably a little too clear, wow what a little stretch. Plenty of character, easy access and also lots of different swims, deeper areas, shallow areas over gravel, even a weir.

So, how did the first session go ?


To be fair it went ok, we fished maybe 5 or 6 likely looking swims and Sam caught the first fish, a chunky bullhead and probably caught maybe 4 or 5 during the two hours session. The biggest not huge but went nearly 6.5 grams on the scales, so around 25% of the British record. All good fun though with Sam in amazement of the prehistoric look of the fish.

A small Perch was caught in a deeper area over some gravel but to be honest the little waterway could do with a bit more water on it, It was very shallow indeed in places and gin clear. The Loach remained elusive but then don't want it easy now do we.


"Daddy there MUST be fish in that small weir" "otherwise it cannot be called a weir"

And to be fair Sam was correct in his assumption, I cast his quiver rod with a single SSG link ledger to the tail end of the swim and 10 minutes when by without a nibble, but then all hell breaks loose and the tip is bouncing around like a good'un with the rod trying to leave the rest.

Sam strikes in to the fish and a fish is taking line, I grabbed it quick to get it under control and had to tighten the clutch up but after I got the fish under control I gave it back to Sam to continue on with the fight. And a good job of it he did too.

There was only one fish it could be....


Yeap a brownie, not a huge one, but for a tiny brook in Bards country, not a bad little catch. Now with Sam getting cold because of the cold wind, we decided to call it a day. We both love these little streams, ok not F1 carp to bend the rod, but come on, sitting on a seat box fishing a dirty manmade hole in the ground, or fishing for the unknown in a small brook like this, we know what we prefer.

We'll be back for those Loach, I'm sure of it....

Saturday, 12 January 2019

‘Not quite the’ Closed Season Zander Quest Pt.104 – Cannibals and Carrion Hunters

Is saw in the press the other days that the engineers from Greggs HQ had created a Vegan sausage roll to sit alongside their rather tasteless pork offering, ok they are kept in different cabinets, but you get the picture. There share price is up and they are flying off the shelves apparently and they are confident that you could serve the quid vegan version at a buffet and pass them off as the meat equivalent.

But this is the bit I don’t get, veganism is a movement that has animal welfare at its very core so I don’t understand why a vegan would want to eat something that tastes of cooked pork. I can’t imagine the pork in the meat version is free range for the price they charge, so the vegan sausage roll is a success I suppose for replicating the taste without the slaughter.


It's getting pretty good reviews apparently, no I'm not talking myself in to a vegan lifestyle, well not till next weekend anyway, I've got a huge piece of pork shoulder to get through first. Anyway back on track, talking about meat eaters with the river a little out of sorts art the minute and the fact my mind switched to turbid waters and things with teeth. 

The last trip out for Canal Zeds the couple of feeding spells I experienced was boarding on the ridiculous as I could hardly keep one of the two baits in the water without the float going on the move.Now schoolies and waspers delights are all very well but I want to hopefully bring my Zander quest to a close with the capture of a 10 lber.


There were encouraging signs for this years closed season though as not only were the stamp of schoolies bigger than the norm but that the Zander that had been elusive down here last year were back in numbers.
I’m sure a big girl is waiting in the wings, and you’re talking to a man with plenty of first-hand experience, a man to whisk her off her feet !!!!

The places I frequent are lightly fished, in-fact I rarely cross towpaths with other anglers , but the fish must be back for a reason. Maybe they are following the bait fish, or maybe they have switched to cannibal mode which fishy predators are known to do, yes they eat their young, well “they’ve eaten everything else haven’t they” (Bob my postie)


Now a bit of a revelation for me last season which was when I switched to almost exclusively fishing smelt deadbaits on river and cut, was not just how effective it was as bait for Zander but they seemingly preferred them over a roach deadbait when fished side by side.

The cucumber fishy smell, the texture ? a bait they’d not seen before ? who knows but it put plenty of Zander on the banks especially down at the ‘deep bit’ I discovered where the stamp of fish was a bit of an eye opener, rarely a fish was caught under 3lb, but having caught hundreds and hundreds of them now, it was a hot spot for sure.


So for this session it was out with the smelt and I planned to leapfrog another section of cover not far from the last visit. Predators thrive on neglect hence my concentration on this area and considering I eventually manage to land a couple of right lunkers here, it’s always remained on my quests radar.

It’s tubid, very turbid and I’m sure that’s why they are happy to call it home, on the whistle during a lure competition I know where I’d head to, dirtier the better, but then you already knew that didn’t you, well if you’ve followed my ill thought out quest from commencement that is.

Now where are the ageing undertakers, the old skool ravers ?


Only one way to find out?

The sky was pink when I got them, some decent cloud cover but I could tell from looking at the water colour it would be tough. This stretch of canal I've only done ok when it's been chocolate brown, this was a light green colour with around a foot of visibility. Now usually a boat helps matters but for the three and half hour session none came through to stir things up.

It didn't take long for the first fish to be fair, an odd looking thing, quite long with a pronounced bump on its flanks and soon after a small schoolie decided that it liked the smelt. After that despite leapfrogging some tasty looking swims and fishing a last gasp banker swim they were the only fish caught.


Conditions have to be right for canal Zed's on deads, so ok, not a blank but certainly a little tougher than I hoped.

Tomorrow is the start of another one of my Quests, I must me mad, this one has gone on long enough and seemingly just as far away of reaching a conclusion than when I started it.

"Is that wise Mick" ? To be fair, probably not, a glutton for punishment me thinks. 

Friday, 11 January 2019

Warwickshire Avon – Humdurgeon’s and Hugotontheonbiquiffinarians

Yes it is a word, you've got to love the English language, however upon a bit of searching it appears the first rule about Hugotontheonbiquiffinarians is that you don’t talk about Hugotontheonbiquiffinarians, which apparently was a society existing in 1748. I’m thinking the mystery surrounding this evidently secret society is the whole point.

Talking about mystery’s in 1748 was the year that the forgotten fire of London happened. 1am on the 25th of March a small fire has started in a wig maker in the City and by lunchtime nearly 100 homes and two entire blocks in the heart of the city would lay in ruins. Quite what caused the fire is not known, but it is known to have started at Mr. Eldridge’s a Perriwig-Maker in Exchange-Alley, Cornhill, and would seem to have raced up the building, as a lodger living on the second floor leapt out of the building to escape.


Miraculously, no one else died in any of the other homes, and the spread of the fire was contained thanks to the wind direction blowing the flames towards some more solidly built buildings and a wide road that the flames couldn’t leap across.

Of course, some people took advantage of the fire to take possessions that didn’t belong to them, and a number of looters were arrested. Also arrested was a soldier who stabbed a man to death after, reportedly, the man refused to assist in containing the fire by carrying buckets of water.

That’s a pale shadow of the roughly 13,000 homes destroyed in 1666, which is probably why this fire of a mere hundred homes or so, which in any other city would be its founding myth, is in London, a forgotten footnote in its long history.


After the Cornhill fire, a series of building acts were passed to make buildings less susceptible to fire in the future, culminating in the act of 1774 which is often seen as a defining moment in building safety history.

Now if it wasn’t for me spending so much time down here waterside in all seasons, in all weathers you wouldn’t really know here is home to the headquarters of a secret society of Chunky Chevins. Year on year not only do they seem to be getting bigger and fatter but their habitat despite being at risk from all manner of hazards, meat eaters and back turners is tip top.

Their insurances payment have obviously been kept up to date as their abode seems to have been rebuilt back to a fortress like no other.


It’s one of a small amount of stretches of the Avon I fish where spotting Chub is possible in the summer months, however just when you think you’re getting on top of them, just when the topography is being mapped, a tree falls down, a bank collapses and you’re back to square one.

The loss of a big fish here last weekend that did me over good and proper only confirmed, that stout tackle is required if they are to be targeted. I’m sure the angle of dangle didn’t help prevent the hook pull, but without the high bank for cover these fish can easily see ones shadow cast over this very small waterway.


I’ve learnt that stealth and concealment is the key, these are shy creatures in their make-up after all. On one particular memorable morning a number of years ago now I witnessed the secret society 7 strong all around 5lb or over feeding up in the water with a big Barbel as minder. I watched for a good half an hour in amazement before getting anywhere near the water, where one broken branch sent them scarpering for cover. Despite the shy and cagey nature though, if you ever did get a hook in to one, they revel in conflict, shirt off, guns out,

"Come on Then !!!"

Now as a 'jobber' taking time off work cannot be taken lightly, no payroll imaginary illness to be seen here, however a Chub of that power and rod bending ability like the one of late that stuck two fingers up at me deserves a little more attention than the humdrum I usually catch. I’m sure my recent PB of 5LB (Yipppeeeeeeeee) could be bettered and after a bit of time juggling I had the whole of Friday morning back bankside for a second bite of the cherry.


So out went the 1.25TC River and Stream with centre-pin I used last time, and I dusted off my Prologic 10ft MP Detek Twin Tip. It would be fitted with the quiver section and conventional reel with drag wound-up to the max(ish) but still with some line taking ability. Now the rod has a nice parabolic action that gives power in the butt when required, but it still bends superbly well to resist the lunges of the snag bound noggin nodding Chub.

Remember I fish 6lb line straight through, these fish don’t mess around, you certainly know when you’ve got one on, they need to be bullied away from cover, you quickly need to get on top of them and to be fair usually I do, but despite having one at 5lb which ain’t bad for the Avon, there are bigger here, because I’ve hooked them and I’ve seen them.


I’m sure the two fish I’ve lost here were PB beaters for sure such their power so last time I’m not sure why I came so ill equipped, convenience I suppose because the rod was already made up for when I fished the Alne for its 3lbers. So bait, well bread flake again as hookbait and I’d have some whitebait if they were not playing ball, the river is very low and clear again you see, and sometimes something unnatural is the only way to get a bite. Whitebait I've used before and it certainly works for the gluttonous Chub

So 6 swims pre-baited with liquidised bread it is just a matter of fishing the swims in sequence once fed to at least try and catch a fish.

The first chuck of a whitebait I could see it drift and flutter down the swim and no sooner than the tip settled a Chub was right on to it, It was giving a decent fight as well although not the big fish I was after. After a spirited fight it was soon in the net and went just over 3lbs on the scales.

The swims dies once one is caught down here so you have to move on, to cut a long story short, another 4 fish I think, all but one on the whitebait, the last fish on the bread, All over 3lb but none over 3lb 8oz, they were certainly peas in a pod.

Once the sun came out the fishing went off altogether but certainly an enjoyable session despite no big ones showing, so whitebait give it a go.

I did manage to get some Chub feeding off the top but they wouldn't budge behind an overhanging tree and there was no way to reach them. Shame as looked like there were some good ones there as well, Oh well, at least I know they are still there.

The rod was probably a little overgunned but I'm sure if a 5lber took it then it would be ideal, it's not quite a Barbel rod stiffness which is what I didn't want but it doesn't bend as nicely as the TFG River and Stream which at the minute is still my preferred Chub rod. This will do for here though, when the fish need to be bullied. We desperately need some water and some colour, I'm surprised I caught  conditions were against me.

Monday, 7 January 2019

Warwickshire Avon – Feeders and Flash Panney’s

My last trip down this stretch of the Warwickshire Avon was quite an unproductive one initially, not only were bites hard to come by, but even after catching a couple of Pike I quickly realised just how little I know about this new to me water. So what better way to find out what’s lurking than by fishing a maggot feeder for anything that swims.


There are obviously bait fish here in abundance, hence the Pike and Zander presence, but also the depth, which was around 5 or 6 feet in many of the swims appeared on the face of it ideal for a good roach or two. You see not a million miles away I found a bit of a hot spot on the Avon with similar depth, that basically was chock full of roach. They were always there when I fished it and despite not being down to the stretch for a couple or three years I assume they are still there now to be caught.

This would also be a bit of a double dipping session as a predator would also be fished for from time to time using the same tactics as I used to save a blank which was on the cards here last time. Yeap, a deadbait tantalisingly suspended under a float to try and attract the attention of a waiting Pike or Zander. In one swim the river swirls and twirls and sort of creates a bit of a back eddy so one drift of the bait through the swim is never the same.


There was certainly no need for livebait given the two Pike caught and one lost in such a short period of time. At least I’d try and manage a Pike if the maggot feeding fish were not forthcoming, and I was hoping they would, as the plan was to try and map out what exactly is going on here. I’ve not taken the deeper down yet to scan the depths and bottom because I’m sure there are some fish holding areas I didn’t know about yet.

I’ve been caught out recently being undergunned for Pike so I decided to make up a dedicated Pike set-up rather than manage with my Zander rods. Ok the Zander rods might be fine for a double figure fish, but something bigger could well be too much of a tackle tester. I prefer single hooks for Pike so those stayed, but the rod was beefier and the wire gauge increased. Also the potentially weak part of the set-up which was the large quick stop I usually use, was ditched for a large Gardner Kwik Lok Swivel.


You’ve got to be confident landing a fish whatever your target or whatever the fish potential and I wasn’t, hence the change that I made for this session.

Mick, back on track please, how did the session go?

My God, I don't think I've ever fished the Avon so tough, there was a match upstream of me and I could hear the occasional shouts from the seat box frequenters,

"Hey Dave, you had a bite yet ?"

"Nah, nothing doing, not even a sucked maggot"


After an hour in the same swim where I'd caught Pike from last time and without a bite on maggot feeder even after balling in a couple of balls of groundbait I decided to go and have a wander on the stretch and fish a deadbait in likely looking predator holding spots and do a bit of leapfrogging. Again not even a nudge or an enquiry.

The bit of the Stour I can fish looked very low indeed but a good walk up the stretch gave me an idea of some nice swims I can fish in the future. Certainly lots to explore.

So lots of walking and not a huge amount of fishing, so the last hour was spent in the same swim to where I started, again nothing doing, no fish topping or moving. The river was certainly in a mood.


"Dave, anything ?"

"Nah, not a sausage, I might pack up early"

So a rare blank. but I like to keep a record anyway, despite the post of nothingness.

Saturday, 5 January 2019

Warwickshire Avon – Gnashers and Gnathites

I stumbled upon this article again recently, that did make me laugh, you see a police force's e-fit of a burglary suspect has been mocked for its resemblance to the Cheshire Cat which famously appeared in Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland, while others were reminded of the acid tripping psychedelic 1960s cartoon rockers the Banana Splits.


Warwickshire Police published the mock-up of the toothy fugitive on Twitter, but his super-sized grin attracted more hilarity than help. It drew a wave of comparisons to wide-mouthed cartoon characters including Zippy, from 80s kids' TV favourite Rainbow, and Batman villain the Joker.

The force said it had "anticipated the reaction" to the image.

It posted its appeal in a bid to trace a man wanted in connection with a distraction burglary in Stratford-upon-Avon.

The accompanying image showed a suspect sporting a black beanie hat, five o'clock shadow and an impressive set of teeth which saw one user dub him Mr Gnashers.

Internet users with clearly nothing better to do were chomping at the bit to reply to the post, which has been retweeted more than 1,000 times.

Apparently the incident happened in Stratford-upon-Avon between 14:00 and 14:36 GMT on 5 February 2018.


Police said two men claiming to be from Orbit Housing tricked their way into a flat in Hertford Place, with one distracting the occupant a woman in her 40s while the other searched the property. 

The thieving gits left with a quantity of cash.

Warwickshire Police confirmed the e-fit was real and had been created based on a description provided by the victim. The force said it hoped the extra attention would help catch the criminal faster and….

….Mick Newey from Stratford-Upon-Avon said thanks for reminding me to try and catch some huge mouthed Chub as he’d neglected this stretch for a while.


So yes after a very cold but oddly dry and frost free night  I was back trudging once more, one of my favourite stretches of the Warwickshire Avon to try and catch a chunky Chub or two. It’s a great stretch to fish in a cold snap as it’s a rovers anglers river, none of this sat in one spot lark, which, when it’s cold certainly tests ones extremities.

Bread as bait with liquidised bread as feed, could I winkle one of the chunky Chevins that live here out from the low and clear river. They are always even more cautious than they usually are, but use some stealth and consideration, one or two usually comply to give a bed in the rod.


Now I baited 5 swims with some bread and then started at the top and worked my way down, a small chub took a liking to my breadflake almost straight away, probably on the drop it was that quick, it's a small river though so once it's disturbed even if you retain a fish in the landing net usually that's it. The next swim a cormorant catches sight of me, make a mess of the swim and flies off,

Arrrrrrrhhhhhhh !!!!

So on to the next swim, again a fish took it on the drop and a proper pull round on the rod I connected in to nothing, another piece on, again the 1oz quiver pulling round confidently after a couple of minutes in the water.


Now this happened 4 times or so and the last time I struck and got caught in the rushes. Giving it a tug it eventually came out, so breadflake back on, again in the same spot and let it drift down.

Now this time though I connected in to a fish and then all hell breaks loose, the fish is trying to get under a raft with me hanging on for dear life. The 1.25TC TFG River and Stream rod bent double and  I'm quickly feeling undergunned. The hook is tied on  direct to the 6lb Maxima through, so no weak link having had issues in the past, but one last gasp run for it, the hook pulls out of the fish, Damn !!!!!


It felt a cracking fish as well and having caught my PB and plenty of 4lbers here, this was well up there, maybe beyond on what I've hooked before. After the lost fish I quickly got another bait out but no fish were forthcoming, even when I returned to swim before I headed back.

So three further swims fished and one small Chub caught and eventually something to take a picture of a nice, 3lb 6oz fish that liked again a big piece of bread. To be honest with it low and clear as it is I was suprised I managed to catch a few, just goes to show a bit of feed and also being quiet and stealthy can pay off.


It's on the second Chub down here I've lost to a hook pull, it must have been a good'un such the doing over it gave me, but hey, this is why we love fishing, what was that on the end of my line and I must come back here and fish again.
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