Wednesday, 2 January 2019

Warwickshire Avon - Cobwebs and Cagg Magg's

I saw figures from a report the other day which came from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration where we have managed to lose more than half world’s reindeer since the mid-Nineties, the reasons for decline apparently were hunting and climate change.

We have lost 2.6 million of them. Not lost as in temporarily mislaid, but lost as in dead. We’ve managed to lose more than half the world’s reindeer since the mid-Nineties. The population is down from 4.7 million to 2.1 million, a 56 per cent fall.

The great problem in the reindeer’s life is the most obvious: cold. The Christmas story about them bringing us gifts from the frozen north might lead you to think a reindeer’s life in the freezer is straightforward. It is nothing of the kind: reindeer are very special animals and wouldn’t survive for a moment if they weren’t.

Their crucial adaptation is a circulation system that keeps their blood warm with remarkably little expenditure of energy. It’s a piece of stunning natural engineering and it’s contained in the nose in the form of a highly efficient counter-current heat exchange system. Reindeer noses contain a 25 per cent higher concentration of blood vessels than those of humans for this purpose, enabling them to warm the polar air as they breathe it in.

Now if only the Zander down this neck of the woods had an adaptation like that, you see they have been suspicious in their absence of late, but then the levels and the temperatures have been up and down of without any consistency and like all fish they take time to get used to conditions. 

I'd got a Westin Zander lure gift pack for Christmas and I wanted to try them out to blow some of the New Years cobwebs out. The yearly Newey Curry night was attended by even more friends this year so we had a proper houseful which meant not only more food as each guest brings a big pot of curry, but also it was more rowdy and more drink was brought and consumed, even the kids managed till midnight which is a first. Likely to be a yearly occurrence me thinks, however I may need a bigger house.

I had some success with Pike the other day by suspending a deadbait under a float in some oxygenated water and having success with Zander in the past in a weir pool I'd have set-up with me as well.

With the whole upper stretch to myself I started in the weirpool and there was encouraging bite quite quick which sadly didn't develop past a couple of tugs. Of inspection of the bait, there was the tell-tale Zander stab marks, but despite fishing the weir hard with the lure and having a deadbait out for another hour, no bites were forthcoming. 

Hmmmm, not good, so I headed down to an area that is usually quite productive as it provides a haven when the river is in flood, again nothing doing. So this is getting desperate now, up to the deep bit, yeap you guessed it, not even a nibble, so last gasp saloon, up to the upper pegs which provides some nice snaggy marginal swims with overhangs to put a deadbait and usually gives good sport on the lure.

Sure enough after a couple of casts, BANG !!! in to a fish, I knew straight away it was a Jack but at least it gave a spirited fight and avoided a blank. Another 3 Jacks came all from the same swim although from different areas but again, the Zeds were nowhere to be seen. 

I'm struggling on the Zed front now, ok there was at least 1m of visibility and colour helps, but even in the deep bit, I've not caught one in a while. Maybe the syndicate stretch needs more attention especially when the river colours up a bit.

That is unlikely to happen any time soon though, a proper cold spell is on the way.

2018 and was pretty good for me, I finally got the monkey off my back and caught a 5lb Warwickshire Avon Chub and also I caught my Barbel PB of 12lb 6oz's. Targets for 2019, well the canal Zander quest will continue and I want to spend more time fishing the little rivers and streams that really do float my boat, even though the fish are not likely to be huge. Oh and maybe improve my Chub and Roach PB.

Tight-lines all for 2019 !!!!


  1. Best of luck with the targets. But I feel you’ll be content with plenty of time on the bank. The fish will come along in time. The Zander are a funny species aren’t they, I’m trying to learn their ways and so far there’s a lot to learn. As for the Roach PB, the Severn has got to be worth a go, it’s not far from you and I know it holds ample shoals of quality fish up through the 2lb bracket and beyond...

  2. You know me too well James !!!! Just happy to be out and fishing most of the time


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