Tuesday, 30 July 2019

Warwickshire Avon - Gluepots and Greenheads

Rods made up a quick cobbled together session. Bait some Lone Angler pellets I'd found hidden at the back of the bait fridge. They were very brittle indeed, a drill through the middle no chance, these needed to be superglued and Gorilla Gel more than up for the task. File flat one of the pellets and a small blob of glue on the end. Then add the tag end and hold and sandwich the other pellet in place for forty five seconds or so.


Leave for a few minutes and it will resist the most determined of Chub. But to be fair for this session a chub would do. So I reduced the hair so the pellets sat close to the hook, usually you see I use a decent length hair when targeting Barbel specifically, however with only an hour in to dusk needs must and all that.


The river was up from the last trip, but not only that is was on the rise as well. The swim I'd caught Barbel before and its deeper than the norm in this section and it also has a nice crease where the flow is hindered by an overhanging tree and where the river widens.It was threaten showers all day and sods law it started to rain when I was there. Some ominous dark clouds putting the river in to gloom. Only the sunset helping lift the mood of the evening.


At least it was warm and after a few pulls of the rod tip not long after putting the bait out at least there is some fish around.

What was encouraging for a future session was that I watching the Perch plundering the fry that littered the surface. Dusk came round quick and as soon as the bats came out the right-hand rod was getting interest.

Sure enough as I preparing to make a hasty exit because the clouds were gathering and heading my way a decent bite came. A confident pull turned in to a proper bite. I knew it was Chub without even feeling the fish through the carbon.


One of the smallest I've caught in a long while as well. No Barbel, again, but then others are struggling on this stretch, it's not just me. I'm not a mad Barbel angler though, maybe I need to up my game a little. As I type this the rain has been nonstop all day. I expect the rivers will be continuing to go up, and up.

Sunday, 28 July 2019

Small Brook Fishing Pt.10 – Trugs and Twiddle Poops

The stream has been a little out of sorts of late where bullheads are concerned anyway. These aggressive little fish nowhere to be seen over the last few sessions where particularly the last session trout seemed to dominate. In the winter fish maggot you usually catch one or two at least every trip or at least have a few drop off when swinging it in.


The theory I had was unless you're prepared to fish in to dusk and beyond which is difficult to justify, they were no biting because it was too clear. The are well camouflaged when hugging bottom and much of the time they are laying up under their stone blanket. Yesterday there was a decent amount of rain though so I decided to give it another go to try and register some challenge points.

100 points for the biggest of the species, will others dedicate as much time as I have been doing for them I wonder ?


The water was up as expected, a nice clarity and it looked ideal for a bite from the 'Millers Thumb' It took a while for the first bite though and it came to Sam who was fishing a swim with a little bit of depth.

A nice dark roach of 8oz's and gave a pretty good scrap on light tackle. Certainly the biggest Roach he'd caught and just goes to show some the quality of these fish that live in these small waterways.

In many areas you can go from one side to the other just by rolling your socks up, very shallow indeed but these small tributaries are feature filled and it's just a matter of roving around to try and find fish holding areas.

After a couple of small Perch and one that probably went half a pound I caught a tiny brownie. By far the smallest I've caught here but encouraging all the same. The bullheads were nowhere to be seen though. Hmmmmmmm !!!


Were persevered and continued on in our quest. There was misty rain falling down as well and the wind was picking up. Considering a few days earlier it was 37 degrees, this felt like an autumn day. The tiny weir oddly didn't produce any fish, usually there are dace there and trout.

Now I've seen bullheads move from the bottom and properly go after maggots in the past and the final swim I'd dropped the float rod in for Sam to commandeer and out the corner of my eye caught the sight of a bullhead do exactly as described above. It came out of nowhere and tried to grab the slowly sinking bait. Fast as well, they don't mess around.

"Sam, bullheads, I've found bullheads !!!!"


And they register bites on a 1oz quiver and also bob the tiny float fitted to Sam's rod. Sure enough after a few casts the first bullhead was caught. Not a big fish, but well deserved and around half the size of the fish that we have caught here. Where Sam's biggest is a 1/4 of the British record, I'd love to see a big Bullhead I really would.


But another species ticked off the list. Now I think I'll return again in the winter for those dace or maybe even sooner, we'll see, Sam and I love this sort of fishing. Simple tactics and simple fishing. The stamp of fish surprise me here though. I love the adventure, the exploring and discovering more of this small waterway. I'm sure there are other surprises to be had, I also want to try and catch a stoneloach on rod and line. Apparently there are here, and I want to catch one.


Thursday, 25 July 2019

Warwickshire Avon - Culiciforms and Cumberworlds

A hot day indeed, 37 Degrees in-fact which to be honest, is far too hot for me. Early to mid twenties is fine, I'm happy with that. I remember a trip to Australia where the wife and I drove from Melbourne to Sydney over a couple of days. Melbourne a huge urban sprawl I was glad to get out of it to be honest, on the coast road up to Sydney was more my thing, Tilba Tilba, Eden, and Philip Island amongst others, beaches, and national parks, me and the wife, a couple of kangaroos and wombats and that was it.


But then when we got to Sydney to meet up with some friends who'd move out there, the first day it was un-seasonally hot weather, so much so a visit to Manly Beach was like a where's Wally poster. I have never seen so many people crammed on to one beach. It was horrendous, literally the whole entire population of the small city, and again urban sprawl must have decided, yeap, hey here's an idea, why don't we go to the beach !!!!


So for this short session, I knew most would have their feet dangling in the kids paddling pool, or sat in the beer garden, so why not go and have a look if you can spot some carp. Now my Warwickshire Avon carp PB stands at 20lb caught in March a few years ago now but I don't target them specifically, maybe I should, because there are quite a few milling around if you spend as much time as me on the river.


Pedestrian pace, lily pads, some depth, yeap, there will likely be carp there. With the sun still up I wanted to try and see if they were sunning themselves like the mad Aussies. One reliable stretch the lilies are ridiculously thick. There are carp in and amongst them though and usually a trickle of floaters down eventually brings them out on the surface. If they are there that is.

Morning seems the best time to be fair, they are easier to see under the surface at this time of day as well. After an hour though with nothing showing I decided to move to an entirely different stretch altogether.

There is carp here as well but oddly I'd not seen any myself. I'd heard from people who had caught them and also was bankside when a friend banked one, so they are here, but to be honest I rarely fish for carp so that's not really an issue.

After a good hour or so, wondering if I should have stayed at home, I spotted my first carp. Not a huge fish, maybe not even a double, but it was a carp, and that was my target to try and add some species points to the blogger challenge tally.

I watched it for a while and then is disappeared below the surface. I needed to act quick, a chunk from my new favorite bread, a piece of extra thick Hovis.

It staying on the hook rather well and also for big pieces I use for Chub, ideal. Very doughy indeed. So all prepared, the first chuck out of the bread, a fish comes up almost instantly and takes it off the surface. I nailed the fish straight away, it wasn't messing around when it took it. But then after the initial fight, I was questioning if the fish I was playing was the carp I saw. It certainly wasn't fighting like a double figure carp.

Yeap, a Chub, Arhhhhhhhhhh !!!!!!


Not a bad one mind you, 4lb 12oz on the scales, but not the target species. After the fish was returned there was nothing doing at all. A tickle of floating bread remained unhindered and the carp had disappeared.  A bend in the rod though, so at least not a blank and a year ago a 4lb 12oz would have been a PB. The river was a little lifeless if I'm honest, lets hope we get some much needed rain, otherwise Chub will likely feature till that happens.


A pleasant evening on the whole, I watched a kingfisher feeding and bankside with the volume of water felt less oppressive.  The mosquitos a different matter, bitten and bitten again.

Sunday, 21 July 2019

Small Brook Fishing Pt.9 – Ribroasts and Rum Culls

Moving water has a fascination all of its own. It provides constant stimulation for river anglers who must face a whole of challenges if they are to catch consistently throughout the year. River fish undoubtedly have to be work for far harder than their still-water counterparts for, unlike the inhabitants of lakes, the fish of streams and rivers cannot be expected simply to turn up in a swim in time.

Flowing water anglers need to he hunters and go in search of their quarry. They must learn all about the behaviour of fish to understand why, where and when they choose their places to live.

For instance, what in high summer can be gently flowing, crystal clear stream requiring the ultimate in a cautious approach and delicate bait presentation can, with winter rains, be transformed into a raging torrent, possibly flooding surrounding farmland for scores of acres.

If regular success is to be achieved with river fish it is vital for the angler to understand where they will under the extremes of conditions and everything in between. Also, bait size and its presentation will regularly need to be varied even for the same species, depending on water temperature, the degree of clarity, flow rates and time of day.

All in all, stream and river fishing is a constant challenge requiring a real insight into the behaviour of fish, an ability to use a wide variety of fishing methods and, just as important, knowing when to employ them. And, because you are working that much harder at your fishing, it makes it all the more satisfying when the rewards come in the shape of a good bag of fish or the capture of an exceptional specimen. 


A previous capture !!!
Sam and I were back chasing Bullheads, now over the last few trips do this diminutive waterway, bites a plenty but the Miller's Thumb suspicious in their absence.

They thrive best in clear running water and often lead solitary lives under large stones or in miniature caverns which they hollow out with their big and powerful heads among small stones.

If I look back at my blog though, those that I have caught on rod and line have all been when the stream is coloured, or at least when the water had been up.


When we got to the stream despite the recent rain, it didn't look that the levels had increased that much at all, but just enough to go and explore another small section we'd not fished before. The problem was, an hour in to the session, it was going to a trout day. 6 or 7 caught, the biggest not far off a pound and with some lovely summer colours that varied between fish considerably.

Dace up to 5 ounces were also caught as was a solitary perch, but again, sadly no bullheads. An enjoyable session for sure because using tackle a bullhead could register a bite any fish give a good fight.

Some of the trout taking line and making the drag scream is a delight for Sam who like me loves this sort of fishing. We cut the session short after the last trout caused carnage in the swim, but don't worry, we'll be back.

I really am amazed at the quality of the Dace, and I cannot wait for winter to see how big they can go. I'm sure there are some specimens to be had. Oddly the new section was devoid of fish, one of the swims looked a banker as well. I'm sure we explored it at a bad time, I'm sure of it.


Warwickshire Avon - Alliumphobia and Ale Drapers

With a tight grip on the branch I peered beneath the waters surface to see a huge barbel holding station. The swim, around a foot deep was a haven for big fish. Chub the most prevalent were up for feeding but the barbel in the swim, in which I counted 4 or 5 not so. Initially I'd watched for a good couple of hours or so and all manner of techniques in my armoury ignored. They were just not up for feeding.

The biggest of the barbel easily a double didn't venture away from the big rock that was dominate in the swim, slow moving bread or meat that dragged along the bottom, sadly didn't stir it's or any of the other fishes barbules.


Eventually some nice Chub were caught on huge pieces of slow sinking flake but the barbel didn't grace ones net. Preoccupied who knows, they certainly didn't seem like they were spawning, just enjoying the oxygenated swim most probably.

A 5 day trip to Disneyland Paris got in the way of returning to the swim but I was back again to try and winkle one out a couple of hours prior to dusk.

Hopefully after some rain I was hoping their mojos had returned and some points could be banked.

Now I'm not a huge lover of the money extracting by as many ways as possible, Disney, but at least there is something for everyone there and many get out of it far more than me. Just seeing the kids faces and their constant smiling was good enough for me.


Now Ben who turned ten when we were out there is a proper adrenaline junkie and loved all the rides, faster the better where he was concerned. The green card disabled access because of his autism and other issues allowing us to enjoy the break without issue and I cannot thank the park enough for allowing us that privilege. We wouldn't consider going otherwise, Ben just couldn't cope with it all.

The special access wasn't just the rides either, no queues for meals, drinks and meeting of the characters. Ben is more like his Mum, Sam more like me, and I couldn't wait to get back on the bank again for much needed solitude.

At least some of the rides took me back to my clubbing days and there was a fish fix to be had as well. The main lake full of huge grass carp and some huge koi as well. The white and orange fish quite clear to see but there were a few orange ones as well.

"Dad if we fish for them here, would it be like fishing for F1's at Tunnel Barn?"

"Tunnel Barn is easier Sam, it really is"

The Big Barbel was always on my mind though and mulling it over, I'm sure it may well have been a PB if circumstances were different on the day. But catching Barbel sometimes isn's as easy as I make out.

The closest I got to catching it was after inching a meat bait down slowly and positioning it tight to some reeds and leaving  it there for a good while. It could be clearly seen from under my polarised sunglasses and at one point a small fish than the biggy, but still a double I think, came out of nowhere and went to inspect the meat bait and then go cover bound again as quick as a flash. A little like Sam on the tower of terror, he was spooked !!!!


So back to this post 'holiday' session, the first half would be to see if the Barbel were still in the same swim, and stay there if they were for the remainder of the session, or catch a Chub from the swim if there were not. Then settle in a swim just upstream where the access was a little easier and fish the last hour in to dusk to try and intercept their feeding pattern. I was hoping a lucky hat from the Wild West show we saw was the edge that I needed to get some scores on the doors.

Proper stinky garlic and krill pellet on one rod, a squid and octopus boilie on the other. Both with PVA bags of hemp and small pellets.

The swim was up a good foot or so more than when I was here last time and I couldn't see the bottom, well any fish, the flow was just not allowing me to do that. Surface bread was ignored so I put both rods out headed in to dusk. The first Chub came quite quick after hanging himself trying to pull off the big stinky pellet. Not a big'un either, with his slim Jim coat on all to see.


As the sun set the mosquitos were more visible and the sheltered swim littered with them. The bats started to become active and were knocking the line and the rod tip every few seconds. There was no mistaking a Barbel bite though and the right hand rod went from stationary to Tasmanian within a split seconds the centrepin reel ratchet was singing.

I had to get on top of the fish very quickly indeed and it felt a good fish. Some decent side-strain is needed to bully the fish away from the reeds downstream that would no only cut the line, but could also snag up the fish. That is easier said then done with a Big Barbel though and after the second run before I could show him who was boss, the hook pulled free.


Arhhhhhhhhhhh !!!!!

The big one I saw, quite possibly but then in my experience an 8lber can fight harder than a 12lber, so I'm not sure. The first one I've hooked in the new season and sadly I lost it. Oh well, they are no in a mad feeding mood at the minute and to be fair, I don't usually target them till the Autumn and Winter anyway. It would have been nice to get some points on the board though, oh well I don't think it will be that long till I'm battling one again. Lucky hat, yeah, the opposite sadly !!!!

Sunday, 14 July 2019

Small Brook Fishing Pt.8 – Bobbleheads and Bone Boxes

The prehistoric looking fish the big headed bullhead has remained elusive over the last couple of trips to this small Warwickshire stream. I stumbled upon this tiny waterway by chance when I was chasing canal Zander and subsequently once I started to fish it, I realised there are some surprises to be had. Apart from catching bullheads for the first time in a while the dace certainly in the winter have been disproportionate to the size of the tiny forgotten brook they frequent.


Proper chunky fish, my best up till now 8 ounces, that’s bigger than the dace I catch on the Warwickshire Avon.

And trout, yes wild brownies in Bard’s country, who’d have thought it !!!!

So post sloppy burger made by my fair hands, me and Sam discussed tactics and bullhead were the intended quarry. They have been a little elusive of late but with the streams crystal clear and badly in need of some water, the shy bullhead probably want leave the sanctuary of it's rock till dusk or in to dark. When the water is coloured that's when we have faired better.


Now I know for a fact bullheads can be caught on rod and line because me and the tangelator Sam who was with me for this session have done exactly that.

My little wand rod with the finest of tips registers bites from this fascinating fish, and they even have enough power to submerge a small float which is how Sam caught his, and the biggest we have had up till now, 25% of the British record apparently.

They appear to like clear rocky swims, because after all, they spend most of their time hiding under them.

One swim progressed on to another discovery, then a little more, then a more again, then a whole different stretch altogether and there is still lots to explore, in-fact probably too much to go at.

Winter is obviously the best time because not only are the fish fatter and hungrier particularly the dace, but also it is easier to rove to likely holding spots because the stingers and the like have died back, allowing freedom of passage from one stretch to another. Not only that but with the water a little coloured the fish feel more confident to move around.


Before lunch with the Wife I managed a reccy to another small stream not far from me that looks like might offer some potential when there is more water in it. Ridiculously clear and only small minnow spotted in some characterful swims.

We'll be back to fish it though, potential for sure, I love these tiny waterways.

This session the plan was to start on the first swim I actually fished because it’s a holding area in low water conditions and also it is the swim I’d caught the most bullheads from.

There is probably a reason for that mind you as we have fished it more than any other spot. We’d also try another bit with easy access and then progress to the newly discovered section of it that not only a manmade weir, but also more wild brownies that frequent these unfished dribbles.

A pocket full of maggots a small float rod and an even daintier quiver wand rod, what could we winkle out?


It was quite a mild day and it was clear the bullheads were not up for feeding. Despite fishing some shady deeper swims all we managed to catch were minnow, dace, perch and a few trout. The dace though were getting bigger and despite the biggest falling off that looked 7 or 8 ounces, the biggest went nearly 5. Sam was gutted it dropped off, but then he is beginning to understand more about fishing, that is part and parcel of the pastime.

We roved around quite a bit but bites were a little harder to come by for this session.


So we need to fish it again when the levels have been topped up little. The bullheads particularly seem to prefer it and to be honest that is the target to try and register a score on the challenge scoreboard.

An enjoyable session though,  and again these forgotten waterways throw up to lovely fish, all in excellent condition too. The most productive swim was under a bridge, less than a foot deep and contained dace and the biggest trout that took the maggot on the drop.


We'll be back !!!!

Saturday, 13 July 2019

Warwickshire Avon - Jogg-trots and Jockum Gages

Waders were donned for this short mornings sessions. With the water the way it is, shallow and clear I wanted to fish some moving baits to try and pick up a Barbel mooching in and around the streamer weed. The chub were up for feeding off the top here last time to I had a loaf of bread if there Barbel were not playing ball.

Slow sinking or off the top, both methods seems to pick up fish last time, slow sinking picking up the better fish that would easily go over 5lb come winter.


Simple tactics, a hook, some plasticine moulding around the line and some large pieces of meat. With the hook pulled through the bait with a needle, turn the hook 90 degrees and secure it along the side of the bait with the hook exposed. Everything is felt through the line using thumb and forefinger and you can work out what the bait is doing.

It's certainly a method I've used in the past in these sort of conditions and it usually works quite well. The method is also a rovers dream, the minimum of tackle, move from swim to swim. The step count heading the right direction.


When it gets hindered, maybe a rock or some streamer weed, give it a nudge and the bait will be on its way again. The theory being the fish are very wary at the minute, but a more natural presentation with the bait moving with the flow of the current, it can well trick the most wary of fish. Now I spotted my first Barbel of the season the last visit here, I was hoping there were around.

If I didn't get in the water, the swims wouldn't be fishable at all, kinda nice in these humid weather. Even the cheap waders worked well, no leaks, bone dry, just how I like it.


After a couple of swims fishing without any Chub coming up to take the bait and countless roll downs of the meat I decided to go to the swim where I spotted the Barbel last time. Sure enough peering over the edge of the foot deep swim I could see not just one Barbel but three or four. The biggest one easily a double was holding station in he flow behind a decent size rock.

There were a couple of nice chub here as well, now we're talking !!!!


Well that's what I thought, the Barbel were not interested whatsoever, no matter how the meat or bread was presented they actively ignored it. In clear view under the polarised sunglasses the biggest even came to inspect the meat and shot off at a rate of knots when something didn't look right maybe.

I thought the session couldn't get any worse but a huge chub probably the biggest I've ever seen hoovered up my slow sinking flake and it went from visible to down his gob within a split second.


I struck but could feel the hook hold and then come straight out of the fishes mouth. Damn, would have easily been a PB I would have imagined. Not good !!!!

Eventually I managed a few chub with the biggest going 3lb 15oz's. I love summer Chub though, dark tanned backs because of the clear water and they give a good fight as well. The Barbel well who knows they didn't appear to be spawning, but then then sometimes they are just not having it. I don't find them particularly hard to catch, but if they are just not interested, there is nothing you can do about it.


Friday, 12 July 2019

Warwickshire Avon - Adelphogamy and Addle-Plots

Some networking to be done first, a new long-term job I’ve won to be shared. A couple of well-kept light ales at country a pub, that despite the flagstone floors, battered dartboard and walls many stories to tell, offers the customer what they want. No not dancing girls and free Wi-Fi but indian food in a place people like me feel at home, feel part of the furniture.

Unpretentious and a place to feel at ease, what’s not to likes especially when the prices are so good as well….

Anyway mountains of poppadoms’ with all the pickles, piles of onion salad and sauces, a freshly cooked tiger prawn puri, and a well spiced and tender lamb dish to rival any of the good curry houses I frequent. A piping hot clay baked nan cooked and presented to perfection, and a mushroom basmati to share.


What it also has going for it for us maggot danglers is that not far off an onion bhaji throw away is an area where Barbel frequent. Dusk is the usual biting time for these creatures of habit so I’d dump ones gear off and try to winkle out a chub in one of the shallow oxygenated swims. They lay up in wait for food morsels to come their way but are cagey, very cagey indeed. These fish are fished for, the window of opportunity very small, very small indeed.

The problem is, the word on the ground is that, at the moment they could well be spawning, those that have more time than me who spend much of their time watching motionless tips, I said TIPS, have said they are very elusive at the moment. This is an area where over all the stretches I fish, if I wanted to catch a Barbel, here would be it.


Now Barbel spawn in wide ranging temperatures ranging from 14-20 degrees C, in late spring or early summer, between May and July after migrating upstream, often several miles, to their spawning grounds. Males will pursue the females that are ready to spawn to shallow riffles and splashing is common as the pursuit takes place.

From reading some boomph online males can exhibit interesting behaviour at the spawning sites. The courting males will follow a female to the spawning site and a single male will then swim with her and prior to her release eggs. The male will often court the female by swimming head to head with her at the spawning site, but when they start to release their eggs and milt.

Other males waiting at the spawning site will then swim upstream to join them and so release their milt in an attempt to fertilize her eggs, despite having played no part in the courtship at all !!! The females may spawn several times with approximately 14-days between each.


The females can produce 8-12,000 eggs/kg of body weight, depending upon their condition and health, the eggs themselves are a translucent yellow and are the largest eggs of the coarse fish in Britain. Apparently the roe of Barbel is poisonous to humans. As they develop into adults, the sexes reach sexual maturity at different times, with males first able to spawn at between 2-5 years and females at 5-8 years of age. Barbel are believed to live for up to 15 years.

I’ve said before I don’t fish for Barbel that often, I prefer to fish in the autumn and winter months when they are at their heaviest and hungriest. Times of flood when the water is coloured is another window of opportunity to catch these fantastic powerful fish, because it is about the only fish that bites in those conditions. They can venture out in to the murky waters without standing out like a sore thumb.


I was hoping they had now returned and were up for feeding, or would they spoil the party? !!!!

Anyway back to the session, where I’d hope to register some scores on the door for the Bloggers Challenge. A Krill wafter on one rod, a pungent meat boilie on the other, both with PVA bags of mixed pellets, an hour before dusk, wait for a proper bait. There are gluttonous chub here as well, meat can be snatched or dislodged from the hook and there is no time to check of the bait is still on,  a firmer boilie is more resistant to their persistence. ignore the pulls, plucks and knocks you will know exactly when a Barbel takes the bait.

Best laid plans and all that, the first part went very well indeed, with Chub in quite a few swims coming up to take the bread off the surface. One swim I could see a Barbel as well, certainly over 7lb by the look of it. Slow sinking bread took the biggest chub and when you're fishing water, not much more than a foot deep in pacey water, it gave a cracking account for itself. Maybe rolling meat might have tempted the Barbel but it looked very cagey indeed.


Three swims produced fish though, and I managed 5 Chub, the smallest around 3lb. Away from the pacey shallow swims though, the water looked dead. The water had dropped considerably so I didn't expect much action the last hour headed in to dusk.

The chub were still active though and there were quite a few chub rattles pulls here and there but no Barbel decided to bite. With rain not forecast I'm tempted to don the waders and fish not only floating bread, but maybe some rolling meat as I'm sure put a lump in the front of a Barbel it would take it.  

Wednesday, 10 July 2019

Warwickshire Avon - Splenitives and Splodgenations

Rudd again were the target for this evening’s session headed in to dusk. On my terms though this time, I had the prise the rod away from little Sam’s clutches the last visit, not only that but I couldn’t get a word in edge-ways, not exactly relaxing let’s put it that way. Nic and Anastasia would be swim side as well for this session.

So slightly different tactics as well, this time some a few No 8’s to help the maggots down a little faster through the water column and I’d also have a sleeper out with a small maggot feeder and short hooklink, where I’d alternative between breadflake, corn and maggots.


Now the Rudd’s bottom jaw protrudes past the top, giving away the fact that it prefers to feed from above, be that on the water’s surface, or on food as it falls through the water. Its pelvic and anal fins are usually bright red but can be dull orange if living in coloured water, whilst the pectoral, dorsal and tail fins are sort of a muddy-red colour.

To the untrained eye Rudd are often mistaken for roach, the easiest way to distinguish between the two is to look out for the brilliant colouring of the Rudd’s fins and its bottom jaw which is set forward, unlike the roach which has its upper jaw set forward. I cannot see how you would misidentify them myself, maybe when they are really small but yet to a couple ounces and above, they are wildly different to me.


However because Bream, Roach and Rudd all spawn at roughly the same point in the year, hybrids between the species are not impossible and are in fact quite common. The Rudd-Roach hybrid causes the most confusion amongst anglers, as the two species are already quite tricky for some to distinguish between.

A Rudd-Roach hybrid will often look mostly like a true Rudd or Roach, but will have some confounding features, such as an extended bottom jaw, when everything else about the fish suggests it to be Roach, or vice versa. To be fair a couple of fish I caught the weekend appeared to show characteristics of these strange specimens! And could well have been hybrids.

Now I didn’t manage anything half decent last time, even a jack pike would have think twice over the mere toothpick, but there are much better fish here hence my return. You’ve got to fish for what is likely to be biting in these conditions and Rudd particularly in the summer months is a worthy quarry.


What else to target ? well chub off the top, eels, or trotting for whatever comes along, just maybe not wade in to the bleakakke (™ Russ Hilton ) seemingly going on at the minute, wrong in so many levels and target them specifically there will be casualties.

The river is full of them at the minute, for the Pike, Perch and Zander It’s like a conveyor of Haribo Tangtastics put in front of a kid in need of a sweet fix, after a while the gluttony wears off even Jack, Billy and Zedlet would be looking for the stop button.

After a swim was raked the bite were forthcoming with Nic managing a bite a chuck for the fits hour or so. Now I was fishing away from the raked swim but was fishing above the weed which is quite thick here, however I was still catching fish, bleak, small roach and my target the Rudd. Those fish were in the 1 to 2 oz range when out of the blue a much bigger Rudd turned up. Ok not big in the scheme of things but I rarely catch Rudd on the Warwickshire Avon.


All 6.2 Ounces of it. A lovely fish though, nice proportions and fat. After hooking a duck which took my maggots on the drop a couple of foot down, the bites dried up, not helped by a boat that churned the bottom up to be fair.  Anastasia was back catching the perch though and I lost count of the fish she caught by the end of the session.

As the light went I started to pack up as the bites were hard to come by but after a small bream out of the blue Nic's float buried under and a half decent fish was on. It was giving a good fight for his size and "A hybrid I reckon" said Nic. He was right, a roach bream hybrid, all 1.6oz's of it and a good scores on the board for the bloggers challenge. 

The sleeper rod remained untouched but there is too much weed here to fish it effectively. I will be back, this time for a dawn session and will fish and bait it a bit differently. I'm sure there are more surprises to be had.
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