Sunday, 21 July 2019

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 !!!!


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