Saturday 6 July 2019

Warwickshire Avon - Spice Islands and Spindle Shanks

250grams of decent lean beef mince, chopped red onion, half a teaspoon of coriander powder, half of ground cumin and lots and lots of salt and pepper makes the burger you see in the picture. I don't like to mess around when I comes to barbecuing, bigger the better.

Huge lumps of pork shoulder slow cooked on the Webber kettle being one of my favorites, no real finesse just meat, meat and more meat. In complete contrast though, for this session I had to go a bit more reserved, because Rudd were the target for this morning’s short session, you see an area I’d been told about by Nic (Avon Angling UK) was well known to him.

With the third series of Stranger Things on the TV,  I assembled it to pay hommage to the 'upside down'. Stuffed in the grilled bun, the thick hommade burger, large flat mushroom with baked egg within it, cheese slices, sliced tomato, red onion, some green leafy stuff and a mayo and sriracha chili sauce, the only thing missing was the bacon. I'll remember that for next time, a burger should be done properly or not at all, chicken and chorizo filled in the gaps.

Rudd and Roach shoals can be found in numbers here apparently, hence Sam in tow. If there are bites to be had, Sam is up for it, especially if it’s for a new species.

Now I caught Rudd from the Warwickshire Avon before, often providing sport during the summer months when nothing else seems to be biting and also on the Stour where again they are there in numbers. I wanted to see the lay of the land before maybe returning on my own to fish for them properly.

Some mad vibrant ones, almost ornamental
Rudd are most commonly associated with still waters, particularly those that are profusely overgrown with aquatic vegetation, although they do occur in slow-moving lowland rivers and sluggish backwaters.

They are well suited to life in nutrient-rich shallow farm ponds and pools where they will often form vast shoals that hugely overpopulate the pond.

In such situations they strip the naturally occurring invertebrates from the environment and consequently become stunted. Farm ponds are usually full of them, and get them feeding you can catch several hundred Rudd in a day, seemingly everlastingly hungry.

They are in the river to be caught though, come a warm evening those topping fish trying to infiltrate insects on the surface are usually small Rudd. Their mouths shaped to take food off the surface in relative ease. Here the tangleator could cast without hindrance, without appearing to try and cast in to every tree possible. To be fair he is getting better for sure, in-fact he can almost fish independently now which makes more of an enjoyable session.

So simple tactics for this potential point registering sortie, a loaded clear waggler between some grippa stops, a size 16 tied directly to the line and that’s it. I’d ping the maggots out and hopefully the slow sinking bait would be picked up by one of the Rudd shoal, if we’d manage to locate them that is. I’d also had a couple of slices of white bread if they would prefer a surface bait, they are surface feeders after all.

So me, being me, I’d also have a sleeper rod out for a bream that also frequent this relatively pedestrian area. So with a rod already made up I’d employ the same tactics I used when I fished for them recently. A small method feeder filled with small pellets, fishmeal and krill groundbait and a pellet on the hook.

Nic and Anastacia would join us as well and Sam could "meet a real life YouTube'r"

With the limited time I have to go fishing, planning is always at the forefront in almost all of my sessions, I need to get on and get dangling, no messing around once bankside, I need to keep the bait in the water as long as possible. That’s easier said than done with Sam as like his mother, he is a bit of a sleep monster,

“Hey Sam lets go fishing !!!!!”

“Can I have another ten minutes please” eyes close, back to snoring.”

I’d prefer to fish as the sun was going down but sadly a busy weekend put pay to that, if this morning was a struggle I’d give an evening a go instead if I got a chance. In-fact another stretch altogether there were topping shoal fish as the sun was setting, so there appear to be in pockets up and down the river. Maybe a roving approach might be the better way to winkle out something bigger than I expected to catch during this trip out.

Anyway back to the task in hand, for the first hour bites were forthcoming, with some Rudd, Dace, Roach and Bleak caught. The biggest Rudd only 1.4oz's but Sams first which he was excited about especially as some of them have the most vibrant colours. But the bites dried up for some reason so we had to get on the move. Nic was also struggling but when nothing much was doing Sam wanted to go to the stream we know about to try and catch bullhead.

So we left Nic and he updated me on his progress, he'd managed some bigger fish, 6 or 7 ounces in the end I think, again he had to move around to try and get bites. The stream provided the biggest trout Sam had ever caught, it took two maggots in one foot of water less than a metre wide. It shot off like a rocket as well, I've not seen a float so move so fast, he was smitten !!!!


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