Sunday, 18 August 2019

Warwickshire Avon - Jerry Sneaks and Jockums

Some extra water on, the colour from clear to at least a tinge, and with some maggots to use up, the session was decided. Down to an area where baitfish are in abundance predators not far away. Now I'd foul hooked a Zander here last trip, a huge piece of breadflake meant for Chub pulled out of the bread and managed to catch itself on the tail of a schoolie. I'd been told about Zander here despite not catching them myself so after todays session I put that to bed.

There is Zander here !!!!

Now Sam was with me for this session, a livebait aerator to keep some livebaits fresh, mainly bleak but the old small dace. A bite a chuck in one particular swim where fish after fish where caught. Those retained would be released at the end of the session to see out another day.

There was only one swim we could fish a livebait properly and after a couple more we tried we stuck it out in a swim close to the bank with hardly any flow just off the crease of the river around 3 to 4 foot deep.

Ten minutes in to the session the pike bobber sailed under and Sam lifted in a fish. It was giving him some stick as well. At first I thought it was a massive Perch and he could feel the head shaking but then when I got the landing net ready the bait pulled out of the fishes mouth. The flanks all to see, a Zander.

Damn, a shame that as would have been his first on the river, like his Dad he's caught plenty from the canal, but it give his arm a work out and "felt like the biggest fish I'd ever hooked"

The Perch were giving us some action as well, all on livebaits but sadly nothing that would trouble the drag on the reel. The best Perch swim here not accessible, waterlogged and also the stinging nettles to thick for access. Decent sport though and Sam enjoyed the session as he'd never caught livebait caught fish before. It is still quite amazing just how big a live bait, a small perch can devour without much trouble.

Another decent fish on that again dropped the bait when it was heading towards the net we stuck it out for another half an hour, and eventually managed to catch the Zander that was hanging around the swim. I was on rod duties this time but handed Sam the rod once I'd set the hook. 4lb 2oz on the scales a long but very lean fish. A scar in his flanks showing that he had been in the wars and barely hooked in the top of the mouth, on a small size 6 hook as well.

An enjoyable session so I think we'll try another area using the same tactics. I like to mix my fishing up and for once Sam's attention span didn't waver. But then who doesn't like to see a bobbing float sail under ?

Friday, 16 August 2019

Warwickshire Avon - Cobalt and Corinthians

To hedge ones bets for this session I decided to venture to sluggish waters to target a couple or three species. Now above this stretch the waters are deep. 22 foot was the deepest I could find, the average >12. Where I was fishing it starts to shallow but it still has a good depth. Now I spotted a carp here last time and thought I'd hooked it at first when something hovered up the bread first chuck. That in-fact it turned out to be a Chub that took the bread off the surface. What I hadn't fished for down here in anger though was predators, tell a lie I did catch a decent Pike on a lure a stones throwaway.

Zander though above and below it for sure, so triple dipping !!!!

On the main I'd fish a boilie bait over a bed of pellets and have a roach deadbait out, but I'd also feed bread to float on the surface to see if any Carp, or Chub for that matter fancied a bit off the top. Again a short session in to dusk, the rods made up the night before, all ready to go. With a busy life like many of us, anything to maximize bait in the water is worthwhile doing.

Now you may have noticed ones posts have become a little shorter over the last couple of months that is because a forced change of work meant it's been manic of late. I picked up short term work in my 2 weeks paid notice period 24 hours after been given the boot. The inevitable writing on the water coming to fruition rather abruptly, my blogging time sadly reduced.

That short term work of initially 3 to 4 weeks turned in to 8 weeks and now having moved on again I'm working on a BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle) project which I'm really rather enjoying. I cannot say I've enjoyed getting work for a while so this is refreshing for once, proper engineering not some flowery makeyupstuff my last long termer turned in to.

I get to work on a vehicle that is using this new technology that the automotive industry largely has been forced in to developing to help stop the global warming and clean up the air that will eventually effect us all wherever we live. It certainly isn't an evolution of the milk float, a simple architecture it ain't, lots to learn, my brain enjoying the neuron nudging. 

So these Lithium-ion batteries that power these cars have long been used to power smartphones, laptops and other gadgets. Scaled-up versions are now being developed for electric vehicles. These batteries should last for at least 10 years, or 150,000 miles, until they need to be replaced.

However, the road to a promised land of zero-emission vehicles (yes ignore the fact you have to build it and using lots of energy) is littered with speed bumps and red lights that threaten to seriously slow the progress of the electric car. Battery makers are struggling to secure supplies of key ingredients in these large power packs mainly cobalt and lithium. The hopes of both battery and vehicle manufacturers hang on the mining sector finding more deposits of these precious minerals.

So a good tip for investing those precious pennies, take note of those digging the biggest holes, they might have found the next batch of cobalt. So diversify your portfolio I say and try and invest in the first manufacturer to offer a discontinued garlic spam alternative, on to a winner I'd say.

I suppose this BEV world saver is little naive really considering the exponential population growth, maybe a good nuclear bomb or two might put help gets things back to the Utopia those preaching minority with heads in sand and placards to hold seem to think can be achieved. I'm on the opinion the climate change is cyclical, after all they did find olive trees by Hadrian's wall and a few hundred years ago an elephant walked on the Thames when it was thick with ice.

Anyway enough of the rambling !!!

Now talking about proper engineering I wonder why there hasn't been any advances in fishing equipment over the years.

Same old, same old isn't it...

However the Deeper Sonar about the only thing recently I'd bought that seemed innovative, a castable fish finder with built in GPS I ask you. To be fair the novelty wore off within weeks but don't we all love a gadget for our pastime.

Now I could see an improvement though and the inevitable happened as I noticed a YouTube video for TFG's Fishspy Echo Pro which features a built in camera so not only does it act as a sonar device but in addition it offers the option to stream live video to see what lurks beneath, and also allows you to take a snapshot if you want to capture the scene.

What exactly is that feature that is showing up ? what are those shoals of fish ? what type of bed will I be fishing over ? Will I be upgrading probably not, but technology shouldn't be discounted in our pastime, it should be embraced I say.

Talking of embraced, the trophy shots have been missing of late, ones clutches around the belly of a Chub, supporting a big Barbel or holding out anything remotely worthy of note have been sadly lacking. There will always be baron patches especially

Could this change of direction come to anything I wonder or will the mediocrity continue ?

To be honest an hour in without even a sign of a fish I did think about going home especially as I manged to tangle my deadbait set-up to such an extent I had to start from scratch and set-up again. Bread wasn't taken off the top, 2 baited areas ignored, one area I could see the bottom, no fish visited. So I decided to up sticks and visit an area closer to the car that I have caught Zander before. Sure enough ten minutes before dusk the float starts to bob and sails under, I strike in to thin air, hmmm.

Bait back out 5 minutes later, another bite. Again a confident bite and I strike in to something solid. I though it was an eel at first the way it was fighting but then it tore off to my left and I knew it was likely to be a Zander. Sure enough when the fish surface a welcome sight and some blogger challenge points. The hook was barely in the top of its mouth, I was surprised I manage to land it. Not a huge fish at 5lb 8oz, but you know how much I like catching Zander.

Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Warwickshire Avon - Keffels and Kettledrums

A weekend of excesses to celebrate the Wife's birthday I was back bankside. The lamb dish was the highlight, done three-ways, even the sweetbreads had a texture to die for. The creamy potatoes and copious amount of wine were just part of the overindulgence, fishing took a back seat and rightly slow.

A notable drop in temperature overnight and with the water falling after rising after a good dumping of rain, I'm sure the bigger fish will be thinking about feeding. The gear was already sorted so this short session session in to dusk would be to try and winkle out a Barbel. Now they have been rather elusive of late, an Otter put a kibosh on things the time before last and also despite being in the swim I was fishing, they were cagey to say the least.

With a little more water on though they can let their guard down, well that's what I was hoping. A tinge of colour giving more confidence for a Barbus to venture out from where it's holding up to hoover up the delicacy I'd got for it.

On the hair for this session some garlic meat attached to a longish hair. Now this particular brand has an inedible casing that resists all but the most persistent Chub. Even eels can give it a good going over and yet some of the meat will still be attached to the rather unattractive orange skin. When you fish short session like it do, getting one up on the fish can make or break sessions.

This meat you can leave out and ignore the plucks, tugs and pulls and you basically wait for a proper bite only a Barbel can give.

Now when I got bankside the rivers wasn't as expected, certainly not as high as expected and only a tinge of colour. Before settling in to a swim I decided to fish a few swims to try and get a quick bite.The first swim was chock full of streamer weed but there is a nice gully in between the, now  I've had plenty of Barbel here in-fact it's one of my banker swims but after a couple of firm bites from chub and getting caught in the weed on the retrieve, I decided to move on, I wouldn't want to lose a fish here. October is the time when it's died back a bit.

So on to the next two swims, both biteless I moved to the weir. After ten minutes with the bait being out a proper bite on the rod top and a fish was on. At first I thought it was a small Chub, but it was a greedy Jack that decided it would like the lump of meat, great !!!!

So the last swim in to dusk, a swim I spotted a few Barbel, one easily a double the bait went out. As the light was starting to go I watched a couple of small mice feeding on the hemp that was left on the platform from another angler. That was the highlight because despite me thinking when the bats were out a bite would be forthcoming, sadly it wasn't.

Hmmm, back to the drawing board, I'm planning to give the Barbel a rest now, maybe a river carp would be better to target at this time of year. Lets see. At least it was nice to be out, and that can work wonders for ones mind.

Friday, 9 August 2019

Warwickshire Avon - Dragletails and Doxies

A short session this, a pot of maggots to try and catch some Gudgeon and I'll fish in to dusk to try and catch a Barbel. A slightly different approach this time, feed would be via a PVA bag and pellets and bait on the hair would be a krill wafter. Its amazing that swims that hold gudgeon hold them year after year and this 2 hour session was no exception.

You have to appreciate their character, unlike any other fish that swims in out waters I'd say.

I love fishing maggot this time of year, species in miniature are also caught and bites are ridiculous even before hitting the bottom in some cases. Now these gonks reside in and around an overhanging tree and cast as tight as you can and usually a confident pull of the tip the target species is the culprit.

Dace, tiny chub and perch succumbed to the pungency  wriggly grubs.

I increased my bloggers challenge weight to nearly 1 ounze (0.97) and must have caught about 8 to 10. You can tell from the fight through the wand rod what it will be as well. Imagine them the size of a Barbel, they would be very good fighters indeed.

Sam would be horrified if I used one as a live bait, "Dad these Gonk'ies are precious"

After the tractors and harvesters had finished with their noisy duties it was out with the Barbel rod to fish in to dusk.

This swim was home to my once PB of 11lb and 11 ounces. That came at the first day of the river season, I don't fish for Barbel that often but that PB stood for a number of years before I bettered it with my current PB of 12lb 14oz.

They have been elusive of late though despite seeing them going about their business. To be fair it's not the best time to catch Barbel, Autumn and beyond should offer better probability. 

So headed in to dusk the cloud cover darkening the swim before the sun set even the bats were out early.

A confident pull as soon as the bait went out was encouraging but that didn't develop in to anything. The rod top motionless apart from the odd time a bat came in to contact with the line.That's quite a few session now without a bite from a Barbus, hmmmmm.

Thursday, 8 August 2019

Warwickshire Avon - Carnivores and Campanologists

Some solitude to be sought, I know the place. The plan to use up some hemp and caster, leave a bed of bait for a Barbel to find and then whilst the swim was doing its thing get on the rove with bread to find a chub or two.

However a spanner in the works, the local bell ringers only a stones throw away were determined to scupper my plans. Some haphazard playing enough to seemingly bring back my tinnitus.

About 5 or 6 big bait droppers in a swim I've caught Barbel before, a swim with everything in it. So much character and has some nice cover for a Barbel to lay up before venturing out when the light goes after the sun goes down.

Once the bait was down it was time to rove for a Chub.

Before that though the rod was set-up ready to go. The hooklink where the bait dropper was attached swapped with one with 3 fake casters. When I've fished like this before you want to keep the bait in the water as long as possible when you eventually cast out and anything that will help to discourage a small dace determined to kibosh the short evening session.

You know the bait is still there, so when a proper bite comes, you know what it will be from, a Barbel, well that or a Chub.

Now talking of Chub, when the swim was resting I tried a few swims to try and bag a Chub. It came from a slightly deeper swim where once cast in the bread starts on the surface and after a while, once it''s damp it will slowly sink.

The bite unmistakably a Chub, not a bad one either with a lovely dark back they have at this time of the year after sunning themselves.

So forty-five minutes before dusk the fake bait goes out and lucky the annoying bells stop. Some knocks and pulls there are fish in the swim. A hovering kingfisher holding station, you don't that, couch bound. As the light started to go as the bats came out I heat a rustling to my right, then something drops in to the water.

Then a sniffing snorting sound, and whatever it is, is heading in my direction. I get my phone torch out and shine it towards to the nose. Yeap, as I expected an Otter. A big'un as well. He sees me then disappears under the surface.

Damn, I know what the outcome be with time to go a clock watch away. A few minutes later it has surfaced again to be left this time, so me being there hasn't put it off.

He is determined to stay.

15 minutes later I'm packed up biteless with ones tail between ones legs. Luckily though two patrolling barn owls escort me back to my car. Another Barbel session ended with a blank. Fingers crossed for next time. A new stretch I think this time, I couldn't do any worse can I. Heck I might squeeze in a few Gonks whilst I conduct a session in similar fashion.

Sunday, 4 August 2019

Warwickshire Avon - Upturns and Understrappers

The fishing might have been poor this morning, but the rake worked well and to be honest kept Sam entertained during this mornings session. Fish can switch on and off quickly and with the colour now dropped out of the river again the conditions are not easy.

Nic and Anastasia were already fishing when we got there and were catching fish. Perch and Rudd the main stay here and they were were getting bites. Worms close to the edge doing the business when the silver fish switched off. 

We caught some fish though, not huge, small dace and Rudd in the end which were talking caster on the drop. Sweetcorn was ignored oddly however on the retrieve Sam foul hooked a bream that went off on a run. He got it under control but the first roll of the fish it took the hook out with it.

A bend in the rod though which for Sam can make or break a session. I'm sure we will be back when the conditions are more conducive for a bite. 

When Nic and Anastasia left us to it after bites dried up for them in the end we tried a couple more spots with similar results. I'm sure an evening would have been better but with a busy day ahead that wasn't possible. Nice to be out though even though results were mediocre but a humid day ahead.

It's the Wife's birthday next week so with a few things planned to celebrate although weather dependant I will hopefully try and squeeze two evening sessions in. One for carp and one for Barbel, fingers crossed for a bite, I could do with a bend in the carbon at the minute otherwise I might lose interest in rivers and pop to the canal for Zander.

Saturday, 3 August 2019

Warwickshire Avon - Hemp and Harridans

If you’ve ever fantasised about finding the elusive pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, you’re about to be sorely disappointed. Because finding the true end of a rainbow is about as unlikely as stumbling across an unclaimed cauldron of gold doubloons. There was a lovely I watched develop in the left picture.

Now Rainbows are formed when water droplets in the atmosphere refract, or bend, sunlight in just the right circumstances. But you, as the observer, have to catch them just from the right angle and point of view as well in order to see them.

Most people don’t realise that whenever you see a rainbow, the sun is directly behind you — and the rain in front.

Not only do the weather conditions have to be correct where you’re standing, you also have to be standing at exactly the right angle (42 degrees) relative to the sun’s rays.

It’s that very specific angle you have to be at to observe the phenomena that also explains why all the rainbow chasing in the world won’t get you to the pot of gold. Consider this, if you see a friend standing directly underneath a rainbow and try to approach them, the closer you get, the father away the rainbow will appear. In fact, from her position, your friend will see an entirely separate rainbow in the distance but still at 42 degrees.

That means that no matter how hard you try, you can never get close enough to a rainbow to see its “end.” But don’t despair: Depending on how you look at it, it could also mean that there are an infinite number in the sky when the conditions are just right. You could be standing at the end of a rainbow right now!

I've got to fill this post with something as a quick session in to dusk with a lump of garlic spam placed accurately in a 'bomb hole' I discovered, produced a small chub again but sadly no barbel.

They are proving very elusive indeed at the minute so maybe it could be out with a different approach altogether which can work when other methods fail. 

Feed heavily with hemp and caster and fish some fasters over the top. I know an ideal swim as well, fingers crossed for a bite because I've forgotten what a Barbel tugging ones line feels like.

Friday, 2 August 2019

Warwickshire Avon - Sly Boots and Smears Gelts

The sucker fish in need of rescuing, the fish tank overhaul and refreshing caught him off guard, the plane decorations not a place for a fish this size. He was stuck in the tail !!! after a couple of days without budging and not being his usual bossy self it was time for action.

The psychedelic tank drained a little to allow plane extraction, to relieve the fish out of the predicament he was in. The problem was he didn't like to be forcefully removed and his suction so strong I was worried I'd do him some damage.The power for such a small fish incredible.

I had to break off a piece of wing to allow better access however sadly it called for the end of a teaspoon and a tug on its tail end. Eventually he was out from his situation ready to be returned to the tank again. Some superglue for repair and a plasticine plug to close the bottleneck hopefully he won't get in to that situation again.

With the river up with some colour I fancied trying for a Zander. When the water is like this they are top dog, their eyesight allowing superior and unmatched hunting ability where other species of fish cannot be bothered. A barbel for sure might be up for feeding and the greedy fry but nothing much else.

So a couple of hours in to dusk, a ledger sleeper and a float set-up both with roach deads. A nice warm evening with a little rain in the afternoon I was hopeful for a bite. A bite came quick as well, on the float rod, the initial couple of bobs the float sailed under and a fish was on. I could tell what it was straight away, yeap a greedy Jack just under 3lb that at leas registered a couple of points for the challenge board.

A dropped run on the ledger and tell tale Zander puncture marks I thought I was up for a decent session but sadly it wasn't. You see Eels, and lots of them, in-fact after one dropped off that looked a decent size I did think about scaling down because they didn't leave the bait alone. The problem was not only didn't I have the right size hooks with me, my landing net was inadequate for the task in hand.

A strange old session, an enjoyable evening mind you, the sunset was lovely again.

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