Friday 24 January 2020

Warwickshire Avon - Manipogo's and Mamlambo's

You'd have thought a drama that featured actors Robert Carlyle and Richard Dormer he of bat s*it crazy Fortitude fame would be half decent wouldn't you, but a couple of episodes in to the drama COBRA for some reason I'm looking at the pen next to me and wondering whether it might be more fun jamming it ones eye.

The synopsis for those that want a painful watch, it's a look at the British government in the midst of a terrible crisis. As widespread power outages from some weird electrical storm causes chaos and threaten lives across the country, the COBRA committee comprised of the UK's leading experts and politicians, gathers to find a way to turn the lights back on.

Such is the overwhelming desire not to offend anyone it backfires big time and fails miserably in appealing to those that are likely to watch it. However when full on anarchy breaks out when water and food is scarce because the local Tesco isn't open I removed ones backside from the sofa and decided to pack my car for a short session down at the Warwickshire Avon.

A whirlpool no more, the once turbulent body of water back to a nice fishable level where I was hoping there was some predators in residence. One issue though, yeah it's a snaggy here, so much so, I lost count of the tackle that I've lost fishing a bait static on the bottom. There is a reason why I come back here though, because Pike Tyson at one time lived here.

I hooked it once and couldn't believe how under-gunned I felt fighting a fish. It gave me a proper doing over initially, then went in with a few kidney punches and a  full on uppercut. Then if that wasn't enough, it finished me off by pulling ones jumper over my head to cover my eyes so I couldn't get to see whatever it was that gave me the two fingers, the multi fins.

I bought a dedicated Pike set-up in the end because I assumed that what is what, well it couldn't have been anything else no could it ?

A catfish maybe ? none have been caught on the Warwickshire Avon I know of anyway, the River Severn, for sure yes. But then a chance conversation a couple of three years ago a fellow like-minded angler told me that the area had some decent Zander in residence. He'd fished it over the years and come dusk he had some nice fish up to double figures from one particular....

....'points over there -------->'

"Oh really !!!!"

I poo pooed it at first because I'd never caught a Zander in the area and I'd used countless deadbaits on sessions and also lure fished it a few times, but then after foul hooking one whilst fishing for Chub, Sam and I fished a session and actually landed one. A reasonable stamp as well, 6lb if I recall and put straight to bed the suggestion that there were Zander here, because, well, we'd caught one.

Zander can be funny buggers though so maybe Pike Tyson wasn't a Pike after all but maybe a HUGE slugger of  a Zander that had a short feeding spell such its gargantuan frame. So yes for this quick afterwork session in to dusk a couple of deadbaits went out to try and tempt whatever was lurking in these usual turbulent waters now a gentle sit back and relax with a bottle of matey matey.

Now I'd caught a Chub on deadbait from this swim and also Perch, so one rod would be baited with smelt my default Pike and Zander bait, and the a roach which is more appealing to the aforementioned.

With these quick smash and grab sessions of mine I was hoping at least something was biting, something wanted a nibble, in the hour and a half the baits were out whilst the daylight started to disappear. It's all I can manage these days, but then I do get out fishing to be fair, needs must for ones own sanity, I'd not sure what I'd be like without it.

A nice tinge of green when I got the river, the colour dropping out of it fast, bread a chub day by the looks of it. The river was till up though and when I got to the swim it was flowing more than I'd have liked. The mist was descending an eerie silence about the place especially as dusk despite being an hour away looked like it had already hit.

The swim sort of changed in appearance when I was here last time so it was only when I cast the bait out I realised I was casting over some sunken reeds. Here in the summer there protrude out the water a good metre or so but when they die down they barely poke through the surface. I thought the 'donk' wasn't quite as expected.

Sadly one of the rods was stuck fast and no amount of budging was going to shift it, so I had to hold the bailarm tightly and walk backwards to free it. Luckily all but the hooklink came back so I quickly set-up a new trace and got the bait out again.

Nothing much happened for nearly an hour when I was contemplating packing up but then out of nowhere something snatched at the smelt causing the bobbin to rise, the alarm to beep in a quick burst of interest. Got to be a Chub I thought and usually after the first tug they don't tend to return. But then some more interest just after I packed one of the rods away.

A tentative rise of the bobbin turned in to a rise of a good few inches so I lifted the rod and felt the line tightening through my fingers. A sense of disappointment when I felt the fish because I knew it wasn't a Zander straight away. A chub I'm sure because it was trying to get under my feet in to a snag I assume but then it did an about turn was headed towards the middle of the slack. It was fighting a little better too but then with the headtorch on I could see it was a pike.

After a spirited fight to be fair it was in the net. No point weighing it, but it looked around 5lb or so at a push. Quite a nice belly on it though, obviously on the feed. Not what I expected to catch in the dark, but still, it was a bend in the rod. Two sessions planned over the weekend, a carpet bombing approach that I'm sure will come good soon enough.


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