Tuesday, 19 May 2020

The Close Season Zander Quest Pt.155 – Athymhormia and Abel-Wackets

A weekend butcher run to Alcester to get some pork shoulder, beef shin and some sausages meant we could have a walk along and actually in the river Arrow. The river was very low indeed but fish still around if like me as an angler knows where to look. Some of the holes were getting on for a metre deep and under ones polarised sunglasses there were some half decent chub milling around.

The water gin clear with a stony bottom !!!!

"Sam what is likely to live here"

"Bullheads Daddy !!!"


A couple of areas the kids, and me for that matter, took our shoes and socks off and went for a paddle. Initially the water was painfully cold, but after a few minutes perfectly fine for some shallow wading. 

Even constant fidget Ben who because of his condition never stops ALL day, but the sound of the water meant he put his 'worm' down, initially chucked some stones with Sam, but then, sat there with his toes in the water and just chilled for a good while, very nice to see, it doesn't happen very often.


According to scientific studies, being by the sea has a positive impact on mental health. Minerals in sea air reduce stress. Negative ions increase the flow of oxygen to the brain (they’re also present around waterfalls), which improves alertness and mental energy. 

Salt in the water preserves tryptamine, serotonin, and melatonin, which aid in diminishing depression, giving us a better night’s sleep, and boosting feelings of well-being.


My twin brother moved seaside to North Devon 7 or so years ago now from sunny Coventry and he has never looked back. The bombardment of pictures showing sunsets, sunrises and crashing waves a testament to that, that wouldn't happen back where we has was before unless he had a another burnt out car to to show me.

Ok he has some come back up the Midlands a couple of days a week to show his face in the office, but much of his work he is overlooking a wonderful seascape.


That's the thing there are some positives but also negatives, the work situation ain't the best and many locals are left wondering just how they will get that next pound for the electric meter. Still there appears a better sense of community despite the money situation, and they appear generally happier because of the location they live in.

Even the sound of water has positive effects on our mental health. Water sounds have long been used in meditation to create a soothing atmosphere for our minds. 


Science suggests that the rhythm of ocean waves and tides coming in and out can affect the rhythm of the neuronal “waves” in our brain, encouraging a more peaceful pace of thought.

Some scientists refer to the sounds of water as “white noise,” in which we can hear any number of things and we are able to let go of our thoughts and let the noise wash over us. 


In listening to these sounds during meditation, we learn how to be present in the moment and directly experience things as they are instead of getting lost in rumination.

One of the psychological effects we’re most aware of when we’re by the sea, lakes, or waterfalls is a feeling of awe. There’s just something about the beauty and vastness of a natural scene that has a profound impact on the way we feel. Science has even found that such feelings can lead to prosocial behaviour like altruism, loving kindness, and magnanimity.


Some studies have even found that awe leads to greater life satisfaction. It fosters a sense that time is plentiful, and people donate more of theirs to charity while valuing experiences over possessions.

Anyway enough of that back to the fishing..

For this evening in to dusk session I met up with Nic from Avon Angling UK, luckily this stretch is quite open and social distancing isn't an issue. The towpaths wide for anyone passing, moored boats, yeap hardly any of them.

I was double dipping for this session a sleeper rod out for carp in the margins, a simple bread bomb and and Nic was fishing for whatever came along.


Here you wouldn't think would hold fish, in-fact me as a Zander angler would have walked past it but Nic had stumbled upon an area that seemingly despite the appearances does indeed hold some fish, an in numbers too. A bite was required you see because I'd blanked the last two times out.

The concrete walls may have something to do with it, much needed warming of the cockles, who knows, but a dip of the hand in the water shows it's significantly warmer than other areas. It's not particularly deep here, in-fact even slap bang in the middle of the boat track it's only 2.5 to 3ft deep maximum.


Now if local carp anglers want a challenge rather than fishing a containment where some fish actually have names, here is a good place to target, the carp patrol the margins and sometimes in numbers too. They are not stupid though and need to be caught off-guard, but then I thought carp fisherman like that, the chase, rather than bosh, spod, get-in !!!, have it !!! gas stove lit up whilst a background of drum and bass. 

When boats are moving here seems quite an active mooring spot, it's quiet, open and some nice countryside views, you can see why it's well used. 


That means it attracts ducks, swans and the like, the boaters feeding off their boats quantities of bread to feed the masses.

The carp presumingly are here because of that....

Anyway back to the session, and what a weird session it was. A bite literally within seconds of having the deadbait out it was fits and starts throughout the 3 hour session. Still 7 or 8 fish banked, including a nice chunky perch on a dead roach, the Zander were definitely up for a feed that's for sure.


Coming up to dusk the most active period and may well define my future sessions for Zander anyway. There was a definite flick of the switch that's for sure. Ok the fish were not the biggest but they all gave a very spirited fight to be fair and good fun. The dark colouring evident in all because the lack of turbidity. 

Nic on the other hand wasn't fairing as well, in-fact a couple or three bites that was it, small hooks, small baits were not doing it despite fishing moving and topping throughout the session. 

The carp, well, as expect nothing doing, they don't give up easily.....

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