Friday 3 July 2020

Warwickshire Avon - Pestilence and Parorexia

Now Plagues and epidemics have ravaged humanity throughout its existence, often changing the course of history. Throughout the course of history, disease outbreaks have ravaged humanity, sometimes changing the course of history and, at times, signalling the end of entire civilisations.

In the fourteenth century the Black Death travelled from Asia to Europe, leaving devastation in its wake.Some estimates suggest that it wiped out over half of Europe's population. It was caused by a strain of the bacterium Yersinia pestis that is likely extinct today and was spread by fleas on infected rodents. The bodies of victims were buried in mass graves.

The plague changed the course of Europe's history. With so many dead, labour became harder to find, bringing about better pay for workers and the end of Europe's system of serfdom. Studies suggest that surviving workers had better access to meat and higher-quality bread. The lack of cheap labour may also have contributed to technological innovation.

The Black Death's last major outbreak in Great Britain caused a mass exodus from London, led by King Charles II. The plague started in April 1665 and spread rapidly through the hot summer months. 

Fleas from plague-infected rodents were one of the main causes of transmission. By the time the plague ended, about 100,000 people, including 15% of the population of London, had died. 

But this was not the end of that city's suffering. On Sept. 2, 1666, the Great Fire of London started, lasting for four days and burning down a large portion of the city.Yellow fever, Cocoliztli epidemic, flu pandemic, polio, Spanish flu, Asian Flu, Aids, H1N1 Swine Flu, Ebloa, Zika Virus the list goes on.

COVID-19 will certainly be added to the list and the history books, because as I type this 10,847,016 have been infected by it (confirmed test) and 519,888 that have died testing positive for it.

The UK's 12 week lockdown not the half arsed one we have at the minute (I'm not complaining) has nicely brought down the infection rates down to under the R rating of one, which means if you're infected you could pass it on to one other. Still it means I can enjoy my first proper hand pulled pint from the local pub something must have gone to plan.

Life's simple pleasures never to be taken for granted ever again !!!!

So anyway back to the fishing a report from a fellow syndicate member another local club we both fish the banks were quiet which surprised me, it certainly made ones ears prick up as I was going to leave it till Autumn till I roved its banks.

Now before the match season kicks off here I wanted to try and winkle out a summer Barbel before the extra bait going in had any effect. It didn't help that not only was there a 12 lber from our syndicate but also Nic from Avon Angling UK managed a cracking fish on a stretch I'm no longer a member of.

It was out with the big guns !!!

You see dropping through the post this week from Specimen Fishing UK, was some Mad Baits Pandemic boilies and paste I've heard to much about. From the bumph it's krill based with two other high quality fishmeals, a pure high quality liver powder and a range of bird foods before adding a range of devastating spices that include fenugreek, garlic, chilli and paprika and a few other in-house secrets, to give this bait a serious kick that carp and Barbel simply love.

Take my word for it, boy do they smell, very pungent indeed and I could even smell it before opening the packaging. This would be a two rod attack though, I'd bait drop a carpet of hemp and small pellets when I got bankside and wait an hour before dusk before I'd get the rods out. One baited with a 15mm boilie and matching paste wrap, the other a small boilie which would be fished over the carpet of bait.

I do like it down this end of the stretch, much quieter and the wildlife can be spectacular it really can. There are two barn owls that turn up when the light starts to go so I was hoping they would turn up when I was there. Like much of my Barbel fishing unless the river is chocolate brown and well up I tend to fish these short sessions in to dusk. There is often a dinner bell here, well to be honest much of the Avon where nada, nothing during the day, and then when the lights fades wallah the rod hoops over and there is a barbel on.

Still since I joined this particular club thought the barbel numbers are certainly down, in-fact when I got banskside the only angler swim side who I had a chat with had the same concerns. He had a couple or three reasons why that could be and a little worrying was the use of longlines, one in-fact he discovered in the swim he was fishing, and a call to the secretary 5 more were discovered along the stretch just in that one day.

Over fished ? I don't think it is, apart from the match season the majority of the time the banks are quiet. There are >100 swims here too so plenty to go out. But as George Burton said "I guess nothing lasts forever". As I made my way to the chosen area just the short walk you can see why Barbel like(d) he here, It's shallow in the main, has some deeper areas and a gravely bottom and streamer weed, Barbus utopia. The angler was fishless btw. nothing doing for him.

What a lovely evening it was, relatively still and the strong winds that we have had recently just a whisper. After putting in some hemp and small pellets in a swim I'd fish in to dusk I went for a rove first with just a rod and landing net. With a boilie and paste wrap I dropped in to a couple of swims to try and nick a quick bite. After half an hour in each swim with only a couple of plucks I settled in for the last hour in to dusk and cast both rods out.

Within ten minutes the first violent indication there were fish in the swim, a foot pull on he tip. When eventually a proper bite developed I instantly knew what it was.

A gluttonous Chevin had hooked itself despite the long hair. This was on a small Dynamite Hot Fish boilie fished over the bed of bait. Still after trying to act out a Barbel initially because for it's size it gave a good account for itself but sadly nothing to worry the 1.75TC Harrison rod.

Still it was a lovely fish, I really do love summer chub, their backs showing the signs of the sun we've all being enjoying from time to time. As the sun started to set the moon was ridiculously bright and despite that the two barn owls came to greet me. Their silhouette unmistakably, you certainly would't as prey want one of those after you.

Within a few minutes of the bait being out again, another bite on the same rod, this time a smaller chub again after getting it's head down on the hemp and pellets snared itself on the sharp hook. Hmmm ok, not a blank, but not what I was after. The rules are strict here you've got to be off 30 minutes after official dusk, so once the countdown to dusk ended, it was fingers and toes crossed for a final bite.

The bats were out in force and the only action on the left hand rod was those hitting the line. As I was thinking about packing up, another powerful bite and another fish was on, another Chub Goddamn it.

Swim carnage, the session over. Nice to end up with 3 chub but not what I was after and certainly not the size I'd like to get in the way. Still a lovely evening and it's just nice sometimes watching the rod tips and the countryside especially when there is barely any wind. As I packed the stuff up the left hand rod had been stuck in a snag all that time.

Damn, my fault I suppose explains the lack of action though. It was properly stuck too, I lost all the end tackle because of it. I've forgotten just how nice it is down this section of the club water, so I'll have another go soon me thinks, make hay before the days get shorter.

Could I fish for Barbel exclusively, no chance.  If I had to, roving, dropping in swims and maybe rolling and twitching baits is more my thing.


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