Piscatorial Quagswagging

...the diary of a specialist angler in around the Warwickshire Avon and its tributaries.

Friday 23 October 2020

Warwickshire Avon - Decrudescence and D’épouvantes

I don't watch a huge amount of tv, but when I do, it better not disappoint, so why is it then after investing some much wine time in the 'The Haunting of Bly Manor' four episodes down and not far off half way through we both cannot wait for it to end.

It really was a mixed bag, mainly bad, heck even the acting wasn't anything to write home about, no stand out performances, all very mediocre indeed.

It promised so much and delivered very little, a little like many of my fishing sessions for Barbel down at the Warwickshire Avon.

Still there was light at the end of the tunnel, you see after confining that American 'horror' to the 'don't bother list', we are now well in to Netflix's French horror Marianne where a famous writer is lured back to her hometown discovers that the evil spirit who plagues her dreams is now wreaking havoc in the real world.

Heck even the dubbing is good, but the visuals, soundtrack and all things that go bump in he night is amplified up a notch or twenty from the rather limp-wristed and matchstick eyelid affair Bly Manor was. 

Give it ago, proving you're not one to suffer nightmares if you watch such a thing. Not gory as such but well, just well produced, the soundtrack particularly. 

Now talking of nightmares, imagine losing your PB Barbel at the landing net, well that happened to me a while ago now not long after registering a 12lb 14oz specimen in the net.  To be fair it's something I've kept under my hat till now but since the loss I've tried and tried and failed to get anywhere near it again.

A 14lber for sure, heck maybe even more....

The thing is Barbel are not up there on my most loved list as there are other species I prefer to catch mainly I suppose because the smaller rivers I fish in this area don't really contain them. To be fair I fished the Arrow for a year or two and managed a few, however nothing of note really.

Before I will give the syndicate section a go properly having already caught a cracker there at the start of the season, this short session was all about convenience and trying to get a bend in the rod. 

Over the years this club section has been pretty good to me and it's about the only area I know and actually fish that have had fish in numbers.

They are well fed you see, and unless it's in flood or for some reason coloured ,generally most weekends sees the seat box frequenters and inevitable bait chuckers topping up the gravel bed that is along much of this stretch. 

Now the head of the Barbel is pointed and its eyes which are rather small are set high on the sides of the head, with its under slung mouth with thick lips and two short barbules on the top lip and two longer barbules at the corner of its mouth have taste and touch cells and help the fish to locate food on the riverbed.

Fishing up to dusk and a nadger beyond for me gives the best chance of banking a fish and two to three hour session are the norm for Barbel. Sat behind motionless rods is not for me, I like quick sharpish, try and catch a fish and then make tracks.

So groundhog day for this session a bait dropper of pellets and hemp an hour before dusk and I'll sit a boilie bait over the top to try and get the Barbel to home in on the Smörgåsbord before the drawbridge shut on the stretch closing time. The problem is there seems to be less Barbel on this stretch from when I first started so the biggest hurdle is having the fish in-front of you.

Still you cannot catch one without a bait in the water, so better get cracking hadn't I....

Another angler present, Tim from Bristol way a long sufferer and reader of this blog who I've met on the bank before. After a nice natter all things fishing and some pictures he shared pf some huge and mint Warwickshire Avon Barbel he set-up downstream and I was a few swims away, albeit probably just about shout-able.

Now I know the Avon so well now, there really is not point in fishing during the day when the water is a clear as this. Take your time, no need to rush and set your stall out prior to dusk and fish an hour up to it and just past it if you can. 

I got some bait out with a dropper and then fished two swims for 15 minutes to try and but a bite but nothing materialised. I decided to give my old phones camera ago to see if it was up to anything.

All was very quite indeed as expected and after a visit from the bailiff and his dog who was also enjoying the evening, he'd been speaking to Tim who sadly lost a big fish that he could do nothing about, properly did him over good and proper which I've had a couple of times to be fair. Once from a Pike and once from a Barbel or maybe a river carp.

I was planning to pack up early but then as the sun was setting the first proper bite came which at first I thought it was a Barbel because of the barbel'esk bite, but no it was a small'ish Chub. Unhooked and the same bait went out and again a proper unmissable bite and another Chub is on. 

Hmmmmmmm, so after putting some more paste on the boilie, it goes out again and yeap, another ten minutes go by and again a proper bite and a Chub has hooked itself. This one though properly messed up the swim and as I could barely see my rod top, it was time for the off. No Barbel but a nice chilled session just what the doctor ordered.


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