Thursday, 4 March 2021

Warwickshire Avon - Comperendinate and Comeuppances

One of my club cards won't be renewed for the upcoming 2021/2022 season, a club card I've had for a good while now. 

There has been highs and lows over the years I'd had it to be honest, its club waters were home to my first double figure Barbel also my first ever Bards country 5lb Chub after countless 4lbers from what became my favourite winter stretch, however this year it had been mostly lows, in-fact the lowest of the low. 

Those Warwickshire Avon stretches I used to love fishing gone off big-time which does go someway to confirm ones decision, you see the fishing has been mediocre with nothing of note caught this season and I was already questioning whether to keep hold of it . 

Then late last September one of my favourite sections of the Warwickshire Stour, in-fact the only one really I used to fish over the last few years because it was quiet for ones solitude seeking, deep in countryside and a proper wild stretch, has had been destroyed by the farmer.

Now he had been consulting with said club to improve the stretch to not only to help improve the match fishing (his words as I spoke to him whilst I was bankside), but also to "sort it out, as it had got a "little overgrown". 

This huge pile above the results of river bed dredging, just one of many along the half a mile stretch that meant this diminutive and characterful waterway ended up unrecognisable and changed beyond recognition. 

The straw that broke the camels back for me, it's not a club I wanted to be affiliated with. With an order to stop notice, the EA put a halt on the works for a throughout investigation, where once completed I assume he will get his comeuppance from the jungle drums I was hearing. 

The problem was the damage was already done, any recompense impossible because of the staggering destruction that actually took him two weeks to complete. 

How had it gone unnoticed for so long....?

Anyway back to the fishing for this session before the shredder was fired up and the card succumbed to the same fate as the thousands of swan mussels he dug out I decided to have one last visit.  There are Zander here on this stretch you see, there never used to be, but then a chance conversation with a fellow member he revealed he'd caught a couple out the weir up to a decent size.

The plan was have a short session in to dusk here before I confide it and ones mostly found memories in to the history books, I'd only regret it otherwise.  

Since then I've caught two here, nothing of note to be fair my biggest 5lb if I recall, but with the gear already in the car for a socially distance catch up with Nic from Avon Angling Uk the following evening, it would be rude not to have a last dangle. There are Zander on much of the Avon now, nothing out of the ordinary I suppose, but it's not an area that I thought would have them.

One last hurrah....?

Errrrr, not quite !!!!

Two rods one swim both with roach deadbaits. Now I'd only be bankside for a couple of hours after finishing work because the Wife had her Oxford COVID vaccine and was feeling a little rough so I wanted to relieve her from the shackles of the kid duties.

Still enough to try and winkle out a fish....

The river was up overnight with a nice green colour that looked ideal for dace or chub, a bread hook-bait colour if you will. The air temperature was 5 degrees but with the sun setting the wind picked up a little and it felt rather chilly.

As expected nothing really happened till dusk was near and after an hour without a bite suddenly the left hand rod jumped in to life, the bobbin dancing and the alarm sounding.

I removed the bobbin from the line which in hindsight wasn't the right thing to do because as I lifted the rod to feel the fish through my fingers the fish was already taking line, not just a little either, it had bolted off. When I wound in to the fish it felt decent with a couple of Zander'esk nods but then just as I thought I had it under control all went solid, damn it !!!

Clearly knowing where its escape route was it had managed to get me snagged up good and proper. With a vocal grating line after leaving it for a while sadly there was only one outcome, sadly I had to pull for a break and didn't even got to see the fish, don't you just hate that when it happens. 

It was a Zander I'm sure as Pike are usual a little more cagey when taking baits in my experience, Zander are meant to hate resistance but I've caught loads now mainly on the canal admittedly but they bite confidently I've found.

With the other rod still with a bait out when I left it was unhindered, so a blank and what could have been,  I went home with ones tail between ones legs. An extended Zander session tomorrow evening, fingers crossed I can winkle one out.


  1. Better luck tomorrow Mick.
    Horrible feeling that.

    1. Yeap, we have all been there though, at least it wasn't a canal 10lber and I'd seen it


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