Piscatorial Quagswagging

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

Saturday 29 January 2022

Warwickshire Avon - Inventors and Incunabulists

A patent filed under my name as the inventor will be showcased on the car I'm working on which will be out in a couple of years time. You'd have thought with a few extra quid in my pocket after a monitory reward I could treat myself to something fishy related, but no, once the tax man got his hand on it, and those with fingers and thumbs in my wallet that quickly went leaving me looking around thinking where the heck did that go to. 

Then again with energy bills, petrol and just day to day livings costs skyrocketing for everyone, there will no doubt be some belt tightening for that splurging. 

Anyway a new coat, boots and another beanie to add to the collection I also bought myself a nice bottle of Woods Navy rum. Which will go down nicely though and I'll look forward to that when I'm back on the grog again. To be fair there isn't a fat lot I need but that's not the point, it would have been nice to have been given the option now wouldn't it 😞

A new TV would have been nice I suppose but then the one we have is still perfectly fine and these days I've changed my spending habits from 'needs must' to being more 'responsible'. 

Anyway back to the fishing, with the gear sorted on the car during the short break from a works 'townhall' meeting I was all ready to go. Now I'm in two minds whether to renew this club book for the new season because the barbel numbers have plummeted over the year and this season was no different.

A stretch of convenience it offered a post work short session to me where I could rock up just before dusk and invariably leave with a smile on my face. Being 10 minutes from home I could stack the sessions up without effecting the schedule from the diary makers

Now I don't fish for Barbel that often, but when I do a bite is most welcome, as I hate sitting behind motionless rods and these days when the Warwickshire Avon Barbel in the main bite at dusk and beyond, roving in the dark is not exactly fun is it. 

This stretch has strict rules and you have to be off half an hour after dusk, or you'd have to answer to the finger pointers.  A carpet of bait with a bait over it, or a large meat bait led to some nice fish over the years, quite a few double and it is also home to my PB of 12lb 14 ounces. 

When I joined quite a few years ago speaking to those that have fished it for donkeys years I probably became a member when the decline started.

'Barbel Alley' as it was known often gave the angler multiple catches of the species in some sessions where the fish was queuing up for the anglers bait. Now though, you hear of the odd fish coming out from the bailiffs, hardly any in the matches and in my own experience 1 fish in 10 sessions would be a good return.

Was is the cause of the decline ? well depends who you speak to but I have my own theories on the matter. Now thankfully there are other species that call this stretch their home and the chub like much of the Warwickshire Avon seem to be getting bigger and bigger each year. A 6lb chub is now a realistic target for me where 5lb was before. 

A 5lb chub was ticked off a while a go and after getting that particular monkey off my back I've caught quite a few of them now. For this session I was after Zander though and having lost 2 fish that were doubles I'd imagine I fancied a fish to better my near 9 lber. 

One of the big fish I lost was from the weir where one winters day I hooked a decent fish and after a few runs it launched itself clear out the water and after a couple of head shakes it lost the hook.

After changing to circle hooks (size 1 Sakuma 440's) I rarely lose fish now and they have led to my canal 11ber and the 17lb canal pike. A hook I have huge confidence in and I doubt I'll ever change from using them.

To be fair I did think a bite would be hard to come by for this session and I was right. A jack pike was the first fish hooked and that was basically it.

Nothing from the weir and the area of deep slack water that usually throws up a fish didn't. One tentative bite that didn't develop and that was my lot. The Avon is clear again which didn't help as I'm sure if I stayed well in to dark my fortunes might have changed. Still it makes a changes from being sat in my office chair and at least I got to bed in my new walking boots. 


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