Friday, 10 February 2023

Warwickshire Avon - Sacrificial lambs and Sacramentarians

When I strapped the rod to the car at lunchtime I didn't wonder whether I'd bother to go fishing or not but I'd replaced the broken quiver tip on my TFG River and Stream with a 3/4 oz jobbie and needed to try it out. 

The sky couldn't have been bluer you see and with the river being clear, dusk would only be the likely chance of a bite, the sensitivity looked ridiculous where even a tactical trump from a nearby chub would be repeated on the tip, so I just wanted to try it out prior to a trip to the River Leam where I think it would be beneficial.  So yeap, a blank on the cards potentially...but I had a trick trick up my sleeve to try and outwit the most cautious of chub !!!!

Out with the 💀....!!!!

Chub have seen it all you would have thought especially with me supplying the snacks, because you only have to look at this blog to see the wild and wonderful baits I've caught chub on in sessions gone by.  Lets be honest though, even being omnivores like they, I bet they haven't seen the likes of an Hypostomus plecostomus, also known as the suckermouth catfish or the common pleco.

Sadly this sacrificial lamb came to his demise after being a loyal servant in the Newey household for a good number of years. In-fact we always thought 'Mr Sucker Fish' would outlive us all because he survived literally anything that was thrown at it.

Cold water torture, power cuts, filter f'ups and fellow tank frequenters that stayed for a while and then they passed like those before them.

Before his demise however though his last will and testament after hearing many a fishy conversations of the years he wanted to appease the Chevin gods, so why not grant it its last wish. 

So yeap, salvaged gracefully from the tank, laid to rest in a Tupperware container and then released from its resting place and impaled on a size 6 super specialist and introduced back to the drink. 

Now Chub are another ideal target for the newcomer to Specialist fishing because they will teach you more about the art of angling than any other species. 

They will melt away at the merest footfall or sudden movement, and the successful “chubman’ will be a master of concealment and stealth. Yet chub can be the most obliging of all coarse fish, and their infamous love of all things edible means they have no rival in the list of baits and tactics that will tempt them. 

Neither are chub shy when it comes to responding in a variety of weather and water conditions. From a blazing hot summer day to a severe winter freeze-up, chub can still be caught if the tactics are right. Chub are a paradoxical fish, shy and retiring if wrongly approached; greedy and voracious if a bait is presented to them naturally. 

They are truly a versatile quarry.

As usual I didn't have long so after parking my car and feeding two shallow swims with mashed bread, I went through to the next field for a bit of a stroll where there is an area of deeper water.

Some good depth too, where in the inside it's around 8 foot or so with a finger in the cold air. It was certainly chilly and when the sun went down a few degrees above freezing (another frost overnight again). What I didn't expect though was the first cast of the sucker fish in the slack was within ten minutes the tip jumped in to life and I was in to a fish.

A hard fighting one too desperate to get under my feet under the overhanging tree canopy. Sadly despite all the side strain I could muster up within seconds it had done me over and a few kidney punches for good measure. 

It was stuck solid, with the inevitable happening 😦

Still at least the sucker fish was now down the chub gullet and it had now gone to the chub Gods which was his request on his death bed. So with that done and dusted it was out with the bread and back to trying to find these chub.

Dusk wasn't long off but 2 more swims fished with some mashed bread to get them turning their heads and maybe thinking about feeding nothing happened whatsoever.

Like I said though when the light goes in these sort of conditions is when things switch on and sure enough when heading back to where the car was parked and with the head torch now strapped to my head two of the quickest chub I've caught for a while. The large piece of bread flake sprayed with some garlic spray taken by a couple of 4lbers.

It was dark at this point and with the head torch in focusing mode still illuminating the tip a couple of eyes were staring back at me and yeap and otter decided to share the swim with me. It headed off downstream a little where there is a overhanging tree and in the tangle of the branches was crunching on something without a care in the world.

It certainly wasn't bothered I was there but the swims went dead even with the two fish retained in the landing net. It emphasises that especially in tough conditions times there is a window of biting opportunity that can offer that much needed bend in the rod. 

So forthwith to the next and last swim I'd fish, another one I'd primed with mash and again it was surprising how quick the bite came. Three bites and three fish in 20 minutes.

This one giving a proper dirty fight again however it was soon in the net after I had to bully it away from a snag. The 3/4oz quiver is almost resistant free and it worked brilliantly to be honest as I have missed some bites of late, the bites on this set-up, a 100% hook-up rate. 

A quick weight a couple of ounces under 5lb, so another lovely chub that frequent this part of the Warwickshire Avon. We are not even in prime weight time either. Towards the end of the season is going to be an all out chub affair, but then just looking back at my blog, it's almost groundhog day at the moment. 

But they are probably my favourite river species if I'm honest. I love targeting chub I really do especially when they always surprise me with their varied palate. I was bankside for <2 hours, a quick smash and grab like many of my sessions are these days, but an enjoyable one. 

So what shall I try next I wonder ?


  1. You’re going to struggle to find a weirder bait than that… But I’m sure you will!

  2. "Now Chub are another ideal target for the newcomer to Specialist fishing because they will teach you more about the art of angling than any other species".
    Spot on.

    1. And some real quality fish there. Lucky you got a river like that on your doorstep.

    2. The Warwickshire Avon is struggling for barbel numbers apart from the big'uns but the chub seem to be thriving


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