Piscatorial Quagswagging

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

Sunday 14 April 2024

Transient Towpath Trudging - Pt.100 (Bread and Maggots)

With the bread not doing the business yesterday morning I decided to venture over to a stretch of the Grand Union a short drive away to see what I could catch using simple tactics. So groundbait to kick it off and maggots or bread on the size 16 KKH Preston hook.

A nippy morning around 7 degrees where I rocked up a little later than usual. I was fishing by 6.00am though and the walk down to the swim there were plenty of fish topping and fishy activity so I was hoping for a bite or two. 

The groundbait consisted of Supercrush Green from Sonubaits with a few micro pellets and a handful of hemp to try and get the fish grubbing around.

It took longer than I thought to get the first bite which came after switching to three maggots on the hook instead of the bread for the hook. I also sprinkled the maggots over the float from time to time. 


Obviously I had a sleeper rod out for a Zander as well but the float was the mainstay. The first fish was a slimy small bream but I wasn't complaining after the frustrating session yesterday morning not far away from here on the South Stratford Canal.

Anyway after getting another two quick bites and releasing those fish I decided to retain a few in the net just to get some nice shots for the blog. 


However I got a little carried away because bites were coming thick and fast as soon as the maggots reached the bottom and also the odd time on the drop too.

There was some tow on the canal at this point but with the shots anchoring the float in position it was holding well enough. You can see why a pole would work better on the canal, but they seem a right old faff and cumbersome to me, and it's nice to play a fish on rod and line I find rather than pulling against elastic. 


Anyway after a couple of hours went by really quickly with lots of bites and even a surprise Zander πŸ˜… on the maggots, when the first boat went through at a rate of knots (8.30am ish) where he proceeded to slow down for a boat that was moored up 30 metres from me, the sport went dead.

It has now coloured up to Augustus Gloop tickbox levels and bites almost disappeared like a switch had been flicked. I had a surprise much better perch well over a pound and that was about it. A quick weigh in the net and taking into account the fish I put back right at the start well, a net well over double figures including some Zander snack sized roach, skimmers and small perch too.



I'd bumped a couple of much bigger bream off and if I had managed to land them probably nearly 20lb of fish or even more I'd say. A very satisfying morning indeed but I didn't want to end the session there even when by now the boat activity had kicked up a notch.

So I went back to the car and ditched my float rod and just decided to fish the dedicated Zander gear. I'd had a roach deadbait where I caught all those fish and nothing was doing whatsoever. 


By now the sun was high in the sky and it was very pleasant indeed but the Zander had other ideas, nothing doing, but then I went to fish a new area where I noticed some activity over at the far side where there was signs of fish spawning.

They were definitely Zander as well because when they were overly jiggy with it, their tails came out of the water. I measured the temperature and it was 12.8 degrees which was exactly the same as when I took it yesterday on an entirely different canal system.

I decided to leave the fish to their fun and end the session early to go and have a ramble out with the rabble to see the bluebells just down the road from us. I believe there are a few colder nights next week however with the canal fishing really well today I fancy getting out after work if I can.

No idea where yet might you but with the maggots doing the business today and plenty in the fridge still some more float fishing might be in order. You do wonder why the canals are deserted to anglers because the sport like I found today can be great, give them a go, you never know what will turn up and that's the appeal for me.

Saturday 13 April 2024

Canal Roach - The Sisyphean Task ? Pt.2

It certainly doesn't seem like 12 mths almost to the day when I caught a rather nice 1lb 12 ounce roach from a local section of canal. Catching that fish got me thinking about catching a 2'lber myself which is certainly possible if you look at George Burton's efforts. Now I'm part of a small syndicate with George and he is still catching some lovely fish albeit not blogging about it. Shame really because his is how a fishing blog should be done not my token effort πŸ˜† 

Anyway with some leaves to forage for a rather nice dish I make, which is a pan-fried chicken breast with wild garlic and mushrooms with new potatoes, it would be rude not to have a go for the roach whilst I was there, as the big roach I caught from a swim is literally right opposite the crop.


Those restless legs of mine don't help with this sort of fishing, especially on the canals where locating the fish can be the hardest task, not actually catching them, for this session however I'd have a chair with me and would concentrate on one spot before the first boat would spoil the (fingers crossed) fun. That could be an hour, or three, I'd only know that on the actual day.

For some reason many of the tiller twiddlers are easy risers where if I was in the same predicament I'd be sipping ,y 2nd cup of tea and getting the bacon sandwiches on. 

What the heck they are doing motoring down the canal in the earning morning, God only knows, as mad as me I suspect, but then the change of a big roach needs this sort of foolishness.

These waters have Zander in residence as well so I'd naturally have a sleeper rod out with a roach deadbait to try and infiltrate a Zed on the prowl. 

The mainstay would be an insert waggler with a small size 12 and a small thumbnail sized piece of bread on the hook. Bread slop to try and get the attention of any fish in the locality and that was it. 

Now picking wild garlic leaves is not forbidden but uprooting them is, as the population is in decline. Therefore, when collecting wild garlic, only take as much as you need about a handful of leaves at a time. Never uproot an entire wild garlic plant. In nature, only the leaves of wild garlic may be harvested.

If you are wondering where to go looking for wild garlic, simply find out what the soil type is in an area. You can expect to find wild garlic in forests that grow on calcareous soils. Focus your search along the bottom of slopes. Lime tends to accumulate at the foot of a slope, ensuring a high pH value in the soil and making it an ideal environment for wild garlic to thrive.


Besides vitamin C and minerals, such as iron and magnesium, wild garlic contains alliin and allicin; the latter is responsible for the typical garlic smell and is considered a pharmacologically active substance. The antibacterial effect of wild garlic has also now been medically confirmed. Additionally, fresh wild garlic, such as in a salad or pesto, is also said to help with relieving coughs and fevers. 

Like its close relative, garlic (Allium sativum), wild garlic is a healthy and versatile Allium. It is also very easy to grow in your own garden, or stumble upon some like I did, and you've a crop of your own you can pick from time to time. And garlic, who the hell doesn't like garlic !!!


Anyway what a frustrating session this was !!

I arrived towpath side for 6.15am and got the zander rod out next to some reeds at the far side and got fishing with the float rod. There was chop on the water and wind blowing to the side of me which wasn't exactly pleasant. 

A good 40 minutes in to the session the first indications there was actually fish in the swim !! Only small fish I assume because there was plenty of movement on the float but not enough to take it under let alone strike. I was using large pieces of bread though I would assume fishing maggots it would have been a different story.


I was settled in to fishing effectively and then the canal starts to flow like a river, yeap the first boat on the way at 7.30am in the bleeding morning. Once that had passed and coloured up the water even more those bites I was getting stopped altogether so I decided to move 50 yards to my right to fish a much more settled area where I could see the float easier.

What I didn't expect was after the float being out for half an hour a proper bite where at first I'd caught the bottom when I struck in to it, however it then started to move off and once it felt the resistance it bolted off !!!

Yeap I'd hooked a carp where after one powerful surge taking line, the next surge it leaped clear of the water to my right where the hooklink parted 😑 and it was gone Arhhhhhhhh !!!! it looked a double figure fish as well and could well have been the fish I'd caught here in the past. On closer inspection the shots were still on the hook to nylon but then the hook had parted company at the knot. 


That's not good now is it, a weak point for sure. btw Kamasan B560 size 12 to 4lb line. I kept on fishing where again signs there were small fish in the swim but eyes far bigger than their bellies. Once the boats started coming in anger and the towpath full of ill-mannered joggers and dog walkers where seemingly I was invisible it was time for the off.

A session of frustration but then that is canal fishing for you ☺ anyway next time I might give maggots a go to at least I'd likely to catch a fish or two. 


Fishing large pieces of bread is very selective and if those large roach and bream are just now there, the reality is you are missing out on the smaller species that at least can offer some sport. Oh well on to the next one !!!

Oh and the Zander sleeper rod, naff all !!!

The canal was 12.8 degrees btw, on the way up for sure. George, well he did better than me a 2lb 1oz roach and a 4lb 11oz hybrid amongst others WTF πŸ‘€ !!! I need to fish where he fishes !!!

Friday 12 April 2024

Warwickshire Trout - River Alne Pt.11

To be honest I was in two minds to actually go for this session because I didn't have long but I fancied a gander at the Alne because it will receive some attention going forward, when the river hopefully will be in decent fettle to try and catch a trout. 

Not any old trout either because I I have my eyes on an Alne trout >3lb in weight. Now I know they are there because I've hooked and lost a few that would provide that tick in the box I'm sure.

I only had an hour and a half to fish and it didn't get to a very good start because a new Range Rover probably 100k plus was blocking the gate, and therefore the entrance to the river was a no go, unless this behemoth was moved. 

After unlocking the gate and sorting my tackle out eventually after ten minutes wondering that to do, the owner turned up and could only 'apologise for blocking the access, because I couldn't find a parking space'. 

 Red trousers, yeap you guessed correctly !!!😁



Thankfully after moving my car from behind his, he vacated the space and I could drive down to the river and get fishing. 

I thought I'd go and have a nose because the river has been stable for a while after being well up, but it was far more coloured than I thought it would be, even with a bright Temu special (6 all the way from China for the price of one Salmo Hornet πŸ‘€) there was only a few inches of visibility. 


Unsurprisingly I caught naff all, not even a hit, a bump or a follow. Then again I couldn't have really seen the trout if they did anyway. Still it was nice to be out with spring definitely here with the butterflies making an appearance where the day peaked at 19 degrees C. 

I'll leave it for a while I think and keep an eye on the gauge. It needs to drop at least a ft or so where usually that means it's clear enough to have a dabble for the nice trout that reside here. 
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