Piscatorial Quagswagging

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

Sunday 29 July 2012

Preston-On-Stour - 29.07.12

Shipston-On-Stour AA was good to me last winter, some decent chub caught on a simple link ledger rig with bread flake as bait. I've not renewed this year as Stratford AA has Preston-On-Stour through to Wimpstone to give me my Warwickshire Stour fix. I went for a look just to see what the access and swims were like and also took a lure rod just to see if I could get any takers. It's a lovely stretch of river with full of feature, lots of small fish topping and I even managed two small Perch on a Mepps, not much flow but looked ideal for trotting down a float with a couple of maggots.

A few pics below, oh and when taking pictures remember to clean the lens.

Saturday 28 July 2012

Luddington - 28.07.12

The first time I fished Luddington, and it looked in fine fettle when I got there early Saturday morning, armed with some lobworms and pellets the plan was to try a few swims out, a sort of a discovery mission.

I settled in a swim just near the pump house but not knowing the swims I discovered the river bed must be pretty snaggy, after only receiving a few knocks on the rod tips, losing some terminal tackle and having the swim ploughed through by a couple of swimmers, yes, you heard right, swimmers I moved to a swim just downstream of the weir.

Only enough room for one rod, but a great looking swim, within seconds of the lobworm settling I had a nice chublet, sadly I discovered it was yet another snaggy swim and after losing my tackle twice I changed tactics, no lead just a 2 Swan shot weight attached directly to the mainline and I let the lobworm dance around settle on it's own. Seemed to work anyway, had some nice Perch and plenty of Chublets. 

When I ran out of lobworms, for the last half an hour I put a big chunk of garlic luncheon meat on, it was getting attacked by the small fish judging by the rod tip dinking but Mr Barbel and Mrs Chub didn't show. I only fished a small stretch of Luddington today, still lots to see so I'll try some others first before going back to the wier swim. Nice scenery, no other fishermen present, a really healthy river and another nice venue only 10 minutes from my house.

Wednesday 25 July 2012

Hampton Lucy Brook - 24.07.12

Dock leaves, I thought they were meant to take the edge of stinging nettles ? my ar*e they do. It was 27 degrees when I decided to go for a couple of hours so I stupidly donned my shorts. With the warm weather and the most rain we have had since records began some of the nettles were taller than my mate RayBot, thing is I knew I should have worn my trousers, but best layed plan and all that. What a stunning evening to be out though, and after fighting my way through the jungle I settled into my favourite swim and popped open a well deserved Betty Stoggs.

I couldn't believe how much the river had dropped though, pretty clear too, certainly not ideal Barbel conditions. I started off with small pellet baits and lobworms and had small perch, tiny chub, roach and eventually a half decent Chub. The river was alive with fish, with the bait getting attacked as soon as it settled in the swim.

Half an hour before dusk I baited both rods with big chunks of garlic luncheon meat hoping to attempt a Barbel. As soon as the light faded one on the rods was nearly pulled out the rest and I was into onel, for those that have never experienced a Barbel bite, once you have seen one, you won't mistake another one again, they really are proper violent takes After hauling it out from a snag it buried it's head and quickly found another one , from the disturbance in the water flow it may well be a sunken tree, damn, felt a good'un too. 

Not feeling too disheartened I sat behind my last remaining rod for the last half and hour, fifteen minutes of waiting it was like Groundhog Day, Barbel hooked, Barbel steered away from snag, Barbel finds underwater snag, Mick loses yet another Barbel. Arrrrhhhhhhhhhh !!!!!!!.  Not sure about anyone else but for me the only time to go Barbel fishing is dusk, really is the best time to catch them in my opinion, they must just feel far more confident feeding in low light, who knows but for me and what I've experienced when the witching hour arrives, so do the fish. 

Wednesday 18 July 2012

Wasperton - 17.07.12

What a difference a week makes, the river was a metre up from when I fished it last week and it was proper belting through, apparently nearly over it's banks a day or so before too. A short evening session was on the cards to try and see what broke me off big style last week. Leo recommended 30lb Camo Whiplash Braid so with a spool loaded with that I planned to fish one rod, this time a light 2lb TC carp rod fitted with a tip isotope. Bait was a 30mm lump of Garlic Spam, attached to a ESP two tone coated braid leader which I already had in my tackle box. I prefer in-line leads when the flow is fast and when back to normal river levels I use a running set-up. A longish leader as I've always had better results and confidence.

I got speaking to a chap, Andy who was on the next peg downstream, he hadn't had any indications whatsoever, hmm not looking good. The rod remained motionless until the light levels started to drop, a had a few hit and run Chub knocks but nothing meaningful and certainly not a bite I could strike at, just before I was about to leave I had a proper bite which I missed, a bite that if it were a Barbel it would have been hooked, it was probably just a Chub again, oh well, there is always next time. I think I'll wait a few more weeks when the river levels have settled down a bit before going back, I don't think the fish know what's going on, as it's up and down like a bride's nightie.

Luddington next port of call I think.

Monday 16 July 2012

Luddington Reccy

Dragged the kids and Wife to have a butchers at some of the Luddington swims on the Stratford-Upon-Avon book, the weir was a raging torrent and the meadow where the swims were located looked like they were occupied by some angry looking bulls. (So the Wife said)

We quickly left Luddington to get out of DANGER and sought some shelter in the Dirty Duck gin mill. They looked good from a distance anyway, watch this space :)

Friday 13 July 2012

Shanghai AA match - Tunnel Barn Farm - 13.07.12

Well the rain held off which was nice, 12 anglers all Automotive contractors oh and a rogue RAF pilot fished Top Pool today, as I've said before I'd rather wait for one bite on the River but it's nice to keep in touch and network, it's a who you know in the jobbing world. I'm no serious match fisherman so I had a waggler rod and a few maggots and small bits of meat verses people like Dave Bennet the next peg to me who seemed to have the entire contents of the Preston Innovations catalogue :)

I missed more than half of the bites but still managed a 39lb a mixed bag, F1's, Perch and even Barbel, smallest I caught 4oz's, biggest was about a pound an half. I'd rather the Barbel were in a River not in a pond but catching them make a nice change over the 10 a penny, wet lettuce F1's.

The winner had 71lb and even Dave Roberts had to settle for third, with 62lb.

Thursday 12 July 2012

Wasperton's Whacking Whiskers - 12.07.12

Wasperton doesn't have a big head of Barbel but the Barbel that do reside there are big'uns. A quick evening session found me at Waspertons top meadow, It was a spur of the moment decision to go as I did plan to fish Hampton Lucy Brook with my mate Simon, he lives in Shipston and as there wasn't a let up in the rain, he decided against. I just had to get out, the thought was if it really did bucket it down I could be packed up and in the car within 5 minutes, at Hampton Lucy Brook, there would be no chance of that.

I keep my rig simple, Korum K-Grip In-Line Lead, 2.5 - 3 ft of 10lb flurocarbon leader and a nice big bait on the hair. Bait for this session was a 30mm diameter of garlic spam cut with the pastry cutter I use for bread.

With both rods cast out, I turned my back on the rods for a second to find my unhooking mat which also doubles up as my seat, I heard the clutch go on one of the reels and turned back to discover my right hand rod heading towards the river and taking my other rod with it, I'd say the bait had literally settled for 10 secs before a Barbel took it, the rod rest was holding firm as if it hadn't it might have been a completely different story. Wasperton top meadow is snaggy and if you're not on top of the fish straight away you will lose it, it felt a proper'un for a good few seconds before it broke me off under some overhanging branches.

I re-baited and settled back into the waiting game,a fellow Leamington AA fisherman moved from his fishless swim further downstream and settled in to the next swim along from me, as he came over for a quick chat, the left hand rod wrapped round this time and I was probably into the same fish, again not a fat lot I could do about it, more powerful than the pressure I could put on the 10lb line and my 1.75TC rod, I tightened the clutch to try and prevent it heading to the same snag but again it go under some overhanging branches and again it quickly broke me off.

The rain started to fall and produced the most perfect rainbow I've seen in a long long time, shame the picture doesn't do it justice.

I changed my line and leader, decided to fish into dusk and was hoping for 3rd time lucky. The right hand rod was now getting some interest and eventually after lots of rattles of the rod tip I was into a fish, nothing like the power of the two previous, it turned out to be a nice Chub, it was big in size but was skinny, but I still weighed it, bob on 4.5 lb's. You can always rely on a Chub to save the day. I'll be back to Wasperton soon to catch the one that got away. :)

Saturday 7 July 2012

Hampton Lucy Brook - 07.07.12

With the river in flood and the weather unsettled I nearly didn't go fishing this evening, was a bit last minute, but there seemed a break in the rainfall and I could even see some blue sky. The Avon was at least a metre up when I got there, so with my rods already set-up with only 2oz leads I settled into a swim with some slack water and a overhanging tree.

The water was chocolate brown so one rod I had some garlic spam and the other baited with a halibut pellet and crab paste. For an hour not even a rattle on either rod tip but as soon as dusk came the was some interest. The tip eventually wrapped round and I was finally into a Barbel. Only a small one this time and I didn't bother weighing it but it looked about 4.5lb, it fought well and the pace of the water meant the rod bent double. The heavens opened soon after, but I glad I made the effort to get out, another mint condition Barbel graced my net.

Monday 2 July 2012

Hampton Lucy Brook - 30.06.12

Decided to have a few hours at my favourite place at the minute, Hampton Lucy Brook. The usual quiet, secluded and wild stretch of the Warwickshire Avon had a background hum of some live music from the Stratford-Upon-Avon river festival, the music didn’t seem so bad to be honest and even got me miming to some of the songs. For the first hour I rolled some meat along some of the longer stretches but failed to get a nibble, river was low which was a surprise considering the amount of rain we had recently. I was fishing till 10.30pm so settled into a swim I caught a Barbel from before, very snaggy but I was geared up for it. I decided to up my test curve of my Barbel rods this year after losing a big Barbel at Leamington Anglers Association Wasperton stretch, I’ve now gone up a TC and bought 2 1.75TC rods

One rod I was fishing lobworm and the other garlic flavoured luncheon meat, I quickly had a 4lb Chub and a couple of decent Perch. Around 10pm the music stopped and it was peaceful till I had he most violent wrap around I’ve ever experienced, I remember reading one of Jeff Hatt’s Blogs where he nearly lost his rod in Lucy’s Mill weir pool when a Barbel picked up his bait and made off, all hell broke loose with this one too. I do usually have my clutch set pretty slack and I glad I did as I’d have probably lost the rod. A good fight and I had a mint 6lb 1oz Barbel on the bank. After letting it recover in the landing net the River festival fireworks kicked off with some of the loudest fireworks I’ve ever heard, seemed entirely appropriate and I went home happy.

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