Piscatorial Quagswagging

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

Saturday 28 December 2013

I knew something wasn't right...

when I caught a glimpse of the Perch coming up from the depths of College Pool in Wasperton, a Perch this size should be fighting harder. I've caught a blind Chub here before but this was probably worse, a fish, especially a Perch without it's tell-tale spiny dorsal fin. Keepnet damage maybe ?


It must have adapted quite well to it's adversity as it was a plump 1lb 11oz and the biggest Perch I've caught at the lake. There are bigger ones in here but for some reason I've never connected to any more than 2lb. Tactics couldn't be simpler for this morning a float fished lobworm with dead maggots and chopped worm as feed. I only fished a few foot from the bank but you wouldn't believe just how deep this lake is, in the middle when casting a lead out it takes an age to drop to the bottom and dink the lake bed.

As the rivers are in flood I felt I needed a change of scenery and apart from the scarecrow there was only me at the lake, just how I like it. It's got potential College Pool, apart from the Carp which fight way beyond their size there is a monster that lurks within it's depths. A big eel maybe ?

On another bit of bad news when walking the bank I noticed a dead signal crayfish, I really do hope it's a one off but I must admit, recently I've come across quite a few in the areas I fish in Warwickshire, not a good sign at all.

Sunday 22 December 2013

The calm before the storm...

What a strange day, the river looked perfect when I got there at 7.30am. It was up a good couple of feet and looked ideal for Chub. Simple tactics a link ledgered lobworm lowered in to some likely looking swims at the Warwickshire Avon Brook.

I knew the weir would be like a torrent so the Pike gear was left at home but when the river calms a tad I'll try again for another Pike. Talking of Pike I've had a couple of interesting emails and texts about some potential big Pike that have been caught and spotted around the area so as it's the Christmas holiday period soon I might go and put the information to good use.

Anyway back on topic I couldn't get a proper bite for love nor money, and even in my banker swims. Maybe cheese paste would have been the better option. I had the odd rattle of the tip and that was it. I had intended to stay till 11.30am but an hour before the wind got stronger, the sky got darker and a storm was heading my way. It started to chuck it down and unless I'm under an umbrella I don't do rain.

Not a good day and with the river out of sorts and a fridge stocked with lobworms I'm even thinking of trying for a Perch at College Pool especially as looks like there is a storm and a load of rain is heading our way.

Sunday 15 December 2013

Brook Pike

We really do need some rain, the Brook doesn't fish well at all if the levels are low and it's clear. The Chub and Perch tend to shy away so this morning Pike was the target.

I spotted a decent Pike in the weir pool a couple of weeks ago but only his smaller brother decided to play today. Stunning markings though even though it was a small'un. I cannot wait for the cold snap, far too mild today for my liking. 

Friday 6 December 2013

Thinking outside the box

My youngest Sam, dragged this box downstairs from the playroom and sat in it for an hour and a half whilst he watched Disney's Cars. He even managed to eat his beans on toast with spilling any, which for Sam is an achievement in itself.

Anyway, whilst down the farm shop the other day I was talking to the butcher and I might have a source of free meat. Only bloody manky offcuts but should be enough to mince for a feeder and some bigger bits to use on the hook. I've not tried steak before for Chub, maybe it will catch me the elusive Avon 6 lber.

Tuesday 3 December 2013

Caught in the Act DVD - Parts 3 and 4 - Bob Roberts and Stuart Walker

An early Christmas present to myself but a cracking DVD. The best yet I'd say, and I particularly enjoyed the underwater Perch footage. A good insight to why we go fishing in conditions many would hate. I for one cannot wait for the colder weather.

Purchase from HERE

Saturday 30 November 2013

A bad case of the trots !!!!

Another stunning morning at the Brook, with loads of lobworms in the bait fridge I wanted to do some long trotting and also to see if the big Perch were in my banker swim.

I received some not so good news yesterday though, and on good authority. Two otters were seen patrolling some of the 'Brook' swims. Now I've not seen any down here myself but I've certainly seen signs that they might be in the area, I only hope they move on. We will see, if anyone else spots them, please let me know.

Talking of predators I spotted a decent Pike in the weir pool, certainly a double and although I've not started my Pike fishing yet, it's something to remember.

Certainly the river had dropped from last week and it was clear too, so not ideal. The Perch were nowhere to be see and the bites were scarce, but still manged a few fish. Only a few small chub though sadly, a bit disapointing. Such a pleasant morning though and as usual only me in attendance.  Some rain would be nice, as it's far too clear for my liking.

I've far too much on next weekend, so sadly got a two week break before I can go fishing again. I've got a plan in mind though, and maybe a last go for the Perch before I start on Pike and Chub in anger.

Saturday 23 November 2013

Fowl Play !!!

The Warwickshire river Stour was the venue for this mornings Roach pursuit, frosty it was too and looked ideal conditions, it really was a glorious morning and after being stuck in the office all week, It was nice to breathe some fresh clean air.

A link ledgered worm or bread disc was going to be used as bait and the rod was my trusty TFG 10ft quiver rod.

And then......

a couple of tractors with trailers turned up in the field opposite and I thought it was a farmer moving some of his sheep, however wasn't my luck today as my peace was interrupted when the local wildfowl shoot had come in numbers and were soon crossing the river bridge to settle talking distance from my peg.

I had no choice but to move as the first wave of duck shooting the swim was being peppered with shot and one of the dogs jumped in the river just downstream of me to try and recover an injured duck.

After trying a few swims all I managed was a few bites and a small Chub on bread, maybe the first overnight frost had put them off but after 3 hours I called it a day. 

Sunday 17 November 2013

'Brook' Chub

Short and sweet this one. I haven't been to the Warwickshire Avon 'Brook' for a few weeks now and it's changed character completely. The stingers are starting to blacken and die and that means more swims will become available.

I wanted to catch a Chub or two so a map inline feeder was filled with liquidised bread and hookbait was a big lump of smelly cheese paste.

I had a Chub from every swim but one so that made 10 Chub in 3 hours, and I even managed 2 from under this raft just downstream of the weir.

The biggest went 3lb 14oz and the last one 2lb 11oz came from the rancid sheep swim that Daniel Everitt http://thelureofangling.blogspot.co.uk/ knows well.

An enjoyable morning indeed and not another angler in sight. It's quiet too so made a change from the Arrow stretch I fish. A 6lber will come from here over the winter, no doubt about that.

Friday 15 November 2013

Centre Parcs Elvedon - You Bas***d

I have just returned from another great week away with the family at Centre Parcs in Elvedon, I caught a big Perch here in March on sweetcorn but this time I specifically came with Perch in mind, two pints of maggots live and dead, lobworms, dark groundbait, king prawns and chopped red worms.

My youngest Sam helped me pre-bait a swim I was going to fish which was yards from our woodland lodge Ceder 164. With the trap set the following morning I was using two rods, one baited with lobworm under a classic Perch bobber and the other king prawn on a running rig.

The other anglers I've spoken to at Centre Parcs, are only after one fish and that's the carp, and the lake it full of them. Where the kids feed the ducks on the beach area you can literally feed 20lb carp with your fingers, luckily certain areas of the lake you are banned from fishing from. It's carp soup.

It didn't go well for the first hour or so because despite the water being freezing the first two fish I had were 7lb Carp. I noticed some fry jumping and sure enough the next hour I had 6 Perch all over 2lb, with the biggest 2lb 6oz.

I must mention the zandervan roll over indicator as it worked brilliantly, it's more or less resistant free and even when the wind was blowing and there was tow on the lake only a small adjustment was needed to get it working effectively again.

I fished for 5 mornings, two or three hours each session and I had similar results each day apart from yesterday, it was colder than the previous days and slightly overcast. I'm a stickler for fishing rules however I noticed some gulls flying above my swim, obviously focusing on something in the water, it was a dead Roach and I could reach it by extending my landing net handle to it maximum length.

I thought it might be a little big at 5" but it went straight on the hook, glad I did as what a difference a change of bait made, as soon as it settled the roll over indicator was rising and line being pulled from the reel. The first fish pictured below was a tad under 2lb but it took such a big bait no problem. It shook the deadbait free and it came out from under the water a few metres from the bank, again it went on the hook.

15 minutes later another confident rise of the indicator and line began to peel off. I closed the bail arm and wham, I was in to another decent Perch again, this felt different though, this was a big'un and put a proper bend in my 10ft 1.5lb TC Rod. As it came to the surface I couldn't believe what I was seeing, it was the biggest Perch I have ever set my eyes on, a proper'un. 

What an impressive sight and it was shaking it's head from side to side to get rid of the bait my heart was racing, this is what all the planning and preparation was for, then Sod's law 

Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We have all had a fish that got away story and sadly I've got another one to add to my collection. With it's violent head shaking it managed to get rid of the hook and dead Roach, I got a view of it's flank and head when it broke the surface before it went back to the depths of the lake, it really was huge !!.

You Bas***d were the words I think I used when I threw the rod down. One of those angling nightmares that I'll relive again and again, no doubt.

One thing I have learnt, and my mate Dave Roberts was very much correct, big Perch love a deadbait, and a BIG one at that.  

If I recall correctly the late Kev Green filmed a program with Steve Burke on the predators series where they fished big deadbaits at dusk, I must dig it out on youtube. 

Monday 4 November 2013

Not a sausage...

Sunday morning I went for a look at the peninsula peg on the River Arrow. The path is by the side of a huge field of corn which gets more difficult to pass as you make progress. From the car park it's a good 15 / 20 minute walk so I doubt it sees many anglers. Last week I caught a Barbel from this stretch and with the weather getting colder it will probably be the last time I'd fish for them before the cold weather gets a firm grip and I start fishing properly for Chub, Perch and Pike.

From the peninsula you have 3 decent pegs to fish and all looked idea, a few slack areas, cover and creases. The plan was to bait up with a dropper, make myself some sausage sandwiches and then start fishing using a boilie wrapped in paste, lobworms or garlic spam on the hook. As it was cold I couldn't wait to get the breakfast going especially as I lugged the stove bag this far. One problem though, no sausages, I stupidly had left them in the bait fridge in the garage, arrrrrrrrrrhhhhhhhhh.

The fishing didn't go much better either, and despite looking ideal condition and giving the bait some time to settle in the three different swims I didn't even have a touch, no rod tip rattles either. I thought debris might have been an issue but no, that wasn't the problem, it just seemed devoid of fish. It was far colder than the previous week and that was likely the issue. After 3 fruitless hours for the last hour I went to fish the area that I caught some fish from last week.

The Arrow certainly has plenty of character as I said before though the roar of the A46 really does spoil it for me, maybe the wind was in the wrong direction as road noise was certainly more intrusive than last week.

I switched to lobworm and that seemed to get the fish interested but no fish came of it after 4 and a half hours I went home with an empty stomach and a blank.
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