Piscatorial Quagswagging

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

Tuesday 9 July 2013

The Elusive River Carp and the Buddhist Monk...

With the summer here and the lily pads at their largest I know a swim on the Warwickshire Avon where I'm guaranteed to find them, there are some big un's that reside here too. I've seen carp feeding amongst the Nymphaeaceae that would easily beat my 18lb 7oz PB. I'm not a Carp angler by any means and to be honest I prefer fishing more intimate parts of the River but I've just got to catch one of them, it's on my to do list.

I haven't been down to this stretch of the Avon for ages, it's wide, slow and deep and it's often somewhere you will blank. At the end of this stretch is where the big carp reside and where it gets interesting.

On route to the location a Buddhist Monk was walking over the bridge in Hampton Lucy, and he turned up again on the opposite bank walking past the weir. You never know what's on your doorstep do you as after a bit of googling looks like he was walking back to the Forest Hermitage, a Buddhist retreat which is in Lower Fulbrook not far from where I was fishing, they are even on twitter.

The intended tactic for today was to pre-bait a swim and fish it for the last hour, a simple bolt-rig with a CC Moore Odyssey boilie as bait and then to start with to surface fish some bread just to the edge of the lilies. The lilies are so thick here and the carp so big it would be madness to try and fish within them and often that's where they are found. I wonder how many anglers have been down here not knowing there are some monsters that lurk within. The lilies provide cover from the sun for these fish and it's also a natural food source.

It didn't take long yesterday through my polarised sunglasses for me to spot a few big carp, a couple literally a foot or so from the bank in lilies so thick it covered most of the surface. A few floating freebies were scattered to try and bring them out to a clearer part of the swim, to gain their confidence and then eventually lower in a baited hook.

Like most of my fishing didn't really go to plan though, not only did they not venture from the thick cover as soon as they got anywhere near the edge of their security they shied away. They disappeared for half an hour to turn up again in the thickest part of the floating leaves, the bread didn't even get a look-in.

For the last hour I lowered in a semi-fixed bolt rig but again the odd rattle on the rod tip but no sadly no runs. I don't like my fishing to be easy, I want a challenge, that's what fishing is all about, I remember when I caught my fish Barbel I was on a high for days.

I could could give another part of the Avon a go and I know there are some carp that reside on the Warwick book waters but I've fished this part of the Avon since I started fishing the river in this area 5 years ago, if I'm to catch one it has to be from here. Having watched them take insects I'm wondering if zig bugs would be worth a try, natural looking and an anglers bait they probably haven't seen before, not sure I'd fish them zig style but on the surface a few feet from a controller float.

I'll be back and please, any tips welcome.


  1. Spooky timing Mick. I took a walk down the opposite bank on Sunday - first time for many years I've been down there.

    Not far above the weir I was alerted by a crashing sound from the water, albeit the bushes obsured my view. I thought it had to be a dog (there were people messing about by the weir) but when I peered through a gap in the bush it was a couple of big Carp moving amongst the lily pads. My wife was almost disbelieving that fish could create such a disturbance until she peered through and saw the proof.

    I can safely say you're bang on the money with your location - but you knew that anyway. Good luck with bagging a monster.

  2. The lilies extended for ages along the opposite bank where you were so maybe next time I'll drift some dog biscuits past them to try and tempt them out. Never a better time at the moment as they will be enjoying the sun.

    As you know there isn't much else down here to fish for apart from Carp, I think there are bream a bit further up but you need to remortgage the house to buy enough groundbait to keep them interested.

  3. Cracking piece of water, lovely post.


  4. Stunning looking bit of river there Mick, looks packed to the brim with features, can just picture the Carp clooping away on those lilies too...

  5. Well I caught one, report to follow :)


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