Piscatorial Quagswagging

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

Saturday 31 August 2013

Udderly Rubbish !!

Apparently in the 80's Manor Farm, Luddington on the Warwickshire Avon was used as a venue for the Angling World Championships, I've tried this stretch a few times before and I've always wondered why it's devoid of anglers ? especially as it has produced some big Chub and Barbel.

The Veterinary Science Laboratory based in Luddington doesn't help I suppose, it's staffed by migrant workers who obviously fish the swims from the evidence I've seen, make-shift rod rests and dumped cans and rubbish. The walk across the meadow is like a pilgrim to Mecca, or in this case the migrant workers walking to a Car Boot sale or Stratford town. Jan Porter even found a 20 meter gill net along this stretch that was removed by the environment agency. I challenged two anglers last year with crude tackle and no licences, they just packed up and left, probably to return after I had left. It's not somewhere I'd fish an evening either, I'd not feel comfortable. 

The meadow is sometimes full of cows so as I experienced today you might well have an audience behind your peg too. Not exactly quiet creatures either are they, humping like Bonobos and peeing for England.

I'm not exactly selling it to you am I :)

Anyway I fancied a change of scenery to be honest so with a Barbel set-up and a small lure rod I went for a bit of an explore and tried a few swims. A few chub knocks that was it, after being snagged in the sunken wier again I moved to the couple of pegs downstream of the big weir. I've caught fish here before, nothing to write home about though.

The peg I fish is quite small so you cannot really fish two rods, not a bad thing I suppose. There were certainly plenty of fish in the swim, small dace, bleak and blenty of minnows. I had lots of small Chub knocks and towards the end of the session I had a whacking bite which somehow didn't connect to a fish. 4 hours and fish less I'm not used to this and I won't be returning here in a hurry.

Friday 30 August 2013

Bream me up snotty...!!

With the 'brook' out of sorts with lack of rain I went to the reservoir yesterday evening for a few hours, the intended quarry was the crucian carp,some old and big'uns in here that occasionally show themselves and I've still got the big'un pictured in my mind that I lost when it was foul hooked. Foul hooked you say, well if I landed it then should I have taken it as my PB ? I'm not sure.

My favorite peg was unoccupied when I got there, only two other anglers present, a Dad and his two sons and also a carp angler I've bumped in to before a couple of pegs down from me. It's still low, very low and the blanket weed seems to be getting thicker.

For the first hour hardly any fish moving at all and not even indications on the float. Bait was scopex flavoured sweetcorn on a size 14 hook and I chucked in a couple of balls of groundbait that contained hemp and some tiny pellets. After an hour the fish started to top and a couple of crucians launched themselves out the water and I received my first crucian bite, sadly it bumped off on the strike, and there the crucian action ended.

The carp angler came for a chat and informed me he had prebaited my swim with some pellets to try for the carp later on. With the bed of pellets and my groundbait the bream had moved in and probably bullied the crucians out the way. The swim was fizzing and must have been full with them, as soon as the float entered the water it was moving all over the shop.

If I had a keepnet I might have netted them as it was a bite every chuck, the average size was a couple of pound and a decent weight would have been made pretty quickly, when they are on the feed there is nothing stopping them.

After about the 10th bream in 1/2 an hour I decided to call it a day. I'm out tomorrow morning somewhere, any hot spots please let me know as I haven't decided yet and I've been lacking some decent fish of late. :)

Thursday 29 August 2013

The Zandavan Rollover Indicator

Big Perch, Eels and Zander are well known for not liking any sort of resistance, I think it's the change in resistance more than anything. After trying various indicators in the past, bobbins, drop-off indicators and also making some of my own too, they just didn't seem to work that effectively. Certainly Eels and Zander are on my must catch list this year, Eels I might try and the Zander and Perch towards winter.

As I fish rivers in the main, it was the adjustability that was the biggest issue, how do you account for different flow rates and still fish with an open bail arm? that's why I thought I'd give a rollover indicator from Zandavan Productions a try.

When a taking fish raises the indicator the ball bearings will roll along the tube and past the pivot point at which stage the indicator lifts off the line and, as such, there is no point of increased resistance. I was a bit sceptical at first but they really do work.

The weight load bearing on the line can be adjusted to suit the conditions and the balance action has been carefully calibrated so that the indicator will roll over and lift off the line whatever weight loading is applied.

The indicator is very easy to set. It lies on top of the line which is simply tucked under the bent end claw to be held in position between the claw and the wire line-stop. To obtain maximum sensitivity, it is best to position the rollover indicator on the rear rest so that the end claw is aligned below the reel.

They are not cheap at £18.99 each but for it's sum of parts, I'd say it was good value. One thing I will do though is the U shaped pivot wire doesn't stay in position that well once the arm has been fitted, so I think I might araldite it in. 

To accompany the rollover indicator I've also bought myself a Delkim bite alarm, it detects bites by vibration and not by a moving roller, it certainly helps when fishing an open bail arm as in many instances the moving line doesn't give enough drag to move the roller. I had that exact problem last year I was fishing a sleeper rod for Perch and was using small deadbaits, out of the corner of my eye noticed the light bobbins doing a merry dance but not a peep on the indicator. Like the rollover indicator the sensitivity is adjustable. 

Wednesday 28 August 2013

New Stratford-Upon-Avon AA Water: River Stour Alderminster to Crimscote.

I've noticed an update to the clubs website, they now have another stretch of the Warwickshire Stour. From Alderminster to Crimscote. Might go and have a butchers. 

Tuesday 27 August 2013

Wychavon Championship - Evesham Fishing Festival

I popped down to the Evesham's Crown Meadow on Sunday for a nose around. The tackle bargains on sale were nothing to write home about but some good match fishing on if you like that sort of thing, there was a big selection of beers and ciders on tap too.

A good mate of mine Micky Arthur's brother was fishing the match, the well regarded Jon Arthur of pole fishing magazine. Had a quick chat whilst he was setting up before going for a egg and bacon batch and a pint of Wychwood Thrasher.

I didn't stay around for the whole match but whilst I was watching Jon, Jeff Spiers a local angler had hooked in to a barbel from the peg down. He took a long time to get it in, but then it could have been the match winner and a 3k fish.

You're a bit limited to what you can do on a pole set-up I suppose, top skills though as it was a good'un and might have even crept in to double figures. I'm not a fan of keeping big barbel in keepnets to be honest but then I'm up on match fishing, maybe they should weigh them when caught rather than keeping them a net for 5 hours. At least the angler gave the fish plenty of time to recover in the landing net.

Jon had a late Barbel and ended up winning the match, shame I had left by then. Nice one Jon.

  1. Jon Arthur (Pole Fishing Magazine) 11-15-0 (peg 11)
  2. Sean Riedy (WB Clarke) 11-10-0 (peg 44)
  3. Jeff Spiers (Evesham Bait Box) 11-3-0 (peg 10)
Match Fishing Magazine

Saturday 24 August 2013

Wimpstone - Warwickshire Stour

I was helping my friend Simon move house from Honington to Warwick today, he couldn't get the van till 10.30am so I decided to dangle the worm for a couple of hours as on route just outside Stratford-Upon-Avon I'd pass through Wimpstone.

The area I decided to fish was a stretch I'd never fished before, it was the top water and accessed through Wimpstone village.

It ain't no Warwickshire Avon that's for sure but especially in the winter it can be a decent enough fishing venue and makes a change from the regular waters I fish.

The river is slow and low at the minute and I didn't fancy trotting, so armed with a light quiver rod and a link ledger set-up I planned to fish worm and bread on the hook and ball in the odd handful of liquidised bread.

More or less a bite every chuck, and a had a nice Chub of around 3lb from under a small raft and plenty of Gudgeon, Perch and small Roach.

It's a bit characterless to be honest and when it's low it looks lifeless, maybe too open if you get my drift. I spotted a few kingfishers so it was worthwhile just for that.

Wednesday 21 August 2013

Good old sweetcorn...

Whilst the rivers are low and clear I wanted to try for one of Snitterfields crucian carp, specifically one of the old warriors. I've had a two pounder in the past and lost one that was foul hooked that would probably have beaten that.

For an hour or I couldn't muster up a bite for love nor money. Hookbait was 6mm tiger fish sonubaits hooker pellets which I've used in the past with some good results.

The reservoir is really low and the margins are full of sticky green weed that carpets the concrete bottom, maybe sweetcorn stands out more than a brown pellet, but the switch to sweetcorn really did get the fish interested. I decided to float fish this time rather than a small method feeder and it's a perfect method for crucian carp. I favour the smallest drennan glowtip antenna float as it shows up the most sensitive of bites.

First two fish were small Tench but then for the next two hours I had 10 or so crucians and lost a few too. The biggest was getting on for a pound, not one of the old'uns but an encouraging sign for the future.

Cheers for the picture Keith.

Sunday 18 August 2013

My Barbel rig....

I've tried various hook lengths, different types of hook links and hooks but this simple rig, especially when the river is clear works well.

The hooklink is Korda gravel brown soft n-trap, only about a foot long with a large stonze weight about 2.5 oz which is attached to the line by a guru safety clip. Hook is a size 12 wide gape by Pallatrax.

Saturday 17 August 2013

Mud bath

With the Wife on a spa weekend and me having to look after the little terrors the only opportunity to go fishing was Friday morning.

The river was low and clear when I got to the 'brook' I even spotted a Barbel venturing out from under the overhanging tree peg so I thought I was in for a good day.

I managed a chub first cast but that's where the fun ended :) as soon after I had an eel that had somehow swallowed a big piece of luncheon meat and a size 12 hook.

The heavens opened and didn't stop for the three hours I was there. The peg quickly turned in to a mud bath and after failing to connect to some chub bites I had a proper 4ft twitch. I ventured out from under the umbrella to snatch at the rod which was violently wrapped over, slipped, went arse over tit and with rod still in hand was staring at the sky :)

The problem was, the ensuing calamity gave enough time for the Barbel to find a snag in the countless cover, it was game over as it parted from the hook.

Mud was everywhere, I was soaked and decided to call it a day. Arrrrhhhhhhhhh !!!!!!

Wednesday 14 August 2013

Foul hooked failure....

I fished the Avon Brook Sunday but my SD card decided to give up the ghost, nothing that I could do would bring it back to life and retrieve the pictures, looks like the internal chip cracked probably down to old age. Luckily I use this blog to upload my pictures so only a days fishing lost. Nothing to write home about but I had a small Pike of around 4lb on a small firetiger shad and also a Chub.

I bumped in to Daniel Everitt from http://thelureofangling.blogspot.co.uk/ who was having a mooch about as as the river was low and gin clear, ideal conditions to see what features the river hides when the water is higher. I spotted quite a few Barbel when roving about but none graced my hook. They were making the most of the cover available and most of the swims were suicidal because of the snags.

Anyway, I haven't been to Snitterfield reservoir for a while but the search for a decent crucian continues, I've had a 2lber so far this year and and I know there are bigger ones in here.

I couldn't believe how low it was when I got to my swim, not many fish moving either. 2 pronged attack, a float fished soft pellet lift style and also a method feeder on the sleeper rod and alternating between small sbs corn boilies and fake caster.

The problem with Snitterfield reservoir when targeting the crucians is the king carp, they are plentiful here and especially active of an evening when patrol the margins. The first run I had on the method feeder was indeed a decent carp but the tackle and size 14 hook wasn't a match for it. One tip if you after the carp here, fish an evening and fish a bait over a few freebies about a metre out or so and away from the snags. No sign of crucians for the first couple of hours, quite a few bream and the odd small tench, it was only the last hours when a couple of ickle ones jumping out the water signaled some in my swim.

I managed 2 small crucians and then all went quiet. I was starting to pack up and the float lifted right out of the water and I struck in to something half decent. It felt like a tench at first but then there was a flash of gold, unmistakably a crucian, and a good'un too. 

Problem was it wasn't hooked in the mouth, it was foul hooked in the flank. It was heading towards the lilies so I had no option to apply a little more side strain and sadly the inevitable happened the hook lost it's hold. Damn, looked a proper one and would probably have beaten my PB. That's fishing for you though, don't want it too easy, that's part of the appeal, the one that got away.

I've got to entertain the kids for the whole weekend whilst the Wife is at a spa weekend with her sister, so I've a morning session planned for Friday.

Thursday 8 August 2013

Not quite the full Magoo

I've been trying to find some half decent polarised sunglasses for fishing, I've been through so many now. They usually break prematurely, I lose them or they don't quite fully isolate my eyes which hinders performance, my last pair my son Sam brought to me in three pieces so the hunt was on for some replacements.

I happened to catch 'Thinking Tackle' on Sky and Adam Penning was stalking carp and he was wearing what looked like small welding goggles, goggles that wouldn't look out of place on Mr Magoo. They were 'cocoons' and are meant to be worn over prescription sunglasses. After reading plenty of reviews and trying some on at the CLA game fair I bought a pair, and so far so good.

I don't wear glasses but that doesn't matter as they really do isolate or 'cocoon' your eyes from glare. The lenses look fantastic quality and the do seem to be more robust than others I've tried.

No quite the full Mr Magoo as these are the mini / slim version but looking forward to using them in anger, proof is in the pudding and all that. 40 quid from Hartley Fly

Saturday 3 August 2013

Shanghai AC match 02.08.13 - Little Geary's Packington Somers

Yesterday was another Shanghai Anglers Club match, venue was little Geary's at Packington Somers. We fished here last year and fishing in the margins and a method or bomb against the island seemed to be the approach.

I drew peg 5 where the right hand margin was around 2ft deep, I had bites on maggot straight away, small roach, perch and skimmers and a bite every chuck. I've said before match fishing really isn't my bag but it's nice to meet up with friends, dare I say it, it's too easy, oh and not relaxing. For 5 hours you are on the go all the time.

I quickly switched to some soft pellets where the float sailed under and I was in to the first F1, the tighter you get to the margin the better. The F1's were all pretty small though, the biggest I had within the first 3.5 hours was only a pound an a half of so. The heavens opened for half an hour so and the bites seemed to dry up.

I switch to method feeder when it stopped and for the last hour managed a few for F1's. No proper carp graced my net but I thought I'd done ok.

Upon weighing in most people had caught ok but it was Dave Roberts who managed to find the proper carp. He fed a pound or so of pellets at the start of the match and fished a small 10mm boilie over the top. He weighed in 59lb.

I was nowhere near that but managed to finish 2nd with 30lb, at least I was in the money. Even Brian Waters managed 19lb and he usually struggles. No doubt it's fishing well and if we come back here again I'll try different tactics.
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