Piscatorial Quagswagging

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

Monday 30 September 2013

A dry spell...

Last weekend I didn't even wet a line, a visit to a good friend of mine in Durham meant I didn't have time. It's dark at 7.30pm now so a trip in the week after work isn't really possible either. My twice a week fishing trips are now well and truly over.

So where is the rain ? the driest I've known it in recent times and with rivers low the fishing ain't that good. Yesterday I had a trip to the Avon brook. I had some worms in the fridge that were going to be trotted under a chubber float and I also had a small small lure rod with me and just planned to have a rove around. The water was gin clear, low and in nearly every swim I could see the bottom. It's a great time to map the features of the river, but not so good for the fishing.

What a glorious sunrise I was greeted with. It was mild too and a little muggy, but fishing isn't all about catching fish, the scene reminded me why I get up and go fishing in the morning, stunning.

First swim I tried was my Perch banker swim, I've had some big'uns at this swim in the past. I couldn't believe how clear the water was though so only greedy little Perch took a liking to the worms.

The weir didn't produce any fish and a couple of swims downstream I noticed a tree is now covering the river, great for fish cover but next year the annual Wellesbourne & District Lions Club charity raft race with have some fun getting past this obstacle.

The first bend downstream of the weir I clocked 5 decent chub feeding in the flow but the river was at it's narrowest so trotting a float was difficult as it was motoring through. I did manage a few small chub and quite a few Perch but nothing of size.

The deeper swims again produced some small chub and perch but nothing more than 1/2 a pound. I was the only angler at the brook today. Please can we have some rain, a good two weeks worth would be nice. It was 18 degrees when I left a 11.00am.

I'm struggling to know what to fish for and next weekend I might try for another River Carp. I've not caught a decent fish in ages, definitely a dry spell in more ways than one.

Sunday 15 September 2013

Blythe, Barston and the Brook...

Friday afternoon was the Shanghai AC match at Barston lakes. Only 10 fishing the match and I drew peg 10. With my method feeder rod already set-up and 45 minutes before the match was going to start I went for a look at the river Blythe which is a stones throw away from the main lake.

It's a lovely little river and the first time I've fished it. Apparently it has some nice Chub, Perch, Pike and even some trout. With only my Eel rod spare I baited with a couple of lobworms to see if I could tempt anything. After a few minutes I was getting some sharp knocks on the rod tip, a small Chub maybe, or a greedy Perch. Err No, a dreaded Blythe crayfish.

A friend of mine Breezy is the bailiff for a stretch of the Blythe in Coleshill and he has promised to take me for a bit of a roving session. Some good Chub to be had if you know where to go.

Anyway back to match, peg ten is right opposite the 18th hole. I fished peg 13 before and came second with 40 off pound of carp and I intended to fish the same tactics. Method feeder with dead maggot, groundbait and pellets with a red boilie pop-up.  There was a charity carp match on the opposite side of the lake and the reports were not many fish were being caught.

I should have bought a float rod as for 3 hours didn't even have a bite and Dave Bennett and Rich either side of me were catching steadily on the pole.

An hour and a half left of the match I managed to hook in to a carp, sadly after trying to prevent it from making a mess of Rich's swim it bumped the hook. My 1.75TC Barbel rod was needed to get the feeder near the island, where the carp seemed to be.

The carp seemed to be on the feed and I had the decent F1 of around 3lb and then straight after a big fat ghostie of 11lb. I lost another carp in the last 5 minutes of the match, not a good day at all.

Steve Breeze won with a bag full of bream, F1's for 46lb, Dave Roberts 3rd with 20 odd and Dave Bennett finished 3rd with 16lb. I was 5th. The last two hours it properly chucked it down so the fish were weighed in record time.

Sunday morning I popped to the Brook for a few hours, the river was up but much clearer than I thought. I tried a number of swims with meat, lobworms and fakey from the hookbait company. I've bought some of their bread looking fakey that looks ideal for winter Chub but this was some of their 3-B. It's something a bit different that the norm, anything for an edge and all that.

The only fish to take a liking to the 3-B was a small Chub, certainly no signs of any Barbel despite using a bait dropper in a few swims.

Switching to lobworms, again brought more small Chub and some even smaller Perch.

For the last half an hour I tried a bit lump of garlic spam, lots of small knocks on the tip but after striking at one of the knocks it was an even smaller fish that was foul hooked. A decent size gudgeon though considering the meat is 30mm wide.

Autumn is on the way, leaves are appearing in my garden and the car was showing 5.5 degrees when I left. Perch time me thinks.

Saturday 7 September 2013

Warwickshire Stour, Alderminster to Crimscote.

Picture heavy this one, but that was intended for this post as I went for a look at the new stretch of the Warwickshire Stour that Stratford-Upon-Avon angling association now offer.

Short and sweet but I caught 12 Chub in 3 hours, nothing of size though but a nice healthy river in a lovely setting. It's very low at the minute but every fishable swim produced a fish.

Simple tactics, 10ft MP specialist pro rod, small map inline cage feeder, liquidised bread and 15" method hair rig with bread discs as bait. I lost a cracking Roach at the last swim, some good signs for the winter.

Great customer service from Korum

I had an issue with both of my Korum Kxi60 reels. They are 18mths old however the rear freespin drag rotating knobs plastic moulding cracked which meant the circlip didn't do it's job and retain itself on the shaft. One broke completely, the other was on the way out. Apart from that they still were in excellent condition.

I contacted Korum via their website and a few days later Stephen Lacey from Korum sent me two new knobs, some brochures and a DVD, all FOC.

Thanks again, great service.

Had a good morning down the Warwickshire Stour exploring a new stretch, I'll post about it Monday.

Thursday 5 September 2013

The Green Lagoon

The reservoir looked as green as my brothers fish tank, I know we haven't had much rain recently but the levels have dropped something dramatic, maybe >6 foot lower than normal levels.

Lots of the thick blanket weed has also risen from the bed to the surface this meant my favoured swim was out of action as the weed sticks to the line like sh*t to a blanket.

I was talking to a chap this evening and he reckoned that the owner of the reservoir wanted the trees cut back and some removed as it was damaging the concrete and explain why the levels are low. As it's low now you can see the concrete is damaged in plenty of places, just looks like minor surface damage to me but then what do I know. We have certainly had a fantastic summer this year and you only have to look at your own parched lawn that it's been drier than a desert in drought. We didn't even go abroad this year, the weather was so good. Removing the trees certainly has changed the character of the place, sadly not for the better.

The carp were certainly moving on the far side of the reservoir, it was a very warm evening and they were feeding on the surface. I was after the crucians though so I moved to the corner of the lake where there was an area that was clear of the surface crud.

I decided to use a two rod approach, a float rig accurately plumbed just on the shelf with small slivers of garlic spam as bait and the sleeper rod was a sbs corn boilie and corn popper that would hopefully be a contrast to the green weed.

For an hour as usual at this venue in the evening not a fat lot happened but then when the fish were on the mouch the float was starting to bob. The first run on the sleeper rod was a 1lb Tench so that's a good sign for the future, the Tench are getting bigger but again the first fish on the float was a bream, which followed by another bream and then another bream, well you get the picture.....

Rain the weekend apparently, woo-hoo!!!!!!!! cannot come soon enough, I've missed flowing water.

Monday 2 September 2013

Eels, The Final Frontier - Steve Ricketts

Some more lunchtime reading material turned up the weekend. I've always be fascinated by Eels and after a proper tug of war with one down the Avon they have gained my respect too, they fight like nothing else, a species I plan to try to fish for and target specifically.

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