Piscatorial Quagswagging

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

Saturday 26 October 2013

Arrow'ing About...

Living in Bards country I really am spoilt for choice, so many miles of rivers that hardly ever see an angler. I like the solitude fishing brings and the venue today was Warwickshire's River Arrow.

The stretch I was fishing is the Austin members club stretch from Salford Priors through to Broom, it's an historic club with links to the Austin Longbridge factory in Birmingham that now is home to MG / SAIC . Longbridge opened in 1905 and by the 1960's was the largest car plant in the world employing a barely believable 250,000 workers. Sadly the site is now a tiny fraction of it's former size and many of the buildings that built planes during the war are now new houses.  Employee total today, well around 300 odd engineers, 4 stray cats and lots of rats.

Many of the workers used to camp at this stretch and fish from what I've been told as there used to be train links direct to the factory, like many rivers in this country, over the years the decline of numbers of river anglers has been quite dramatic.The Broom junction signal box can still be seen on the A46 as you head back to Stratford. It was part of the Ashchurch to Barnt Green Line, opened in 1879 and closed in 1963.

Fish are more confident when the water is coloured, today was ideal as after the recent rain it was chocolate brown. The river had a decent pace to it and it was mild.

There is plenty of this river to explore but with only 3 hours fishing I decided to fish a few swims in the first meadow.

I had my 10ft TFG all-rounder rod with me and I was fishing a simple link ledgered lobworm that had freedom to bounce around the swim.  No bites for an hour or so but in each swim I tried I put in some bait and the plan was to return to the swim when I was heading back to see if any fish had moved in to the area.

There is plenty of cover for the fish in this stretch of the Arrow so the first fish that I caught was a nice Chub. I really am impressed with the TFG rod, the last ft and half or so of the tip is painted white and it really does stand out when the water would make Augustus Gloop feel at home.

The Chub was only about 3 pound or so and I caught a similar sized one from the same swim 10 minutes later. I returned to the second swim I fished and baited with double lob worm, it was an area of slack water just off the main flow, really did scream Barbel and right enough, after 20 minutes the 3oz quiver tip was whacked over and I was playing a powerful fish.

It must have been on the same excerise plan as Wasperton's College Pool Carp as when I landed it I was suprised it wasn't bigger. A welcome October Barbel though that looked like it might have been grabbed by a Pike in the past and had a distinctive anal fin , it weighed 4lb 10oz . There is still plenty to explore on the section of River and even though the traffic noise wasn't the best the scenery made up for it so I'll be back.

Saturday 19 October 2013

Brook Perch

It was dark and gloomy when I got to the Brook at 7.00am, an angry sky but a lovely scene all the same. I bait dropped some chopped worm, caster and red maggots in to my Perch banker swim and then made myself some breakfast.

Within an hour the sun came out and I had to take my jacket off, nearly the end of October and I was in my t-shirt.

I've had some decent Perch out the weir pool so that was my first port of call but the only think that took a liking to my lobworms was a crayfish. It's the first crayfish that I've caught in the Avon brook section so I certainly don't think the Warwickshire Avon has the problem some of the other local rivers have.

I was only fishing for a few hours so the last couple of hours I spent in the banker swim, again the Perch were here and had 6 or 7 over a pound with the biggest 1lb 10oz.

I trotted today as I missed using the centepin last time when I ledgered.  I'm hoping come winter time some of the Perch have put on a bit of timber because the fish were long and lean, an encouraging sign though and another enjoyable morning.

Friday 18 October 2013

Operation Perch...

Don't worry it's not a history lesson on Operation Perch which was a failed British offensive of the Second World War, I've another weeks family break to Centre Parcs in Elveden next month. In March this year I caught a clonker of a Perch at Elvedon's main lake that believe it or not took a linking to my float fished sweetcorn. Easily the biggest Perch I have ever caught and sods law didn't have the weighing scales with me. This time though, I'm going prepared.

I've a sack full of lobworms, red maggots, casters and some dark groundbait. The lobworms and maggots will be dipped in Archie Braddock's Perch Magic. You know what us fishermen are like, anything for an edge, and with it being November I'm hoping the lakes resident carp won't be that active.

I'm planning to float fish lobworm with a centrepin set-up and I'll have a low resistance sleeper rod out with lobworm or kingprawn. I'm hopefully going to fish three or four mornings and maybe a couple of afternoons in to dusk.

Perch plans for this weekend too, I'm going back to the Brook. Weird isn't it, it's probably ideal Barbel conditions on the Warwickshire Avon this weekend, and yet all I can think about is the Sergeant Perch

Monday 14 October 2013


Friday was Shanghai's AC Fur and Feather at Tunnel Barn. Dave Roberts won again with 38lb or something. A match I didn't enjoy at all, the haul them in match fisherman have taken their toll and many of the fish had deformed mouths. I've decided that's the last visit to this venue for me.

In much more pleasant surroundings I had a few hours Sunday morning at the Avon Brook. I fished my Perch banker swim a few weeks ago but it was low and clear and only managed small un's. The River was up a couple of foot or so and had some colour, ideal and I grabbed at the opportunity.

I bought a cracking little rod recently when I was having a nose around Go-Outdoors. It's was a TFG 8-10ft compact all-rounder. It came with three tips and an avon type top. The rod is perfect for small river Perching, it comes in a nice brown blank too, oh and it was less than 40 quid. Tactics for today was a simple link ledger set-up and bites were registered with the 2oz quiver. Bait was lobworm

There is nothing like a big Perch, a Chub just pips as my favorite species but it's right up there. In this swim if you don't have a Perch on the end of your line within 5 minutes they are not there. They were there in numbers though and I landed at least 12 decent Perch, all over a pound and the biggest a pound and three quarters. I lost two potential 2lbers too, both lightly hooked I think and bumped the hook.

After 2 hours I ran out of lobworms and as it started to rain so I called it a day. Oh and a reminder to myself, I must get round to cleaning the camera lens.

Tuesday 8 October 2013

Bankside Bangers....

I blame Brian and his breakfast pictures from http://www.pikeblog.com/ for an impulse purchase.

It cost me a Bobby Moore from Argos but I can now cook my own Bankside Bangers on my  Campingaz Bistro camping stove. Sausages, Black Pudding and HP sauce. Is there a better fishing breakfast...?

Sunday 6 October 2013

What no Lilypads

With the rivers so low and not knowing what to fish for I decided to try for another Warwickshire Avon Carp. I planned to try and catch one off the top again so I brought my carp rod with bubble float some chum mixers and a loaf of crusty bread.

What a difference a few weeks makes as there was hardly a lilypad in sight, this area was thick with them which gave a safe and secure home for many carp.

They were nowhere to be seen either, luckily I also had my lure rod in the car so I had no choice but to do a bit of roving.

Wasperton had always been a strange venue. The first year I fished it I had loads of Chub, 8 or so 3 or 4 pounders in a 4 hour session was the norm but then then the fishing went off after the floods. There are some big bream to be had too and on the BAA stretch I had one that was 8lb. It screams Pike though and I've had some small ones from here but when it gets colder I'm going to try trotting for them.

I had about 8 or 9 Perch today, nothing of size but there was a few bigger ones that followed the lure right up to the bank. Couldn't believe how mild it was, it was 18.5 degrees when I left.

Oh and a credit to Leamington Anglers Association the bank and path clearing they have done down here is worthy of a mention. It's a Shanghai anglers match at Tunnel Barn next week, even though I'm not a huge fan of the venue at least I'll catch some fish.

Thursday 3 October 2013

The Korum Grub Feeder

I'm looking forward to trying these new Korum Grub Feeders, they look just the ticket.

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