Piscatorial Quagswagging

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

Tuesday 28 January 2014

Sunday 19 January 2014

The Warwick Racecourse Reservoir Blues....

What a surprise due to the all rain we have had all the rivers I usually fish, the Warwick Stour, Avon, Alne, Arrow are overflowing and the water is over the banks and in to the fields. I had planned to do some overdue fishing for Chub but sadly that wasn’t going to happen so today was another trip the Warwick Racecourse reservoir. I pre-warned the bailiff this time and without my mate Simon in tow an early start was on the cards. The reservoir has chain linked fencing around its perimeter so it does feel a little like a correctional facility especially as the proximity from fencing to peg isn’t that much.

Warwick Racecourse uses the reservoir for irrigation, to top it back up again an abstraction license allows to fresh clean water from Gog Brook which runs alongside the outside back straight of the flat track to be used to top it up again. An influx of fresh clean water especially during the summer months provides great water quality for the fish and the fish react to that from what I’ve heard from the Bailiff.

The reservoir sits within St Mary’s Lands which is a large area of land owned by the district council. It was formerly common land and many local people refer to it as such. It is subject in part to a number of leases – to a local football club that also serves as a youth/community centre for a nearby council housing estate, a rugby club, a corps of drums, a 9 hole golf course/driving range and obviously the racecourse for up to 28 days a year.

The area is in part also of some wildlife and ecological significance. Apparently there is some
evidence of archaeological remains under part of the site. Jeff when you’re here next bring your metal detector.

Talking of digging, Warwick Racecourse had its inaugural race in 1707, but another 102 years passed before the first stand was opened, at a cost of £800, parts of which remain today amongst the later developments such as the 1707 restaurant which overlooks the winning post. It’s the oldest grandstand in the country apparently, Red Rum raced at the course in 1967 and in the same jockeys complained the track was the worst they had ever seen, and called for racing to be abandoned after some horses sank into the mud by over a foot!.

Anyway to the fishing, I caught a 2lb 9lb Perch (a PB) last week and it really was in stunning condition so Perch was again my intended target. I decided to use two rods this time though, both baited with lobworms but also I’d have a sleeper rod out with the low resistance zandervan rollover indicator. For attraction, red maggots used as loose feed around the float to hopefully attract small fish for the Perch to prey on. After ‘acquiring’ some automotive seat foam I thought I’d try something new, I soaked the foam in worm extract and stuff it within a cage feeder on a running rig set-up.

I was there at 7.30am and before the sun came up I missed a couple of bites on the float and managed a Perch just under a pound on the sleeper rod. Then it all went pear shaped, not a cloud in the sky and the sun was strong. The worst conditions for Perch going and as such the bites dried up.

Tony the bailiff and another angler were present and I didn't think they were doing any good either. I suppose a couple of hours before dusk would be the best time to fish for them but doesn't really fit in with my family commitments.

It looks like the rivers will be fishable next weekend, I've enjoyed trying out a new venue and certainly in the close season I'll be back to try for the Perch, it's a lovely little water with friendly faces, you ought to try it.

Sunday 12 January 2014

A Night-Mare start but a PB Perch.

A mate Simon told me about this pool, he just so happens he lives in Warwick and it's on his doorstep, I'm only ten minutes away too so how come I didn't know about it, well it's pretty well hidden and cannot be seen from the road. He ain't the best fisherman bless him but he did pretty well when he fished it in the summer, so with the rivers in a bit of a state a plan was set to fish it Sunday morning.

A bit of research and emailing I found it contained some decent Perch, now we all know Roach and Perch don't really mind the winter months so again Perch was my target, Simon, well, anything that swims would do.

I had some King prawns flavoured in CC Moores, shrimp, krill and worm which I've has some success with in the past but I also had a job lot of lobworms.

It didn't start too well, I usually fish from dawn for 4 or 5 hours but as I was picking up Simon the earliest he could do was 8.15am as he had to drop his Son at his parents. It didn't help that the heavy overnight frost meant Simon was taking it easy driving back from Shipston-Upon-Stour in his ultimate driving machine, his RWD BMW, which doesn't seem to work when it's anything but dry roads.

Anyway back to the fishing, it didn't really matter that Simon was 20 minutes late as when we turned up at the gates, they were locked. B*gger....

Luckily for us though the bailiffs number was displayed so I rang and he answered. He didn't think anyone would be stupid enough to fish today but good on him as 15 minutes later he was wandering over the frost covered grass with a set of keys, probably cursing the two of us that got him out of bed.

With time now limited, a quick chat with the bailiff and a fiver paid I set-up at peg 8, with Simon the next peg down. It's not a huge pool by any means but has some really interesting swims and the bush cover to my left looked a Perch haven. Yes, that's ice you can see in the picture below and it was mobile too as the sheet moved around the pool during the first couple of hours until the suns rays took hold.

With the sun quite strong I think it put the Perch off as it really was slow going with only a small Perch on prawn to show for it.

Fishing is all about patience though isn't it and eventually the sun was covered by some cloud, the bites started to come and Simon managed to catch a similar size Perch as mine, things were looking up.

I loose fed some more chopped worm and dead maggot and it didn't take long for my double lobworm hookbait to be sucked up by something and the float was sailing under the water. I tend to wait till the float is under the water for a decent amount of time before striking and when I did I was met with solid resistance. It felt like a decent Perch.

They do fight well and there is nothing more impressive than a good'un. When it surfaced I knew it was one of the biggest Perch I've caught. Not as big as the one I caught at Centre Parcs Elveden but sadly not having scales that one I couldn't weigh.

It looked bigger then it weighed but 2lb 9oz it was still a PB, I was well chuffed,  it's another venue that has potential and makes a change to College pool, Simon also managed a 1.8oz Perch at last knockings, we'll be back as there are much bigger ones in here I'm sure.

With the river season on the countdown, hopefully Chub next weekend, please no more rain. I want a 6 lber before the season closes.

Wednesday 8 January 2014

No let up...

...in the rain, this picture of the Warwickshire Avon was just taken Sunday just upstream of Warwick castle at Myton Road on the Warwick & District Angling Association Stretch  

All the local rivers are in flood with Shipston-Upon-Stour particularly bad and I dare not go down the Avon Brook, I bet that's unrecognisable.

Perch are therefore my target for this weekend and I'm fishing a new venue this time rather than College Pool, it's just down the road but a bit of a hike from the car apparently so really looking forward to it. A mate of mine Simon will be in tow so I'm hoping at least one of us will catch something.

Thursday 2 January 2014

Another College Pool Stripy

So with the local rivers on the rise I went to College Pool to try and catch a decent Perch. As soon as the sun started to come up I switched from the margins and fished one rod in the middle of the pool.

25ft ? who knows but it's deep and dark and the double lobworm baited hook didn't settle for long before the indicator was on the rise.

Not a huge one this time, maybe a pound and a half or so but welcome all the same as the pool is full of greedy ickle ones.

Another decent Perch bumped the hook so I'm getting somewhere with the resident Perca fluviatilis, I'll be back.

Wednesday 1 January 2014

A few nibbles but that was it...

The Brook is certainly out of sorts, I thought with the river levels dropping and with some smelly Cheese paste I'd at least pick up a Chub or two. A few weeks ago I caught one from nearly every swim I fished.

However yesterday morning after trying 6 or 7 swims in a few hours I only had a few nibbles and knocks to show for it, it's certainly hard going at the minute, surely there should be Chub in these swims..

Can we have a cold spell please oh and happy new year to my fellow bloggers, hope you catch some PB's in 2014.

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