Piscatorial Quagswagging

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

Monday 9 March 2015

Warwickshire Avon - The Redfin of Brobdingnagian Proportions.

My often unfathomable and idiosyncratic dreams full of fright, fantasy and funbags (usually the result of too much port and stilton) was pleasantly replaced with a chimera of cyprinidae, it featured a redfin capture of Brobdingnagian proportions from a swim I knew very well. The flashback in the morning was so strong in my subconsciousness I ditched the barbel session entirely, codged together a suitable roach set-up and buggered off to an entirely different area of the river around 5 miles away. Before I left the house to go on my mission the Wife said maybe I should professional seek help, not the first time I’ve been told that but hey, if there is a sense of reality, there must be a sense of possibility. As an angler and mediocre specimen fish seeker, there’s no room for pessimism.

She clearly didn’t understand the dilemma I was in……….

Prior to this session, all I’d caught from this Warwickshire Avon swim were the vulgus, not one would have given a half decent Zander a belly ache, more of an irritation, a mere toothpick. The barbel could wait for another week, I just had to give it a go, I’d only kick myself and become irritable if I didn’t. Success is often achieved by those who don't know that failure is inevitable. It’s a relatively short stretch that’s chock -full of Roach, either side more barren than a barren thing, they don’t seem to like to venture far these fish. From a couple of previous trips bites were so frequent the use of two quiver rods was out of the question

Sadly the probability of catching anything other than the norm was low, the story of my piscatorial life……….

The main set-up was simple my 11ft avon quiver rod, a cage feeder filled with liquidised bread and maggot to provide a nice scent trail. Hookbait was worm or a bread disc. I’ve found large dendrobaenas fantastic for Roach, with the worm secured on a size 14 wide gape Kamasan B983 the majority of bites resulted in a banked fish. Weirdly the Roach don’t tend to be so keen on the smaller worms maybe they are less visible and not as enticing as a bigger wriggler who knows. But bigger the better as worms go. So to try and single out the bigger roach with bigger mouths I ditched the dendrobaenas for lobworms and switched to a size 10.

It sure ain’t cricket……….

With lobs I tend to hook them through the saddle and then break the worm at that point, you get double the usage that way but it also releases the juices the fish seem to love. A lob worm head or tail if you will. The folded bread discs to be used were the size of a 2 quid coin , I’ve had Roach well over a pound on the local reservoir using baits this size (before I started to properly weigh them ), so no reason to change for this session. To try and avoid spooking the more weary fish I used a 1m hooklink of super low diameter reflo power line with a shot added an inch from the hook to sink the bread.

The Roach were still there when the rig first settled, again nothing of size sadly but at least I was catching. After the 5th or 6th fish the swim went quiet and lo and behold a tentative bite and a fish was hugging bottom this was no Roach. Yeap, a greedy Jack Pike that I managed to land as it was hooked in the scissors. I started catching Roach again and the biggest went 10oz.

Using bigger pieces of worm, bites were often missed, probably something like 1 in 5 resulted in a banked fish. So where was this massive Roach then, ? nowhere to be seen. It didn’t help that I had to cut the session early too as a flu fever took over and hot sweats changed to my entire body covered in goose bumps. I was rough the rest of the weekend. With the closed season here with us next week, it will have to wait for another day. I returned through the woods and again took a load of dumped angler’s rubbish hanging from tree home, discarded rubbish today was a load of cheap Polish beer cans and tins of sweetcorn, in a Lanes carrier bag. I despair.


  1. Lovely catch Mick, the roach were certainly having it, but a great shame about that litter, it would ruin it for me too. Why oh why?

  2. Why take the time to bag it all up and then just leave it, madness and really pees me off, seems to be getting worse too.


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