Monday, 26 October 2015

Warwickshire Avon – Ace in the shoal

The exuberant smash and grabbers were here in a large shoal previously and after seeing the flanks of an extremely large perch showing itself when retrieving one of the live baits the near 2lber I eventually caught did nothing to quell the mystery.

This was far bigger…

The feeding frenzy of bright silver flat sided herring like bleak must be such a visual eye candy to the predatory Perch but I would suspect they would fail more times than they would succeed such is the Bleaks speed. They are superfast…

…but not under a 6g Pike float.

Having run out of time before I could find out what lurked within the swims depths, I came better prepared for this session as in addition to the dinky Pike float and size 6 Kamasan B693 set-up I made up a dedicated bleak catching rod and a bucket for holding the quarry. A size 18 barbless hook donned with a fake maggot, a self hooking weighty puddle chucker and maggot aplenty. Previously I’d changed hooklinks via a quick change bead, which was a pain in the proverbials, I wanted to maximise the preys’ exposure in front of a fat greedy perch as I could catch more bleak if need be whilst waiting the float to go under.

This is one of the narrowest swims on the Avon I fish, with a long run up I’d say jumpable. It’s got stupidly thick far bank cover and despite the pace of the river due to the bottle-necking there is an unusually large area of slack that the float can be positioned. What the last session taught me was that the suspended and tethered Bleak will eventually move it off target and it will need to be re-positioned but often the prey fish will be cover bound and a few turns of the reel it’s back in the target zone again.

The problem was I couldn’t fish as the light was fading so a bright sunny day with no cloud cover wasn’t ideal for perch fishing. Despite the recent rain, it was gin clear too which would probably mean the bigger wish would be tucked away. I thought causing a disturbance in the water with feeding bleak might get them interested. 

Catching the bleak was pretty easy, they seemed to prefer the faster water and trundling the float down a fish I had more or less a fish every chuck. I kept a small bucket of water for the baits which would be returned when the session was over. I suspect a net full could be easily achieved if that’s your thing.

Half an hour passed without much interest but then the float sailed under and I struck in to a fish, damn a small jack Pike. I landed it under 5lb power pro and recast as well as feeding maggots in to the swim. Not long after the float sailed under but again, another Pike, this was hugging bottom and eventually it let go of the fish. The Perch didn’t seem to be interested so I changed to a 12lb soft braid and sure enough the float didn’t stay afloat for very long, straight under it went. A nice fight on light tackle but not a huge Pike, I didn’t weigh it but looked 6lb or so.

With the swim knackered I tried a couple of swims upstream without interest so returned to the swim and eventually managed a small perch but then it went very quiet with no more fish caught. I’ll return again to try and capture the ace in the shoal but I’ll wait for more favorable conditions.


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