Monday 23 January 2017

Warwickshire Avon – Fools Cold

One look out of the window would have sent most people back to bed but more often than not I’ve caught fish at dawn and then after an hour or so things would go quiet. As an angler though, you don’t have an option, you need to get out there.

Time and tide wait for no man….

With a much harder frost compared to Fridays muddy and pleasant sunny day this was a different proposition all together. Hard and crunchy underfoot and a biting frost that froze ones exposed pinkies. The light neoprene gloves I’ve been wearing are fantastic, as you can tie a hook without issue but the thumb and forefinger are exposed to the elements.

Let’s just say, it wasn’t particularly pleasant….

Two deadbait rods with running rig set-ups, a headless Roach, Sakuma Mantas and light bobbins.

Just look at the full stomach on this 8lb 3oz Warwickshire Avon Zander
Now the river had dropped considerably in two days and the cold weather had removed the colour out if it too so I thought it was going to be a difficult session but as the sun rose it started to illuminate the water with its strong amber and red colours I had the first bite.

12 minutes since the rods went out in more or less which is the length of ‘Fools Gold’ by the Stone Roses and lead vocalist Ian Brown. Sometimes when listening to it, it feels a life time, others it’s ended too soon. It was part of my youth after all, the sound of the wah-wah pedal and the volcanic landscape of Lanzarote not forgotten.

As a family we visited the Timanfaya National Park, we didn’t stray on the protected environment like the Stones mind you but the track was always in the back of my mind, awesome stuff.

Now this bite felt quick, certainly not a lifetime I expected in these conditons,the backdrop chalk and cheese, the coffee still hot.

The bobbin jumped in to life, line was being taken from the bait runner and the rod tip was bouncing. Now I’ve caught plenty of Zander to know that was exactly was on the end of the line. It’s a distinctive fight particularly the bigger fish.

They either fight well or they don’t, some just decide to give up early, this one didn’t though and gave a good few powerful plodding runs. The lead could be felt bouncing on the line though which is never a good thing but this time the hook seemed to be stuck firm.

Then the fish surfaced, yeap it’s a good’un…..

It’s an elevated swim here so not exactly an easy landing exercise and when the fish eventually was netted I gave a big sigh of relief.

Not the lunker I was after but still a good fish and great to see in the relatively clear water.

Now I’m sure somewhere a weight / length chart exists for Zander but I might even start to compile my own as I’m sure they don’t follow a pattern especially when they get big because although this wasn’t the longest of fish I’ve caught it was certainly the most portly.

The stomach was huge and a quick squeeze it must have had an early Sunday dinner.

Weigh sling removed from bag, scales attached and then zeroed, the fish went 8lb 3oz….

So a PB river Zander, I wouldn’t say I was disappointed as there are bigger fish here, but at least the fish size are increasing.

A jack soon after, the swim went quiet. All before 8.30am too, If I rocked up at 9.00am it would have been a different story I would suspect.


  1. Nice one on the PB front, they are there somewhere.

  2. Well done again Mick. Getting close to that double now...

  3. Excellent fish Mick. Quite the dab hand at this river zandering lark already

    1. What's encouraging is that the stretch I fish always throws up decent weights of fish despite happily living among some big predators. Otters and cormorants excluded. Heck I might even travel to the lower Avon where they are even bigger apparently.

  4. Cracking Zed Sir!, that's a proper fish and from a river too...

    1. Cheers James, you only have to look at my 'Posts On' on my sidebar to see that I enjoy fishing for them. What is surprising me is these fish are from areas that are not really renowned for them. Much further down is where they tend to hang out but then that's another 30/45 minutes on my journey, time is precious and all that.

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  6. Love those early starts in Winter. They can't come soon enough for me.


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