Piscatorial Quagswagging

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

Friday 12 January 2018

Warwickshire Avon – Sloppy Joes and Shepherd’s Pies

Those poor Chub, I thought. What must they be thinking today ? Did Chub dream, and if so, were they torturing themselves with dreams of summer and mild, sunlit waters ? Did the river feel like a razor slicing across their blunt heads, or were they completely numb to all sensations ? Was it right for me to come down to add to their misery ?, because they are constantly watching their backs from the Ron Otters and cormorants, that must be a pain in the proverbials.

I put that question aside when I reminded myself that I'd purposely picked this arctic day to see if I could make something of it. Also to ease my conscience, I also reminded myself that I was as much of part of the landscape as the Chub in the river. The angler and his quarry have known each other far too long, he is in their blood and they are in his, that's why this angler was after Chub.

Didn't I have enough to do though, without coming fishing on such a biting cold day ? there was kids to appease, accounts to complete, the Wife's ample bosom to cosset, mystery's to unravel. Sure, but when you think about it, everything demands attention, it's down to you to pick the right thread for the day, the choice should always be yours.

The trick is not in convincing yourself you can do it, but simply doing it....

So I made up my mind to come fishing on a day when the temperature had lost sight of zero, a hard frost on the car, ground solid. I had to make the best of it or else betray myself I'd not come, by wishing I was still at home by the fire, by thinking it was no wonder no one else was about, only I was crazy enough.

If there is one thing I'm not, it's a moaner about conditions, in fact I'm always flabbergasted when I hear someone getting miserable over the weather. I can never understand how a person can crumple over such an inevitable thing. After all, why make a fuss about something you can do nothing about ? Ride above it, if you don't like it, but never bow to it. Inclement weather upsets people routines and that's always a good for them, it shocks them out of their comfortable torpor.

2 weather testing sessions last weekend, 7 fishing hours, 2 bites, one missed, one lost fish, my resolve being tested.

But I'm back again, but this time with a work time lunchtime winter warmer of daal, roti's, chiken curry with lots of red chilli rather than salad, I was ready to tackle the world. Life's too short for a petrol station sandwich, I like to eat well, you've probably worked that out I suppose.

Then again it sometimes goes out the window, and so it should from time to time. So who doesn’t love cheap mince, a product of advanced meat recovery systems separating meat from the animal leaving small amounts of skeletal tissue of bone and cartridge within the contents that have been detached during the process to add to the water, muscle, connective tissue, blood vessels, peripheral nerve and adipose tissue. 

Doesn’t it sound delicious….

There is the odd chance there is some lean meat in there somewhere but disguised in a Sloppy Joe Sandwich (I had it in the States) with onion, tomato sauce and Worcestershire sauce or in Shepherds’s Pie of peas, celery and carrots, topped off with some mashed potato or carrot and swede with a sprinkling of cheese, you’d be none the wiser.

It tastes good after all….

However after defrosting this minced beef I’d had stuck in the freezer for an unknown amount of time it looked like the skin of John Major’s Spitting Image puppet from ones youth, rather grey and washed out.

It certainly wasn’t appealing to the eye let’s put it that way and I’d probably struggle to give it as a freebee to Sweeny Todd so I was river bound, the Chevin who will more or less eat anything if you put it in-front of him, surely wouldn’t refuse this meaty offering. I’ve caught Chub on steak for a few years now, it’s a reliable bait especially on a clear river where they become wary of most baits, steak though, they just seem to nail it.

So for this quick in to dusk session and an hour beyond it was out with the blockend feeder stuffed with mince and steak on the hook. This stretch I can fish in to dark which is nice and having caught some half decent Chub here in the past the venue picked itself.

There was some nice cover to my left but a feeder would have disturbed that swim too much so I fed small balls of mince as soon as I got there and would fish that on my usual light link ledger set-up.

As soon as the piece of steak hit the deck within minutes there was a few tentative plucks and then the quiver tip goes right over, wow that was quick, it felt a decent fish and when it surfaced it looked a good 4lber. Chub give a right good scrap initially but unlike Barbel who never give up, they just seem to sake, oh what the heck, "there you go". That's when their huge mouths exist the water and you know games up.

It went 4lb 7oz on the scales so a couple more points on the bloggers challenge, but still not the 5lber coolest monkey in the jungle jobbie, "oh well maybe next time" Whilst I was weighing it, a couple more balls of mince went it in to try and keep the fish if there were anymore there, occupied.

Another piece of cheapo Irish steak went out and again within minutes another bite, this one fought a little harder and I thought it might have been bigger because of that, but it was 4oz's lighter at 4lb 3oz. Cannot complain though, considering I've had a little drought of late, most welcome.

Two fish banked half an hour before sundown I was expected a little more come dusk and the hour beyond and yet apart from a couple of pulls on the feeder equipped rod, no more fish were banked. This stretch contains many a bait fish hence why there is plenty of Pike around but it looks like it has some nice Chub too.

With the evenings now getting lighter I might take the opportunity in fishing it a little more, maybe next time though, get here a little earlier bait a few swims and then rove around a little before settling in a swim I suspect my contain some Zander. 


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