Piscatorial Quagswagging

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

Saturday 10 March 2018

Warwickshire Avon – Shot-Clogs and Stamp-Crabs

Snow, snow and lots of it, to be honest I think we survived the worst of it in the Midlands looking at some of the other areas around the country had been affected. Still enough to prevent me getting in to work on the Friday mind you. I’m out the door at 5.40am you see and the main road in parts was blocked due to the drifting snow from the boarding fields.The drive back on the Thursday evening took twice as long due to the conditions of the roads, so no surprise really.

So back to bed it was, mulling over when I would manage to get out again. Not so much the cold because not got a problem with that, I've got the gear, but the juggle of time with the diary makers.

A drive out later we’d caught the tail end of the clean-up and boy, we’d certainly had a decent amount. It seemed very localised though and in small pockets because other area fared better, some much worse. The artic temperatures had put a nice surface layer of ice at the above weir section of the Alne at Wotton Wawen. So certainly a tough end to the season for use fisherman. With the big melt starting on Sunday realistically with some rain and also milder (relative) temperatures Friday looked a reasonable day to try and fish for something.

So where then, I had considered going back to the Blythe for a go as the Chub seemed to be in decent numbers there the first time I went to it, but not so much the second, but then the draw of my usual Chub haunt was pulling on my fishing strings and I just HAD to give it another bash. 

You see despite the results of mine and others for Chevin down here being mediocre of late, because of the fish watching their backs from predation most likely with a little more colour in the water, maybe it was worth another go. "Yes Mick but we hear those stories all the time, it's usually a load of wives tales and waffle" I've seen those with fir and feathers with my own eyes this season though and the capture of a fish with a big raw chunk out of it, why would they hang around....?

The swim looked cock on....

Talking about giving it another go, the match Anglers didn't fancy it down the Ivel as I saw this the other day. Hmmmmm all very familiar.

The Ivel Winter Open, which takes place annually on the River Ivel at Biggleswade, has been cancelled because organiser the Ivel Protection Agency says stocks are too low to guarantee anglers who pay fees to take part will catch many fish. The decision was made after a recent pairs match during which only five minnows were caught.

Graham Inwood, the IPA’s vice president, told the Comet: “When you’re asking people to pay £10 or £12 entry fees and then shell out money for bait, you need to expect that two-thirds of them will catch something, but at the event the other day only about four out of 14 people caught something.

“The Ivel isn’t a match river anymore. We used to run events up here 25 years ago with 250 people taking part but we might get 20 people turning up for this festival.

“You can still catch bigger fish in the river but it’s the silver fish like roach that have gone.”

Mr Inwood says he puts the decline in fish stocks down to an increasing population of cormorants and otters which prey on them. He said: “It’s not the quality of the water, that’s probably better than it was, but the cormorants are very protected and whilst the otters are a good looking animal, they are predators” 

So simple tactics as per usual here for this session, a roving approach and simple drop and plop the cheesepaste. The sort of fishing I love to be honest, but then you know that don't you if you're familiar with this blog of mine.

Were the Chub going to play ball or would I be returning to my car with tail between ones legs again.
The drive there the roads really were waterlogged so a decent amount of rain overnight meant I knew it would be tough.

The little brook was motoring through and chocolate brown. This eventually ends in the river but even upstream of the exit it was just as coloured. It's just a matter of finding some slack spots though, leaving the bait for 15 minutes and then move on. The river was rising whilst I was there, in-fact it must have come up nearly a foot in the 3 hours I was there. The water temperature was on the increase though, 6 to 6.3 degrees so I'm changing my plans for tomorrow.

Barbel it be, so after 3 swims without a bite I returned to a swim I fished first but this time left the bait a little longer and sure enough a proper good bite and a fish is on. I knew it wasn't the stamp I was after straight away, but a welcome fish all the same in testing conditions.

3.8oz and shows that there are still some reasonable Chub here, just maybe not the quantity.


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