Saturday 28 July 2018

Warwickshire Avon – Gribbles and Growleries

As someone who has a Sunday roast without fail this hot spell has sadly put them on the back burner for a while, so the next one cannot come soon enough as I’m having withdrawal symptoms. We might as well make use of this ridiculous long period of hot weather we are having, but be honest I’m looking forward to a little normality in the temperature again, a temperature where the kids can sleep without a fan in their bedrooms and I feel like I need to cool off and wind down by sitting in the garden, chilling with some music, and sipping a large G&T every evening.

The Webber Kettle has wondered what’s happened recently, as it’s been used, like it’s never been used before, from slow roasted whisky smoked beef brisket to pulled pork and lamb shoulder, to chicken with a beer can shoved up its backside, whole mackerel, sardines, tiger prawns and lots of different kebabs and we’ve been enjoying the alfresco dining like I’m sure many of you have.

Despite what some may believe about fish becoming lethargic in extreme heat and feeding only at dead of night, this is the time when, with a little knowledge, you can make some of your best catches of the season. What often happens is that on the heels of a reported big catch you make your way to the water only to find that every fish has apparently gone.

The problem is probably not just the temperature of the water, but the actual variation in temperature. Ask any pet shop owner and he will tell you that taking a goldfish from a room-temperature tank of water and putting it in to cold water straight from the tap will probably kill it.

That wide variation doesn’t occur on our lakes or in our rivers or canals, but it shows that fish are badly affected by the tractions in temperature.I did it myself once when refilling a drained fishtank and put too cold water in, they fish quickly reacted to change in temperature in not a good way.

The most obvious example is the River Severn when cold water is let out from Welsh reservoirs at the head of the river. The fish stop feeding and catches plummet.

But given a few days to adjust, the fish start feeding again….

Unfortunately, variations in summer are much greater than they are in winter. The hottest days with no cloud, are often followed by cool nights because there’s no cover to trap the heat. The key to fishing in the heat is to watch the previous night’s weather forecast. Two or three days when the night temperature doesn’t drop too much and when the wind is warm is the pointer to success on stillwaters.

Carp over the years have become more and more popular with fishery owners and anglers alike. Hard-fighting, they are not as difficult to catch as many other species. This is partly because the active fish needs to feed continually to replace lost energy. They also seem able to adjust more quickly to temperature changes than say, bream, a much more sedate fish. And it’s just as well that the carp has this ability because his British home is in shallow water.

The reason is that carp need a higher temperature in which to spawn than most other fish (20 degrees C for 48 hours), and here only shallow waters normally reach this temperature.

How can you work out the effect of a cold snap on a water?

On shallow waters only two or three feet deep a few minutes cold blow will cool the surface layer and mix it in with the bottom layers. The stronger the wind, the faster the temperature will drop. Sudden rainstorms can have the same effect.

The water temperature is quickly lowered and the fish stop feeding. The change may be quite small perhaps only a single degree or less, but the fish respond. Luckily, things work the other way as well, and there are times when a slight upping of the water temperature will bring fish like carp or chub on the feed.

Other species, particularly bream and barbel, need longer to adjust, but once in their preferred temperature range, will go on feeding, perhaps for days.

On deeper waters, the temperature variation is most marked in the upper layers, with little change at the bottom. And there are many occasions when the fish will feed in the layer which is holding steady,perhaps moving up and down in the water as the temperature changes slightly. Bream will often feed in mid-water, and even towards the surface, while carp and rudd in particular will take food from the surface. So in hot weather it’s worth fishing off the bottom to find where the fish are feeding.

Wind is another important factor governing feeding habits. In blistering heat, the trout fisherman will always make for the ripple, and generally the same rule applies to the coarse angler. So, while fish may show themselves by blimping on the surface, or even crashing about in flat calm water, they’ll normally feed better where the wind ripples the surface.

Now the hard fighting Barbel never seems to give up during a flight and with reduced oxygen levels in low and in periods of drought once caught they can take a lot of time to recover so to be on the safe side they are best not fished for specifically in these conditions. Accidental captures are inevitable so after allowing them to rest for a good while only release them once their strength is back and you’re confident they’ll happily swim off without going belly up which is a sight no angler wants to see.

Us anglers are the eyes and ears of the rivers and waterways so if you have any concerns about fish stocks or water quality ring the Environment Agencies Hotline on 0800 807060.

Hmmm, so what am I doing for this session then, yeap fishing for Chub again, they don’t seem to mind these conditions at all, feeding heavily, fighting fit and recover very quickly indeed. Last time in to dusk I felt the Chub were up for feeding as they did in the early morning session where they fed in almost reckless fashion which is not like Chub at all.

The bread going over their heads meant their shyness quickly went out the window, they were bold as brass.

This session I’d have the surface lure with me as well as one of the swims was better suited to a bit of weight to hit the right area of flow rather than hit and miss if you’d hit the target or the bread would fly off. I lost a decent fish here last week which looked another big Chub, size of which I’d not seen before, you see I wanted to try for one again before they potentially could vacate the area for pastures new.

So the session, hmmm well it was a tough one, I'm sure the Chub are wising up to my tactics because they were much harder to catch today. They were proper cagey today as well and tight to cover. Even the ones that I could see ignored the bait going over their heads. As soon as the soon came up that put the kibosh on it though as they were just not interested at all. I still managed to catch some fish though, maybe 4 or 5.

Not the biggest stamp though with the biggest going 4lb on the noggin and one with some overly large scales from a past war wound most likely. Easily the shallowest I've seen it down here mind you but at least the small fish were enjoying themselves on gravel and I enjoyed watching them.

There was a bit of rain this session as well, hence me borrowing the Wife's waterproof jacket and that seemed to put the fish off as well. With a little more rain on the way, maybe they will be reinvigorated, me, well might try for them at dusk again, this time with a proper bottom bait set-up.

Any recommendations on a lightweight waterproof jacket, please let me know !!!!

Sam well he wanted to sit this one out, 'too much walking" "You can go on your own if you want, if you promise to play football and go on the trampoline with us".

"Suits Me !!!"

That was kind of him, although after getting back after the session we had to come back inside after an hour, the heavens opened and it's still raining as I type this. Hopefully we can get out soon as we've a session planned Monday evening, I'm praying for the levels to increase at the River Alne a little, as I do love that place.

Barbel, well despite the low and clear conditions, none were spotted !!!!


Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...