Friday 14 September 2018

Warwickshire Avon – Koftas and Kainotophobias

In years gone by the preventative hangover cure for a night on the sauce used to be a visit to the local basic hygiene avoider for a kebab of epic proportions. The size of a small child it cured every hangover ever, even future ones and gave me the athletic physique I maintain to this day.

So a chilli naan bread, in which was crammed with shish kebab meat, 1 skewer of chicken and one of lamb,then a heavily spiced lamb kofta and for good measure layers of unidentifiable doner meat in draft excluding quantities. Then over which went pickled red cabbage, raw white cabbage, sliced tomato with raw carrot and lettuce thrown in.

The sauce well, copious amounts of their secret homemade chilli sauce, which to be honest I’d not had better since, a mere smattering of mint sauce complimented the hot sauce and spicy meat and then, when folded completed the life time of memories, the morning stools of brontosaurus proportions.

To be honest, I’m sure as someone with cast iron guts, the above contributed to them almost exclusively, it must be. 

As I cannot remember when the last time I’ve had food poisoning or a dodgy tummy, I’m sure one’s digestive system must have reveled in the weekly overload, like a body builder does lifting iron, a jogger doing the miles.

Heck, ones gastrointestinal tract so resilient it's nearly getting to that stage that I could even book a cheapo holiday to Egypt if needs dictate….

Even 2 plastic bags were required not just the one for transporting the lunker, you see, anything smaller or anything that didn’t compare just wouldn’t do.

A bag of chips and a battered sausage wouldn’t cut it, a KFC bargain bucket ridiculously expensive, a Pizza PPppfffffffftttttttt !!!!! too sloppy, too hit and miss.

It, for me anyway, was the perfect end to the night, well unless the lucky lady, whenever there was one, put her hand out with a side plate, there was a compromise to be had somewhere, I’ve always been one to share.

Now flash a huge piece of meat in front of a Barbel that’s used to pellets, boilies and particles is enough at least for a double take. Even in clear summer conditions it's worth putting out a huge lump of meat because they find it difficult to turn down. I’ve used big baits for big Barbel in the past having had to fish huge hard pellets meant for catfish and long hairs to avoid the Chub that had a habit of causing swim carnage on the short sessions I fish. A Poka-Yoke rig was devised with some success however eventually the Chub would eventually hang themselves such the persistence.

For this short in to dusk session the swim would easy accommodate two rods, so it was a boilie and a paste wrap on one rod with a PVA bag of freebies, and the other, a quarter of a tin of Spam.

There are Barbel here in numbers usually, but with limited time I’d rather try and catch a bigger fish than a splasher and I was hoping the gobstopper would be a bit more selective.

The beauty of the Poka-Yoke rig was that the Chub couldn’t pull the bait from the hair which is a little easier to do with a soft bit of meat, hence the boilie bait on the other rod. When the light goes I hate messing with rigs, less messing the better, so sit back, ignore the knocks and bangs and wait for the rod to go properly over.

So the session, well I wasn’t expecting much as the early morning journey in to work a bong sounded on the car and it was a low temperature warning, yeap 4 degrees !!!!,so a big drop in temperature could well have put the fish off, particularly the Barbel that sulk for a while before they get used to it.

It usually takes me 10 minutes to pull in to the clubs car park, but an issue on the local roads and a short cut down the back roads was scuppered by some gas works that would take 3 months to sort, so I had to take a big detour, but eventually I was swimward. I had an hour before official dusk and had a walk along the bank to pick a swim. The swim I chose had a lovely channel to my left and one to my right, both boarded with streamer weed. There was a reasonable depth too, especially the right swim.

So both baits went out and it was settle down time. Half an hour in with the chunk of meat on the left rod, a few tentative pulls eventually turned in to pull that continued towards the water, yeap a Barbel had taken the spam. I don't fish for Barbel that often and not sure why not because this fish was giving me a bit of a run around. I thought it was stuck solid in some streamer weed at one point but luckily it came free.

A powerful run indeed and I've forgotten just how well they pull. Eventually landed it was a lovely mint condition fish. Despite the fight it gave it didn't take long to recover in the landing net either, it was clearly ready to go quite quick which was encouraging. With the fish put back, I recast both rods with another PVA bag attached to the boilie rod.

So 15 minutes past official dusk it was time to go, oddly no real knocks or bangs on the boilie rod for the whole session, but just goes to show, right time, right place with a bait you've confidence in, is all you need to catch a Barbel. 


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