Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Warwickshire Avon – Flap-Dragons and Flaybottomists

Unlike a friend Dave Robert who has just banked his best common carp at 74lb from his 20th trip over to Lac De Curton or Rainbow Lakes in France recently I could never dedicate or even justify the time required angling for a mud sifter.

He and the like-minded think nothing more than spending days and weeks at a time, here and abroad sat behind rods waiting for the buzzers to go off hoping a carp bigger than they’ve caught before has bolted off and hooked itself after sucking up their boilies. Lets not go in to the mirror he's had, all I can say is that it makes the 74lber look small.

Kilos and kilos of bait, enough gear to open a tackle shop, rig making, prebaiting and preparation that is needed to catch fish battling with  buggered BMI's and a bulging bellies. It’s just not my thing, but then I’ve always been an advocate of doing whatever makes you happy not what other people think.

I’m the odd one out though it seems, you see carp fishing participation over the years after all has propped up many a tackle firms from going belly up, and I for one don't want that to happen. It also keeps the interest up for many, which to be honest is a dying pastime.

To be fair maybe one day I might join Dave for a trip is life ever gets on top of me because I can see the appeal as you are away from it all, mind elsewhere, and most of all that much needed peace and solitude I seek.

An angler as experienced as Dave in these matters would make or break the deal for me as it’s the incite from someone that has spent hundreds and hundreds of hours bankside fishing for big carp that I’d happily listen to whilst the bite alarms are silent.

His last account of his latest big fish really showed the dedication and skill to be able to catch fish at this mad venue and the power of these fish must be incredible. Now he has been fishing for carp for many a year however I'm not quite ready to jump on the bandwagon just yet....

....So what the heck am I doing then….?

I’m carp fishing, hmmmm

Ok I’m on a river not within a containment but yes, I want to try and catch another carp from the Avon after seeing one launch itself out of the water recently. It was a big bronzed flanked mirror that unexpectedly showed its location when I was lure fishing for Zander. I’ve not really fished for carp that much on rivers, I had a spell where I fished an area thick with lilies with bread crust and dog biscuits that many carp had as their sanctuary, but apart from that, not much else.

That style of carp fishing suited me, not much gear and also having to be very mobile which was instrumental in the luck I had when during one of the bloggers challenges on the last day of the season. You see I had to catch a decent Zander or a Carp to stay in second place on the river leader board after Sean had banked a massive Pike if memory serves me right.

After motionless deadbait rods in Lucy’s Mill weir pool I ventured upstream and chucked out a sleeper rod with two 15 mm boilies, one a bright pop-up and within a short while the baitrunner was screaming off and a fat and rotund 20lb carp fell for the bait. The bait wasn’t just positioned willy -nilly though it was within a patrol route I’d been told about, so not quite chuck and hope, well only just.

Any leg up the ladder is always welcome when targeting something new and when this carp revealed itself recently I had to at least give it a go. Zander are up here as well though so this was a bit of a double dipping session, a smelt on one rod and a boilie on the other with a PVA bag full of freebies attached to the hook.

It's greater than 12 foot in most places but a clear bottom is quite easy to find an area where the carp in theory should be grubbing round for food.

To try and get ahead of the game when I was here last for Zander, before I left, I deposited a load of 15 mm boilies that I’d been meaning to bin because they were showing their age. This was to at least try and get any carp in the vicinity to return to an area where they’d had a buffet laid out without hindrance and I'll have a trap set.

Put one of my Sunday dinners in front of most people they get stuck in like they've never eaten before, and that's when the guard comes down.

"who want an extra Yorkshire pudding ?"

Everyone puts their hands up despite the implications it may have !!!!

Carp are greedy after all, give them bait, that’s what they want !!!!

Two pegs would be fished and after arriving I'd bait up another spot with hemp, sweetcorn and pellets to try and bring fish in to the area to feed and if they did turn up whilst I was fishing the initial spot they would become confident when I'd lower in my boilie offering.

The Zander well, the plan was to fish a roach deadbait in a deep area just to my right. Now I usually fish the far bank cover which is a bit of a cast, but maybe I was missing a trick, what's up with fishing my bank instead. Got to be worth go me thinks....

I got away later from work as expected and after two sets of temporary traffic lights I did wonder if it was worth bothering or not or just go to the local and have a pint. I battled on though and eventually settled down in to the swim two and a half hours before dusk. It was warm too, so the thick fishing hoodie was to warm so the work shirt would have to do complete with hat. Once the sun went down the temperature would drop considerably.

I deposited the freebies on the upstream swim first and then got the carp rod out with a PVA bag of freebies and the zed rod out in the main swim to fish. A bite came quick on the deadbait but I stupidly didn't let the bite develop and after putting the bait back it didn't seem to be interested.

The carp rod remained silent for the whole session and after popping back and forth the swim I fed without seeing any carp or any signs of them, so I decided to stick to the main swim rather than car the gear and change swims.

Eventually after seeing a decent fish top right by my feet more or less I dropped the deadbait exactly where I saw it and sure enough after fifteen minutes the bobbin starts to become active and fish has decided it would like a bit of roach.

I knew it was a Pike as soon as it was on because of the characteristic fight. A half decent fish as well and it gave a pretty good go of trying to escape the net. Netted it was though and there was no need to unhook it either as it had already dropped out of the net.

I didn't weigh it but it didn't quite like a double but maybe a pound off. With half an hour to go another half roach went out but sadly nothing doing. I thought a bream might have taken a fancy to the boilies at least and where have all the Zander gone.

Only 1 Zed in about 5 sessions now, with a bit of rain on the way though I'm hoping a top up will put a bit of extra colour in the water but this time I will fish an area I know where a big Zed has been caught in the past, it's got form too, as my biggest came from the area, as did the biggest I've lost.


  1. Hi Mick

    Always enjoy the blog and for what it's worth I tweet every post.

    All the best from Melbourne.

  2. Cheers David, appreciated, always nice to hear.


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