Saturday 29 December 2018

Warwickshire Avon – Kumquats and Knowledge Boxes

I was amazed when perusing through a book of old I’d stumbled in a picture of what was buried at the back of a Chevins big gob. The size of the pharyngeal teeth a chub processes. I’d heard about them for sure, but seeing them in black and white so to speak, I now understand why a bit of sour fruit dropped from a tree in to the river wouldn’t satisfy a fish with this make-up.

They certainly ain’t Vegan that’s put it that way….

One of the most read post on my blog is this one, where I’d used whitebait quite successfully to catch Chub and having caught quite a few chub on big deadbaits over the course of this blog, basically I’ve come to the conclusions, they are greedy b’stards and the fishy equivalent of a insinkerator (other makes also available).

Let’s just say a kumquat won’t quite cut it !!!!

Now Pharyngeal teeth are teeth in the pharyngeal arch of the throat of cyprinids, suckers, and a number of other fish species otherwise lacking teeth.

Many popular aquarium fish such as goldfish and loaches have these structures, and clown loaches which I’ve a couple in my tank at home are known to make distinctive clicking sounds when they grind their pharyngeal teeth.

So when you’re next removing the hook from a big chevin, please remember what’s down there, It will certainly make me think twice using ones hand for a hook that’s gone down a bit deeper than the norm.

Lets just say don't do a Keith Jobling !!!!

What I didn’t think twice about though was for this morning’s Chub and Zander session down at a new section of the Warwickshire Avon I’d not fished before was, was what bait to use.

Cheesepaste for the Chub and a Roach deadbait for the Zeds…..

It’s a little deeper here than the norm you see, so the pungent paste is a little easier for the fish to find. I like using half decent sized baits as well for extra visual attraction, but not only that they’ve big mouth. I’ve invariably found by looking at my blog that if there is a Chub around, they are usually forthcoming in putting a bend in the quiver for this hookbait than others such as breadflake or lobworms when fished on the same session, they’ve a palate for mould, that’s for sure.

Zander well, smelt and roach are my usual approach, but with slightly larger roach baits in ones freezer that I could do with using, the decision was made for me.

Now I wanted to explore this section for both species because I don’t think any of the syndicate had ventured down this far, it’s quite a trek for starters but it just looked a feature laden stretch on Google earth and by chance I realised I’d fished more or less opposite it. I know for a fact decent Chub and rod bending Zander were in the area, so maybe some larger fish that were enjoying their relative security and sanctuary were holding up waiting for a meal to come their way.

To travel light and leapfrog likely looking holding swims was the order of the day, the approach that I seem to do more and more these days, because as someone who as I’ve said before I get off on solitude to keep me sane and I need to maintain a half decent level of activity to keep my sciatica in check.

Chub are not stupid though, they are the most cautious of fish and they use their brain more than most other fish I find, but for some reason cheesepaste gets through their defences like a newly opened bottle of port does mine. They seemingly lose their inhibitions readily which when you’ve only a few hours to fish, it’s one of those baits that surely must be in every Chevin fishers bait fridge.

I use a bait cage on a short hair in the main because if Mr rubber-lips manages to strip the main bit of paste off, at least you know there is still some contained within the cage itself.

Now this would be one of two sessions I had planned down this area for this Christmas break and I was hoping it would give me an indication on how to approach the subsequent one.

So forget the pre-written preamble, how did it go….?

Well to be honest, very tough indeed. There was a metre of clarity for a start which for Zander certainly isn't ideal conditions but I persevered by leap frogging some swims that I'd prebaited with a few bits of cheesepaste when I went by. I had one dropped take on the deadbait a couple of hours in to the session but there wasn't much doing down at this forgotten area of the Avon. The swims bedraggled, the bare trees plenty of character.

I was looking at a blank on the cards till I spotted a nice oxygenated bit of water in a relatively pedestrian stretch and decided to swap to a float and suspend a deadbait under it. Within minutes I had the first run which for a relatively novice pike angler gets the adrenaline running like a Zander float starting to move does. The float went straight under and carried on its way, I applied resistance and the single hook took hold.

It gave a spirited fight but was soon in the net. Pike are funny things, a deadbait could have sat there all day probably dangle something enticingly under their face they've no choice but to take it. Not a huge fish but a blank saver for sure. Another roach on it didn't take long for another bite, this slightly smaller with an old wound on it's flanks. So a blank on the cards to two pike quite quick I was starting to enjoy it now. Again another bait out, the float drifting from right to left and again the float goes under.

This time though I was a little premature and the fish despite being on for a while, managed to lose the hook or  it dropped the bait.

To be fair it felt smaller than the other two. Sadly it was no time to go but certainly for a Pike, a nice hotspot it seems and just goes to show what a change in presentation can do. Chub oddly didn't show at all, certainly an area that justifies spending more time at, I'm sure there are some superb fish to be had.

Another session planned for tomorrow, that's 4 in as many days !!!!


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