Monday, 18 February 2019

Warwickshire Avon – Clod-Poles and Cat-Heads

If one fishes consistently from childhood to maturity, as I have done, one cannot fail to have acquired knowledge born of long experience, to have exposed a few fallacies and discerned a few endurable truths. There are not many of them but they are worth noting.

Success can never be guaranteed, no amount of knowledge about water, fish, techniques, or baits can do that. So aim at achieving some standard of consistency throughout the season and accept some degree of failure as inevitable.

Angling ability is not necessarily related to the amount of time you spend fishing. The angler who fishes perceptively can learn more in one season than the angler who spends a lifetime fishing aimlessly.

Do not think you are a better angler than someone else merely because you have caught a bigger chub, or more chub. The best fish you catch will not necessarily be the biggest; nor will it always require greater skill to catch than chub of lesser weight. 

Understanding of fish and water is far more important than knowledge of methods and baits and far more difficult to acquire. So devote some of your time to learning all you can about the movements and feeding habits of chub in your chosen waters.

Your angling will then improve in proportion to your increasing knowledge of the species….

Do not assume that lack of success means that chub are not feeding. The fault is just as likely to lie in your choice of swim, tackle, bait or in plain bad timing. Learn to mould yourself to the ways of fish, and do not expect that they will always behave as you think they should.

If success does not come quickly and it usually does not do not lose heart. Try again and keep on trying until you do succeed, or at least until you are able to establish why you are failing.
The knowledge and understanding you acquire from per­sonal experience will be invaluable but do not scorn the information you can gain from books, which can be of immense value as the distillation of many years of experience by experts in the art.

Fish always on the assumption that no matter how much you learn there will remain much that you do not know and make up your mind right from the start that you want to catch chub and only chub. The catching of just one chub will then mean more to you in terms of progress than the catching of a hundredweight of other unwanted species. It is better to catch nothing than to catch fish you do not want or had not intended to.

Mention of the part that instinct plays in successful angling is usually greeted with skepticism but after many years of patient perceptive fishing, swim selection, approach, choice of method and bait do all become more or less instinctive. You become sensitive to a river's every mood and in your mind's eye can travel over its every twist, bend and curve in its course, seeing everything as clearly as if you were actually there.

When you have reached that stage and when the other essentials of successful angling have been mastered you can begin to feel that you have 'arrived'. Successful angling for chub, or for any chosen fish, for that matter, could indeed be likened to the bringing together of many different strands of coloured wool, each strand representing a vital factor for success.

Only when these different strands have been fused together can you fish in that confident, almost instinctive way that brings consistent success. It can be a long, even a hard road, but it is well worth treading to reach the goal of the complete angler.

For this short morning sessions I was down at one of my favorite venues, if I wanted a guaranteed bend in the rod from a Chub, it would be here. It’s a roving anglers delight, no chairs to be seen here, feed swims with liquidised bread and then fish the swims with a hunking great lump of cheesepaste. The swims though, I’ve gotten to know over time, it’s not just a random chuck, there is a reason why I place the bait where I do.

It was a good morning as well, the sun up, the air mild. It took a little longer than expected to get the first bite, but eventually after fishing maybe 6 or 7 swims, I managed 5 Chub, 4 over 3lb and the last fish caught from a swim I caught the first fish from went 4lb 2oz’s. With their winter coats on they give a good scrap too, snag bound, rod bent double, what a great way to spend a few hours on the 

One other angler present complete with kitchen sink, was blanking when I left….


  1. Beautifully written. A joy to read that! :)

  2. Still getting amongst them Mick! Thinking about maybe a late season Barbel with this milder weather around?

    1. Yeap, got gear ready just waiting for the right time to go !!!


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