Piscatorial Quagswagging

...the diary of a specialist angler in around the Warwickshire Avon and its tributaries.

Sunday 10 February 2019

Warwickshire Avon – Smelt and Snot Rockets Pt.5

A few year ago now a monster-sized fish was briefly spotted by two astonished and terrified anglers on the River Nene, in the Fens, Cambridgeshire. One of the fishermen provided BBC Radio Cambridgeshire with an incredible account: “I enjoy going out on my boat.

One day we were on our boat going up towards Whittlesey and the boat suddenly juddered as if there was something large in the water. My friend and myself looked at each other and I looked down to see what we had hit. I saw the most extraordinary thing.”

He continued with the story....

“I saw the biggest fish I have ever seen in my life. I like boating and I like wildlife, but I had never seen a fish like this before. It was absolutely huge – it was over six-foot long. It was swimming alongside us and our boat had struck it and it was as if it was showing us the side of itself where the propeller had hit it and we could see the white flesh. My friend saw it and exclaimed ‘Blimey is that a dolphin?’ It was so big. We’re going to go out again this year and see if we can see it.”

 I love these sort of stories, and we as anglers being closer to waters than the layman because of our pastime are in the best position to stumble upon these abnormalities.  A sturgeon who knows but I have some stories of my own, as I know for a fact there is a huge Pike swimming around in the Avon I aptly named Pike Tyson and a gargantuan Barbel Sam named as Albuttbarbelbutt.  

A pint of maggots for the tangleator, a bait under a Pike float for me, I want to catch Pike Tyson !!!!

I blanked here last time but there were signs, good signs that the Pike were around, one fluffed take, one follow and I know from past trips here because of the availability of bait fish, those with teeth are not far away.

Here like many stretches of the rivers I fish, the predator is now the prey, otters obviously but also the ever increasing numbers of cormorants that appear during winter in these waters that have bait fish in abundance and are easy pickings to satisfy their bellies.

When it’s clear the fish go in to hiding and often it’s only at dusk where they let their guard down and start to look for food.

But as us anglers know, after a bit of rain, a tinge of colour, that net curtain over the window they can go about their business without looking over their shoulder all the time.

Oddly the Zander are nowhere to be seen on this stretch and yet especially upstream the swims look ideal, the deeper sonar ticking the box. I should fish it in to dark more to be honest as I’m sure there are some surprises to be had, maybe I will. There are certainly good Chub here and fish lamprey at dusk I’m sure if a Zander isn’t around, a good Chub will be.

Only a quick morning session this, a break from Fortnite, a break for his mother….

It was Sam’s choice as well, “I want to catch a jack pike Daddy”

So tackle in the car the night before, a quick smash and grab session !!!!

The river was up but and some nice colour but the small fish were hard to come by, after what seemed like an hour Sam caught his first fish, a small roach, then luckily the sport picked up, the wind was cold you see and he was beginning to lose the will to live.

A bit like me and the Pike, the last one pictured right caught a few days ago after quite a baron time of late.

A lamprey eventually was taken my a Jack and a livebait under a float in quite a few swims weirdly went unnoticed. Usually this small section it's a livebait that attracts the Pike, much more than the deadbaits which I've found the opposite on other areas.

So another poor session, the Pike seem to be sulking at the minute. I've another couple of sessions planned soon though, the next one, a short after work session. I'm hoping the carpet bombing approach will eventually throw something nice up.


  1. You are amazing, so many posts in such a short space of tim (how are You doing), preciate... by the way gooood reading and plenty good tips as well. thanks

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