Thursday 14 February 2019

Warwickshire Avon – Smelt and Snot Rockets Pt.6

A swim of predators, a hook bait of Lamprey, it went off big time….

These freaks of nature that are neither fish, worm nor eel have survived for 360 million years, have long snake-like bodies and a sucker mouth adorned with sharp teeth worthy of any Hollywood sci-fi movie.

Think Alien !!!!

Many of the parasites feed by sucking the blood of fish, attaching to their prey with a suction disk and teeth.

What might also come as a surprise is the high regard in which scientists hold lampreys. Ecologists know that lampreys maintain the health of rivers. Medical researchers study lampreys, which have a remarkable ability to heal themselves even after severe nerve damage, an ability that could offer a way to heal spinal cord injuries.

Evolutionary biologists have discovered that lampreys are crucial in the history of life. Now Lampreys were among the first backboned animals to evolve, so these fish carry important clues about our ultimate origins. Lampreys look a little like eels. They have a long, flexible body with eyes, mouth and gills at one end, and a tail fin at the other.

People can have an almost morbid fascination with them as these blood-sucking parasites, and I can understand why, they really are like no other bait I use to catch fish, on their own I would day.

The blood that omits from a bait so small really is incredible and texture and the slimy fleshy skin like Teflon. I’ve caught Chub, Pike and Zander using it, and if wasn’t so expensive and hard to find sometimes I’d use it more.

Now Martyn from Stratford-Upon-Avon Fishing and Outdoors kindly came to my rescue and intercepted a delivery of maggots from Lanes Baits and managed to secure me another few packs of lamprey where half would be used for this session. Cannot knock the service, as I've said before, support your local tackle shop. It's simple Use or Lose !!!!

I lost what I think was a half decent Zander last time, but then we know they can be tricky buggers to effectively hook-up to, a bit hit and miss.

But then Pike can be like that as well even with a bait loaded with trebles, they can grasp the bait in such a way the hooks don’t get a purchase despite the float submerging like a good’un.

In that mad hour and a bit I must have had 7 or 8 runs, two fished banked and a few lost it was one of those sessions that sadly had to come to an end before I’d liked it to.

Again a short after work session, two rods, two hours !!!!

With the river now on the fall after being up and coloured after lots of rain the weekend the swim sort of dictated the session. The Avon you see had been the highest it had been for a long time, but luckily this swim allows some sanctuary away from the main flow and has for me in the past produced Chub and Barbel. So I decided to fish another rod with a boilie and paste wrap for a bit of double dipping and let the deadbait do it's thing under the watch of a Gardner TLB.

Enough of the small talk, how did I get on ?

Well despite more or less having the whole stretch to myself my chosen swim for the day, the one I fished last week was occupied by someone, damn. I settled in to a swim around 100 yards downstream and got the baits out an hour before dusk.

The lamprey had interest within fifteen minutes or so, the bobbin jumping to attention, I assume it was a chub though because a run didn't develop and also on retrieval of the bait there were no teeth marks.

The water wasn't as high as I thought, a nice colour for Zander and Barbel certainly however not for Pike. Despite the day being mild the water was still freezing, however with the sun was setting it was make or break time, usually here especially where the Barbel are concerned this is the time they go on the feed. A couple of pulls on the rod top, didn't develop in to a fill blown bite, a chub again I assume.

The club rules dictated the close of the session, a walk back to the car, defeated, and another blank to add to the list.

So what to fish for the weekend, well I fancy exploring a Warwickshire Avon tributary with Sam I've not fished before, or the small stream for a big Dace, or a big Chub down the utopia swim, heck maybe even a canal Zander. Decisions, decisions. 


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