Monday 4 February 2019

Warwickshire Avon – Smelt and Snot Rockets Pt.2

The cannibalistic Pike is a true cosmopolitan in his feeding. Fish, flesh, and fowl are alike acceptable to him, animal, mineral, and vegetable his charity embraces them all. Nothing, in short, that he can by any means get into his stomach. Moorhens, ducks, rats even foxes, nothing is safe from this unmistakable scary looking fish beast with rather sharp teeth.

Occasionally however the Pike is himself a victim. The Otter is his worst enemy, and generally comes off victor in those desperate combats with which the watery realms must be too frequently convulsed, could we but see what goes on under their placid surface.


A more exciting spectacle in its way than such a struggle between these two hereditary antagonists it would be difficult to conceive. On the one hand, the Otter, dark, noiseless, and treacherous, writhing with eel-like suppleness to secure a position from which to fix the fatal grip, on the other, the Pike, an impersonation of concentrated ferocity, flashing across the arena, with eyes glaring and jaws distended or even EAGLE AND PIKE.

This time of year though is the time to fish for them, tucked away, watching the world go by with movement minimal to conserve the energy for much needed belly building. For an angler it’s a way to get bankside and get a bite, you see apart from the Chevin what is there to fish for in waters temperatures so low the local cut is frozen.


These Pike are the prefects at the school of hard knocks.

I love predator sessions like this, the bare minimum of tackle, one rod, a big visible cigar to lie on the surface and and a roving approach to try and drop on a fish. Bites usually come quick in the winter as the fish doesn’t want to give its chance up, another fish to get his quota.

 After 15 minutes without a bob it’s time to move on. It’s not rocket science where these fish will likely to be holding up either, the slacks, the mouths of feeder streams, the margins, areas of cover and areas just off the rivers visible crease.


Now this small stretch provided more laughs then seeing buffet lover Gemma Collins (yeah I don’t know who she is either ) taking a tumble recently whilst trying to ‘dance on Ice’. You see whilst fishing a small livebait for Perch a big Pike decided that he’d like it instead and did me over like a kipper, real good and proper, so much so I laughed out loud such the kidney punch and jumper over one’s head rib jabbing.

This time though, as I said in Pt.1 I am now better equipped, it was out with stouter tackle.

It was -5.5 degrees when I left the house, a proper hard frost and with the water temperature 2.9 degrees, clear and cormorants flying around and feeding downstream I knew it would be tough.


The first bite came quick and such was my amazement I didn't really let the bite develop. So after feeling the resistance of a the fish and seeing its flanks It let its grip go of the smelt bait.

That however was the only bite I had of the 4 hour session. I fished quite a few swims as well, tight to cover, in the open water and also in the margins. One fish followed the deadbait back on the retrieval but he saw me as I saw it and it was never to be seen again.


So a blank, not good !!!! at least it was nice to be out.

Now down this neck of the woods livebait certainly produces the bites so when I come back here again I might change my tactics. With some rain on the rain and temperatures rising hopefully there will be some much needed colour in the water to give the fish some confidence to get back out again.

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