Friday 15 March 2019

Warwickshire Avon - Pot-wabblers and Princods

Storm Gareth hit the UK quite hard over this last week with its strong north-westerly winds and it also dumped a load of rain with it. The little river Alne I fish nearly over its banks and flood levels, the Warwickshire Avon rising faster than I’d seen it for a long time, me thinking would I ever get out to fish again before season close. Thursday afternoon was looking favourable however as the river would have hopefully peaked by then with levels slowly on the drop.

So what to fish for ?

I took an age to mull it over, this being the last day of the river season....!!

Well as it would be coloured Barbel for sure, I’ve had success with Barbel in flood and coloured conditions with meat baits but having already beaten my PB this year with a 12lb 14oz fish I fancied trying for another last minute lunker to round a cracking season where I’d also managed to catch myself a 5lb Chub which had eluded me for a while, in-fact it was the veritable ‘monkey off my back’ that had been clinging on for so long, I was glad to finally get it off.

The water being the way it is, another species popped up in ones radar. yeap, you guessed it Zander, you see I know an area that is sheltered away from the main flow of the river where I’ve caught them before as well as Barbel. So despite the flow when it's tanking it through, here some sanctuary can be found, also a WhatsApp message to the wife during the planning stage, dictated one of the targets, so the venue chose itself.

I did think about visiting the WBAS water but come the new season as that’s where much of my efforts will be concentrated but others would be fishing it and it would be nice to spread the field out a bit to see where is fishing well in these testing conditions. I had a swim in mind you see where I’d lost a decent Perch but I doubt that would be fishable, well not the way I’d like to fish for them anyway.

So back on track and the area in question, the problem for those fish seeking some peace from the turbulence is that is also attracts the predators, sitting duck springs to mind, and with the water being coloured the Zander have one up on the prey fish because of their superior eyesight. They have two types of cones the most responsible for seeing yellow and orange, and smaller ones registering green. Any zander hunter can confirm the effectiveness of these colours.

What’s more, the cones in this predator are especially large. Thanks to this, they have become the subject of research of physiologists interested in the process of seeing, not only in fish. An additional upgrade of the zander’s eyesight is a reflective guanine layer covering the inside of the eyeball. Thanks to this light passes through the cones twice strengthening the signal sent to the brain. That is why zander’s eyes shine with a silvery glow even by the most delicate light.

Thanks to such eye construction, a zander’s eyesight is unbelievably sensitive. It can see perfectly when other fish, let alone humans, can’t see anything at all! Anglers should know then, that in the case of this predator, it is worth it to pay attention to detail on the lure and the most effective combination of colours should be yellow and green.

So an afternoon double dipping session then, with the river up and coloured 2 barbel rods skyward, one rod equipped with a size 6 hook, a couple of lobworms, and a feeder full of chopped worms and a few red maggots I had to use up, and I'd alternate with a chunk of contraband garlic spam. With the 2nd rod I intended to fish a small roach or smelt to try and pick up a Zander.

Pheeewwww !!

Like a military operation ones session planning as you know, rods made up the night before, targets in mind….!!

Let’s go !!!!

Now I cannot remember the last time I brought a chair fishing but I did for this session, I wanted to hunker down in a swim and sit it out. When I got there at 12.30pm Joe Chatterton and Martin Robers were already in situ, Joe banking an eel, Martin biteless, another three there, one snotty. It looked perfect for Barbel, a nice tinge of brown and a decent pace. The river was dropping as well.

I settled upstream and got the gear out, lobworms and meat to start off with....

After a couple of hours without even as much as a nibble I decided to go on the rove and try and drop on some fish downstream, thinking the fish might be sheltering the best they can, they were certainly not interested where I was. After another hour and a half or so finding some nice slacks and undercuts was fruitless I returned to the original swim.

Again nothing doing for a while, so I packed up and went downstream, by this time Joe and 2 of the original anglers had left, with Martin soon after Joe, leaving me and one more angler bankside. He gave up around 5pm and I decided to stick it out till dusk. A smelt out in the margins and I alternated between lobworms and meat. The sun went down, the bats came out and if I was to get a bite, this would be the time, hoping that the Barbel would come out from their hiding place and a short feeding spell.

Best laid plans, because that didn't happen, yeap, a blank even on Garlic Spam, they definitely were not interested in feeding !!!!

Syndicate member Brian was at the bottom of the stretch and yeap, he blanked too. George Burton was catching a few on the Leam and in hindsight, I should have gone home from work first, dumped the boot full of tackle and joined him for some Chub roving instead, more my thing anyway, I hardly ever sit behind rods, oh well...

 ....a disappointing end to what has been a great season, now where are my canal Zander rods !!!!

1 comment:

  1. You never know what could happen though Mick, that is one of the lures of baiting and waiting on the bigger rivers. However, I certainly share your views on tackling smaller rivers, its certainly what floats my boat.


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