Piscatorial Quagswagging

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

Saturday 23 November 2019

Warwickshire Avon - Bomb Holes and Botherams

Bob my postie who come rain come shine, delivers all manner of fishing related items through my postbox that cannot be obtained from ones local tackle-shop. Back in the day he used to be a match fisherman on the circuit in and around the local area. I've had some good leads over the years and despite not wetting a line in anger for a while, those 'secret' areas we all know and love but don't share often come good.

A feature on a river for example there 20 years ago is likely to be there now as well, and us anglers know full well, that any feature no matter how insignificant it appears to the novice can make the difference in whether the string will be pulled, the maggot sucked, the bread engulfed.

A chance conversation recently over a stretch of river I fish now and he did back then....

"So you must have fished the bomb hole !!!!? "

"Errr the what ?, the bomb hole"

"yeah, the bomb hole swim, there was Chub in there so big if you drew the peg you'd be heading back to the car to dust off the proper gear, 7lbers !!!" "It's a big hole much deeper than the main river, you know the ****, well if you go up from there, its....(you get the picture)"

"Cheers Bob, I'll let you know how I get on !!!! "

"Big hooks and bread flake the size of Tunnocks Tea Cakes, that's how we used to catch them"

From his description I knew exactly where it was an how I would try to find it. So it was out with the deeper, something I'd not used for a while to try and locate the bomb hole and the Chub of humungus proportions and even bigger appetites.

Now for those that haven't seen let alone used the deeper, via an app on your phone, the castable sonar shows you depth, contours, features and fish. Inbuilt GPS you can recover your scans via an online portal that shows them on a map.

Out of the 32,000 German air raids on the United Kingdom between September 1939 and March 1945 I don't think many ended up in this neck of the woods. Apparently Hitler said that he would never bomb Stratford-Upon-Avon because of the centrality of the Shakespeare to Germany's national culture.

Whatever the truth about Hitler's rumoured attitude towards all things Bard is that the town remained surprisingly unscathed by enemy action. The town is after all, not far away from cities that suffered some of the most severe bombings of the early years of the war. My Grandad always went on about the bombings in Small Heath where they lived and the fact they "flattened his local chippy, the one that did a free handful of scraps !!!"

Ok, most likely an 'actual' bomb hole, but who cares, it apparently could be mistaken for me. So back on track a short session this and one rod only, bread on the hook and cheesepaste for back-up, could I find the big rubber lips utopia ?

Anyway enough of the preamble, how did it go....

The river had been well over its banks and very sticky underfoot the mud getting worse as I made my way to where Bob told me. To be fair the swim sort of revealed itself, down from the crease of the river where it was 4 or 5 foot there was a big swirling mass of water much slower than the rest of the river.

Now bare in mind that the river here doesn't really vary that much, 4 foot being the average depth the second pass of the deeper the bomb hole revealed itself

16 Ft!!!!

The change in depth was ridiculous, the depth varied between 14 and 16ft in an area not much bigger than a mini tennis court. There were bait fish showing as well so this could well be hiding a decent predator or two something I might try in the future.

The hook baited, rod rest in place, a simple cast without needing to look behind me, rod high. Ten minutes went by, over at the far bank the resident otter surfacing from amongst all the bubbles it had created. Then the first pull on the tip, then another, then a confident pull round. A fish was on.

I don't think it realised it was hook at first because as soon as it came to the surface it went on a powerful run. This was a decent Chub, the rod bent double. There are no real snags here for it to get near though so after a while I think it knew the game was up. I've caught longer fish but when I lifted the landing net this felt big. A very dense fish built like a wombat, and I wasn't wrong....

....it was a PB !!!!

A 5lb 6oz Warwickshire Avon Chub

I love it went a plan comes together, and a decent bottle of Red for Bob for Christmas. That was the only fish of the morning, but considering the feedback from others fishing the local rivers finding it tough, I went home very happy indeed being bowled over by the 'bomb hole'.


  1. Top find, that PB won’t last long...

    1. Brian, who knows but I'm certainly looking forward to seeing what's down there for sure :)

  2. Mick, I must buy one of those to check the depth on some of the drains. It would be well worth an afternoons reconnaissance time. All the best, John

    1. If you're one for gadgets John, well worth a look at !!


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