Monday 24 February 2020

Warwickshire Avon - Gypsy Kings and Gutturniforms

With mild temperatures overnight I was back on the Barbel chasing again. 10 degrees or so with heavy cloud meant that the water had jumped a degree to an unseasonable 8 degrees. Certainly in my experience if you can find the Barbel, they will be up for a feed.

Now I didn't want any old Barbus though, oh no !!!, there was a good'un here that showed me the door like Tyson Fury did to Deontay Wilder. 

To be honest I did wonder why I was bankside during this awful weather, the strong gusts of wind enough to dislodge the rods of their rests and when the rain came, combined with the wind it was horizontal.

But I'm not a fair weather fisherman like the matchmen that fish these rivers, in-fact I'm all for these turbulent times, three sessions in so many days, three different stretches, not another angler in sight.

We haven't really had a winter yet though have we, bombarded with rain and more rain, my favourite season largely a damp squib. If any fish is going to feed in these conditions though it's the Barbel. But as I said before, they need to be there for starters, but you also need to time your session with their short feeding spell.

Simple tactics again, a lump of spam on the downstream rod, the upstream rod a boilie with a groundbait feeder full of freebies to try and get a fish grubbing around.

The river had dropped considerably over 48 hours and the colour was starting to drop out of it, albeit slowly. The banks showing the signs of where it had been, these fish haven't had a good time of late, having to shelter from the waters rising, then then falling, then rising again.

It's a relatively shallow section this and come summer you could why the Barbel would like it here. Gravel under their whiskers and streamer weed among their fins.

Where the river bends round though and eats in to the bank this area is much deeper, perfect for big fish to seek some sanctuary and even a predator to hide out. The cover downstream also a good place for a big fish to hold up where it could ride out the conditions.

In this flow though those swims are not fishable, even with a big heavy lead the flow dislodging it within seconds even with rods high with line off the water.

Fanimal wasn't enjoying the conditions and gave me his disapproval quite early in to the session. But after giving it some shelter sat in a tree, I gave it another couple of hours. The weather very wild indeed, the wind blowing straight in my face dislodging the cobwebs. Sam would have hated it.

The rods though resisting the wind to the best of their ability were sadly motionless, in-fact apart from a couple of small fish topping not even a chub pull or pluck.

A huge chunk of Spam is my go to bait for big Barbel, I pull a long shank hook through with a baiting needle, turn it 90 degrees and hug the side of the meat exposing the point. Bites are ridiculous when the fish picks up the bait and makes off downstream, but sadly that never happened.

But this is a big river, for all I know the Barbel that frequent this area could well be a mile downstream in a completely different area.

A blank !!!!


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