Piscatorial Quagswagging

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

Wednesday 15 July 2020

Warwickshire Avon - Anacampserotes and Ambiverts

While most of us are more familiar with the opposite ends of the personality spectrum, introvert and extrovert, as I've gotten older I identify with the in-between, also known as ambivert. Now an ambivert is someone who possess traits of both, meaning they may have the charisma and assertiveness of an extrovert and share the thoughtfulness and listening skills of an introvert

Extroverts are generally energised by being around other people, love being the life of the party, avoid being alone for long periods of time, and prefer to talk things out then leave things unsaid.
Introverts, on the other hand, make alone time a priority, enjoy more intimate conversations, stray from large gatherings, prefer to think things through instead of talking things out, and are energized by alone time.

I think it's a good balance to have, especially at my age, no problem partying into the early hours with subwoofers causing enough air movement and vibration to fire up the richter scale and torment the tinnitus, then once that was over taking time for myself alone seeking solitude. 

When I was young free and single and firmly in ones womanising years (could you get away with saying that today ? probably not ) after another mad weekend, solitude was sought when the door closed and I was all alone again. The Technics 1200's were fired it, mix tapes created, films binge watched, curry concoctions created.

These days as a family man with a Wife, two young kids and a busy work schedule those extrovert days are less for sure, but they still happen, they need to to keep ones sane, but it's the solitude that has changed most I would say. Pounding out the DJ mixes and also dabbling in production has changed to seeking solitude in fishing.

Now fellow blogger Lee Poultney wrote a nice article about those optimistic summer anglers who litter the stretches early season and make fishing on ones own terms very difficult indeed. So before their enthusiasm wavers when the fishing is tough (like it always is on summer) and they start reaching for that extra layer you need to think outside of the box.

The pressure the fish see at the start of the season is certainty felt by the fish, especially by the big ones there is no doubt about that. A proper river anglers fishes he whole season, comes rain or shine, snow or storms, he will be bankside, those quieter areas away from the pretenders are few and far between though, you just need to think outside the box a little.

Now you know me I plan my sessions before they happen, even down to the pegs I will fish especially on the river. So only a short session I had planned for this evening like most of my Barbel sessions this time of year. However after lugging my tackle down to the first stretch only one angler present however he was in the first peg I set my eyes on.

 Ok I could have found somewhere else to fish, but my mind wouldn't allow it, it would be working in overdrive if I blanked, so it was on to the next stretch. Again lugging the tackle bankside, this time a relatively quiet area where there are some good Chub present this time of year. They are very wary but get them confident feeding off the bread off the surface they can be caught. It was a good place to winkle out a fish whilst I decided where to fish for Barbel.

In my quiver I always keep a lighter Chub rod in the summer because it's a good productive way to catch them. It's my usual link ledger set-up where I remove the ledger and just fish a chunk of bread on the hook with nothing else. After getting them confidently feeding, sadly only small ones I caught one small chub quite quick. It's fast and shallow here so under the polarised sunglasses your quarry can be seen.

The problem is after catching one fish the swim is knackered for a good while so after the blank avoider I decided to up-sticks again and head to an area where I'd had my PB Barbel. A couple of other anglers on the stretch I spoke too also struggling for Barbel this season.

Usually come Autumn and Winter the banks are deserted (PB was caught in January if I recall) but when nearly there I saw a car pull in to the official car park  and then when I tentatively went past it was already full of cars. Ok only 5 cars if I recall and I could have driven to near waterside in the Jimny but I didn't want to discover where I wanted to fish occupied.

Like flies round s__t

So third time lucky, back in the car again, this time to a stretch where I know I could get some solitude. To be fair I've given this area a fair go now since the start of the season and not caught a barbel yet but I could fish past dusk and beyond here so I wasn't having to clock watch.

My usual early season tactics were to be employed and I'd rod watch whilst enjoying the peace and quite and the ever changing landscape and wildlife. 

Thick dispersed cloud blanketed the sky so the sunset wasn't as vibrant as it usual is but that was good for the fishing. Much earlier than normal there was indications there were fish in the swim. The chub have been quite active here, not big ones but enough enthusiastic eager ones to upset ones Barbel plans.

I used two air dried small boilies though and a pellet stop as a poka-yoke approach so it was quite nice to see them having a go to pull the bait off but not succeeding. 

There seemed to be more fish activity too as the light went. Perch on the hunt upstream, bream rolling and what looked like the odd big Chub taking mayfly off the surface. 

Fingers and toes crossed !!!!

Dusk ticked off I would give it another hour before calling it a day. I find if a bite is going to come it will be just as dusk has kicked in or not much after that. 

Very much on a feeding pattern this time of year. When the river is chocolate brown and motoring through a different story. 

Anyway after countless chub pulls and taps eventually a proper bite developed, I thought a chub might have hooked itself first but then as I let the bite develop all hell breaks loose. 

The rod whooping properly over the centrepins ratchet activating and now audible. This was a Barbel oh yes, initially it bolted off downstream when it felt some resistance but when I turned it it started to head upstream towards me.

When it saw the net for the first time though it surged off again, proper powerful stuff, this a species every angler needs to catch to appreciate. It did that three or four times before I managed to land it. I allowed it to rest for a good twenty minutes half an hour which gave me a chance to chill and pack away the rods. 

I couldn't find the Waymasters though the 7lb Samsons wouldn't do. When I got a good look at the fish on the mat it was a cracker. Certainly >11 probably heading towards 12. Not a PB though so I wasn't going to worry about getting it weighted. If it was, I'd be on the phone to Nic from Avon Angling UK to come and do the honours. 

Still ones efforts were rewarded with a cracking Warwickshire Avon Barbel, cannot ask more than that, well to be returned safely and back to where it belongs I suppose, especially with that fantastic fight it had just given me (Harrison 1.75TC btw)

Once photographed I put it back in the landing net to recover properly before releasing which as an angler is what we all want to see. A memorable session, I've had some nice fish now off this forgotten stretch, I wonder what next ? a Zander I wonder ?


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