Piscatorial Quagswagging

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

Saturday 18 July 2020

Warwickshire Avon - Jimny's and Janizaries

I've bought a few new cars in my lifetime the Gen4 SZ5 Suzuki Jimny being the latest I'd put pen to paper to. I needed something to befit ones lifestyle especially when speed has gone out of my system now which probably isn't a bad thing as there is an ever increasing crack-down on it.

Despite working in the automotive industry I'd fallen out of favour with cars too, nothing really raised ones eyebrows, often seeing cars as more or less like white goods getting from A- B.

I'd been waiting for the Gen4 Jimny to surface for a while though and when the first pictures came through 'please take my money' Cars don't have much character these days and this has it in spades.

A proper little off-roader, where muddy river banks or boulder filled bankside verges wouldn't be an issue. Ladder-frame chassis, switchable 4WD and approach and departure anglers to rival anything Land Rover can peddle. Apple Car Play, LED headlamps, heated seats, auto dimming main beam etc etc, it's even got all the latest electronic safety gear.

The problem is they wouldn't bring many in to the UK each year so I had to act fast. I had my deposit down as soon as a demonstration model appeared a the local dealer. which confirmed my suspicion that it was a car with character forgotten within the humdrum.

I ended up being first in the queue too so had first dibs on the whatever allocation the dealer got. There was no choosing what ever you wanted, I got to say yay or nay on the car that that they had in.

So when a blue one was offered ( Jungle green sadly not available in the UK ) ones thumbs went up and waited a few months for it to arrive.

Even the Wife seems to like it....

Since delivery though the was some noise from Suzuki about the stranglehold of ever tightening European Union emissions regulations and in the end claimed another automotive icon with the popular Suzuki Jimny put out to pasture earlier than expected.

With its relatively unsophisticated 1.5-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine, Suzuki's loveable 4x4 will bow out of Europe before the end of the year, despite strong sales. To be fair its axing has been on the table for some time, but that timeline has been brought forward following a new EU ruling that all new cars must emit no more than 95 grams of CO2 per kilometre.

Counting against the Jimny is its CO2 emissions of just over 150g/km matched to its petite 1135kg heft, which makes it more difficult for it to reach an EU acceptable target.

Despite a growing number of 48-volt mild-hybrid versions of its cars, including the Swift Sport, S-Cross and Vitara, going on sale in Europe (providing valuable credits towards its overall fleet emissions), the diminutive Suzuki doesn't sell sufficient cars - and had no choice but to remove the Jimny from market.

Somewhat ironically, small city cars are also adversely affected by the new rules. Operating on razor-thin profit margins, it's difficult for a car company to balance the cost of adding hybrid technology to a compact city car while still maintaining an affordable price point.

And dinky it is, and one of the reasons why it suits me because with the rear seats down 95% of the time the boot more that big enough to swallow ones fishing tackle. The suspension articulation is staggering which means any undulating track isn't an issue and the ground clearance equally impressive. Ok it drives like a car from the 80's but that's apart of the appeal, every journey is an event. Tiny gaps can be squeezed in to, car park dings a thing of the past.

I've covered nearly 8k miles in it now and it's been great, 40mpg betters my previous Golf Mk7 R by ten despite having a wheezy engine and aerodynamics like a brick and it's also less likely to be nicked from the house like they tried and failed to do to with the Golf. A getaway car, "errrr yeah ok !!!" The rear seats are down post of the time, family journeys in it, 'interesting'

One other plus point there isn't the fear on every journey that I'll damage the 19" diamond cut wheels on the ever increasing potholes and knackered country-lane verges. 15" wheels and big profile tyres.

So why this post then Mick ?, well it now appears what it is become rare as rocking horse poo, if you want to get your hands on one you'd have to pay >5k than I picked up my top spec one from new. Madness, I suppose supply and demand and all that. I'm not complaining, however this is a keeper though unless I desperately need the money if my circumstances change under these troubling times we live in.

Anyway talking about changing circumstances, I was wondering what to fish for but spurred on by some recent information shared by postie Bob, for this mornings sessions I was after probably my favourite river species the gluttonous Chub. Now a Chevin is one of those fish to be relied upon no matter the weather, throughout the hottest of summers and the coldest of winters, if a quiver is to be quivered,a float to flounder in the flow, the Chub is as reliable quarry.

Now postie Bob put me on to the bomb hole, a section of river where a staggering change of depth happens within such a small area. Even though he hadn't fished this stretch in years the 'feature' naturally still held fish.

The information shared that came to light was situated in an area I'd fished before to be fair, but I'd not dangled the breadflake, or chucked out some cheespaste in anger here for a while. It sees some skulduggery down this neck of the woods despite the footfall, so it's good to go from time to time, to reacquaint myself with a stretch that is home to at least one of my PB's.

Recently though, some of those 4lb and near 5lb Chub I'd caught had grown exponentially by all accounts and there were reports of fishing of 6 and even 7lb'ers being caught. That a cracking size for the Warwickshire Avon where a 5lb is a good specimen. So after a busy working from home week this confab raised ones eyebrows and ploughed me through the daily design drudgery as it was something to look forward to when I reached the weekend.

Now a chub is the most circumspect, or perhaps circumaudient, of fishes, it has excellent sight and probably the best hearing for its size of any fish in England, and no wonder, for it has in a sense the biggest ear.

A fish with ears as long as a hare's would be worth seeing, and no-one would be surprised if it were as wary as a hare, but to look at a chub one would not suppose that it had any ears at all.

A rounded face, after which plump cheeks are called chubby; the single dorsal fin, and high pectorals with lower pelvics set far back, and the large scales that are common to all the cyprinids, a long body for a cyprinid, for it will live in rivers of moderate speed as well as in still water, and needs some power in its swimming, but where are its great ears?

Hidden inside, together with the innumerable small sharp bones that make the chub almost inedible. If the mark of a sportsman is to love the sport for its own sake, then the chub and barbel fanciers are the purest sportsmen of any anglers.

More so than the heroes who stand waist-deep in icy torrents struggling with salmon, or the perfect tiers and casters who can imitate their chosen fly and get even the sex right, and drop it to the inch over the trout's nose, for they will enjoy their catch on the table.

But the chub is watery and tasteless and bone-riddled from all accounts, surely Shirley nobody would pursue them except for purely sporting motives ? So a simple set-up, a link ledgered huge bit of flake and a roving set-up. I'd also feed some bread on the surface as it's still clear to see if any fish were up for a feed off the top.

Enough of the rambling, sadly back to reality this one after the Barbel high. I set my alarm to get bankside early but sadly I was beaten to the hot peg, someone obviously had less red wine than I did.

The two pegs down from here though were free so I fished them both to try and winkle out a fish or two. One of the swims was very shallow indeed but the Chub could be seen in the flow and some big'uns too. They were spooky though so when I managed a few small chublets they vanished completely and only returned after a good hour or so.

They must see some pressure these fish because it's probably the busiest stretch I fish. Not my ideal location but when there are big Chub to be had I'm all ears. The session didn't end at all well, and I will get to the point. I hooked a big Chub trundling a bait from a shallow swim to a darker deeper area, as the bread bounced along the bottom the hunk of bread disappeared and a fish was on.

The problem was within a split second it bolted off and it was heading right towards a snag before I could get on top of it. Despite ones efforts to steer it away from it, the hook pulled out this brute of a fish, damn !!!. Usually with Chub the hook hold is that good that rarely happens but sadly on this occasion it did and the fish gave me the two fingers, not good, I'll be back.

Oh and the best Chub hook ? answers on a postcard 

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