Thursday, 8 October 2020

Warwickshire Avon - Bathypelagic, Barbel and Ballistophobia

I was feeling a little deflated after trying hard for a barbel in seemingly good conditions but sadly had to leave with ones tails between ones legs. Barbel are not particularly hard to catch once you've found them, but finding them seems to be getting and harder I've found.

What was I doing wrong ? were the fish there ? did the baits and tactics need a rethink ?

Yeap far too much mulling around my head, just get out and go fishing Mick

So that's exactly what I did....

I didn't have long to be fair and in these conditions I do prefer to rover around to try and find the fish. This stretch is ideal for that too because much of the bank is high so despite the river being well up you can find plenty of places to fish.

When I got to the river though It has dropped considerably since I was bankside just a couple of days ago, and not only that but the colour is no longer the strong tea colour it was like your nan used to make, but the turbidity of a mere Tetley quick dunking. This could well be a make or break session.


I had some chunks of meat for backup that I would fish coming up till dusk, but the main stay would be a large cage feeder full of shrimp and krill groundbait and I was sticking to the lobworm approach, because well, I had a load of them.

After three swims down without a bite the only highlight was a really active kingfisher who was putting on a cracking show. 


Now that really is encouraging because this is the stretch I rescued an injured kingfisher and went on a mission to see if anything could be done. Sadly if you read this post it wasn't the outcome we all wanted but still I'm glad I tried to help these stunning creatures.

Still it's nice and mild at the moment so much of the wildlife is still very active and with a water temperature of 13.5 degrees C the fish should be too.


Nearly two hours in the first bite came and it was a decent one too, the rod tip nodding a few times and then properly going over and the bait runner kicked in.

I knew instantly what is was, yeah a barbel !!!!. After an initial powerful run I realised it wasn't a big fish, in-fact when I get it near the net it was a splasher. Still, it was the target species and to be fair I don' t usually catch fish this sort of stature. Certainly encouraging signs for the future.


I thought this might have been the start of something which has happened before a swim just up from here when I caught 4 fish in a bit of a mad hour, but no, no more bite from this swim.

I returned to the first swim I fished which is usually a barbel banker if you can call it that, but to be fair it has been very good to me in the past despite the area not my first choice to fish, In-fact on this near 2 mile stretch I rarely fish it these days.


It didn't take long for a bite either in-fact the lobworm was probably out for 10 minutes or so when all of a sudden, two pulls turned in to a 4ft twitch. The Korum bolt and run kit doing the business again and the fish was hooked on the lead. Ok barbel don't mess around usually but these are powerful fish you need to be confident in your rigs. Proper missiles these fish, they can give you the run around. 

And there lay the problem, because the hooked fish within the first initial run was headed straight in to a thick reed bed and before I could get any decent side strain on it, it was properly wedged. Damn, this felt a much much better Barbel too but sadly I wouldn't get to see it, it basically took me by surprise and gave me a kick in the kidney's.  


Dusk was approaching and again I had to move swims because all went quiet again, but the last swim I decided to fish also brought a quick bite on the lobworm bait, this was a small'ish chub, most welcome though and I'm glad they were feeding.

I switched to a large chunk of spam for the last half an hour which I positioned with a satisfying donk on a large section of gravel but again all very quiet which surprised me because I really thought it was a formality. Another fish never materialised though but as I was watching the motionless tip, my thoughts turned to River Zander, the water clarity really did looked perfect for a Zed, fingers and toes crossed I can get out again.

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