Thursday, 29 October 2020

Warwickshire Avon - Fiddlededee and Featherweights

Now Cerbera, an apocynaceous genus of small trees, consisting of four maritime species of Madagascar, Tropical Asia, and the Pacific, is not what the post is about. It was the TVR Cerbera I bought when I was in my middle 20's nearly 22 years ago where I could buy a house with a years salary. 

In-fact where did it go wrong, as an automotive jobber, my earnings in the industry have basically flatlined, the trade not lucrative like it once was. 

Now to be honest the dream turned in to a bit of a nightmare, it was great when it worked, 4.2 V8, 360hp no abs or traction control and because it was a featherweight compared to modern cars, very quick too. 9 secs to 100mph and >180mph it was a brute of a car and you needed a couple of weeks just to get used to it's weighty controls. 

It all started off well but as it was my only car driven in all weather and conditions the heavy use began to show. Things started to break and the list of jobs to do grew and grew. 

Little things in the main but when the solenoid operated door locks use to play up, and the only way to enter the car was to remove the rear numberplate, twiddle a screwdriver in the 'secret hole' to pop the boot lock which would give you access to the manual release for the doors. 

It didn't like being driven from cold either otherwise it would stall so the neighbours used to love me when I started it up at 5.30am to allow the flat plane crank engine to warm up. The biggest issue came when after oil starvation at the crank, the engine exploded in dramatic fashion and it dumped a load of oil and bits of the engine on the A45 in Birmingham. 

Now it took 17 weeks to be fixed by the factory which had a backlog of customer engines to rebuild and then eventually when I got it back, the first journey out in it after stopping to get a newspaper the starter motor jammed and couldn't be freed. So againnnnnnnn on the back of an AA wagon, back to TVR Team Central for them to get it working again. 

I had basically lost all confidence in the car at this point, so after running it in locally for 200 miles it was put up for sale and hopefully went to someone who had more luck with it than I did. 

Still despite the bad memories, it led to one of my most memorable moments in my life, sadly not for this blog, it's something that being merry between friends may well reveal.

Now a static motionless rod like ones TVR Cerbera can all of a sudden explode in dramatic fashion when a Barbel decides it wants to take the bait. Some of the bites I've had have really been utterly ridiculous when the Barbel realises something is wrong after picking up the bait and it bolts off in dramatic fashion almost taking the rod with it. 

If you don't know what you're doing, you may well have a lost rod and a tethered fish. Even with a centrepin I like to anchor the rod middle and bottom as even the ratchet can be taken off guard the odd time with a savage bite and the rod can be pulled off the rest.

It's one of the reasons why I tend to only fish one rod for Barbel now, I've got in to a few palavers you see and especially when fishing in the dark, I'd rather not have to worry about things like that. I prefer to play it safe these days. With the river conditions good, water mild and the tackle still in the car from yesterday evenings session, I was back bankside again for another quick session to try and winkle one out.

The weather was very different indeed, milder and very blustery but still the Barbel don't know that anyway do they. The conditions really did look spot on again but after three swims with half an hour in each there was nothing doing at all. The final swim I decided to fish was the same I fished the other day for the 5lber and gave me an hour before the club rules dictate I needed to be off. Meat was untouched so I switched to paste and boilie.

Now normally here the chub bite if the barbel don't but no, but not this session. The only action the rod top received was from the wind which picked up big time whilst I was there. Strange how in conditions which look absolutely perfect, the fish were just not interested, but then that's fishing for you, don't want it too easy now do we, I had the banks to myself again, maybe the other anglers know something I don't. 


  1. When Will you be targeting Zander on the canals?
    Cheers mate

    1. When I cannot fish the rivers, so when they unfishable in proper flood or in the close season in the main.


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