Piscatorial Quagswagging

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

Sunday 29 November 2020

Warwickshire Avon - Grandmasters and Graphospasms

Now with Xaymaca Special Dry, Plantation revives the quintessential Jamaican-style, 100% pot still rums of the 19th century with an expression of intense flavours that reveal the traditional, legendary Rum Funk, aromas and flavours of black banana and flambéed pineapple, locally called "Hogo," an Anglicisation of the French term "Haut Goût" (high taste).

The original inhabitants of Jamaica are believed to be the Arawaks, also called Tainos. They came from South America 2,500 years ago and named the island Xaymaca, which meant ““land of wood and water”. 

The Arawaks were a mild and simple people by nature. Physically, they were light brown in colour, short and well-shaped with coarse, black hair. Their faces were broad and their noses flat.

They grew cassava, sweet potatoes, maize, fruits, vegetables, cotton and tobacco. Tobacco was grown on a large scale as smoking was their most popular pastime. 

They built their villages all over the island but most of them settled on the coasts and near rivers as they fished to get food. Fish was also a major part of their diet.

The Arawaks led quiet and peaceful lives until they were destroyed by the Spaniards some years after Christopher Columbus discovered the island in 1494.

I can't really put a finger on this but from the second you pop it open it has that unique Jamaica vibe/scent to it. Really fruity and sweet, it can be surprisingly dry for the unprepared but hits the spot nicely. 

I hoard the Plantation brand as its my go to stuff but this left to air for half an hour on a sunny day while relaxing in the garden and you smell the magic from 2 meters away.

More recently a decent measure sipped whilst watching the Queens Gambit on Netflix, Whiskey for me doesn't get a look-in these days. 

Now if you've not watched the Queen's Gambit, it's a is a fictional story that follows the life of an orphan chess prodigy, Beth Harmon, during her quest to become the world's greatest chess player while struggling with emotional problems and drug and alcohol dependency. 

The Queen's Gambit is a chess opening. The story begins in the mid-1950s and proceeds into the 1960s.

The story begins in Lexington, Kentucky, where a nine-year-old Beth, having lost her mother in a car crash, is taken to an orphanage where she is taught chess by the building's custodian, Mr. Shaibel. 

As was common during the 1950s, the orphanage dispenses daily tranquiliser pills to the girls, which turns into an addiction for Beth. 

She quickly becomes a strong chess player due to her visualisation skills, which are enhanced by the tranquilisers. As Beth continues to win games and reaps the financial benefits of her success, she becomes more dependent on alcohol and other drugs. It's an easy watch and as someone who doesn't watch a great amount of TV it's feet up and chill.

Now for this short session I better get to the point....

A roving session this with only lobworms as bait from ones wormery. The river was low and clear'ish and it was much tougher than I thought. Swim after swim I remained biteless and only one swim produced any fish. Those fish were not big either, in-fact the biggest was barely a pound in weight.

I just wasn't feeling it because those usual productive swims just didn't produce, even the perch were suspicious in their absence, a very weird morning indeed. The fishing was so poor I cut the session short, that's not like me. 

The 'sound' of the river, the flash of the kingfisher, traffic noise minimal, it's not all about catching is it, the mind in a much better place, but then it always is after fishing.

I'll try and get out in the week again because even though I'm struggling a little at the minute, a couple of hours peace is a great tonic in these rubbish times. 

Saturday 28 November 2020

Warwickshire Avon - Tiers and Titanomachy

Great isn't it, the Stratford-Upon-Avon district pre lockdown 2 was within Tier 1 and yet despite some of the lower percentages of infection throughout the UK, 100 in 100,0000 once lockdown 2 has ended it will move to the highest tier, Tier 3, yes you heard me TIER3 !!!! Matt Hancock seemingly enjoying delivering his bad news. 

How does that work ? much of the area is semi rural or rural and infection rates like much of the country is starting to drop. Already a pub down the road has had closed its door recently. 

I fear many local establishments, restaurants and watering holes will be robbing Peter to pay Paul just to try and keep things afloat till they know the outcome of the next chuck of the dice. 

The hospitality sector after doing what has been asked of them, right back to square one. I honestly thought it was a mistake at first because it makes no sense whatsoever.

 I'm sure that's not the last we've heard of it, the jungle drums ( can I still say that in 2020) seemed to be more active than ever the quick dip in to social media confirmed, what is behind it all ? there has to be a bigger picture ? I'm sure the elderly demographic of the area won't help, duffers delight. 

So local businesses need us more than ever these days so you need to do whatever you can to keep the coffers topped up. This week we've had a new bird guard fitted to the chimney and a visit to Calcutt & Son in Henley in Arden ones open fire reserves have been given a boost.

Henley High Street as expected deserted and the pubs and restaurants looking sorry for themselves.

It's been a cold week hasn't it, some hard frosts and the mercury not rising above 10 degrees during the day. Now Martyn from Stratford-Upon-Avon Fish and Outdoors is often going out of his way to service his customers and had been providing not only a click and collect service in lockdown 2, but also free delivery for a minimum spend of ten quid.

Businesses like Martyn's need our support in these difficult times, now more than ever, use them or lose them.

 He has just got on with it, no moaning, no sitting back, he's tackle the issues first hand and worked within the restrictions to still try and provide a service to his customers.

So with a couple of pints of reds sorted I fancied having another go for the dace. This time though I'd ditch the feeder for a float set-up as I'm sure I'd have banked more fish. 

It was good sport mind you and once I got the sliver darts feeding it really was a bite a chuck. This time I had a pike rod as back-up as well because the pike were troublesome in the last session and I fancied a proper bend in the rod from hopefully something half decent.

There are decent Chub here too although I've not managed to catch one yet, I'm talking PB beaters as well. Maybe fishing maggot for the dace they may well turn up to Gatecrash the party and muscle in on the feeding frenzy. 

Because that's exactly what happened the last time, a huge bait ball of dace, the maggots hoovered up well before they go to the bottom. I wasn't going to stay that long but hopefully the fish were feeding. It was raining when I got up in the morning ready to go so I held off for a bit and enjoyed a cup of coffee before heading out.

I've noticed that it can take a good while for the fish to turn up but feed maggots little an often they will soon turn up. And turn up they did, for a good hour and half there were a decent amount of fish in the swim. Dace again which was nice and some decent size ones too. 

I retained the bigger ones in the landing net and the float performing better than the feeder for this session.

I had a smelt out but the float remained motionless however with half an hour to go I packed everything up bar the landing net and pike rod and went to the very start of the stretch. There is some nice cover here and it has some depth too and. It didn't take long for a bite either, the float bobbing like a good'un before going under. 

t felt a decent fish however as I was getting control of it, it launched out of the water and I could see the smelt was grabbed side.

Sadly the first shake of its head the bait was ejected and its grasp was gone, damn !!!!

Still on a more positive note, among the dace I managed a small roach, always a welcome sight from the dace humdrum. The bleak turned up as well, the two pints of maggots not lasting that long with so many fish in the swim. Not the biggest of fish, but another enjoyable session again.

Wednesday 25 November 2020

Warwickshire Avon - Depeculation and Depixelization

The Prime Minister today took his weekly Wednesday questions over video feed for the first time in Commons history. However God knows who at number 10 has been tasked to sort BOJO's camera and audio set-up during the PMQ's as it looked like it had been cobbled together in five minutes. 

The picture looked like it was streaming by 48k dialup and in some parts it looked more pixelated than a well watched Japanese adult video covertly picked from the hidden bottom draw with that suspicious look to the left, and then to the right, before the goods are handed over. 

Anyway it's 2020 for God sake, I bet even using his smartphone would have a done a better job and for nothing like the cost to the taxpayer. Why it was so bad, is beyond me because the Government are good at spending ones hard earned money of late. For an address by the Leader of the country, it was all a bit woefully half arsed. 

Even the backdrop was ill thought out, which made Boris look colder than a cold thing. Has there been an improvement since the first one, eeeeerrrrrrrrrrrrr No !!!! The only saving grace for Boris it was Keir Starmer asking most of the questions and the novice batten was handed over and was never returned. 

Still it meant that's ones own cobbled together short session didn't seem to bad after all. You see it literally took 2 minutes to get a few bits and pieces together and I was sorted for a couple or three hours fishing in to dark down at a convenient section of the Warwickshire Avon where I can fish without the worry that at any minute I could receive a tap on the shoulder from a bankside bailiff. 

So one rod only with a chunk of spam on the hook, and a few freebies via a dropper. Would something be up for a bite I wonder. A barbel would be nice or even a half decent Chub. This working from home malarkey isn't all it's all cracked up to be for me, in-fact I've never been so inactive during the working week judging by my step count. 

A short after work session like this is ideal really as not only I'm getting some much needed fresh air, but also ones legs are woken up from their slumber and the blood starts to circulate again in the seemingly forgotten parts of my body. Many prefer working from home, not for me though, I cannot wait to get back to the normal routine again.

It was already starting to feel cold when I got there just as the sun was starting to set. The skies remained clear throughout the session and the moon was high in the sky and illuminated the whole area. After a huge bite came within 10 minutes of the rod being out and a chunk of spam had been nicked from the hook I thought I'd at least bank something of note.

But no, a few more similar tugs but that was it, there was nothing really doing at all. The wasn't even any fish topping either, all very dead indeed. It was 2 degrees when I left 3 hours later though, so certainly cold so maybe next time I'll fish with some smaller more pungent baits. 

Maybe spam was a little overkill, I might put a sleeper deadbait out as well, maybe I'm missing a trick as could there be Zander here too ? Only one way to find out. Still on a positive note, the trapper hat is as warm as ever. 

Sunday 22 November 2020

Warwickshire Avon - Flogillating and Floccinaucinihilipilification

Tell me honestly, are you, as an angler, satisfied with your lot at Christmas time ? Will you, on that festive morn, open the usual parcels of socks, boxers, horrible scented shaving soap, and embroidered handkerchiefs in garish colours ? 

Will you, with a set smile on your face, thank all and sundry, while mentally reproaching yourself for uncharitably assessing the value in terms of hooks, lures, and fishing lines ? 

It is time that non-angling relatives got their sense of values sorted out. Fair enough, I wear a tie, the same black one, like a strip of damp seaweed, at least twice times a year. 

I like to put a sock on each foot whenever possible, and for special occasions I try to see that they match. I don't like shaving soap, nor do the fish, and a handkerchief makes a rotten hand-towel. It's all a question of priorities. I can go fishing without my socks, but I am stuck unless I have a spool of line.

I have come to the conclusion that I have been a martyr for too long. I am prepared to believe in Santa Claus, but I am certain the old boy never went fishing. 

As far as tackle is concerned, he just hasn't a clue. So this year I am not leaving anything to chance, and I am starting straight away on my personal campaign. 

By now, most of my friends and relatives must have guessed that I do a spot of fishing. You can't keep that sort of thing a secret. It is not difficult, therefore, for me to introduce the subject of fishing tackle casually into everyday conversation. Since I have learned the warning signs that my family make when about to buy presents, I can rely on receiving my cue. 

Thus, when Sam earns five a quid for a chore or two , and asks rye, in the same breath. what sort of rum I'd like for Christmas cus "mummy asked me to ask you", I remark casually that I am giving up drink in order to put that rod on hold I wanted at the corner of the tackle shop. 

When I hear the unmistakeable sound of my Wife rubbing a couple of two pound coins together, I shall ask her if she would mind mending the holes in my landing-net. 

Now For the bigger game, I shall enlist the help of the local tackle-dealer Martyn . When I am out with my wife, I shall suddenly remember that I have to pop in for a pint of maggots. While we are there, he will ask me my opinion on the latest in fixed-spool reels. I shall rate it excellent value at twice the cost, and wish that I could but it, but I shall regret that my old reel will have to last another season. 

He will then sternly remind me that when he last overhauled it it showed serious signs of wear on the anti-flogillating sprocket, which, if it shattered, could have serious consequences. Whereupon I shall shrug, and leave the shop, confident that the reel is in the bag. 

Anyway, enough of that, need to get New Barbel Rod in the equation somewhere, anyway before all that, for this short morning session I was after Chub at one of the most convenient places I fish. I can be there is less than 10 minutes you see, that's actually leaving the house to being bankside so it's ideal.

I had the paste bombs I knocked up  and cheesepaste and that was it. To be honest having not been to the Avon for a while I didn't realise how clear it was till I got there. Lobworm might have been a better bet but with a roving approach and a link-ledger set-up the visible chunk of paste might have looked out of place if it were static but a moving bait hopefully would fair better.

Now this cheespaste I've knocked up appears to be the best I've ever managed to concoct, proper stinky stuff and the constancy is neigh on perfect. 

It took a while for the first bite, well after the sun and risen properly and the sky was blue. It was from a rather turbulent swim with a nice slack close in. The bait was moving around the swim nicely, it was moving slowly 360 degrees under the rod tip and went on repeat a few times till eventually there was an indication there was a chub in the swim.

An initial pluck and then a pull resulted in a confident bite on the rod and a fish was on. It carted off to the left to try and get to some snags but after getting it steered away from there it was trying to bury itself literally under my feet.

It was soon under control though and a nice Chub was in the net. I guessed at 4lb and it was, 4lb 2 ounces on the scales, showing some lovely bronze markings in the bright sun.

 I had the banks to myself so I fished as many swims as I could in the time I had but it was far tougher than I thought because judging by the lack of footprints it's been quiet here for a while.

A much smaller fish around 3.5lb came from a raft but maybe 8 or 9 swims fished it showed there was no point staying in the same spot.

Great to be back though, amazing what fresh air and a bit of sun can do for the soul, it's great to be back, it really is !!!!

Saturday 21 November 2020

The Tiny River Alne - Scuffers and Scoptophobia

With 14 days of self-isolation thankfully ticked off, we came out the other side relatively unscathed after a positive COVID-19 test within the Newey household.  From fishing locally a few hours everyday in the October half term where our break to Wales was kyboshed due to the two week 'firebreak', ones angling pursuits in the last two weeks went to zilch, bugger all, you're having a laugh !!!!

Finally after the daily drudgery, where I cleaned the oven, (yes really) sorted some junk from the garage ready for a tip run and tidied the garden to an inch of its life, eventually I was allowed back to go fishing without fear of having ones collar being felt, a fine being waved in ones face. 

Thinking about it another big change was to move from my small office space downstairs , moved lock-stock upstairs and commandeered the kids play room. 

If I was going to be working from home for a good while, I at least needed to be as comfortable as I could be and with Captain America, the Hulk, Ironman and Thor watching over me and with our newly created anti-bodies, better times were on their way, heck I even bought a new office chair. 

Now Ben bless him having been back in to his routine again after half-term, hadn't a clue what the heck was going on when his transport turned up to take him to school and he wasn't getting on it. 

Still the Wife was a Godsend with the home schooling during the self-isolation and the working week, luckily went quick where I consumed as much electronic music as I could get away with and bashed the keyboard for the CAD machine and vigorously wiggled the mouse to try and catch that tail that has been chased since I started worked on this interesting EV project.

The escapism EDM offers me really is needed in these rubbish times and anything that kept ones mind in check needed to be grasped with both hands. 

The Wife coming good there too such the need to get any kind of comfort wherever I could, you see at least the lazy lie-ins were a bonus during the isolation, that was something I suppose, and the help from a couple of large squidgy things certainly helped me from straying off that winding track. 

Now talking of escapism, I treated myself to a copy of 'Somewhere Down the Crazy River' the book from Jeremy Wade and Paul Bootle about their fascinating journey in search of giant fish and their story of the rediscovery of the Indian Mahseer and then on to the Goliath Tigerfish of the Congo.

I've been keeping ones eye on a copy for a while but those that do come up for sale are usually a pretty penny but this one was priced very well indeed, so much so, it triggered ones trigger finger without hesitation.

Ok tell a lie, I set an eBay snipe up to do the bidding for me. I set myself a budget, and that budget was the winning bid luckily. It arrived a couple of days later and I've not put it down since.

To be honest looking at the price some of them can go for, especially the hardcover I've managed to get my hands on, I did surprisingly well me thinks. I think it helped that the auction ended at a stupid time which to the unaccustomed, is a no go if you want to get the best price for an item. 

I can only assume it was an oversight because the seller looked very much conversive in the auction house judging by the feedback he'd received before. A quick look on what's available now, I'm £50 quid up on the deal already. 

Still I wasn't complaining, it was a book I wanted to add to my collection for a while and came up at the right time when any kind of lift was required (lots of good rum 👌 ) just to get me through the isolation and confinement the best I could. 

We've had it easy to be honest, I dread to think the effect the lockdown(s) and all the related pandemic pandemonium has had on much of the population.

Anyway I'm bored of it all now, so for this session I could think of no better place to go fishing than the tiny River Alne post the enforced lockdown and the inevitable claustrophobic inducing and wellbeing battering, that being confided to ones abode and effectively four walls does to you. 

Now for me as a solitude seeker this diminutive stretch of river offers in abundance what I've been missing over the last two weeks, and I couldn't wait to be roving its banks again. It was the peace and quiet I missed the most and fishing gives me that in spades, it's a tonic us maggot danglers try and keep to ourselves as we don't want to share one the best kept secrets of our angling pursuits now do we.

When you fish, those thoughts at the back of your mind disappear, well they do for me anyway, you don't think about anything in a nutshell which is a welcome departure from these turbulent times. 

Now I've not used bait down the Alne for a while as I've really gotten in to this lure fishing malarkey, especially the use of small crankbaits. The trout and chub come out of nowhere and it's exciting fishing on the most part, and a by-product is the fact those daily step levels are brought back to where they were before. A more static approach I'll leave till in the week on the Avon, don't worry, I plan to fill ones boots. 

Because the waterway is so small here, 10 or 15 minutes maximum in each fishable swim is all that is needed and if nothing caught it's time to move on. When winter hits properly I might have a bait session because I'm sure there are so surprises to be had. 

It's hardly fished, in-fact I've only ever seen two anglers on the bank on the same day in the all the years I've been fishing it, I've effectively got the banks to myself, it really is a gem of a water, the fish may not be big, but who the heck cares this is utopia on my terms, I'm selfish I'm keeping it a secret. 

It was so nice to be back roving the banks again, the air fresh with that autumn bite. It didn't take long for the first bite either., as suspected a brown trout.  The water wasn't as clear as thought it would be so I was hoping for a chub or two as well, but oddly, nope it was a trout day.

The biggest a bright copper 2lber I'd imagine shed the hooks when it powered upstream and launched itself clear out the water a couple of times in a bid for freedom.

In the 3.5 hours I managed 7 or 8 trout, the biggest maybe a scraper 1lber. I spotted the otter a couple of times though so maybe the bigger fish were nervous in venturing out. Being locked away for two weeks ain't healthy, I felt like I was reborn again, more steps covered in one morning than a weeks worth in isolation. 

So glad to be back out again, long may it continue !!!!

Saturday 7 November 2020

Warwickshire Avon - Silver Darts and Scaffmasters

My birthday was a bit of a lame affair. Sadly the meal the Wife and I had planned that we really were looking forward to, was no longer going to happen with the announcement of the 2nd lockdown in England. The charts of the impending doom from the brothers grim with their wet fingers in the air there was only ever going to be outcome of the vote in parliament and Friday we were all back behind the ever changing barriers again.

Still with a bottle of one of my favourite wines Amarone della Valpolicella to get ones mind in a better place, I cannot really complain, as there is a lot of people worse off than me right now, I've got to be thankful for that. 

Now Amarone is a wine made with partially dried grapes in Valpolicella, Veneto, North-east Italy. There are three geographical sub zones; Classico, Valpantena and ‘Est’, the extended zone. 

Amarone from Classico tends to be the most elegant and aromatic, versions from the Valpantena are generally lighter and fruitier, while the so-called ‘extended’ zone (beyond Classico and Valpantena, bordering on the Soave) tends to produce richer, more muscular wines with a higher alcohol level.’

This one from Tesco 15.5% with aromas of dried cherries and blueberries, full bodied and almost opulent on the palate. For £18 quid a cracking bottle of wine that compliments a slow roasted beef brisket.

A bottle of rum, a bottle of Barolo, a Korum Transition unhooking mat, a few bits and pieces the boy done well !!!!

The unhooking mat packs down quite small and fold very easy indeed, like many of Korum's products well thought-out indeed and will accompany me when I'm targeting the bigger fish.

Anyway after fishing everyday over the October half term holiday this was first session for nearly a week so I just fancied a few bites. I love dawns on the river in the autumn and winter months, the river was looking glorious when I got there, a surface like glass so I was surprised not to see any topping fish.

It was a maggot only day and after a couple of swims with only a tiny dace and roach to show for it, I was wondering what the heck was going on. The water is back to clear again which is not ideal on the Avon but find the deeper areas and try and find the fish, your fortunes can change dramatically, and that's exactly what happened here. 

One of the lower swims was literally stuffed full of dace, to be fair it took half an hour of feeding maggots but once they arrived they didn't budge for well over an hour.

It really was a bite a chuck, sometimes the feeder not even reaching the bottom before a fish was on. Not huge dace, the biggest 7 ounces or so but most were over four ounces. The above a result of only half an hour with fish retained in the landing net with more missed bites than fish caught.

They really must have been queuing up. A float set-up would have been the way to go, but still, an enjoyable mad feeding spell.

The first sign a pike was around though was when I thought I'd snagged the feeder up, but no it was a Pike that had grabbed the feeder just as it hit bottle. A couple of fish were lucky to escape too this one just getting away from the skin of its teeth.

Shame I hadn't a Pike rod as it looked a half decent fish too. The fish returned after an hour or so after continuing to feed maggots regularly but after catching a few more fish, my time was up.

I enjoyed it so much I'll bring more maggots next time because 2 pints went rather quick such the frequency of the bites but I love catching dace when they are in big shoals. Such a characteristic fight too, almost grayling like the way the 'silver darts' wriggle back and forth on the fight.  

It was 3 degrees when I started fishing but quickly rose to 9 degrees when the sun came out. An enjoyable session and an enjoyable morning, we are lucky we can still go fishing, 

I drove past the deserted golf club down the road from me on the way back, what the heck is all that about, you can share a walk with someone on the course, but not with a ball or club in hand. a revolt on the way me thinks, some of the rules are just ridiculous. 

Sunday 1 November 2020

Warwickshire Avon - Saagwala and Sanctanimity

After the recent announcement 2020 can do one, really have had enough of it now. So you've good to keep up with those little things that make you happy and gives you the feel good factor. Now my chicken saagwala is a rather lovely indeed, it's a dish that to be honest on a miserable day weather wise but a Chub session to look forward to in the morning, the comfort that it offers can only help the wellbeing at the minute. 

It's easy to knock up too, seal some chicken thighs in a saucepan in a little oil.

Blend to a smooth base sauce some fresh ginger, garlic, chillis, coriander (stalks and all), tomatoes, red onion with a few Indian spices and then simmer for half an hour with a little water, and then stir in a bag of spinach for another ten minutes and then job done.

Very moorish indeed as it packs a flavour punch that becomes very addictive indeed especially as you can tweak the recipe to suit your own palate. I often sprinkle on mine some extra coriander leaves and sliced birds eye chillies as I do like an extra kick to my food, whereas the Wife and kids don't appreciate the scoville scale like I do.

Now whilst it was being reduced Chasing Chevin was a welcome distraction from all the rubbish that is going on at the minute. 

Pictures of Chub I could only dream about catching but having took a while to catch a Warwickshire Avon 5lber and quite a few more since an area I fish has been throwing up some lovely >5lb fish, the latest being this stout 6lber. 

Now given the choice of catching a 14lb Barbel or a 6lb Chevin off the Warwickshire Avon, it would be the Chub every time.

They are up there with my favourite species because I just love their character which can go from being shy and retiring to being as bold as brass. 

I wouldn't usually target Chub till there is a crunch under foot but if there is already some lumps already on this small stretch I want in on it. 

So for this short morning session the Chub rod was sorted and it was out with the cheesepaste, a few lobworms and some liquidised bread. 

I'm sure it's the ammonia and strong smell Chub find so appealing because they really cannot get enough of it, and I've had sessions where breadflake wouldn't get a look-in but some paste wrapped round a cage can often bring that bite you are desperate for.

If they are that big here now, what are they going be like when winter has started to kick in big-time and there are less anglers on the bank. 

Chub in January and February can often forget their cautiousness and jump on a lump of cheesepaste as soon as it hits the deck.

Would they be up for a feed at the very end of October, only one way to find out !!!!

What an odd session when I got there I baited 3 swims with a few pieces of paste and also some liquidised bread and would fish them half an hour each before taking stock. There were fish in the all swims fished but there didn't appear any chevin home.

Dace were whittling away the large pungent paste bait till they actually hooked themselves, maggots would have cleaned up I'd imagine as one swim they were attacking it as soon as it dropped through the water column.

Now a switch to lobworm again didn't attract any chub or perch for that matter but dace again. Nothing big but many a future session I'd trot some maggots as there are some nice swims here to do exactly that.

With half an hour left a positive pluck the tip pulls round and a fish is on. It felt solid when I hooked in to it but then it wasn't fighting like a chub and then I could see its flanks in the relatively clear water, it was a skinny pike with plenty of filling out to do. Not going well this morning, time for the off. I'll be back !!!

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