Sunday 21 February 2021

Warwickshire Avon - Labtebricole and Lackadaisical

I'm quite spoilt where I live in this current lockdown, the Alne almost walkable, the Avon I can be bankside and fishing in less than 10 minutes. This was a bit of a cobbled together session to be honest but with the weather is mild, the water temperature heading towards nine degrees, a Barbus could be patrolling the gravel, on the mooch, need a meal.

Now ones wormery is not only somewhere to store shop bought lobworms but it's well established now and seems to be producing a huge amount of worms with the minimum of effort. Now talking about minimum of effort Barbel fishing for me has almost become lackadaisical.

No real planning, often turning up an hour before dusk, chucking out a chunk of meat, or a boilie over some hemp and not really that bothered if the rod is bent or not.

Still I've caught some half decent fish that way and to be honest sometimes there is method in my madness because  despite fishing for Barbel in the morning and in the middle of the day my results have been largely mediocre. 

As soon as the light goes swims really can transform, the fish start moving, a motionless rod literally swings in to life when that switch is pressed.

Now I thought the Avon was far more coloured when I got there and to be honest didn't fill me with confidence. The colour had dropped out considerably. I'd have probably fished for roach and had a pike rod out if I'd seen the colour of the water beforehand as I'm sure a hungry Pike would be up a smelt on toast. Certain fish don't venture out till the light goes for a very good reason, they are less vulnerable, they stand out less, less head turning to do.

Still worms are a fish's natural food, and therefore are an excellent bait. Types of worm, from the threadlike creatures which live in the mud at the bottom of lake and river to the solid rounded snakelike creatures which abound in well-manured soil. 

Fresh Water fish will at one time or another accept worm roost readily indeed, there are occasions when worm is the only effective bait. However, worm fishing has its disadvantages and particularly so during the summer months' From June until late September and sometimes even later, to use a worm as bait is almost certainly to invite the attentions of an eel. 

This would not be too bad if the eels were always large, but unfortunately more often than not the eel is likely to be of bootlace proportions. The most efficient part of a lobworm is in my opinion its tail. It looks attractive, moves well in the water and has a deadly fascination for many species. 

The red worm is smaller but is used very 'successfully, as is the brandling which is distinguished by the yellow rings around its body.

Most patches of soil will yield their quota of worms, but the richer the soil is in humus, the more worms it is likely to contain. Old compost heaps often yield good quantities, and stones and logs of wood are always worth turning over. 

If you are fortunate enough to be able to create a `wormery' in your garden, fork in plenty of garden refuse and empty tea-leaves on to the patch during the driest months of the year. Remember to keep the area moist and cover with a damp sack during the summer. 

I just wasn't feeling it, the river looked in decent fettle but I fished 5 or 6 swims and picked up 2 chublets. Even the chublet bites didn't seem overly enthusiastic in-fact the first fish must have grabbed the lobworms on the retrieve.

Gravel ✅ Steady Flow ✅ Barbel ❌

Still with the weather fair for a while I'll hopefully get out in the week and fish in to dark. Not just any old Barbel either I was a PB beater, as much as I enjoy catching barbel, they are well down the list of my favourite species, then then I fish dirty brooks for bullheads and target gonks, I may well be in the minority.

A walk out after the fishing in the village with the family, Sam is back on-board again, the weather transformed his enthusiasm but then from the cold weather we have had, milder conditions are a welcome change for many.

"Sam where do you want to go for your first session back ?"

"Daddy what a stupid question, the 'Gudgeon Swim' the 'Gudgeon Swim'

"Suits Me, got to love the mighty Gonk " !!!!

"Errrrrr, you WHAT !!!"


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