Friday 12 February 2021

Warwickshire Avon - Menorrhoea and Metapsychology

Now home schooling ain't for the fainthearted, luckily for me the Wife has taken over those duties whilst I earn the pennies tucked up out of the way upstairs bashing keys on the well worn CAD workstation.  

This week though with the curse of the monthlies kicking in and her patience being tested I had to free her from the lockdown duties and decided to get Sam out from under her hair and give her some much needed peace (Ben's in school due to his EHC). 

Sam doesn't deal with the cold that well to be fair so it would be a quick session this down at the closest stretch of Warwickshire Avon which jut so happens is where we fish for Gonks. 15 sessions ago I'd managed a fish over a pound, a 3.5lb chub if I recall, this session would be no different, over an ounce would be nice.

Over the years I've been taking him fishing the Gudgeon is still is up there with his favourite fish to catch, he like me just loves catching them. 

Now there are probably not very many adult anglers who get enthralled or even excited by the capture of a gudgeon, except perhaps when these are the only fish to be caught. 

 They are, even when full-grown, of no more than a few in-significant ounces and once a good spot is found there is often no difficulty at all in catching them to the point of boredom. 

Sam's first gonk, he's been hooked ever since !!!

Nevertheless, I am sure I am not alone in having a regard for this little fish which stems from the days when a gudgeon was a big fish by comparison with the more usual minnows, no one can deny that for its small size they give a proper decent bang on the quiver tip. 

A  gudgeon is a doughty little fighter or that most of us know times when a few humble gudgeon are welcomed. 

The conformation of the body and the position and shape of the mouth show that the gudgeon is essentially a fish of the stream and a bottom feeder. It is, of course, in many respects a miniature barbel, both in habits and appearance. 

It is very widely distributed, being found in all kinds of waters from tiny trickles to major rivers, and it also thrives in some still waters. 

A swim which could be expected to produce gudgeon in numbers will usually be a shallow reach, very often quite close to the bank, with a clean bottom of gravel and a moderate flow.

In cold weather like it was for this short session gudgeon follow most other species, moving to deeper water where the current is steady. 

The fact that the great majority of gudgeon are caught accidentally by anglers using baits and styles intended to appeal to more imposing species, in swims where other species are expected to be, is indicative both of the gudgeon's catholic tastes in food and of its wide distribution. 

One of hundreds over the years !!!

You can catch gudgeon on wheat, bloodworms, maggots, hemp, worms, bread, in fact just about any bait that you care to name; you can catch them by trotting, laying on, legering, in fact if you wish to catch other species in a water where there are gudgeon you may come to bemoan the ease with which they can sometimes be caught. 
Even a fairly large bait is no real insurance against them that sad-looking mouth can open to a sizeable gape, and many a chub and barbel angler has had his hopes falsely raised by the attention of an ambitious gudgeon. 

In the last century, when the gudgeon was esteemed both for the pot and as the victim of a horribly cruel 'sport' which involved fixing a cork to the dorsal fin, the favoured method of ensuring a good bag was to first rake the bed some distance upstream, thus sending down a stream of fine bottom debris with the larvae, etc. which were thus stirred up. 

If you really mean to catch gudgeon this is still a rewarding preparation, the value of which I have seen many times whilst wading, when gudgeon have come exploring up the trail of silt which was flowing from my feet. 

Choose a swim which starts as rippling shallows and then deepens gradually into a smoothly flowing pool, scuffle the feet thoroughly around the shallows, put in a little fine ground-bait and a few hook-bait samples as well, then fish the pool with the bait set to trip along the bottom. 

Naturally, with so small a fish there is no need for other than very light tackle, a small float or light link ledger, a size 18 hook, is all you need. 

Damn it was cold, he had to get out of the wind because in it, we'd have probably managed half an hour or so, even with gloves and a trapper hat it was proper biting. We managed some bites though, not from gudgeon though.

From small Zander bite sized roach initially but eventually after changing swims dace amongst them. The dace were just as small to be fair registering a decent bite on the sensitive quiver tip.

Staying in one spot for more than ten minutes though I could Sam visibly not enjoying it, this would have to be a quick session.

The easterly wind got the better of him, and me to be fair, the 14 mph winds adding to the wind chill factor making it feel like -10. Still some bites were obtained, Sam relatively happy. 

We took a detour on the way home to the shop for some wine essentials to give the Wife some peace she deserved. With the weekend now here, a couple of sessions I'd imagine, dace the first port of call me thinks. 


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