Piscatorial Quagswagging

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

Saturday 27 February 2021

Warwickshire Avon - Neptune and Nigroglobulate

Now Neptune was the Roman God of water and the sea, and very similar to the Ancient Greek God Poseidon. He had two brothers: Jupiter, the god of the sky and chief of the Roman Gods, and Pluto, the Roman God of the dead 

Neptune was often shown carrying a trident, a three-pronged spear used for catching fish. He rode in a chariot pulled by sea creatures or by horses, which were his favoured animals and luckily for him in more modern times had his face stuck on a rather tasty bottle of rum. Decent value too and despite a couple or three large ones the evening before a Pike fishing session, ones head was as clear as the sky was.

The Pike could truly be called the leviathan of the stream. It is by far the largest of all the fish that inhabit these small waters and is a true predator, the greater part of its diet consisting of other fish. Even the young of its own species are not immune. 

The majority of pike caught range from small jacks to fish of around I0lb, but individual specimens weighing over 20lb are occasionally landed. Much depends upon the amount of food available and the nature of the water. Some streams do not contain pike at all, while in others they are quite common. Its size and appearance make the pike easy to recognise. 

A long, lean fish, with an aggressive-looking bony head, its colouring is dappled green and yellow a combination that merges well with the weeds in which it often lies in ambush, awaiting the passing of any unwary roach, rudd, dace or perch.

It is capable of a quick burst of speed and its forward-looking eyes enable it to hunt by sight although, like all fish, it can also detect its prey by scent. Pike are greatly attracted by movement a fact which the angler can turn to his benefit when seeking them. 

The sheer size of the pike suggests that it should be easy to locate within the narrow waters of a stream for example, but this is not always so. True, when it is actively hunting down its prey it can easily be found, either by the signs of alarm exhibited by the hunted fish, or by the disturbance it creates as it moves through the water, but when it is not hunting it can be as difficult to locate as other species sometimes are.

In the summer, when the streams and rivers are thickly overgrown with dense beds of weed, the pike often lies unseen beneath them, almost unapproachable in its weedy lair. It also lies under debris, the overhanging branches of trees, and under tree roots. 

It is rarely found in fast, shallow water unless it is hunting minnows and favours the deeper water of the pools where it is able to conceal itself. So well is it camouflaged that when motionless it is extremely difficult to see, and it is remarkable how such a large fish can often remain undetected in a small stream. yet it can, and does. 

The pike is not a shoal fish. Like most predators, it hunts alone, and may even have its own little domain from which it will drive out any intruder. Contrary to popular opinion, it is not as destructive of fish life as it is often reputed to be, for pike have periods when they eat little or nothing, and other fish are well aware of this. 

I have often seen pike lying quietly in a swim, with other fish upon which it normally preys, in close attendance, and yet the pike has not exhibited the slightest sign of interest. In some way the other fish sense that the pike is not in a feeding mood, and hunter and hunted then share the same little domain in apparent harmony. 

Yet when the pike is actively hunting it quickly generates alarm, and other fish rapidly make off to a safe hiding place. These different moods must obviously affect the angler's chances of success. When the pike is lying dormant and not feeding, it can be more difficult to entice than any other fish, but when it is actively seeking food it can often be caught quite easily, and can even become a nuisance to the seeker of other, smaller fish. 

There will be occasions when a pike will remain completely indifferent to the most carefully presented bait or spinner and others when it will pursue them with almost suicidal zest, rudely dispersing all other fish in the vicinity. 

Now each fish has its season, and for me there is no better time to seek the pike than during the dark winter months.  

So thats why I was here down at this lovely part of the Warwickshire Avon fishing on a really bright sunny day. I love it down here though and to br fair the Pike rod was out as a sleeper and I'd also fish a helicopter feeder setup for the roach shoals that frequent this quite stretch.

Over the years I've been a member from time to time I bump in the like minded and it's always nice to have a natter, share stories and hopefully land a pike for them when bankside. 

I'm not sure the big Pike still frequent this area anymore but it's a reliable stretch to catch them and that's why I was here.

I fancied a proper bend in the rod for this session though and knowing that the sun would rise bright I got here for dawn. The sunrise incredible like it always is here and the roach too, the first chuck of the feeder after balling in some maggot laced coriander and hemp tainted groundbait the fish were grabbing the maggot on the drop.

A float would have probably been better but there are decent bream here as well and I fancied one of those as well. Still plenty of small roach landed and for a good hour and a half the tip wasn't still. The greedy redins hanging themselves on the set-up I chose for the intended quarry.

A Pike was landed quite early on as the sun was just rising in-front of me so sadly the picture wasn't brilliant as it was nicely marked. It took a smelt just a rod length out and gave a good account for itself. Another run an hour later sadly didn't connect and once the sun was bright the roach disappeared in numbers and then a managed a couple of small gudgeon. 

The change in bites was so dramatic I packed up earlier than I had anticipated but I cannot complain it almost went as the plan intended. 


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