Piscatorial Quagswagging

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

Sunday 14 March 2021

Warwickshire Avon - Trespassers and Triskaidekaphobia

Ones bait fridge is probably the only place in the entire house that the Wife wouldn't go anywhere near. I've used for many purposes in the past but for this weekend it was home to a bottle of fizz and a card from the kids.

Despite not wanting anything for Mothers Day, my life is made so much easier with the Wife doing what a Mother does, the household runs like clockwork, the school runs, the washing, the home schooling etc etc etc. so a token of appreciation in these surreal times. 

Those pork scratchings I don't want to share, the Christmas presents I want to keep secret, that bankside beer I have from time to time.

The problem was after a late night I fired up the Jimny and drove through  the centre of deserted Stratford-Upon-Avon and was bankside 11minutes later just as the sun was rising.

I'd even left myself a reminder on the phone to retrieve them from the fridge before I left, but I had the tackle already in the car so didn't even look at my phone on shutting of the front door. 

Luckily she was still in bed when I got back having a much needed lie-in and it was a nice surprise when I got back....

....now talking of nice surprises 

What an odd session this was, some much needed pondering turned in to poachers, PB pike and predators.

Now public rights of way are quite clearly marked on the OS map and yet an angler (one of the good ones apparently) not only travelled all the way from Coventry in these travel restricted times to trespass on private land, but even after seeing one of the signs on this syndicate stretch thought it was fine to fish it. 

Suppose you cannot blame him trying to escape from Coventry as you'd have done something really wrong to be 'Sent to Coventry'

Unbeknown to him I was upstream having picked up a Pike already a stones throw away and had stopped off on route home to not only make one of the pegs safer, but also have an hour with the rods see what was doing. 

I have caught Pike here before, nothing big but big pike thrive on neglect and with big dace shoals here there could well be a bulging female with a taste for smelt.  

I'm a roving angler generally and travel light so I can move swims quickly so his morning was disturbed and caught red-handed when I up-sticks to try and drop on a pike. 

During that biteless hour though I'd spotted two mink on the far bank initially but then realised they were just up from where I was fishing and had a good 15 minutes or so watching these two American Imports going about their business not bothered at all I was there.

The first mink I've spotted for a while to be fair, Otters yeah ten a penny, but these smaller furry things less so. The last time ( quick look at the blog ) was back in January 2018. 

As an angler though were are immersed in wildlife because of the nature of our pastime so still nice to see albeit another predator to add to the growing list.

Fishing seems to get tougher and tougher as the years go by, my blog is a testament to that, it's always good to peruse the archives to see what it used to be like. Barbel in particular I've struggled with, where I didn't before. 

Rock up half an hour before dusk, bosh a boilie out, a Barbel or two more often that not !!!!

Anyway back to the poacher, an "honest mistake" apparently before he reluctantly after a heated discussion packed up his gear and left, but NO being one of the "good guys" his words not mine doesn't wash with me, especially when the police and the farmer who I could contact easily enough, could have got involved.Hopefully by putting him right he will think twice next time. 

As I said earlier on, not only was he trespassing on private land but driving 20 odd miles (No good fishing in or local to Coventry it seems) just to go fishing is not in the spirit of angling in these COVID lockdown times where that would be difficult to justify. 

We are lucky to be able to still go and partake in our pastime unlike other pursuits such as Golf for example and the fact the Angling Trust did a great job lobbying for us, where certain conditions were agreed to to enable that to happen. Sadly rule breakers spoil if for the majority or try to do 'their bit'

He even admitted to seeing this sign because having accessed it by sneaking himself though a gap in the fence he'd missed the members only sign which is on the 'official entrance' with steps lovingly crafted by George B. 

Oh well not doing any harm was he, well till I turned up....

You can tell from the tone of this rambling my thoughts on the matter, let's hope he will think again before making that sort of 'mistake' and as I'm down the road I'll be keeping an eye on the stretch as I'm one of the bailiffs after all.  There are cheap clubs above and below this stretch do your research, all easily found via a Google search or like here, the bankside sineage .  

The streams I fish are always on a public right of way and Bing maps a good way of checking the OS detail for free, and speak with the land owner or farmer as it's surprising how amenable they are. 

On to better times for this session though, this the last day of the river season, because one bite one fish and actually a PB believe it or not. I don't fish for Pike that often especially a dedicated Pike session like this was but an hour after getting the rods out in a largely motionless bay all of a sudden the floats jumps in to the life and a fish is carting to the left scattering the bait fish in the process.

As soon as the float submerged I pulled in to a solid weight and knew instantly it was a half decent fish. I thought when is is going to fight as I was fully expecting a battle, but oddly, it never happened.

A nice fully belly on it though like its capture and it went 12lb 6 ounces on the scales to confirm it was indeed a good honest double and actually a PB.

A rather mediocre time on the river since Christmas but at least this was a good fish to end the season where I'll take stock and to try and pick up that double figure canal Zander I've been after for so long now.  


  1. Beautiful pike to end on (yes I’m a bit jealous). Excellent read all season - as usual. Good luck with the zander quest - hoping you track down that double!!

    1. Yeah for you Brian as a winter Piker not been able to get out have you really, still fingers crossed with things easing travel wise you'll be back on them soon enough !!

      But yes back to Zander now the 9lb and 8lb 10oz I've caught were the closet canal to me so will concentrate my efforts there initially before I can get out further afield.

  2. Looking forward to reading about your zander exploits, ive had them on the warks avon to near 15lb, but never on the canal, this year it will change! maybe :)

    1. More optimism than I have :) think it will be tougher than ever this close season....


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