Piscatorial Quagswagging

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

Wednesday 23 June 2021

Warwickshire Avon - Clay Ovens and Cadutraments

Ever since I ate some incredible proper homemade Tandoori chicken at a mate Barinder's wedding years ago I've been making it myself ever since.  I managed to commandeer the 'secret' recipe you see under the watchful eye of the eyebrow raisers, where I obviously looked out of place to the main congregation.

Unbeknown to the cooks that provided the food for the wedding though I had been making curries and the like for a good while, and this just added to ones already quite extensive armoury.  It was the heat that was a bit of an eye-opener, the dried and crushed Kashmiri chilies adding a depth of flavour to the chicken that other chillies couldn't match.

The garlic and ginger paste was more garlic than ginger and the concoction of spices (coriander, cumin, paprika, smoked paprika, turmeric, garlic, amchur, sea salt, ajowan, mint, black pepper, ginger, asafoetida, fenugreek leaves, phhhhhhhhhhhhewwwwwwww and relax). it was just next level, the spice mix was added to the yogurt prior with fresh lemon and let overnight to marinade. 

Even breasts are tender when grilled over coals on the Webber.  Ok it cannot match a proper clay oven but it's surprising just how hot it can get from a small amount of lumpwood. Charring, well yeah, you need plenty of that, a taste a gas barbecue cannot have a hope to replicate. 

And luckily for them a little like the 'Hallowed swims ' Where the 11lb 8oz canal Zander was caught and , their secret is safe with me. Now this small syndicate I'm part of a nice double figure Barbel came out here the other day, encouraging signs as it came out during the day where I have struggled in the past on the Avon till the light goes. 

Now Nigel banked that fish with Dave doing the honours, but like me, when I fished it the other day Dave blanked too, but to be honest, 1 Barbel in 10 trips ain't uncommon for me and others I've spoken to.

To be fair. Barbel where I fish on the Warwickshire Avon are certainly down in numbers and one prolific stretch a shadow of its former self but the average stamp of any fish caught seems to be higher than it once was. 

There appears to be a low stock of fish but when one does turn up it's usually a good'un and that's why I was here for this evening session. Before I'd get the Barbel rod out I fancied just fishing a worm tipped with a red maggot to see what came along and then an hour before dusk get some hemp down.

This time however I'd fish a pluck resistant halibut pellet over the top with a PVA bag of elips freebies to try and concentrate any feeding fish on a smaller area. I was a little haphazard last time here despite catching Chub that were determined to hook themselves.

The sun was beating down when I got bankside and I was no rush to get the barbel rods out so for the first hour and a bit I decided to fish a couple of the shady swims with the worm rods to see if anything was home.

The water is clear and a few bounces of the worm and maggot in the first swim close in brought a shoal of perch in to a hunting frenzy. A group of around 20 fish all after the wriggly head turner so it didn't take long to catch a few fish.

Nothing big admittedly but decent sport to be fair especially when the second swim I fished they were taking the worm on the drop. The dace were suspicious in their absence, then again they couldn't get a look in with the perch the way they were. 

When the sun started to set I put the hemp out and chilled for a while nattering to another member who was blanking and decided to leave just when dusk was approaching.

I put the rod out with some freebies on a PVA bag and to cut a long story short apart from a few sharp chub pulls nothing materialised in to a proper bite. I gave it a good hour after dusk and left at 11.30pm but with the skies still clear the moon illuminating the night sky and also the river I knew this outcome was highly likely. It was also a chilly evening dropping to 8 degrees when headed home.

I've never done any good when the moon is like this, I just cannot put my finger on it. There were a couple of good splashes whilst I was there in-fact they all came from the same area so next time I know where my bait will go, this time I'll tackle up for Chub, one of those would be nice if the Barbel are going to be hard to come by. 


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