Piscatorial Quagswagging

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

Friday 8 October 2021

Warwickshire Avon - Nippitatums and Neuropsychology

I hadn't been up this stretch of the Warwickshire Avon for a good while but there is always a chance of a barbel. The decline in numbers has been quite profound from when I first became a member where rock up and hour before dusk you could almost guarantee some action. In my locality, this stretch always holds the species year on year which is encouraging even though the biomass has certainly reduced.  

Now barbel are something of an enigma among river fish, at times so easy to catch, at others nigh impossible. The latter is more common by far. 

Early season fishing in June and July are the most productive times, then the fish become progressively slower throughout summer. They are quick to learn, and soon you must work very hard for every fish you catch. 

Late September and October see a revival of more consistent fishing especially for big fish, and October is arguably the best month of all for real heavyweights.

With the first period of pronounced frosts comes the end of consistent sport. From then on, throughout winter, barbel can still be caught when weather and water conditions are right, for example during mild westerly and southerly winds that bring enough rain to raise the river level and increase its colour and flow.

When fishing for them on the Warwickshire Avon I like to target them when the conditions are more favourable because of the lack of numbers (where I fish) means the action can be very much limited. If I really wanted a barbel fix I'd travel to the Wye and maybe the Trent but they haven't 'got me' like they have others so not a massive issue to me.  

But if Barbel are your thing and you can travel why wouldn't you ? You can see why certain rivers get the most attention and go for it I say, angling offers so much variety and those are dictated by the angler, not the finger pointers that for some reason it doesn't suit their agenda.  

Now the reality is, its a big-un I really want on the Warks Avon and there is going to be much waiting around and I've found January being a good time to catch a lump. Outside of that target the chub and if a barbel comes along its a welcome capture. 

The water was clearing fast so simple tactics for this session a very buoyant float and a top suited for long trotting. Now I roved for the first hour and it was fruitless and the other 3 members on the stretch were struggling for bite. One guy not even a knock for 3 hours. It was travelling light too so I was surprised he lasted that long, I'd have lost the will way before that, but then long biteless sessions are not for me.

Now not all swims here are suitable for trotting, in-fact over the 2 and a bit mile stretch only a few swims really and the one pictured above produced the first bite and the others after. 

Lots of casts, lots of retrieves but in the end lobworm was doing the trick, 5 fish succumbed to the method the biggest 4lb but it was the biggest I had from the tail-end of the stretch.

So good sport when a static bait might have been ignored bur again no barbel showed even after switching to meat for the last 20 minutes. I don't do enough of this really because when I catch fish like this I really do enjoy it. You don't need much tackle either which does suit my style as an angler.

No trolley to be seen here. Now we are at a friends Wedding tomorrow so my fishing will be curtailed over the weekend but no doubt I can start racking them up again next week. The kids looked after, a night in a hotel, I think I might buy a lottery ticket a night like this has been a long time coming. 

We get to see some friends that we've not seen before the first lockdown, I cannot wait, happy days !!!!

Now where is that bottle of Champion !!!


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