Sunday 28 November 2021

Warwickshire Avon - Omicrons and Omphalopsychites

The temperature plummeting should have put me off fishing really, but no, come rain or shine, cold fingers and toes I fancied an easy and laidback Pike and Perch fishing session down at an area of the Warwickshire Avon that has predators in numbers. Yet another strain of COVID discovered, better fill ones quota the best I can, before we are all locked down again, and believe you me it wasn't easy to removed myself from a couple of warm plump pillows. 

As expected no one else decided share the banks with me for this morning session which was nice because I could drop in to any of the swims when I wanted to, oh and not worry about anyone muscling in on ones bankside bacon sandwich.

All the swims have depth here, well most of them do and there is also plenty of cover where a predator could lay in wait for an unsuspecting belly filler.

The water temperature had dropped to 5.8 degrees which to be honest should have hit home more than it did, but you cannot catch a fish without bait in the water now can you. Tactics well, a feeder filled with chopped worm and maggots and an air injected lobworm on the hook and then a smelt on the Pike rod.

Now talking about smelt, smelt are fairly rare and sporadically located around Britain, meaning most smelt are caught inadvertently when using feathers, daylights or other small lures to fish for mackerel. 

Many anglers are confused about what they have caught, guessing that they have caught an immature bass or an allis shad or herring. 

However, some anglers specifically target smelt in areas where they are known to be located with small size 4 – 10 hooks dressed with feathers, as full-sized mackerel feathers of daylights with size 1 or 1/0 hooks may be too big for the small mouth of the smelt. 

Smelt are excellent to use as a live bait for bass and other large predatory species, especially from deep water rock marks and piers where they can be lowered down into the sea and do not need to be cast out. 

Some anglers keep smelt alive in a large bucket which is fitted with a battery-powered aeration device. Bizarrely, the smelt has a strange cucumber-like smell when freshly caught, not only that, but the Wife can testify, because she hates them with a passion because they have that fishy smell too. 


Pike seem to love them for some reason and to be honest I rarely use anything else when targeting them, because I've had success using smelt for Zander too, in-fact on the canal it's a great bait to use when the fish have seen it all. Give smelt a go if you don't believe me, its a cracking bait for canal Zeds. 

I suppose its a highly visible bait and when still frozen they are often naturally buoyant so before the bait defrosts you are effectively fishing it off the bottom. 



That one of the reasons why I like to inject a little air in to one of the two lobworms I fish on the baited hook because it offers something a little visual than if it were just stuck on the bottom.

Now I arrived at first light and an hour in without a beep on the alarm or a bob of the float the best time had passed without any indication of fish in the swim whatsoever. Even when adding a maggot or two to the Perch rig the maggots came back whole and unhindered. 



Still it was nice to be out despite the testing conditions. The mercury had barely risen above freezing but with a proper steaming cup of tea and decent bacon (brown sauce, what a stupid question) it's surprising just how easy the worlds ills are forgotten about and those life problems vanish albeit temporarily.

I don't eat much bacon to be honest, but when I do, what's not to like, heck even the saturated fat is palatable when the air smells of, well, you know what I mean.


The aroma of cooking food indoors is a mixed blessing at best. The odours drift throughout the house as an aerosol or a suspension of solid particles in a gas. Think of it like aerosol hairspray, only with tiny droplets of bacon scented grease. This grease floats around until it bumps into something solid where it enjoys its new role as a scented dust magnet. 

Outdoors well, not an issue is it, even the tame robin wanted in on the act and when we parted I think he was sad to see me go, bacon rind, bread, maggots and worms, it will certainly sleep well tonight. 


So to cut a long story short after trying 4 swims in total another blank to add the collection, the snow melt and a rather large drop in temperature not entirely unexpected, but I cannot think of many session where I've had least one run from a pike here even in similar conditions.

Even the lobworm rod has no bites whatsoever not even from one of the roach that call this place their home. Oh well, at least I made it out, I'd have only regretted it otherwise and cannot have it easy fishing all the time now can we, that's what makes it a fascinating past time after all. 

1 comment:

  1. As an avid fisherman besides fishing of course I have pivoted from reading magazines such as Bass Masters to fishing blogs like yours. I always look for new tips and sometimes give some. I can say that as I am getting older my reading vision is decreasing which is preventing me from tying knots quicker and reading the gauges on my boat and fish finder. I can tell you that my brother has introduced me to polarized bifocal sunglasses and they work wonders! I never knew they existed. I would highly recommend a pair if you need polarized sunglasses for the water + reading vision.

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