Wednesday 29 December 2021

Warwickshire Avon - Nightcrawlers and Nychthemerons

A high river on the drop, low pressure, warming waters the barbel I'm sure would be on the munch. The problem is this had to be a session of convenience and I didn't have long either.

This used to be a very productive stretch for me, and over the years I've had quite a few fish between 8 and 10 pound and a couple of 12 lbers.  The anglers that fish this stretch more recently though have the same thoughts as me, a river in decline where barbel numbers are concerned where bites can be very few and far between.

They are still here though and when the water is coloured like it was today they feel confident venturing out their hidey holes away from the furry fiend which an hour in to the session popped out of the water to say hi.

Big fat lobworms for the first hour or two and then I swapped to a garlic and blue cheese boilie and a matching paste wrap in to dusk. Nothing much happened apart wind being in my face and despite the air temperature being 13 degrees, it wasn't exactly pleasant. 

Two small chub succumbed to the natural bait the biggest probably not even a pound. It was soon after when leaving voice message to Nic from Avon Angling UK out the corner of my eye an otter was messing around downstream of me with not a care in the world.

So it was time for a move because an otter in the swim in my experience the fish are put off for obvious reasons and staying in the swim would be plain stupid. To be honest the wind was becoming a pain and the move was long overdue.

As I was walking to the new swim upstream a WhatsApp meltdown ensued and it turns out a fellow syndicate member fishing another syndicate of his not a millions away was having a fantastic session. He'd beaten his Avon PB with a 12lb 8 ounce fish and then not long after that capture upped that again to 14lb 6 ounces.

What a red letter session he was having and just goes to show how fortunes can change, right time, right place and all that.

The Barbel were on the feed and he was using spam baits which usually are my default bait for them in these chocolate brown conditions.

I settled in to a swim that looked perfect for a bite and it was a swim I used to rarely blank in its hay-day but a chat to a couple of anglers bankside they like me were here for the Barbel, but were still waiting for that tip to wrap around. Still dusk was approaching and if there is any small window where the fish would likely to bite it would be the next half an hour. 

There was quite a bit of debris coming down but I positioned the boilie and paste wrap quite close in where there is a deep gully but a tree harbours the worst of the flow.

I don't fish for Barbel that often, mainly fishing short sessions in to dusk, or when the conditions were favourable. Favourable they were, but you need feeding fish in-front of you to catch one and again, another Barbel blank here to add to quite a few now.

The other anglers were fishless when they left as well, so it wasn't just me wondering where the heck the barbel are on this stretch. With the gear still in the car I fancy another short barbel session but maybe this time in the morning at the syndicate stretch where there could well be some surprises to be had. I may well need to spread my net wider me-thinks, luckily barbel are not on my priority list. 


  1. With this mild weather around for a few days are you going to give it another go? Screams Barbel!

    And what a brace that other member had!, is that not commonplace I take it?

    1. Tried again this morning, only a chub, a 5lber mind you. No certainly not a common event on the Avon as not a huge number of Barbel around.

    2. I guess just have to keep it going, conditions look great all over the country!


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