Piscatorial Quagswagging

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

Saturday 30 July 2022

Warwickshire Avon - Tomahawks and Tomographs

It certainly doesn't feel 10 years ago that I fished this swim, but I can remember it vividly because you see as a barbel novice I lost two certain doubles that did me over good and proper. You see after taking a rather large piece of luncheon meat they bolted downstream and got me in to a snag before I could say 'Ohhhhhhhh FFS'.

Eventually a nice chub succumbed to the same tactics but it was losing those two barbel that remained with me. Now this area was given a rather unfortunate 'butchering' for whatever reason around 5 years ago when the trees and cover were removed.

Thankfully the cover grew back faster than I thought it ever would which brings me to present day where I now have a different vantage point available to me on this new syndicate of mine.

It is the upstream bit of water that really interests me as it is largely un-fished and offers a big barbel if there is one around some peace and quiet from the bait chuckers.  

Now as usual I didn't have long but fishing come sundown and half an hour past dusk I'd give myself the best opportunity to get a bite. So it was out with the big bait method I've used successfully before, in-fact some of the biggest barbel I've caught have come to the biggest of baits especially in these clear and summer conditions. 

You'd have thought it would be counterproductive wouldn't you, but I've found, not only are the smaller species put off by it, but the fish are often so taken back by the head turner they've just got to get in on the action first.

Now the handy thing about this stretch of river is that I can drive the whole length and park behind my peg which for short session is ideal especially when I'm only ten minutes down the road.

The swim from this vantage point looked almost too perfect for Barbel with a deeper area straight out in front and cover in abundance. No small fish in the margins though in-fact the whole area seemed devoid of fish. An hour in though when I was just about to fish my torch out to illuminate the rod tip a few tentative pulls turned in to a proper bite however I struck in to nothing on the end. The bait had gone too, hmmmm

The bats were in numbers when dusk came and they were hitting the line every 30 seconds or so and there was a creature to my right that eventually dropped in to the river with a rather large splash followed by a rather large wake.

An otter I assume but then no surprise to me, I've seen more over the last couple of years than I ever have. The theory I have it that those bites at dusk and well in to dark are less prevalent than they used to be as the fish are in hiding, but then this is the Warwickshire Avon, not exactly huge numbers of Barbel.  

Anyway this new garlic version of the dynamite frenzied meat stinks like the discontinued proper spam offering but has a great texture to mount directly on the hook and offer the perfect resistance to casting and yet the hook pulls though it no problem. It will be prefect on a coloured Avon I know what, anyway, a big Chub ? who knows but that was the only bite I got despite fishing well in to dark. 

The Avon has never been easy but I know there is a PB beating barbel here, I just need to rack the sessions up. I'll try the hemp and pellet approach next time though. I'm liking it here, and looking forward to exploring more of it, as Carl Cox would say (just turned 60) Oh Yes, Oh Yes !!!!


  1. The whole stretch has grown back nicely now . I’ve not fished it this season yet due to the lack of water In the river .

    Baz peck 🌞🎣

    1. You ain't exactly missing much Baz, lets put it that way !!


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