Piscatorial Quagswagging

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

Monday 19 September 2022

Warwickshire Avon - Fin-Fanners and Figdeans

Now the three-spined stickleback, or tiddler, is one of the most widespread, prolific and (behaviourally) most interesting of all North European fresh-water fishes. Although some populations live and breed wholly in fresh, water, others are anadromous breeding in freshwater, migrating to the sea, and then returning to freshwater to spawn.

Yet others are wholly marine. (It's relative, the ten-spined stickleback Gasterosteus pungitius, is much less tolerant of salinity.) This fascinating little fish grows to a length of 2-4 inches and is of little direct interest to the angler, but for many like Sam and I when an WBAS member caught one in his net were were up for a challenge.

"A minnow with a Mohawk basically ?" according to Sam when I tried to explain to him what they looked like, well Sam only one way to find out. 

Now sticklebacks swims in a series of little bursts punctuated by stops and much fin-fanning. This strange mode of locomotion coupled with eyes which are much too big for their bodies give the impression that sticklebacks are very intense and deliberate.

Most anglers will confess they were first entered into the sport of fishing for sticklebacks, which abound in all the ponds and ditches of they locality, they are also very common in many canals (the stagnant the better). 

Back in the day kids used to go out fishing for 'tiddlers', their apparatus used to consist of a stick, a piece of thread, and a short piece of worm tied in the middle without any hook; if expert, they sometimes pull out two at a time in this way. The fashion is to take them home in pickle-bottles and even flog them for a few coppers.

To be honest the mention of a stickleback raised ones eyebrows as I'd not caught for for years, and it would be nice for Sam to tick another species off of his ever growing list. 

It also gave me a kick up the backside to visit this rather underfished stretch where I've not fished in ages. In-fact I tried to rack my brains when I fished it last , but no, keep on drawing a blank on the answer to that one. 

So a maggot approach and maybe a predator rod out for good measure !!!

Well with the rain intermittent there was plenty of bites to be had but minnow after minnow after minnow away from the rod benders there were no sticklebacks whatsoever. 

We had planned to get the predator rod out but that remained on the ski rack and fish maggot until Sam got bored. To be honest I don't know why I've neglected this stretch for so long.  Solitude and then some , and another stretch I can drive the whole length the Jimny the perfect tool for the job. 


  1. Mick Hi, Great to see you and others fishing the stretch. Lets pray for some rain :-)

    1. Yeah we need rain that's for sure, a bit desperate to be honest but I'm looking forward to seeing what I can winkle out.


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