Piscatorial Quagswagging

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

Friday 21 October 2022

Warwickshire Avon - Antidotes and Antidisestablishmentarianism

I did think about maybe planning a trip and unicycling around the world to escape the current landscape where I could return in a couple of years when everything would be all good again !!. 

Sadly that adventure has already been completed by the off his rocker Ed Pratt from Somerset. believe it or not, Good on him I say everyone needs to travel the world and to do it so young, the world really is his oyster. 

Now food can often get me in a better mood but so much promise so little return this The Black Famer - Flavour of the Windrush - Spicy Mutton Curry !!! thankfully it didn't break the bank after seeing it on the local Tesco shelves and bought on a whim, but the red onion addition with coriander and red chilli, basically means you have to add them yourself. Trust me to not look beneath the colourful cover. 

You see the sauce was as colourful as a John Major mushroom soup, and the flavours, well as memorable as Liz Truss's 44 days as Prime Minister without the pictured chilli turmoil.  

Apparently Liz Truss's six week reign as PM also included ten days off for national mourning and two weeks off for the conference season. She worked just twelve days as PM during her reign.

Anyway three chilli's ? yeap, I couldn't find them, so the verdict, Errrrr don't bother !!! There is a reason why I concoct my own world curries when I'm let down with this mediocrity. 

To be fair the mutton was nice and tender but it overwhelmed the flavour so much you couldn't really taste the sauce.

Thankfully Derek Hall with THE ANTIDOTE came to the rescue with some decent repetitive beats and all was good in the world again. 

Now you know me blog readers I love experimenting with baits for chub so when a delivery of ragworm turned up from online baits uk for some sea fishing next week, after a sort out I decided to keep a few back to try and winkle out a chub. 

I've used lamprey, steak, whitebait, unidentifiable Chinese meaty snacks even chunks of mackerel in the past and the last off the wall bait to catch a greedy Chevin on was of all things, Tesco Raspberry mushrooms.

I'm sure there are other obscure baits I can give a go but I suppose bread is my good too bait and cheesepaste or lobworms when the river is coloured up, chance will be a fine thing. 

Now the basic laboratory sea water formula, which is great for general lab use, requires only a 35 parts per thousand (ppt) mixture of household sea salt and tap water. 

More complex sea water formulas also exist, and require the use of more ingredients and distilled water, but are mixed in much the same manner. 

You can use any type of lab-made sea water to do a quick but fun density experiment with eggs some will float, and some won’t!. A shallow container so the worms are not fully submerged my brother uses this method to keep his ragworm fresh in the fridge for a couple of weeks. When I get to the coast though I'll replace the water with the proper stuff to keep them refreshed.

Now chub are a bit like me, they will give anything a go once. 

Ragworms are predominantly marine organisms that may occasionally swim upstream to rivers and even climb to land. They are commonly found in all water depths, foraging in seaweeds, hiding under rocks or burrowing in sand or mud. They are mainly omnivorous but many are active carnivores.

Nereids only breed once before dying and most of them morph into a distinct form to breed. Ragworms are important food sources for a number of shore birds.
Saundersfoot Here We Come !!!
Ragworms such as Hediste diversicolor are commonly used as bait in sea angling. 

They are a popular bait for all types of wrasse and pollock. They are also used as fish feed in aquaculture.

Ragworms, are considered a delicacy in Vietnam where they are used in the dish chả rươi. (sand worm omelette) is a Vietnamese dish made from the polychaete worm tylorrhynchus heterochaetus, it is most popular in Hanoi. 

The dish is prepared from live sand worms, which are put in hot water to remove their tentacles, and then mixed with raw egg. Onions and various spices are added, and the mixture is then fried until it obtains a crispy brown surface. In rice-growing areas of China, these worms are called hé chóng. They are harvested from the rice fields and are often cooked with eggs.

Lovely Chub'bly !!

The ragworm varied in size but once on the hook they really did wriggle, so what chub wouldn't want to try a sea delicacy. What I did find though was that some of them were very fragile indeed where just a light pinch to get them on the hook, the worm would break quite easily.

With the banks to myself AGAIN it was time to get on the rove to try and winkle out a chub. 

Swim after swim though I could see there were no big fish hanging around at all, with only some small bait fish seen milling around in the gin clear water. The recent rain hadn't boosted the levels whatsoever which is odd as we have had lots of it of late. Assume much of it has ended up in the ground judging by ones footfall on route.

Anyway plenty to go at here and this swim has an overhanging tree to the left and a deep trough in the middle. The bigger chub that usually hang around here nowhere to be seen though, still the bottom was dark so not surprising the first drop of the worm within seconds I had a pluck.  

So it didn't take long for the 1 ounce quiver tip to pull round properly and a fish was on. Slightly disappointed with what was on the end as this small chublet had managed to snaffled the ragworm quite easily. Another one of similar stamp decided to join his brethren and that was my lot from that swim. 

Still the best time was half an hour away and with a pva bag of pellets attached to the hook I cast to an overhanging tree to my right.

The bats came first and then the first proper pull. It looked like a liner at first but within a minute or so the tip pull round slowly and stayed there. Usually I wait for the bite to develop further but I decided to strike and was connected to a decent fish.

It gave me the run around at first taking some line with a couple of the lunges but when I got it out in to the main river it decided it wanted to see the inside of my landing net.

Not a bad fish either, going 4lb 4 ounces on the scales. With that retained in the landing net I had another pull with seconds of getting another ragworm out. What I didn't expect though was the chub decided it wanted out and after a couple of attempts it did a Houdini and vanish from the shallow landing net, which wasn't my usual landing net that has a really deep drop. 

And that was my lot !!!!

After realising I'd left my head torch at home I proved that yes they do like ragworm and headed home to get the sea fishing gear sorted. See you in 7 days, my tennis elbow giving me jyp and I need a break from the computer. 


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