Piscatorial Quagswagging

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

Tuesday 15 November 2022

Warwickshire Avon - Pigfish and Pigmentocracy

Sometimes you just have to get out don't you, even though the expected blank is a high probability. This is where some double dipping often pays dividends so for this short just past dusk session, zander and barbel or chub were the target. 

You see with the river rising as fast as the Bank of England base rate, this particular swim often holds Zander where it offers some sanctuary not far away from the low head dam, which probably feels like being thrown around the washing machine on the spin cycle. The barbel, well not a huge head of stock, but this is the Warwickshire Avon after all. The chub, well plentiful usually, but of late I've noticed not a fat lot happens in the day till sundown then they start moving. 

So with the tackle prepped a float rod for the Zander with a chunk of roach and then a lump of spam on the other rod. I didn't want to faff around with putting boilies on hairs in low light, and my biggest chub came to a large chunk of meat meant for the barbel so why not, especially when I had the gear set-up from last time (where I blanked again) . 

In-fact the last gasp 7lber on the Wye recently in this peg (Soon to be on Nic's channel) came to a chunk of Dynamite Garlic Frenzied Meat. Proper honks it does !!!

Now conditions are still not the best for barbel with the river still being clear but that witching hour can sometimes offer bites when sitting it out all day would be fruitless. The stretches I fish though haven't a huge head of barbel, but those barbel that are still around bucking the trend are often the forgotten fish that can offer the specialist angler a decent target at least. Blanks can be plentiful though so why these short sessions suit me perfectly. 2-3 hours and that's my lot. 

The barbel can be recognised by its habit of picking up anything left lying around, bit fat mouth and low forehead, characteristics not uncommon east of the Pennines. Has a very sad expression, just like my mate Hilly who's had to pay for a round. Known to Lancastrians as 'pigfish', a great smasher of tackle and uneatable with it. For all that. it's lovely. Underneath it all.

Now one of the most insidious hazards of a day's fishing is the possible psychological effect. Being wrapped up in so many layers of clothing, staring for hours at a tiny float, and perhaps over-compensating for early symptoms of dehydration, can have certain disorientating results. Deprived of sensory perception through the normal channels, the brain becomes susceptible to all kinds of hallucinatory phenomena. 

Luckily for me a break from proceedings this weekend where I definitely won't be dehydrated lets put it that way. But a good get together with the likeminded where life's pressure are forgotten about with the wave of those arms and the pounding air emanating from those subwoofers. 

3 nights in the company of Fat Boy Slim and other DJ's, back to those better days for a moment, the 90's. A time machine would be nice now wouldn't it, H. G. Wells' The Time Machine (1895) popularized the concept of time travel by mechanical means, a good read btw 

Anyway, enough of the waffle, better wet a line !!!

The rain started almost as I got there but with the minimum of gear it was minutes to set-up and I was fishing. A chub pull within 10 minutes or so I thought I'd be good for a fish or two....

How wrong was I though....

Dusk came and went and when the rain stopped it was rather pleasant but it was a bite I was after, but nothing fancied the deadbait and even the meat rod was quiet. I'd primed the swim with some pellets and some meat as well to try and draw the fish in, but they had other ideas.

In the end I decided to move to a swim I'd caught Barbel from before and ditch the deadbait rod. 20 minutes in a proper pull turned in to a decent bite and a fish was on. No match for the 1.75TC Barbel rod though and the 3lb splasher decided to make a right mess of the swim.

And that was my lot, I fished till curfew but with the Wife off to yoga at least I had a decent home concocted curry to look forward to. This a prawn offering with some thinly sliced scotch bonnets. Decent heat and one of those chillies a toilet roll from the freezer isn't required.

So a disappointing result however I suspect with the river being filled with the local streams going forward the colour it desperately needs isn't long off, hopefully with the weekends revelries out of the way I can get back to fishing a river in better nick. I might be able to squeeze another session in Thursday, but we will see, 

I'll be back soon enough I'm sure !!!   


  1. Fishing, music and food, that'll do for me. Have a great weekend, don't forget your whistle and Veras boiiiiii.

    1. Back, now feel a bit broken !!! :) probably one of the best weekends I've ever had mind


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