Piscatorial Quagswagging

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

Friday 23 December 2022

River Wye - How Caple Court

When Nic asked me at short notice if I fancied tagging along with him to the Wye it didn't take me long to say yes !!! Now I had planned to stay locally to try and winkle out a cold water barbel because fellow syndicate member Dave had managed a 7lber when most of the barbel anglers would still be sipping cups of tea and cleaning their tackle.

Where the heck are the other anglers ? a certainly stretch opposite the syndicate waters sees anglers throughout the year, but when that extra layer of clothing is needed, they vanish. 

Still I'm not complaining as it means I've got many stretches to myself in these testing conditions, but for me, this is often when the fish want to be caught, because they are hungry after all. That energy they need to save can often mean drop a bait on a fished head the instinct is not of caution but of the complete opposite. 

That means roving is the key generally which I'm sure puts some anglers off, because many are happy to sit behind motionless rods despite the fish shouting from their hidey-holes "When the heck are you going to move, my tummy is rumbling here ?" 

The last trip here the 3rd of November  I managed my first Wye barbel and they were the target for today. Often a by-product of barbel fishing can be that a chub or two are that determined to get the bait from the hair eventually they hook themselves, but for this session I also had some meat with me not just boilies, where I could mount the meat directly to the hook to at least bank a fish or two. 

A quick butchers at the water temperature hmmm, barbel might be a struggle but as I said before if you're lucky you never know, the drop of the feeder might wake the fish up from their slumber.  

An hour in the first 'pool' swim which was far longer than I usually fish a swim without a bite it was time to get on the move.

Nic was in the 'gully' swim and he'd managed a 4lb chub that was determined to become aquatinted with him but I was really struggling moving from swim to swim. It was lower than I fished it last time, maybe a foot or two but plenty of fishable swim being 2 metres on.

So it was out with the big-guns, you see I wanted to flavour some meat ready for a barbel session and when I was in Aldi the other day, this ghost chilli flavouring was on the random as ever shelves.

Now a wing roulette is a platter of chicken wings that culminate in something rather spicy hot, lets put it that way, and yes as soon as I opened the packet I sneezed from the pungent chilli aroma, where I'd happily eat a wing doused in this, but the Wife well, she'd be looking for the mango lassi. 

When fishing coloured water for barbel especially, something pungent sat on a hard bottom confidence is gained because you know for well, something with a strong smell means that any fish in the area have at least something to home in on.

That's why garlic spam I loved as a bait its a shame that it has now been discontinued. Dynamite Baits now do a version though and to be fair it isn't a bad substitution but it's still not quite what SPAM® used to supply. 

Anyway Nic caught his chub on his usual Hot Fish and GLM boilie with matching paste but for me I didn't even have a pull or a tap. 

When I fish for chub I like to use balanced tackle but when fishing meat especially on the Wye, a barbel can often turn up so gear that can handle one of those is needed to. 

So my 1.75TC rod will have to suffice and it didn't take long to get a bite either, when a 3lber decided it fancied trying its lips on the Bhut Jolokia. Something that seemed to work to get bites was to make sure the feeder and bait hit a nice firm bottom. It just seemed to bring bites quicker that if I hit a soft bit of ground. 

As least the meat worked, in-fact it did for 2 further fish. Nic was struggling like I was and ended up on two chub for the session. The barbel didn't show whatsoever sadly and my last gasp effort in the pool swim on a paste wrapped boilie brought the biggest chub of the day which was this 4lber, I should have stayed on the Avon !!!

It's an hour and twenty minutes from door to door in good company and fantastic scenery and with the Wife and kids still coughing all the time after recovering from the lurgy, some peace and quiet works wonders for the mind, got to love fishing it's a great tonic. 


  1. Great read Mick. It's like reading a book after watching a film!

    1. Thanks Adam !! Hope you have a good Xmas !!!


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