Piscatorial Quagswagging

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

Friday 6 January 2023

Warwickshire Avon - Mud Pluggers and Multarticulate

When I setting up yesterday for the in to dusk barbel session the water clarity and colour really did look perfect for chub. It was that grey / green colour you often see in new born's nappies and I just knew the fish would be up for a bite. Back at work now though, those sessions are hard to come by.  

So to the Jimny forthwith !!!, I need that chevin fix, especially when I've caught a 6lb 2 ounce PB recently on the Warwickshire Avon where the chub just seem to be getting bigger and bigger year on year. Bit like me I suppose, but then it is winter after all. 

As I was ploughing my way through the deep rutted tracks through the farmers field without a care in the world, the thin tyres, the light gross vehicle weight and the fact that once things get a little tricky, switch it in to 4x4 mode and then to low ratio if things get even more tough.

It does get washed from time to time, usually with the jet wash underneath the wheel arches and the old school ladder chassis, the proper clean is usually done by the Suzuki dealer, where the last time they laughed about how dirty it was. This ain't no new Land Rover Defender or garage queen, it sees mud and lots of it. 

It gets used like it should be used and that is off road. Where over the Christmas break I had a couple of weeks worth of mud plugging. It's basically unstoppable where other car drivers would be scratching their chins I'm sure whether or not to brave it or not. 

I suppose you get confidence in the cars ability and having owned it since new and 25k miles in that time, I certainly know it's capabilities where for what I need it for, it suits my lifestyle perfectly. I'm still learning though because when we had a load of snow recently, everything was fine, the car was coping well on the snow covered roads however when I got to the steep downhill track down to the syndicate stretch even I was wondering if it was a little dicey, and if I should turn back or not. 

It didn't help that before I started on the track up to the river, Derek the 80 year old farmer had an Audi A3 that he had lifted out of its crash scene via some straps and the rather large picker on his tractor. 

So after that event with ones mind already being overly active I remembered it had hill decent control where like the Land Rover it first appeared on, simply press a button, point the car downhill and take you foot off the pedals and the cars electronics and abs does the rest, jobs a good'un. It worked so well, that I patted the bonnet of the car when I finally arrived river side. 

Drama, what drama ?

I certainly couldn't do what I do in my car in the Wife's XC90, for starters as that weighs more than twice as much, but even the new one that turned up the other day that has more tyre wall than her previous T8 version (20" wheels verses 22") it is still not enough when blatting down the pot hole riddled single track roads I do, the wheels would be ruined in no time. To be fair the 18k miles she did in the last one, they were not without some tarmac trauma. 

There is a reason I have seat covers in mine, because often my backside is covered in mud or damp but covers would look ridiculous in the Volvo, can you even get them ?  But its the fact that I have a couple of stretches now I can venture where the Jimny is it home, and the fact I'm fishing more than ever its here to stay. 

But there is a 5 door hybrid version coming out this year apparently I certainly could do with a little more space that's for sure and the fact my SZ5 is still worth way more than I paid for it, I'm tempted to put my name down again, but I need to see it first as I'm not sure it will look as nice. 

Bored yet ? I'm just saying it's the perfect tool for the job !!!

Which for chub fishing I cannot look past the 11ft 1.2 oz TC TFG river and stream as the perfect tool for the job, the problem is that the river has been well up of late and the 1 ounce tip that is fitted to it (I like to keep my rods made up) basically isn't man enough to deal with the flow. That is where the Angling Direct John Wilson Avon Quiver fills that gap, fitted with a large feeder for bread and a more robust tip it suits the conditions perfectly it really does. 

When you compare them side by side you can see just how much slimmer the blank is on the TF Gear rod and when conditions are favourable for it, it's the River and Stream rod I'd be taking every time. The hardest fighting chub I ever come across succumbed to the John Wilson rod though and I must admit it coped admirably where I'm not sure the same could be same about my favourite rod from my ever growing collection.  

Anyway on to the fishing, I thought I was on for a good session but two and a half hours in without a bite I wondered where the hell the fish were or what I was doing wrong. I fished probably 6 or 7 swims in that time and a few of those primed with bread mash too. The water was a lovely colour as I said before but the fish were having other ideas.

You have to think outside the box in these situations and I had to dig out the emergency raspberry nipples, I'd caught on these before you see and always have a couple of bags stashed in the car for something different. So I returned to the same swim and got out the head turners. It didn't take long for a bite either when a short sharp pull turned in to the quiver tip pulling round nicely.

A nice chub was on the end too and after a spirited scrap it was eventually in the landing net and only lightly hooked too so I was glad to get it in. 

Not a bad fish either going 4lb exactly so at least I'd caught a fish in this session. As soon as the light went things picked up when in the final swim I fished after missing 4 or 5 unmissable bites (🙈) eventually I hooked in to whatever was putting its middle finger up at me. Another chub this one of similar size that tried in vein to get under my feet.

Quite distinctive with its orange marking but then I've caught quite a few on the Avon now with these markings.

I could have stayed a little longer after that fish, but after unhooking the fish and dropping the rig back in the drink when I picked up the rod the end tackle was stuck solid and sadly I had to pull for a break. I could have set-up again I suppose but decided to call it a day on a couple of nice chevin.


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