Piscatorial Quagswagging

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

Tuesday 31 October 2023

Warwickshire Avon - Trick or Treat

I thought I better get out you see amber severe weather warnings for wind have been issued by the Met Office ahead of Storm Ciarán moving in on Wednesday night. Damaging gusts of wind and stormy seas are expected in southern parts of the United Kingdom. Heavy rain will also spread northwards which may lead on to further flooding issues.

It seems Storm Ciarán (pronounced Keer-on) will be rapidly developing on its approach to the UK, in a process called explosive cyclogenesis, the low pressure system will deepen by over 24 millibars in 24 hours.This explosive cyclongenesis is being driven by a very powerful jet stream winds high in the atmosphere with speeds of around 200mph. 

This contains a lot of energy for the storm system to develop. Storm Ciarán could indeed be one of the deepest areas of low pressure recorded in November in the UK, close to the current record of 948.4mb in 1954.We might be sheltered from the worst of it in the Midlands but my brother who lives in Westward Ho !!! will be battering down the hatches (AGAIN !!). 
This picture was taken outside of the Fairway Buoy his favourite pub the weekend  just gone. To be fair my social life is also getting in the way of fishing at the moment as I do like these post work smash and grab sessions. 

Now I've experimented with loads of different baits for chub in ones blog posts gone by, treats such as liver, steak, whitebait, heart, mackerel chunks, ragworm, oh and some unfathomable meaty treats from China, however Tesco raspberry mushrooms were probably my favourite weird bait thus far.  

However when Sam was munching his way through some of the latest Halloween treats he conned his mother in to buying I thought, hang on a minute !!!!, these look perfect for chub. Big and  white what's not to like. 

But then what isn't !!!! they seemingly will eat anything that is put in front of them, like me at the moment I suppose, fattening up for winter for harsher times ahead.

So the stretch of convenience was the order of the day because well, there are some nice chub there to be caught, and for a quick bite and the fact I know the swims well means the probability of catching one was higher. I did put a few nuggets of cheese paste in one of the swims but I'd fish that on the return with one of the ghost marshmallows on the hook. 

The pre-baited swim 

The river was well up as expected but it was a lovely light green colour this time and I knew if I presented a bait in-front of a chevin he would take it. These marshmallows had a sweet pungency to them which I'm sure will help the piscatorial cause.

So like I said, two swims both with slack in the inside were fished for this hour and a bit session. It didn't take long to catch one either with the bait being out for 10 / 15 minutes or so before the tip bounced in to life, pulled a good foot and then after a few seconds a large drop back bite.   

A spirited fight with the chub trying to get right under my feet, this is why a long rod helps giving you the leverage you need. Not a bad chub either because I thought I was going to lose it at one point. It was soon in the net though after some bullying tactics and looked around 3lb or so.

I returned the fish downstream and then gave it another 10 minutes before moving to the next swim which was almost at dusk at this point. This time after dropping the marshmallow in the slack water I had a bite within seconds this time a chublet decided it wanted in on the trick or treating. 

I decided to return to the first swim rather than sit it out there because I thought there was much more cover in the other swim where a bigger fish might be hiding. I had to illuminate the rod tip this time though as the light was all but gone.

In my experience this is bite time if you are going to get one, the 'witching hour' not in the true sense of the meaning because in folklore, the witching hour or devil's hour is a time of night that is associated with supernatural events, whereby witches, demons and ghosts are thought to appear and be at their most powerful. Definitions vary, and include the hour immediately after midnight, and the time between 3:00 am and 4:00 am.

For me and many anglers its heading up to dusk and an hour beyond when the bigger fish start moving around hence why for me these short sessions are perfect to capitalise on that. So yeah another bite 15 minutes of getting the bait out, this time a no nonsense bite, the tip literally went round and didn't stop.

A decent fight again after this time it headed to the tree right out in front of me. A better fish than the first one this and it went 4lb 12oz on the scales. That will do, I ended the session there and ticked off another bait I've caught chub on. 👻👻👻👻👻👻👻👻👻👻👻👻👻👻👻👻👻👻👻👻

Warwickshire Avon - Bufo Alvarius and Buckminsterfullerene

Now comparable to the likes of ayahuasca, psilocybin mushrooms, and mescaline, a new mind-altering drug is hitting the psychedelic scene toad venom

The drug comes from a rare species of toad native to the Sonoran Desert, Bufo Alvarius, which produces a venom known as 5-MeO-DMT: an extremely potent natural psychedelic. 5-MeO-DMT is about four to six times more powerful than its better-known cousin DMT (dimethyltryptamine).

The narcotic has long been ingested by licking the poisonous amphibian’s back but is now more commonly consumed as a smokable “dust” form. 

The liquid is extracted by milking the toad’s toxic venom glands (yes really) and then dehydrating it into a crumbly dry paste. 

Shamans throughout Mexico and the southwestern US have been harvesting and smoking the substance for decades. The drug’s hallucinogenic effects take hold in about five minutes after ingestion, causing a powerful religious-like trip that lasts about an hour. Individuals that have taken the toad venom described their trips as being one with the universe and feeling “reborn” one user said they felt “a total fusion with God” while under the influence.

Anyway at the moment you will probably get less side effects from licking a Bufo Alvarius toad than bathing in the Warwickshire Avon currently, which was recently tested at the Stratford-Upon-Avon lido where a rather alarming amount of e.coli and fecal matter was found in this historic batching water, well beyond what you'd expect from a water that has seen swimmers for many a year. 

The Avon had risen a ridiculous amount overnight however with Sam wanting to go fishing we decided that the marina was worth a bash, as often it's a bite a chuck when conditions are good. I really didn't think it would rise the amount it did though and....

...the problem was "Daddy the water is the colour of poo" and that really did seem to put the fish off. We both fished maggot in various places however after an hour without even a nibble, we decided to leave early on a blank.

It's a shame as 24 hours when I caught that nice chub the conditions were probably perfect. Oh well it just goes to show how much the fortunes can change with heavy rain overnight and the river on the rise. Oh well, hopefully we will fair better next time. 

Saturday 28 October 2023

Warwickshire Avon - Masquerades and Maschalephidrosis

With some of the costume sorted for the works masquerade ball the countdown to Christmas is certainly in full swing, where the hell did the year go ? as it only seems like yesterday it was 50th birthday. 

Anyway  I'm hoping for some frosts because well, the fishing always seems to improve with the overnight frosts kick in probably because I suppose the fish are less likely to go food chasing and would rather it come to them. They are less likely to turn their nose up a a bait too, as cold blooded eating food like us can warms the cockles. 

Cheese paste, good old cheese paste, hmmm, looking back at my blog I've not used any for yonks, bread you see has been the main stay when targeting chub, but to be honest it did me well when bites seem hard to come by. 

Chub just seem to like cheese paste and it's a proven bait over the years and always seems to feature in the anglers armoury. 

I even designed my own 'Depth Bomb's' to hold the paste which I got 3D printed in white which would mean that it would still be 'fishing' even though the paste may well have succumbed to the elements waiting for that bite. 

Often you see, to get that fishing fix during the winter months I have to rock up at dark after finishing work, and cheese paste just seemed to work for the chub when I have to use the headtorch just to navigate the way to the swim. 

Anyway with the dedicated cheese paste rod rigged up I fancied giving one of my favourite sections of the Warwickshire Avon a go. The levels are starting to come down after being in flood and there are always some slacks here you can drop the bait in to away from the bubbling and boiling main river.

It's starting to clear fast now and I bet fishing tomorrow would be an entirely different proposition so I was hoping this short smash and grab morning session would pay dividends.

Even though I've been trotting more and more these days I really do love these roving sessions moving from swim to swim to try and get a quick bite. Often I put in a few nuggets of cheese paste to prime the swim were leaving it for 20 minutes to half an hour and then returning to the swim can produce an instant response.

This stretch has has some unwanted attention of late sadly, much of the cover has been hacked down in many of the swims and I noticed the very last swim this morning has also had its overhanging tree removed almost entirely. It means the swim is now opened up that will aid trotting the whole length of the stretch but that cover that held fish, no longer does I'd imagine, their sanctuary no more.

And it gets worse, you see he floods took the salad leaves coverings with them and now a few swims are completely blocked by them. Now these need a tractor to lift them so it's going to be a nightmare to get them out I'd imagine.

Two of the best swims too so my options were limited for this session sadly.  The colour looked good for a bite but even the primed swims didn't produce. Hmmm.......still I've fished like this for many a year now and I know it only takes one bite to get rewarded for ones morning mud plugging efforts. 

It was that really sticky claggy mud that acts like a snowball gaining momentum down a steep hill. The mud sticking to your wellies just gets worse and worse and worse. Anyway with 6 or 7 swims down my moral was starting to waver especially when I've seen the state of the river only getting worse every time I venture here.

But present a bait right where a chub is holding up and your luck can change like it did for me. After creeping in to a rather intimate swim I dropped in the cheese paste and watched it drift down the water column, where after a few minutes a couple of plucks on the tip and then it went round properly and....

...I struck in to a solid fish that immediately headed to the thick cover on the far side. I set the clutch as tight as I'd dared beforehand because often bullying tactics are needed to keep them from their escape route.

I managed to turn it with the rod bent double and despite its lunges I had it under control and the fish after another surging run, this time headed towards some reeds was safely netted. I knew it was 5lb all day long when I lifted the net out the water from the spreader block.

It actually went 5lb and 6 ounces on the scales and a nice chub from the Warwickshire Avon where it turned my session from a low to a high. I could have gone home a happy man at that point but I decided to fish some of the swims on the main river where unfortunately I didn't have any more fish.

With some more rain overnight it will be interested to see what the river does because it's clearing at a fast rate at the moment and I fancy doing some trotting again. Before that though Sam fancies a fishing fix so it could be a maggots and a float next down at the marina, at least there you are almost guaranteed more than one bite.  

Friday 27 October 2023

The Tiny River Alne - Typhlotic and Tyromancy

After deciding to give myself a buzz cut recently, (just prior to Spain in-fact) the winters warmers are coming out in anger, with homemade soups, curries and stews the main food in the Newey household at the moment (no salads to be seen here). Lets hope the fishing of late will improve as I've not done brilliant of late I must admit. The Alne has got to me because of the capture of that 12 ounce dace I caught recently which was a surprise I must admit, but then looking back over my archives those decent dace do turn up for time to time.  

Now if dace weighed 3-4lb, I have little doubt that they would be at the top of many a river angler's list of favourite species. But of course they do not grow so big: a half pounder is a good one, yet still a relatively little fish. 

A tasty saag paneer !!! 

Thus dace tend to take a back seat compared to larger-growing river fish except to some discerning anglers who have discovered that what dace lack in weight is certainly compensated for in spirit. Size for size they fight as hard as any chub. Dace fans also appreciate that where they are found, shoals are quite big. Almost to the extent of chub they are prepared to continue feeding merrily when river conditions have ruled out sport with the more temperature conscious species. 

Offhand I cannot think of a river anywhere in Britain where dace do not occur, though in the middle and lower reaches of slow flowing streams the shoals tend to be rather isolated and take some finding. On the whole, dace prefer shallow, cleaner, swift- flowing sections.

As rivers are subjected to more and more abstraction, so flow rates fall, resulting in a deterioration in the quality of dace fishing compared to that of several decades ago. Nowadays the upper reaches of rivers, sidestreams and small tributaries are far better places to look for quality shoals. 

One From the small Warwickshire Alne
Above the main areas of pollution, the river is characterised by a livelier and more consistent flow. It runs clearer and you may think it strange that while I deliberately refrain from writing about ways to catch larger than average specimens of other species, I feel compelled to emphasise the capture of bigger than normal dace. 

I make their small size my excuse. Whatever the reason, those intimate headwaters and sidestreams are the best spots to seek out the better shoals which may well have dace averaging 8-10oz or more depending on the river's quality. 

Dace over a pound, once an attainable target on many rivers, are becoming almost as scarce as mermaids. 

The current record fish weighed 1lb 5oz and was caught from by Simon Ashton River Wear, Sunderland in 2002. 

Larger fish than that have been recorded apparently, including the one-time record held by R.W. Humphries at llb 8oz 5dr, hooked from a tributary of the Hampshire Avon in 1932. (The fish was removed from the record list in 1969 due to insufficient proof of its capture.) The Bedford Ivel once produced huge dace such as L. Cookson's specimen of 1lb 8oz, and the Eden in  Carlisle produced a llb 6oz fish according to the literature I have at my disposal. 

Being realistic I have to conclude that it seems unlikely the record will ever be broken, yet there are still a few rivers capable of springing a surprise and certainly able to produce dace of over a pound. Even the Little Ouse could do the trick. Other rivers include the Norfolk streams Thet, Wensum, Tud and Tas, the Berkshire Kennet, the Herefordshire Wye, some of the Hampshire chalk streams with the Suffolk Stour, at one time a Mecca for outsize dace and still holding a few big fish in some stretches.

River Alne Chub and Dace, brothers in arms !!!
Most specimen dace I have heard about were caught by accident, usually by an angler fishing for roach or chub in slower deeper runs than those generally preferred by ordinary dace. 

The biggest specimens tend to isolate themselves from smaller shoal fish apparently, and the spots to look for them are deeper glides, pools and slacks, prefer- ably overhung with branches or vegetation. Perhaps they think they are chub!

Little chub are often mistaken for large dace, I recall a classic example when Chris a fishing friend, legered for chub after dark one very cold winter's night. Baiting with a chub-sized lump of cheesepaste he had one belter of a bite. 

My best so far a 12 ounce River Alne Chub
His strike met only token resistance from an apparently very small chub, which was unceremoniously wound in splashing back across the surface, lifted from the water, unhooked and was about to be thrown back into the pitch dark river when Chris noticed a decidedly un-chublike feel about it. Torchlight revealed a dace nudging the one pound mark.

Even in daylight there is confusion between small chub and big dace, for there is so close a similarity that at first glance many anglers are fooled into thinking they have caught a specimen dace. A second look will show clearly that they have clear identification points. 

The anal and dorsal fins of the dace are distinctly concave, while the chub's are convex. The dace's ventral and anal fins are pale coral pink instead of orange/red like the chub's. The dace's tail is a translucent pale green; the chub's is dark grey, sometimes nearly black. In any case, the slim delicate shape, narrow head, large eye and small mouth of the dace characterises the species quite well enough if you compare it to the thick-bodied chub with its broad head, thick lips and large mouth.

Anyway I've struggled to get out fishing of late with work and family life getting in the way so I was hoping that the Alne had settled down to at least give the fish some breathing space from the mosh pit. That extra water really did colour it up but the wrong colour was my excuse !!. So I was back with some bread and worms as bait and some liquidised bread in the feeder for attraction.

This section of the Alne has some really deep bits and also a few swims with decent depth which I'm sure helps when the Wife is reaching for the central heating override switch. Those bigger fish like depth over their heads I'm sure when temperature's drop. So anything doing ?

Well just one bite and one fish, the dace were not showing at all and yet the colour looked superb for a bite a dark green colour. The key was after fishing 2 swims without even a bite was to fish tight to some cover where after missing a bite the next cast a few plucks the tip went round....

....and a fish was on

It was giving me a run around at first and I thought it was a trout but then it tried to get in to two bits of cover and at one point in the fight I was worried I'd lose it. Not a bad chub for the Alne going 3lb and 3 ounces on the scales. It looks blind in one eye with its left eye clouded over but apart from that fighting fit. 

The rain was on and off throughout the session and it felt chilly especially when the sun started to go down. The fish apart from this one had gone AWOL but still a lovely fish and a decent scrap I went away happy. I fancy another chub, this time from the Avon, now where is that cheesepaste I've just made. 

Tuesday 24 October 2023

Warwickshire Avon - Salad Dodgers and Salamandroids

With the nights drawing in now and with work every busier those fishing opportunities are limited to a couple of hours after work and that's my lot. That means to maximise piscatorial pleasantries those venues close to home, or those on the way back from the office commute are about all I'm able to muster up.

The thing is I've never been about the big fish chasing really, the venues locally are nice enough to get my fishing fix and those ventures further afield are limited to here and there. To be honest that's more my own self imposed limitations than those forced upon me, so I shouldn't moan really.

Take this section of the Warwickshire Avon that's I've fished since the blogs inception really, I timed it the other day, once the gate is shut behind me it takes me 8 minutes to get back home such is the convenience. Double figure barbel, 16lb pike, 5lb chub and 2lb perch have all graced my net from these special (to me) waters and ok I'm limiting my catch potential, but it's nice catching some half decent fish when they turn up from my closest bit of the Avon. 

So with the river still bombing through Barbel were the target because I've caught some nice ones here in similar conditions where the river is barely contained and coloured up to that of hot chocolate. 

There was only one bait of choice and that was a large piece of spam mounted directly to the hook with some stinky groundbait for something for the fish to home in on.

Now what I didn't expect when making my way up to the area to fish was that flooding had wiped out a whole fields of salad leaves and not only that had taken some of the meshed covering fabric with it. These are massive covering where you need a tractor just to shift them so it's going to be a heck of a task to retrieve it now they are soaked in water as well.

Not only that but all the rotting greenery is now congregated in one huge pile where a stopwatch is needed to negotiate it, it's not a hot skip and a jump that's put it that way. The levels like there were for this session limit you swim selection some what, but those more calmer and less turbulent swims are quite evident.

Anyway you can see the colour of the water in this pic, some of the most coloured I've seen it to ne honest, the banks like a mud pit so not exactly brilliant fishing conditions but I managed to cover 3 swims to try and get a quick bite, before settling in the first swim for the last 40 minutes. 

It was about the only swim that had steady water and I felt the bait go hard on the gravelly bottom. The other two swims I was being taken out by the debris every ten minutes and then got snagged up both times to streamer weed I assume.

To cut a long story short despite the bait being presented as good as I could, nothing whatsoever was interested in taking the bait. Not even a nibble or a pull from a greedy chub, still at least the sunset was nice and the Canadian geese greeted me when I passed their newly formed watery hold-up. 

Sitting ducks (literally), watch yourselves guys !!

Sunday 22 October 2023

The Tiny River Alne - Gonks and Gynotikolobomassophiles

36 hours prior to this session the local River Alne had another 2 metres of water on where if the rain had continued for another few hours it would have most likely have broken the highest river level record at this measuring station (recorded on 21 July 2007) where it reached 3.38m. 

Levels approaching 3 metres the road is impassable because the Sherborne Brook bursts its banks and spills out on to the road which is adjacent to it. Once it has peaked it really does plummet so it was nicely within the banks for this early morning session.

The Alne hasn't been fishing well at all really of late, but the methods in my madness that finding those slack areas could be the key to any piscatorial success. Those little streams I fish always fish well when there is plenty of water on and the water is the colour of hot chocolate. 

(This was Dick Walker's thoughts on the matter)

"At this time of the year many of our rivers are either flooding the surrounding country or threatening to do so, and this abnormal state of affairs has caused many anglers to postpone their next fishing excursion until such a time as the waters have abated somewhat.

These anglers are missing some of the best sport that is to be obtained in coarse fishing, for when the rivers are feet above their normal level, and the water is of that consistency which is generally known as ‘pea-soup’, then is the best fishing of the the whole year to be had. When such conditions are prevalent, nearly all freshwater fish are feeding freely, and the larger fish put aside their usual shrewd suspicions so far as to be willing to investigate anything in the shape of food.

The chief difficulty which the beginner to this sort of fishing will find himself up against is finding the fish, for they are anywhere in their usual swims. Indeed, it is practically useless to fish in the main stream, a diminutive dace or chub being all that is likely to reward one’s efforts.

Backwaters, drinking-places for cattle, eddies at the tails of islands or on the inside of bends, and flooded ditches are most likely to produce a fair bag of fair-sized fish, and it should be borne in mind that fish will be found in much shallower water than is usual in winter. Flooded ditches are very good places in which to try for perch, and only last week I took five nice fish from the mouth of a ditch leading on to a flooded meadow, in less than 18 inches of water.

Another excellent place in which to try is the extreme edges of mill-pools. All sorts of insects, snails, worms, etc., are washed from the banks when the river is high, and after passing over the mill-race, are deposited in the shallows at the edges of the pool, hence the presence of the fish there.

With regard to baits, I do not think one can do better than use worms of one kind or another, and personally I like good big ones best. When the water is very thick a large bait is easier seen than a small one, and has the advantage of weight which makes possible the use of little or no lead. Other baits which are more or less useful in flood-fishing are snails (both land and water), freshwater shrimps, which are very difficult to obtain at this time of the year and the catching of which is guaranteed to produce a severe cold, small frogs or newts, which may be found under stones near water, and various grubs.

If you prefer to fish from the bank, or rather the water’s edge, remember that soggy land transmits vibrations very much more than dry land, and tread accordingly, for the fish, though biting freely, are just as easily frightened by heavy footfalls in flood time as when more orthodox conditions prevail. 

It is not advisable to remain long at one spot unless something is forthcoming, and groundbait is not often effective in bringing the fish together. The best method is to keep moving until the fish are found, and then to cast in a few chopped worms from time to time to keep them there; but often this is unnecessary. I will conclude by saying that the softer your tread, the longer your cast, and the bigger your worm, the greater will be your bag in flood-fishing"

Well thanks Dick but your advice was all well and good, but the problem was I'd only a few lobworms left so maggots and some bread would have to do for this session. The first swim has a nice slack and I thought that would produce this morning but all I could must up was when switching to some maggots was a few Gonks. Nothing wrong with gonks as I love catching them but I was really after some dace and any chub if they were around.

The ground was certainly welly testing as it was proper sodden because this time yesterday the fields were acting as floodplains, so much so to get to the upstream pegs above the bridge I'd have to don the waders if I wanted to venture up there because it was still waterlogged. 

I fished 4 swims in total and only swim produced sadly despite the bait being presented properly. Well maybe it wasn't who knows but the fish were really sulking having to endure one of the worst floods in a while. Still a lovely morning I must admit and I'll be back don't worry to bother those specimen dace that reside here. Well I'm hoping anyway, the 12 ounce fish I caught I'm hoping was not just a one off. On to the next one, Chub maybe ? 

I'll have a think, all I know is I need a decent pull on ones rod, it's not happened for a good while. I've made a new batch of cheesepaste, maybe I'll give that a go. 

Saturday 21 October 2023

Transient Towpath Trudging - Pt.82

Now whenever we go to an Indian restaurant and ask for "desi style please" it basically means pepped up from the usual clientele to more home style from the cuisine of the Indian subcontinent,. 

Basically a curry which is more flavoursome due to the extra spices, extra chillies and the copious amounts of garlic. 

The Sikh friends that enjoyed this offering I've known for 30 years which is mad really, because I dread to think how many we've had over that time, and it certainly doesn't seem like 30 years to be honest. 

It all started when we found a 'desi' pub in Coventry that used to provide some work lunchtime refreshment where a nice pint was enjoyed with proper Indian food and made a change from the humdrum where not just the seasoned pub goers found it comfortable.  

That pub is now student accommodation I believe because, well, that seems to be the normal these days in good old Coventry and surrounding areas where land grab is happening in a massive scale, build build build, and bugger the infrastructure I go to MIRA in Nuneaton every week and I'm amazed at the amount of houses are going up there to add to the A5 gridlock, I thought Leamington and Warwick was bad enough.  

Good Effort Sam Newey !!

Anyway to the fishing storm Babet dumped a load of rain overnight and the local rivers were only going one was and that was UP !!! Standing water, grid locked roads, some schools shut  !!! thankfully I was working from home so was largely sheltered from it but I needed that fishing fix after a rather testing time at work. I dread to think how much raw sewage has gone in to the rivers because of the aftermath. 

So it was down to the canal forthwith, to be honest I didn't have much choice. So a float rod with bread as bait and also a small roach out for a potential Zander that often frequent these turbid waters. 

I'm rather spoilt as an angler in these quarters when the rivers are unfishable, and especially when they throw up some nice fish from time to time, such as 9lb Zander, big old roach, massive hybrids, nice chunky bream and the elusive carp, it provides the intrigue I need in my fishing. 

These canals are hardly fished either where I can go weeks and weeks in the closed season without seeing another angler. Well apart from Nic from Avon Angling and good'old Buffalo Si who puts the effort in like no other angler I know. That's why it seems a little half arsed my short sessions, but what works for me I say. 

Now you wouldn't know there is a little brook under there only a couple of metres wide that hold some lovely wild trout would you. But yes on-route to the chosen section of canal if it was bad here then it would be even worse at the chosen stretch where the same brook is yards from the towpath, hmmmm, a change of plan then.

The road looked passable but I turned the car around and headed to an area that hopefully would be ok. To be honest it's not the best area and I hardly fish it these days. I didn't catch some nice roach and hybrids in one stretch though so that was the decision made. 

Sooooo after parking up and getting the gear I headed to the towpath which was underwater itself. The water a creamy coffee colour caused from the overflow from the local tiny brook which again has burst it banks. Once past the wellie testing path luckily it wasn't that bad however it's a good 10 minute walk to get to the area I wanted to fish.

As I turned the corner I spotted two cormorants that were in the water almost exactly where I wanted to fish, brilliant !!! I've mentioned on this blog I've not seen that many up until a couple of months ago where now I'm starting to see them more and more.

I fed some groundbait and cast a deadbait over to the far side and fished bread on the hook. That swim did absolutely nothing for forty odd minutes so with my restless legs I went on the rove. This time I found a swim where the extra water on hadn't changed the colour dramatically like it had everywhere else. again same tactics and same result, not a sausage !!!

I retraced my steps and went back to the first swim where after lowering the small piece of bread in to the swim I was getting indications on the long sensitive pole float straight away. At one point the float was being dragged a good few inches however not enough to actually strike at.

The culprit revealed itself at one stage though with a fish no bigger than a couple of inches launched itself clear of the water. A size 20 hook and a maggot might have been the better choice but not exactly the stamp of fish I was after. I stuck it out in that swim for another half an hour to try and give the roach deadbait a good outing to try and snare a Zander, but that was unhindered as well. 

The turmoil of all the extra water on and the change of colour may well have put the fish off, and no matter what swim I fish the outcome was probably going to be the same sadly. So that was that, back to the canals with a blank. Oh well steps covered and some much needed fresh air and it was pleasantly mild. Shame the Avon was unfishable as I bet the barbel were on the munch.
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