Piscatorial Quagswagging

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

Tuesday 30 January 2024

Warwickshire Avon - Fountainheads and Folkloristics

Right, chaps. Get fell in. We're closing our ranks to help the cost of living crisis and get the old country back on its knees.There is so much that anglers can do to ease the strain, both on pockets and the resources of the island as a whole. 

What follows is the Newey Master Plan for Prosperity. Stick with it and we'll be out of the mire before you can say liquidity gap. Little thin anglers can pair up and share a ganzi borrowed from a big fat one, taking an armhole each. Couple of snags. It only works well if one of them is left handed. And it can lead to ticklish situations when you're baiting up.

You can use only three wellies between two of you and tie your legs together as you do in a three-legged race. And no playing footsy.

Share the maggot. Pass it down the bank when you've used it for half an hour. When it gets to look a bit limp and empty, find somebody with a little mouth to give it the kiss of life and blow it up again. Difficult in most clubs. To find a member with a little mouth.

Stretch the worm. Two of you stand face to face, each taking a firm grip on one end of the worm, and start walking backwards. 

Stop before it goes off with an uncontrolled twang, or you might lose bits of it.Using the mangle for worm stretching is not recommended. For every successful stretch you get three unsuccessful squashes.

Find other baits for free wherever you can. Shoo the sparrows off neighbours' bird tables and appropriate the bread crusts. 

Or creep up behind little old ladies feeding pigeons in the park and shout, 'Boo!' Sort through restaurant dustbins for scraps of bacon fat, bits of sausage and shavings of luncheon meat. Get there early to avoid the rush by members of the Stock Exchange.

Use your bike instead of the car. And give other anglers a lift. With one on the handlebars, one on the crossbar and one on the rack at the back, four of you should be able to manage quite comfortably.

When the law flags you down and hints at a diet of bread and water for the rest of your natural, appeal to the world renowned sense of humour of the British copper. Then hold out your wrists for the cuffs.

Fish only during the hours of daylight. Night fishers who find the adjustment difficult can try closing their eyes or pulling their bobbly hats down over their noses. Instead of buying rounds in the pub of four pints at a time, ask for one pint and four straws. To avoid friction, insist that everybody sucks at the same rate. Anyone caught cheating to have his straw knotted, anyone caught cheating twice to have his neck knotted. 

Anyway enough of that guff, Nic from Avon Angling had been messaging me about the great session he was having on the Warwickshire Stour he was having, catching 7 chub ledgering bread flake whilst I as usual was sat behind a computer working. I had the gear in the car from the previous session so it would be rude not to have a dabble wouldn't it. I arrived half an hour before dusk at a stretch on the way back from the office and was back in the car an hour after dusk.

One ridiculous bite one fish when I need the torch to illuminate the quivertip, this one caught on cheesepaste which was around 3,5lb's and was a welcome sight in the very mild conditions. I thought I might have had another one having it retained it in the deep landing net, but sadly not that was it !!!

Monday 29 January 2024

Warwickshire Avon - Kidney Punches and Kinetoscopes


A beautiful sunrise greeted me when I got bankside on a local(ish) section of the Warwickshire Avon.  Whilst sorting the gear out within 20 minutes I'd seen countless birds of prey, a rather large fox on the prowl, around five Buck Roe Deer and around four cormorants that thankfully I spooked. 

I must have stood out like a sore thumb, like I was an imposter. 

Now with the river clearing nicely and only two and a half hours to fish I decided to trot using breadflake on the hook whilst feeding bread mash to try and stumble on a chub or three. 

The weir runoff was just a bit high and boiling and bubbling, so I went another 100 yards downstream where there was a nice snag on the far bank where I'm sure chub would be laying up. 

The pace was perfect for trotting and feeding golf ball sized pieces of bread to drift through the water column, I fully expected a quick bit because everything was ticked in the trotting tactics check list.

Tell that to the fish though !!!!

Two hours trotting eventually a bite when the float drifted past the snag on the far bank it shot under and I was in to a fish, that immediately realising it was hooked went straight for it. Despite my best efforts, two hands, the rod bent double the fish did me over good and proper and gave me the middle finger and a kidney punch or two for good measure. !!!

Damn It !! the only bite I had too before curfew the came around πŸ™ˆ

Saturday 27 January 2024

The River Leam - Frosts and Frontogenesis

I was really looking forward to this WBAS match on another stretch of Leam within the piscatorial portfolio mainly because I was looking forward to see what would turn up on the day. 6 anglers for this one so the whole river would be covered and broken up into roving sections.

It was a nippy one again but not as cold as last time where I managed to win with 3 chub caught from a pool swim. There is so much to go at here as a roving angler and I've barely scratched the surface hence why I was hoping some gems might turn up during the duration of the 4 hour match.

A light quivertip rod would be my approach as it was last time. Chub would be key again as they usually are on these small rivers and I'd have bread, worms, maggots and some cheesepaste with me for bait. Groundbait would be liquidised bread and also some pungent black roach as well.

Cheesepaste did it for me last time but it was clear from the last match the fish were very localised and it wasn't so much the bait, but was there any fish in-front of you. At least with a roving match you have a few swims you can try, rather than being anchored to the spot, which to be honest, is not for me anyway. 

George provided the maps again and I drew area 3 with Eric just downstream of me and then Ian was in the big deep pool. George, Jacub and Sean were at the top of the stretch.

What I didn't expect was a hard frost and it being crisp underfoot but I'm sure the odd fish would be up for biting despite the cold weather. A quick temp check it was 6.2 degrees so not too bad.  Anyway with around 40 minutes to get sorted the match was from 8.30am till - 12.30pm, better get fishing hadn't we !!

Now I had by far the longest stretch to rover and I would feed some swims with mashed bread and would drop in to those swims in the duration of the 4 hour match.

A quick wander there was more than enough to go at and I probably fed 6 or 7 swims to try and get any fish in the area interested before I dropped in with the bait. 

There was a large open swim which I decided to fish first and a feel of the cheesepaste down to the bottom it was probably 6 or 7 foot or so. A feature like this is often a haven for chub especially when the water is likely to be a tad warmer.

The last match the swim was very much like this and the fact that the fish have room to escape if they wanted to means that they are not always found tight to snags. Odd I know but the more I fish these small rivers they can often defy convention. 

A gave the swim a good 45 minutes or so without even a nibble so I had to get on the rove to try and find the fish. I was getting cold as well just sat there so I needed to get on my feet. 

3 or 4 swims later though I was biteless do I decided to go back to the pool swim scale down a nadger and try worm instead. 

The bait was only out for ten minutes or so when Whammmmm a proper decent bite that I missed, damn it !!

It wasn't a big chub bite it was a chublet bite or a roach bite and what I didn't expect was a bite within seconds of the bait going back out again. As soon as it felt the hook it went on a mad run however after a spirited bite it was soon in the net. 

A pristine fish and probably a pound or so in weight but not exactly the size I was after but at least it was a fish and I'd not blanked.

The four hours went quicker than I thought and I did quite a lot of toing and froing between the swims with nothing doing whatsoever. I scaled down as well and swapped between cheesepaste, bread and worms but the fish were suspicious in their absence for me and that was my lot. 

With the match over I met up with Ian and Eric for the weigh in, Eric had caught quite early on and had a couple of crackers in the net. One went 3lb's and 4 ounces on the scales and the two in total weighed 5lb's and 2 ounces. He missed quite a few bites too and thinking they were small fish tried trotting maggots and also tried maggots on the feeder but oddly a change of tactic didn't work whatsoever.

Ian had blanked in the pool and my fish weighed 1lb and 1oz !! The others met us back at the car where George was the only anglers to bag a fish, his chub weighed 1lb and 4oz πŸ˜€ So the results !!!

1st Eric with 5lb 2oz πŸ†πŸ’ΈπŸ€‘πŸ’°
2nd George with 1lb 4ozπŸ’ΈπŸ€‘
3rd Me with 1lb 1oz
Sean, Jacub, Ian DNW

Friday 26 January 2024

The Tiny River Alne - Rafts and Redundancies

February is just round the corner thankfully after a rather lacklustre January for me, now it is not called fill-dyke for nothing. It's called that because for most of the month it's bucketing down and often with rain and melting snow filling the canals and rivers to overflowing.(Fingers crossed it doesn't, because we really have had our quota over the last couple of months)

It's often a month when the fish seek out the deep holes and bankside eddies to stay out of the current. They're often a bit grumpy and off their food because of the suspended silt which irritates their gills, but they can be tempted with the tail of a lob fished ledger on the bottom.

Now and again a river will overflow its banks, and the fish will follow the water up into the fields, feeding on the worms and grubs in the grass. They are pursued there by the hardier and dafter anglers with some degree of success. And a fish that was actually caught in a field makes a better story than one that was caught in the boring old river.

The trick is to study the river when it's not in flood and make notes of the topography of the bank, so that you'll know how far down the field you can walk in safety. When you have waded to the bottom of the field, however, you may find yourself a little disorientated or suffering from temporary amnesia. You may also find that a spur of bank you remember perfectly well is not there any more.

Now Insurance companies, as a matter of general policy, are not keen on anglers fishing flooded fields. Nor are employers, even if the angler struggles from his sickbed to work on Monday morning. He makes the place look so untidy as he sits huddled over the radiator, coughing and spluttering. Undertakers, on the whole, are quite glad of the extra business. 

There is still a week left of January mind you, and to be honest I'll be quite glad to see the back of it. Apart from one day when I went of the wagon for my mates 50th, I've been off the grog you see but that will change the 1st of February when I'm meeting a good friend Phippo for a curry and a couple of pints. It will make a change from the medicorce fishing I've been having and I'm hoping with January out the way, February will bring me some good fishy fortune. 

The Warwickshire Avon was dropping nicely and I fancied a dabble on Sunday morning to miss the traffic on a new area of river I'd been fishing that may well throw up some bigger chub, but with a WBAS syndicate match on the Saturday on the river Leam, today's session on the local  Alne had almost chose itself to try and maximise fishing time.  

A sunny afternoon to lift the gloom, because after surviving a cull of staff and redundancies back in June, there will now be another 15% reduction in staff it seems, where my job will be at risk again. There was a reason why I liked the contracting lark, a freespirit and decent dosh, going permi for the last 3 years hasn't exactly given the security I thought it would give.

I'm old and ugly enough now to not really bother on which way it goes because I'm one of the lucky ones that has got experience and skills that are still in demand, I feel sorry for the youngsters just starting out. 

So not a great start to the weekend but at least fishing means you don't think about a fat lot, well apart the task in hand and that was fishing for chub. Anyway after being biteless in the banker swim I got on the rove. I headed up to the middle of the stretch and on the way deposited some mashed bread in 5 or 6 swims and then would fish those when I retraced my steps. 

Probably not ideal fishing conditions to be honest but one bite would be nice !!!

Anyway I was using decent sized pieces of bread because the water was a weird dark grey colour which I've rarely seen here to be honest, so visibility was only a foot or so, so a large white bait would stand out. 3 or 4 swims down even the 'WORLDS BIGGEST RAFT SWIM' well ok, for a small river anyway I was still biteless.

I was gradually running out of swims but then a fairly open swim with some tree roots to my right came up trumps because a few minutes after carefully dropping in the bait, a few tentative pulls on the sensitive quiver it went round confidently and a fish was on. 

It gave a decent fight as well but not the biggest chub for the Alne, but most welcome indeed. It looked like it needed filling out as well, hopefully the bread mash I pre baited with is now residing in its belly. And that was my lot, I fished another couple of swims until I couldn't see the quiver tip but one bite one fish. 

Thursday 25 January 2024

Warwickshire Avon - Maneki Neko's and Mammothrepts

Sadly for me the working week precludes fishing for any decent length of time, I could fish in to dark I suppose and I often do, but an hour is enough for me when the isotopes or torch light is needed because, well I don't particularly enjoy it if I'm honest unless I've waiting for that barbel bite in the summer sat in my shorts and t-shirt when it's often quite pleasant twiddling the thumbs and enjoying the solitude. 

So needs must for that fishing fix, so a short chub session methinks !!

Now I'm not sure what has been going on with my chub banker swim of late but the fish just don't seem to be there anymore. 

With the river up a little, the slack of convenience has thrown up some nice fish but I'm sure they were wising up to my status quo tactics. 

Bread, yeah seen that before, cheesepaste, errrr you caught us on that a couple of weeks you tw@t (an A not a I if you had wondered)

If you have ever suffered from the frustration of ‘unmissable’ chub bites that have seen you striking into thin air then join the club! This has long been part and parcel of fishing with larger baits, especially boilies, because the chub can easily pick them up in their lips, leaving the hook hanging outside the mouth. 

Sooo, yeah out with the Chicken Livers !!!

I'm not sure why the bites are so violent using liver as bait, who knows but I'm sure it helps they haven't seen it before, and they don't have to 'test' it first but mouthing and pulling at it with their huge lips. Now Liver is one of the most nutritionally dense foods on the planet, with significant amounts of iron, riboflavin, vitamin B12, vitamin A, and copper. 

Eating a single serving of liver can help you meet your daily recommended amount of most of these vitamins and minerals, reducing your risk of nutrient deficiency. So if you've some spare, just cook up some for lunch like I did !!! liver with a dusting of flour and caynenne pepper fried with, shallots, flat leaf parsley, a small amount of cider vinegar. They definitely give you an energy boost, vegans please look away. 

When I first started fishing with liver I missed loads of proper bites from chub at dusk, you know those unmissable ones you miss πŸ˜€ but a rig tweak seemed to do the trick. 

The key was to half the bait size and use a smaller shank hook which improved hook-ups no end. I was using a good chicken nugget sized piece initially, now the bait is the size of a plump prune. Another 'hack' was to dust the liver in a pungent groundbait which helped with initial handling of the bloodied organ and squidgy offal offering. 

The swim looked perfect for a bite, the big slack in front of me looked just at a nice level where the fish could get some sanctuary away from the boiling turbulence from the main river. I arrived half an hour before dusk and fed a little pungent groundbait with a few maggots just to try get nay fish there grubbing about.

The liver went out and  I fully expected a quick bite, Errrrr that never happened !!!

A switch to bread to try and mix it up had the same result and I was left wondering when I got the torch out to illuminate the rod tip when would that bit come ?

But then hang on a minute !!!

Damn it, I forgot about that bloody bright moon in the clear sky that looked almost full, you see looking back at my blog over the years I've never done any good at all when it's a bright as this. It was like a beacon of light hovering over the intimate swim.

I gave it a self imposed hour after dusk and made my way out of there without even a nibble. I switched to liver the last half an hour as that was the bait I came to fish with, but no, nothing materialised whatsoever. 

So a blank sadly, anyway I had to stop off at the shops afterwards where Tesco were selling these waving cats for New Year, so I'm hoping that will bring me some luck on the forthcoming sessions. πŸ˜€. Now this Fortune Cat, or Maneki Neko, is very popular in Japanese and Chinese cultures. 

The Maneki Neko is a talisman that is believed to attract good luck and fortune for its owners. Thus, it's very common to find a Maneki Neko on display in stores, restaurants and other businesses. Or in my case in the Jimny. Watch this space, my catch results are about to takeoff !! £3.50 well spent I'm sure.

Monday 22 January 2024

Warwickshire Avon - Reach-Arounds and Reflectometers

I'm surprised this purchase for the Jimny took so long, you see as someone who designs components for car interiors (most recent Polestar 5) and also gets involved in the very early stages of a cars design, why Suzuki thought to position the cupholder in the Jimny is such an awkward position to use is beyond me.

Maybe those that attended the ergonomic buck reviews had hypermobility syndrome or relaxed with yoga in the evenings, because they are more flexible than me for sure. You see you have to reach behind from your seated position with a contorted arm to position the cup in the cupholder, and to compound the issue you are placing it blind. 

From this view the cupholder is actually behind the handbrake, where as this Chinese special fits in-between the 4x4 selector and the main gear stick so the cup can be not only seen in plain sight but easily placed as well without really looking. I could have designed one myself I suppose but for £7 including p&p FROM CHINA FFS I couldn't even get one 3D printed for that !!!

Anyway a really short session this as not only had I managed to sleep longer than expected but I completely forgot I had a curfew time.  

So the stretch of convenience was about the best place really to try and get a quick bite and the fishing Gods must have been looking down on me, because the first swim I had a 3lb chub in the net within 5 minutes or so.

It was quite a turbulent swim but it's a deeper swim here and once the bread flake has settled on the bottom and starts fluttering about in the bottom it's a visual bait that at first light must be very attractive to the chub. 

I thought it was the start of more to come but nope, 5 or 6 swims, even trotting for half an hour that was the only bite I had in the 2.5 hours I was there. I even tried a couple of swims I'd not tried in ages, one complete with a fallen tree that is now blocking much of it. 

The water temperature was on the way up which is encouraging now 4.4 degrees, but it was clear that even the smaller fish were not really mulling about either. The ever reliable chub coming to the rescue though thankfully and at least I didn't blank again which has been the norm of late. 

At least the fish are probably used to their new structure now as it fell a few months ago now. Tell that to the fish that did call this pound their home when we went for a nose yesterday. This stretch of canal has been drained in Stratford-upon-Avon to allow for a replacement set of lock gates to be installed as part of a £50m project.The work along the Stratford Canal near Maidenhead Road at Lock 53 is being carried out by The Canal & River Trust and is due to be completed by the end of February.

The specialist carpenters based in Bradley had hand-crafted new gates from solid oak, and the work is being undertaken during winter when, according to the trust, the canal has less boating activity. To be fair it was frozen above and below this pound, probably a good time to do it. 

Saturday 20 January 2024

Warwickshire Avon - Cat-Ice and Catastrophisms

The sunrise over Stratford-Upon-Avon was spectacular as it often is at this time of year when the skies are clear and the mornings cold. There wasn't a frost on my car which I was surprised at but still cold for a fishing session.

I decided to venture to a stretch I'd not fished before but it was only 20 minutes or so by car and around 11 miles and this year I'm going to cast my net wider so to speak.  

The sunrise changed colour from an orange to a lovely red hue in a few minutes so it was rude not to stop for a photo. Ok we see these all the time as anglers but it did seem particularly vibrant this morning I must admit.

Chub were the target because I knew the water temperature would have dropped again overnight and they seem to be the most hardiest of the river species and if I were to get a bite off a fish, the chub was about the only fish I would be confident of a bite from.  

There was still ice in the margins when I got bankside and I couldn't believe that in less than 24 hours the water temperature had dropped another degree to bang on 3 degrees. Ok I've caught fish on the Avon at circa 2 degrees but I didn't expect such a drop to be honest. Nic from Avon Angling had messaged me to say he'd managed a chub on the Warwickshire Stour when it was 1.7 degrees so fingers crossed I had a chance of my own. 

3 degrees is certainly cold for the cold-blooded fish and I'd have been happy with 1 bite given the conditions. I just love chub as a species though because with their voracious appetite means they need their fill and if a river has a good head of them your probability of a bite has increased significantly. 

So simple tactics really a quiver rod with 1 ounce tip, a running rig with big pieces of flake as bait and fish as many likely looking chubby looking swims as possible. Most of the cover seemed to be over at the other side but there was still enough on my side to go at luckily. 

Another angler was on the stretch whilst I was there (he arrived an hour after me) and he was trotting which I'd prefer to do to cover as much water as possible, but he was clearly tougher than me (28 years in the forces apparently) and could deal handling wet bread and cold hands better than I can.

I fed a few swims before getting on the rove to try and chance on a fish. The first swim was nicely sheltered from the cold wind because it was proper biting I must admit. Nothing for half an hour in the first swim and then out of the blue a proper bite where I struck into thin air. At least I knew the fish were milling around, but another missed bite soon after I was convinced maybe it was small fish pulling a the bait.

Chub don't mess around usually with big lumps of bread, tap tap and then wallop the tip pulls round. These were fast bites difficult to strike at.

 That swim went dead so I fished another two swims without even a tap but then the last but one swim I decided to fish looked perfect as a chub lare. It had some depth and also a nice sucken tree as well for cover and thankfully after a premature strike on the first pull after 10 minutes, a recast brought an almost instant reaction.

I struck in to a solid lump that immediately tired to get under my feet. A decent fight but after a couple of runs it knew it was well hooked and decided to let me land it. Ok only 2lb and 14 ounces but most welcome I must admit. And that was my lot, no more bites in the near 3.5 hours I was there. Still I'm not complaining the fish felt like a block of ice, boy it was cold !!! 

Warwickshire Avon - Euphorics and Eurythmics

I'm looking forward to sunnier climes during the February half term because I can get some sea fishing in for much needed change of scenery, and some sun on my back. Also in October thinking about it because we are a stones throw from the sea when we go and see my brother and his family in North Devon. 

I fancy a smoothhound for that trip because there are a few around in that area and I've seen the Fish Locker catch loads on one particular productive session. I've also a week away Northumberland (August I think) way so need to check out any fishing spots over that way too. It would be rude not to wet a line if there is a possibility wouldn't it. 

Now one of the myths of our island race is that we feel, periodically and irresistibly, the call of the sea. When we get back from a trip on a heaving boat, we realise that most of our ancestors must have walked here before the Channel was cut.

What we mistake for the call of the sea is the euphoria of ozone, winkles and Guinness which overcomes most of us during our week in Blackpool, that feeling of superhuman well-being which can be used either to boost the birthrate of the following spring or diverted towards the pursuit of the saltwater monsters. 

Most of our wives, with the kids already squawking for ice creams, buckets and spades, candy floss and a donkey ride, would much rather we got with the monsters.

The first thing to do is to get kitted out. Tartan shirt, windproof trousers, canvas jacket with kinky rope fastening, jaunty trawlerman's cap guaranteed to make anyone but a genuine jaunty trawlerman look a right burke, and a pair of bright yellow wellies.

Once the wife sees you in that lot you have no chance at all of getting to work on the birth-rate. You are now left with a choice of fishing from the beach or the pier, from the rocks, from a rowing boat or in company with a bunch of other yellow-wellied euphorics from a hired inshore fishing boat.

Now the tide comes in and goes out twice a day. The best time of all to fish from the shore is high tide, which generally happens a couple of hours before you get up or a couple of hours after you've gone to bed. Low tide gives you the chance to study the shoreline, so that you will know where the fish will be when the sea comes in. 

You look for channels in the sand or between rocks, hollows in the sand, undercut cliffs, sewage outfalls, groups of isolated rocks and clumps of weed. The fish coming in on the tide will be found in or around all of these places. The big snag is that, when the tide does come in, it covers all of these landmarks up and you can't for the life of you remember where they were. Still, it's fun.

Now talking about fun, for this roving session I fancied a dabble for a pike at a section of the Warwickshire Avon I've not fished in ages.

In the odd time I've tried for predators here I've always done ok and there is a reason why they have matches on this stretch because there is usually bait fish around. I'd imagine in these cold conditions they would be shoaled up too, so for this roving session I'd fish those likely looking swims with a couple of deadbaits to try and catch one. 

So just shy of three hours fished !!!

5 swims, two rods both smelt

Countless walkers, "isn't it too cold for fishing" "Have you caught anything" etc etc

Noooooooo !! 😬

Oh well at least the sunset was nice !! on to the next one another blank !!

Friday 19 January 2024

Warwickshire Avon - Aboulomania and Abecedarians

I really was in two minds to head out for this short session because, well to be honest I wasn't really feeling the urge, because as anglers we know when the weather is as cold as this (-5.5 this morning) bites can be at a premium, but also with some stuff going on behind the scenes that I won't elaborate on here, but it gave me that kick up the backside I needed. No point mulling over things, get out there !!

It helped the deadbaits I ordered came far quicker than expected and they were sorted and bagged and were back in the freezer. Now I've used Online Baits for a years now and always received a good service from them, decent prices, 24 hour delivery and very well packaged indeed. 

I was down to the deadbait dregs you see, and some of the small roach had been defrosted and refrozen so many times they were becoming unrecognizable and some were a manky mush. πŸ˜† So with the rivers now getting back to some nice fishable conditions I fancied a change in some sessions going forward where those predators deserved a go.  

Now the like-minded have been struggling as well even on longer sessions, (WBAS Dave W was on his 7th blank yesterday) many not even caught a fish this year hence why these short smash and trips I can just about manage work for inpatient me, so it was back to the stretch of convenience (10 minutes door to door) to try and winkle out a chub at last knockings with cheesepaste on the Depth Bomb as bait. 

This cold snap is due to end after this weekend and I'm sure that will help the fishing no end. We've a WBAS match down at one of the River Leam stretches next weekend so I'm looking forward to that as the last match was very cold indeed where often just sitting there isn't that enjoyable.

Anyway on-route to the first swim I primed a couple too and if this one didn't come up trumps I'd move on to those to try and get a quick bite. 

A good hour in though I was getting itchy feet and that bite didn't come at dusk as expected so I decided to go and try the other swims to not only warm the cockles but also to try and catch a much needed chub. 

Both primed swims were fished for a good 20 minutes each for the same outcome. The fish were just not interesting in feeding or were just not there to be caught. The water temperature was 4 degrees and I've caught chub at half of that temperature before but maybe they need to acclimatise to it properly first.

In desperation I switched on the head torch and tried another swim, more intimate this time and give it another fifteen minutes or so but sadly that quivertip didn't jump in to life. 2 hours in minus temperatures I certainly didn't feel cold with all the right fear on but the first were having other ideas for this one. I might leave the chub for a day or so and try for a pike maybe. I've got a freezer full of deadbaits now it will be rude not too. !!! 

Btw my anti reverse failed on the reel half way through the session I assume the cold weather effects plays havoc with the grease ? answers on a postcard please !!!

Monday 15 January 2024

Warwickshire Avon - Massacres and Mathematicasters

A rare night out with Mrs Newey, so a pizza was enjoyed with some duck and 5 spices fries followed by a get together in Warwick for a mates 50th.  A good turn it it was too with some people in attendance I've not seen for probably 10 years or so. Half way through dry January I had to fall off the wagon for this one πŸ˜‡

Now it used to be rumoured in Manchester that the inhabitants of Salford all suffered from a massive physiological abnormality occasioned by the amount of chips they ate. The rumour is, of course, absolutely without foundation, in spite of the fact that Salfordians do eat chips with everything.

None of this has anything to do with freshwater baits except to illustrate the point that most anglers offer their quarry a diet as unvaried as that of the unfortunate Salfordians. 

Most anglers will use maggots, bread and worms and nothing else. Some will even fish for a lifetime using only one of these. Me well, I don't fall in to that category, variety is the spice of life. 

Anyway with an Uber back and a nice lie in I was late getting out for this short session as I had to drop the Wife off in Warwick to get her motor so I fully expected to see a car or two when I got to the parking area but, no, weirdly I would have the stretch to myself. The river looked in cracking condition as well so I'm sure a bite was on the cards.

I was going to trot but I couldn't be bothered to get some bread on-route so half a loaf of bread would have to do in order to catch a chub. 

So a roving stretch with a few swims primed with mash and then a rather large piece of breadflake on the hook. When the water is this sort of colour bread fluttering about the current is irresistible to the greedy chub.

The sun was bright and with the temperature around 5 degrees it was very pleasant indeed I must admit, and for the life of me I couldn't understand why I was the only angler πŸ‘€

A rather grim discovery in one of the swims though, a Canada Goose had been eaten in almost its entirety with only the bones and carcass remaining.  Maybe an injured bird from the shoot that evaded the hunting dogs and an otter had finished it off.

3 swims down though without even a nibble I decided to head down to the very end swim where there is a tree to the right with provides a nice haven for any fish in the swim.

It didn't take long to get a bit either, a couple of plucks and then a few seconds later an unmistakable bite and I struck in to a solid lump. A cracking scrap in the flow and I was fully expecting a bigger fish when it finally surfaced as it was taking line at one point.

Not that long but it had certainly been feeding well in the floods I'd imagine, a nice healthy plump fish. Another couple of swims fished but without success sadly so I called the session early on one nice chub.
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