Piscatorial Quagswagging

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

Saturday 3 February 2024

Warwickshire Avon - Trotting and Transmigrationism

'The Beekeeper' brain out movie with the Wife, some wine and an openfire, where to go, what to do ? Well the Avon looked a perfect colour and level for trotting and I fancied trying for a pike too, so a bit of double dipping was planned down at the deserted stretch of convenience.So a smelt out on a running rig and then my 15ft rod, with Abu closed-faced reel and a large drake stickfloat. 

Bread mash as feed and then a 10p piece of bread flake on the hook. I don't trot enough because when I do I really enjoy it, but I am a roving angler at heart to be honest. There was a good 2 foot of visibility for this morning's session where a moving bait would probably the way to go to temp a chub in to feeding. 

Now because of the milder conditions this week the water temperature had rocketed to 8.2 degrees and it felt that when I handled the first fish. You see within minutes of casting out the smelt when I initially started to feed the swim with bread, a couple of bleeps on the alarm the bobbin jumped in to life and the rod top was nodding. 

Only a small jack but most welcome all the same !!!

Anyway I got another bait out and got on with trotting feeding small bits of bread little and often. It didn't take long to get the first bite either but I sadly pulled out of the fish within a few seconds. It felt half decent too so sad to lose it but at least I knew there was some fish in the swim.

The next bite came 10 minutes after that lost fish when the float buried at the end of the swim. Quite a decent fight too on the float gear but it was soon under control and safely landed in the net. 

Only a 3lber but it had a great chunky frame to it with a proud bulging belly. I retained it in the net and was looking to catch another one but one problem !!!

You see, this dangly branch was getting in the way on almost every trot and no matter what line I tried and how much I mended the line, I got snagged up from time to time which was becoming very frustrating I must admit. 

I had the weed rake and long rope in the car and I didn't think about that until after the session so next time I'm there I'll try and remove it. Anyway despite the frustration I gave it another hour without any more fish so decided to try another swim.

A couple of swans and a cygnet had turned up and they were hanging around, probably wondering when I was going to feed them some of the bread I suppose. They liked the look of the bread so much they followed me up the stretch 🦢😐to the next swim. There used to be a huge willow here that hung over the river like a canopy but it mysteriously was removed and lots of the other cover on the stretch. 

I've my suspicions...🛶

Anyway after feeding mash (whilst the swans were feeding in the reeds) for ten minutes to allow the bread drift down the water column the first trot down the float buried as it skirted past the remains of the willow.

I struck in to something solid and knew straight away it was a decent chub. It gave me one hell of a fight too, when it tried to get in to the roots of the tree first, and then the reeds after I managed to steer it away from the roots. 

The 15ft rod taking up its lungs and eventually I managed to get the fish in to the main river. The river was quite pacey though and I didn't want to drag it through the boiling and turbulent water, so I picked up the net and moved 10 yards to my right when the bank had collapsed but I could get much lower to the water, albeit with mud half way up my wellies.

After an epic battle I eventually teased it in to the net with the hook just nicked in its top lip. Not quite 5lb but it went 4lbs and 14 ounces on the scales. A rather nice fish I must admit !! Anyway nothing else in that swim, and nothing in one more either. The smelt as well, that didn't have an interest after the jack pike. An enjoyable session I must admit and the closed faced reel performed well today, so my faith in it is restored for now anyway.


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