Friday, 7 August 2015

Warwickshire Avon - Asspigmatism and the Anguilla Anguilla

Walking through the thicket after an evening’s fishing I became aware of a presence, the usual drone of a distant plane, the odd flapping of a bird wings and the background noise of running water was interrupted by something very unusual. To my left and around 30 or 40 foot away in knee high growth something large appeared to be raking and gouging at one of the tall trees, I was stuck in my tracks and was glued to the spot. It was 9.35pm now and just past civil twilight but with light still left from the glowing sky I could clearly make out its silhouette against the light background. I certainly didn’t want to approach this rather large intimidating figure. With my eyes better adjusted to the light it looked pig like, a large rounded back, very front heavy with large chest, shoulders and head, the long skinny legs that were half the length of its body.

But even with the light faded; this didn’t appear to be a domestic pig...

It’s now moved from the tree and it’s routing around the ground and has started to snort and grunt deeply with the low down power of a bandpass subwoofer. It’s on the move, sh*t now I’m worried. The only way back to my car was past this ‘beast’ and I’m still none the wiser on what it is. Now regular readers of this blog know I can just about tolerate fishing in the dark or lowlight but I usually have a mate in tow, I certainly don’t enjoy it like some do.

With my Iphone’s flash as bright as a rather pathetic lit fart I get the Nitecore torch out, 2000 lumens apparently, all I know its f’ing bright...

Illuminating the area, the light has reflected off some surface water from within a tractor track but then the animal eventually comes in to full view and it’s looking straight at me, it appears to be disorientated, its head and legs are moving but there doesn’t appear to be much forward motion. For a second its broadside and I’ve got a full view of its flanks, it’s dark, dirty and long of hair.

Hang on is that a ridge on its back, Jesus it looks like a wild boar

NAH!!!!!!!!!!, it cannot be surely Shirley....F**k me, maybe it is...

It’s now made haste and scurried out of there, sadly I lose sight of it...

Now I’m very proud of my eyesight, I seem to ‘see’ better than anyone I know and 18 mths ago after having a cyst removed from my eye at Warwick Hospital I was told after an eyesight check that I’m up there with the best in Warwickshire. This wank*ing make you blind is clearly a load of bollocks, as a testosterone filled spotty youth and for many, it was a medicinal pastime.I’m certainly not suffering with astigmatism, I know what I saw.

Now a bit of goggling, the Forest of Dean is awash with them but that’s 70 miles away, a bit closer to home an article from the BBC said Warwickshire Police have received reports of sightings in Coughton, Alcester and Wootton Wawen, all some time ago mind.

Map showing approximate locations of alleged wild boar sightings....

Now if only I could justify one of those wildlife cameras....

So anyway enough of the hog, on to the fishing, I was shared some information a couple of weeks ago now and I decided to try and up my Eel PB, apparently there are big Zander here too so come October, November time I'll be giving this more of a go. Simple tactics were employed, Roach heads on a running sleeper rig and also with the rod stuck high, Barbel style. I'd fish for 2 hours that was it. The first hour I'd caught two small Pike, the biggest 7lb 4oz and then with the light fading the main rods tip was beginning to dance and I struck in to something solid, not a long fight but the target species was in the net, encouraging that's for sure.

The Iphone doesn't work too well in low light, Eel PB of 1lb 7oz
Pike, 7lb 4oz


  1. Now that would freak me out after dark! But I'd love to witness one myself. Great story, Mick.

    Nice to see an eel. They were frequent Avon captures two years ago but not since.

    1. Weirdly Jeff, I wasn’t too bad. I think being able to see ‘it’ helped. I tried to get a picture of a footprint but the ground was rock solid so no chance. I reckon I lost another eel too so plenty of potential if / when I return.

  2. How awesome must that have been, never seen one wild but in south London we have enough hairy bastards roaming our streets so we don't need anymore!, but I agree, a very good story there Mick. The Eel's are making a good comeback on some river's let's hope they are recovering in number's.

  3. Hi Mick

    'Been looking into this (being a general ecological busybody!) and there are indeed a few wild boar records in the south of Warks (which I assume is where you may have been).

    Could I suggest you might consider sending the record giving a simple 'who, what, where and when' plus anything else you may think relevant to which one of my colleagues helps run and they will then disseminate it to those who may need to know? 'Not compulsory of course if you don't want to but just a thought, it's useful for them to track their expansion as there aren't many close encounters like this recorded.

    1. Yes South Warwickshire George, ta for the email address I may well get in touch with them. I even went back in daylight to see if I could see / photograph any footprints but the ground was too hard sadly.

  4. Sorry Mick but as bloggers challenge adjudicator, I'm afraid I will have to disqualify you for attempting to pass off a silhouette of you holding a small branch or piece of lead piping, as an eel.



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