Friday, 21 August 2015

Warwickshire Avon – The Raft

I know there is a huge Barbel in this area of the Warwickshire Avon, I’ve seen it with my own eyes when I disturbed it in the low and clear water. Sadly my attempts to capture it have been nothing more than a failure. I’d caught a few smaller fish (up to 8lb) sure but as I know their Father is here (I hope he still is) there is always a possibility it would eventually grace my hook. It appears to be elusive though and I’ve not spotted it since. I’m not saying I’m bored of catching the smaller fish, far from it, but this area because of what I witnessed is one of those that will get me returning, time after time till I catch it. Having fished it in ideal chocolate brown flood conditions and in and around the features the area exhibits, such as holes, creases, slacks and streamer weed there was one particular area I hadn’t tried.

It was a rather deep and lengthy raft caused by a fallen tree which appeared to growing in size by the day………

The issue has been for previous sessions that it was way beyond the reach of my amateurish Wallis cast, in these clear conditions bigger fish tuck themselves away so a change of tactics was therefore needed. I nearly always have a plan of action before a session so to carry out this undertaking the centrepin was swapped for a fixed spool so the raft was now reachable. Due to its proximity from the bank I felt a static lead or a trundle through would disturb the swim too much so a large buoyant float would be used for bait delivery which I aimed to just get to skim the perimeter of it.

Bait on the longshank hook was either a lobworm or a chunk of garlic spam, loose feed would be catapulted in to the swim just upstream so to trickle down and hopefully draw the fish out from their overly large security blanket. What is also nice about this swim is once past the raft providing you have a big visible float fitted you can trot a good 30 or 40 yards past it as there is a large area of open water.

The second part of the plan was for the last hour or so in to dusk as the float was fitted to the line with a silicone adaptor I’d remove the float and freeline a gobstopper of garlic spam and wait for that savage rod wrencher that only a Barbel can give.

Best laid plans and all that….

Chub are prevalent here and throughout the session that’s all I caught, every third or fourth trot down with worm or meat a greedy Chevin gobbled down the bait, I’d managed to get the float the majority of times to kiss the raft too, if a Barbel was in residence I’m sure one of the trots down would have tempted it.

Around 8.30pm I swopped to a gobstopper and the tip didn’t stop (1/3 tin of Spam), all Chub though with sharp twangs and taps. Eventually a couple of fish were landed but only small Chub in the scheme of things. It really did switch on big style when the light dropped so I’ve an idea or two to try and make use of that, if that doesn’t work back to the drawing board.

A Tench reccy Saturday morning, I’m expecting a blank…


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