Sunday, 11 October 2015

Warwickshire Avon - Ham Bush !!!! and a PB.

They are out of garlic spam at Tesco's so I stumbled on what looked like a Polish alternative, Gulasz by Pamapol. Spam has always been good to me and for this inaugural session down the Warwickshire Avon I'd fish a big chunk on both rods. Earlier in the week I'd met up with Jeff Hatt and his partner in crime Martin Roberts for a pint and Martin kindly offered to show me a map of angling club I'll probably join in the new season, it looked ideal and a whole new area for me to fish and the detailed shared we me should put me in good stead to catch some decent fish when I do eventually get my book. Anyway during the evenings pleasantries and fishing chitchat Martin told me about an area that I could fish under one of my current memberships that I'd not even considered...

Maybe I was missing a trick...?

I had intend to try and target some chubby dace in an area that has produced some good ones in the past but decided to fish these pastures new. When I arrived at the location there were only really two swims the first looked unfishable at it was thick with mud and I WOULD have ended up in the drink so the swim available to me was the only option. It was a wide long stretch and maybe heavy trotting would have been the better option but I could always fish it with another method if need be.

When I took the meat out the tin I realised it wasn't as robust as Spam, in-fact it was very soft indeed, I had to be careful with the cast. It was extremely fatty too, not as garlicky as the proper stuff either. It looked great on the hair though, ideal. With both rods out I sat back and waited. For the first couple of hours there must have been a huge shoal of gudgeon because not only were there plenty of tip indications but every so often one of the greedy blighters would impale themselves on the hook.

When a jack pike took one on the retrieve I thought about moving downstream but I decide to stick it out for the whole session.I'm glad I did too because some tell tale Chub pulls eventually I stuck in to a decent fish. It felt decent too and a spirited fight and a wrestle through some thick cabbages, I had it in the net. I use a Gardner Spoon landing net and I could see by its length that it would be a potential PB beater. (The centrepins spool measures 5") Now readers of my Blog know that I'm yet to catch a 5lb Chub so I was eager to get it on the scales.

PB Warwickshire Avon Chub - 4lb 13oz
Bugger, not quite, 4lb 13oz and a PB...still not a magic five but encouraging signs especially when the Chub was fairly hollow and would go well over five I imagine when it's got it's head down feeding in the winter months. The monkeys not really to get off my back, just yet.

I had an hour left so both rods went out again, big chunks of meat on both rods. Half hour went by without any indications on the rod tips, the Gudgeon suspicious in their absence when all of a sudden the right hand violently hooped over and the centrepins ratchet was screaming....

This was no Chub...

It powered off downstream and my finger drag on the spool was tested to the limit, I eventually turned the fish and felt much more in control of it after another couple of powerful lunges and a last gasp run when it saw the net I had a nice Barbel on the bank. It looked a double but on the scales it went 9lb 8oz, it made a nice change from photographing a Barbel in the dark, a lovely looking proud fish in mint condition.

A 9lb 8oz Warwickshire Avon Barbel
The rest of the session was uneventful and as soon as I got back home a few more tins of Pamapol meat went on the shopping list, it certainly did the trick today.


  1. Always good to find a variation on an old bait these really works, Mick. You'll have to toughen it up. I hate that feeling with really soft meat that it's come off on the cast as the lead plunges. If you're leaving it in place for a while it helps to know it's still there! But soft meat does really work. When I had that fiver pounder a little while back I could not have cast from the bank. The distance would have ensured the lead would have removed the bait. Luckily I had my waders on ( well, Martin's actually) so a short luzz out got me the fish.

    The other answer is an empty cage feeder. They splash down very softly.

    1. That's a good idea, I had some with with too. Luckily the cast was more or less a short underarm fling but a couple of times I did wonder if the bait was still on. I used really large pellet stops and that seemed to work reasonably well.

  2. Nice to see a few Barbel coming out, Mick. the Chub isn't bad either!, do they grow to 6-7lb? or is a 5lb plus fish the sort of target that would achievable?

    1. I've seen fish well over 6 I reakon just not managed to bank any but I've caught hundreds of chub and not yet achieved a five. For the Avon a five is a very nice fish indeed, a 6 or 7 is rare but achievable, that's my target anyway.

  3. hello.maybe a wire rig would help.a long length of copper wire knotless knot style through the eye and back up the shank,winding a bit around the shank to trap it,or form a v small loop around a knitting needle,make a few twists and attatch to the each case the wire can then be passed through the meat and back again.lawrence breakspear uses this to great effect to lob half a tin of meat halfway across the middle severn!

  4. Hi Grant,
    This had the consistency of cat meat, nothing like spam at all so doubt even that would work to be honest, great idea though. With spam I usually use a bit of tubing and a large pellet stop and that works really well too.


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