Thursday, 1 October 2015

Warwickshire Avon – I’m no Ronnie Pickering !!!!

I’m with Mr Hatt on this one ‘just’ a Barbel won’t do these days, even a 10 pounder isn’t enough, I want to catch the huge one I’ve seen, an Avon record? possibly who knows, let’s just say it was a scale larger than the double figure fish I’d caught recently as I returned it to the swim I spotted the big'un, a fish that can give me tachyarrhythmia needs some attention.

The problem is I don’t spend enough time fishing for Barbel, well fishing for that matter, hence probably why I’m stuck on 11lb 11oz’s. My bank-time is very very precious indeed and unless the conditions are perfect I’m likely to target something else. I’ve had withdrawal symptoms the arm aching fight only a Barbel can give so for this extremely short session there was no messing about,

It’s been too low and clear of late so the only option is in to dusk and beyond.....

As per previous successful sessions I bait dropped a carpet of hemp and pellets and would leave it for half an hour and then from bat appearance to disappearance (an hour'ish) fish over the top with my Chub (Poka-Yoke) avoider rig  It’s worked well so far and despite the flagrant and outrageously flamboyant bites that came from the pesky blighters the Chub have not managed to get past the no go gauge, the Barbel eventually did though and two half decent ones graced the net. Fishing for 12 hours, bugger that I have better things to do, this rig is about as selective as it gets.

I like this small stretch I can fish, not because I can be bank-side in ten minutes but it’s very rare I see another angler and in the evenings particularly, there is bugger all foot traffic either, well apart from the wildlife. Last week a few miles downstream whilst trying for a Zander I stumbled upon a migrant farm worker (I’d crossed paths with before) who was leaving the swim I intended to fish with a lure rod over his shoulder and a black bin bag that....

....I can only assume contained his dinner (pike shaped)

I said “excuse me” a few times and he didn’t even bother to acknowledge me, let alone engage in conversation. His brisk walking soon turned in to a full on sprint and despite his bright green jacket glowing like a beacon he quickly disappeared from view. He knew he was up to no good.

Now I’m no Ronnie Pickering.... fishing in the dark doesn’t always sit well me well these days especially when he could have returned with his cronies and give me a good doing over, I was always looking over my shoulder during the remaining of that session but here luckily fishing a nadger in to the dark I find just about palatable.

I knew this quick session wasn't going to go well when I spotted a canoeist upstream who was heading my way, there is an island he had to navigate and I assume he didn't realise that there was a shallow shelf beyond it,as yeap sure enough the next thing his canoe is grounded and the bottom is scraping on the gravel as he is trying to frantically free himself from looking even more of tool as he already does. He eventually does and proceeds to go right through me swim, great...

The light was fading now and the odd bat was making an appearance even though it was still easy to see. Eventually the canoeist returns and now thankfully  I can now sit back an relax. Sure enough as soon as the isotope is glowing the bites start coming, they are coming thick and fast too, there are Chub in my swim. For half an hour the plucks, tugs and foot pulls never let up and the rig is doing it's magic, it should only be a matter of time now. I bought two rods for this session as the swim dictated it and on one of rods their was a chink in my armour, one of the hairs wasn't quite as long as I wanted ,so much so I even thought about retying it.

The downstream rod whooped over in Barbel fashion and a fish was on, however I instantly knew it was a Chub, Arrhhhhhhhhhhh. One managed to get past the castle defenses, hopefully it's a one off as it's worked brilliantly up to now, anyway It weighed 4lb 4oz so not a bad Chub but not what I was after. I didn't bother to recast, so sat back and watched the remaining rod tip...10 mins went by, without even a knock, hmmmm strange, then upstream I heard a disturbance in the water and could make out a wake in the water, something was heading downstream I switched on my powerful torch and didn't want to see what I thought it would be.

Yeap, a HUGE otter that stopped in his tracks and looked at me without a care in the world, he carried on about his business and dived in to my swim never to be seen again. I stayed for another half an hour and the rod remained motionless, Damn. Unless there is some rain to colour the water I'm giving the Barbel a miss for a while. I've a cottage booked with a mate Simon in Symonds Yat the end of October and it just so happens has fishing at the end of the garden so my dusk fishing will have to wait for a while. Perch and Barbel on the agenda, any tips most welcome as I've never fished the Wye before.


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  2. My tip for the Wye is take along a sling for your rod arm. You might need it next morning if you should you get stuck into lots of the smaller fish. The hardest fighting barbel I have ever caught. When I hooked up to my first I truly believed I had a very big fish on the other end. It was only four pounds...

    They are savages!

    I don't know much about the venue at Symonds Yat, Mick. Where we went you had to cast as close as possible to the far bank cover. Working on a tip off from a Wye regular, Steve Phillips waded out three-quarters of the way and flicked white chocolate boilies under the bushes. He caught loads. I didn't get a bite on meat except from an eel. Only when I nabbed a handful of his bait did I begin to catch barbel.

    1. I think I remember that post Jeff, I'll go and have a look. I'm hoping there will be a bit of water on it, but lets see. Apart from the usual Barbel gear I'll take the lure rod too. If fishing from the garden isn't producing will venture further afield.


      There was a really busy hour or so when they went on the rampage before dusk. However, the river was really low and clear. Things may be very different when the water's up.


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