Monday, 16 January 2017

Warwickshire Avon - Phenomeknockers

The handful of times I’d fished this deep and pedestrian stretch of the Warwickshire Avon I’d had mixed results. I’d managed some Pike nearing double figures and a couple of Zander whose size was nothing to write home. It’s largely untapped, by me anyway and to be fair probably doesn’t see that much foot traffic.

Despite catching some larger Zed’s further downstream just looking at the large expanse of water I’m sure there has to be some specimens lurking. No reason why there wouldn’t to be honest, it looks a perfect habitat for them and I know some decent fish have been caught a little further upstream on a different clubs water.

The larger fish have been elusive though up till now, but the conditions have been far from ideal, being mostly clear for weeks on end, which for Zander fishing can put a kibosh on proceedings.

My captures for this area, as top trumps go, I’d be on to a right old loser, but you can’t keep a good man down, I've got to stick at it.

For this return session it was out with the big guns, the head turners. Considering the size of the river I’d used relatively small lures so I switched to something more befitting the size of fish I'm after and some more visual to stand out in the large expanse of water.

The thinking was a little like some past business trips to Shanghai where I could go a whole week without even a second glance, an about-turn, but then out of the blue, a female managed to get through the Han genetics with an error, a DNA enhancement, well two in fact, causing one to get tunnel vision and end up in to an objectifying gaze.

They will probably be earning a fortune on Instagram such the oddity, then again can you get Instagram in China ? As everything else the internet is useful for seems to be blocked under their Golden Shield Project operated by the Ministry of Public Security.

Even Blogspot is blocked FFS….then again, you get all manner of crap on there don’t you.

‘Holds ones hands up’

There is nothing that I can do about it to be fair, it’s a natural reaction, and it’s how I’m wired. I assume it’s an evolutionary trait and it appears I’m not the only one, as this interplay of objectification, internalisation and perpetuation which permeates society.

Hmmm I wonder if Zander are inflicted and affected as much by visual eye-candy.

You see unless I can tempt a nice Zander I’m looking at pastures new me thinks. I cannot quite put my finger on it but I’m not eager to get fishing at these club waters like I have done in the past with stretches of the Warwickshire Avon. I was so looking forward to get stuck in come the start of the season, now not so.

You only have to look at my Blog and the canal visits I’ve made of late….

It’s regularly matched fished you see, even in the winter as I’ve been finding out and there appears to be the need to fish lighter and lighter as the fish are not stupid, they wise up to anything that stands out. Small hooks, small baits is the way to fish it. I’m not a matchman and therefore cannot really comment on the ins and outs, but Barbel kept in keepnets doesn’t really sit right with me either to be fair and subsequently I’ve not had the enthusiasm to give them a proper go despite knowing there are decent specimens to be caught amongst the apparent large numbers of smaller fish.

Anyway back to the session apart from the lure rod, I’d also have a sleeper rod with me where I’d fish a running set-up with a deadbait to fish a margin or feature to try and increase my odds of picking up a fish or two.

With 5 swims already tried without a bite, it was on to the last swim. It was much shallower here which wasn't a good sign but heck might as well give it a go.The roach deadbait was positioned a couple of rod lengths out in front of a tree and within a few minutes after throwing the lure around the bobbin started to jump and the alarm sound.

A fish had taken the bait. After leaning in to it felt a decent too and with the initial run abated, eventually I got the glimpse of a big Zander. With ones heart now in one's mouth it was out with the landing net to prepare to land the fish.

It gave another run and then within the clear water I could see it hanging station and shaking its head. It eventually surfaced and I could see it in all its glory, and it was huge. Having caught some half decent ones now on the canal, it looked a 'good' double and despite not fishing that often for Zander on the river, this was a fish I didn't want to lose. Yeap, you guessed it....

Sadly that's what exactly happened because one last gasp run and a shake of the head, the fish was off.

Arrrrrrrrrrrrhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh !!!!!!!!!!!!! Noooooooooooooooooo !!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'd recast aanother bait rang the Wife to say I'm having another hour but despite the odd knock and tap it remained elusive.

Now we all question what happened but with Zander less so, they are difficult to hook at the best of times. My usual canal set-up is a 11ft 1.5 TC rod, but this was a 9ft 2.5 TC rod because you've always got a chance of a big Pike here, don't want to be undergunned so I'm thinking using the thin wire Sakuma Manta's that work so well on the canal with a soft rod might have not been the ideal hook for a much stiffer rod, maybe it was a hook pull when it gave the last powerful run.

Weirdly replaying it in ones head if I'd lost the fish on the canal I'd be more gutted but at least I know there are some good'uns here now and I might well renew my book after all.

I'll be back for it was soon as I can....


  1. Oh no ! There are a few sad tails of lost fish of late..... me included. Events like that remain with you, sometimes for years. Keep at it Mick it will come good mate.

  2. To be fair Martin your recent tale of woe was a bigger kick in the balls by the sounds of it. I've had more thinking time over the weekend and I'm now seeing it as a positive.

  3. Agonising stuff and unfinished business I'd say Mick!

    1. Cheers Sean, I'm making some rig adjustments to hopefully give me a better chance of landing it. To be honest it's given me more of a push to fish for river predators more often.

  4. Great blog! the Avon has some big zander ;) keep at it....

    1. all depends upon location, i find the Lower Avon has more Zeds, than upper, and i have seen more caught on baits, rather than lures.

  5. I thought that might be the case. I've not tried the lower in anger, maybe I should.

    1. from the upper biggest ive had is 8lb, from the lower, i've had 4 10lb+ a 13lb, and a 14lb, if you want doubles, lower avon is the place to go i'd say.

  6. As someone who doesn't want to join BAA, any tips welcome. Email me if u like, link at the top of the page.


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