An angler's journal

An angler's journal

Monday, 5 August 2013

A lean spell

I have managed four sessions since my last update, all on the Warwickshire Avon. Just before my first visit a little extra river had pushed the levels up by a few inches. However, upon my arrival I was greeted by a busy car park and my first choice pegs were already taken. However, I find that many of the pegs are quite similar so I wasn't too irked. Unfortunately, those next few hours were very uneventful without a single bite so my second blank of the season had been recorded. In fact apart from a solitary chub, all the anglers struggled so the slight increase had made no difference to the quality of fishing.

No barbel despite the text book conditions
This chub saved the day
Within a few days we had some more significant rainfall and this resulted in the river rising by about 2ft. Surely this was what the barbel were waiting for to kick start there feeding spree? I found the whole stretch to myself so I decided on a mobile approach, baiting three swims and trying them in turn before settling in my favourite until dusk. Again, the conditions, which looked ideal failed to produce any barbel and I was grateful for a chub to save a consecutive blank.

The best chub of the session.
With the river still carrying some extra water two days later I headed further upstream in the hope of finding some barbel. Again I tried an area that has been kind this season but relocated after an hour. Finally, I found some fish. Fishing with two rods, one baited with pellet, the other with meat a chub of about 2lb was the first to find its way to the bank. Soon after an eel of over a pound snaffled the meat bait and added to my increasing tally of eels this season. Three more chub were landed, all on the meat rod with the best going just over 4lb. The last few sessions have really seen the nights start to draw in with almost complete darkness by 10pm. Just as I was packing up the rod finally registered one more bite. The fish moved upstream before the hook pulled. It didn't feel like a barbel but I'll never know. I did stick it out for a further 20 minutes but the swim had died with the lost fish. However, four chub and an eel was a reasonable result given the struggles of late.

Then came the final session of the week. A trip to Bidford weir at first light. It was still dark when I arrived and I was full of optimism. The swirling currents of the weir pool was sure to hold a barbel or chub willing to feast itself on my tasty offerings. My main plan was to float fish sweetcorn with hemp feed but with darkness still present as I set up I could not resist a big lump of luncheon meat cast in to the steady water of the weir run off. A few taps almost immediately alerted me to the presence of a fish before a more noticeable bend triggered a strike. It met with thin air and in retrospect I had been too hasty. A recast saw no more attention and by now day's first beams of light had revealed a beautiful dawn and a great setting.

This peg had all the ingredients
Before starting my trotting I couldn't resist a bit of rolling meat, a method that has been good to me this season. But despite exploring quite a few areas no fish seemed to find it appealing. I then spent the rest of the morning trotting my float down the run. Not a single bite resulted despite reducing my hook to a size 16 to 3.2lb, as low as I dared go given I wanted to land anything considerable that I may have hooked. By now it was 11am and as a last resort I tried feeder fished corn and pellet and cast a piece of meat to a fishy looking area or two but again I could not elicit a response. It was a disappointing end to a session that had promised much. By midday I was feeling the effects of waking up at 4am so packed up with my tail between my legs. What made it all the more disappointing was the fact I had tried several methods and approaches rather than just sitting there and hoping. However, the area just seemed devoid of fish. I'm sure it wasn't but feeding on my offerings didn't appear to be on their agenda. But as always, I'll move on to the next session and the promise of better things to come.

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