An angler's journal

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Spinning and an interesting conversation

I found myself with an unexpected opportunity to go fishing on Sunday which saw me on the bank at around 4.30pm. With the Warks Avon painfully low and clear despite some recent rain I knew any hopes of barbel would be slim. It didn't prevent me from putting a few droppers of pellet in a likely looking spot but I had other plans. I felt that a spot of lure fishing might see me grab a fish or two so the plan was to give it a go and then try for a barbel during the last hour or so of light.

I tackled up with a light spinning rod coupled with a soft rubber bait. After a few cast I got the lures working really well and it looked very realistic however I could not tempt any pike into a follow. I know the area pretty well and also know there's a pike or two to be found there. As a result, I decided to change to a bog standard spinner bait. Within a few cast the rod hooped round and I was into a pike. It wasn't a huge fish but on the light rod it gave a good account of itself as it surged for the near bank cover.

This 'Jack Pike' was very welcome 
I tried a few more casts before deciding to move on to a new area. First cast resulted in a chub of around a pound that demonstrated its predatory instincts. Eventually, I gave up and settled down in my barbel peg. It's now very noticeable how cool it gets once the sun sets. Autumn is just around the corner and it's probably my favourite season to be outdoors experiencing nature's changes. Unsurprisingly, no barbel bite came but I did have a rather interesting conversation with a polish walker. He was very keen to chat, telling me stories of his angling past in Poland and Italy, where he lived for five years. He asked me about the fish in the Avon before the conversation moved on to taking fish. He asked me if I always returned the fish and looked a bit disbelieving when I said yes because of course, in Poland it is customary to take fish for the pot. I explained that UK anglers are fearful that with pressures such as otters and cormorants then people taking fish would only make matters worse and we would be left with no fish in our waterways. He was very interested in what I had to say and asked about permits. I explained that the BAA offered day tickets or annual membership and he could find out more at the tackle shop in Evesham. I appreciate that anglers with a foreign accent are often castigated and in some cases it is justified although plenty of 'home grown' anglers are guilty of flouting the rules too. However, I also believe that conversations like that can make a difference. I hope that if the man decides to fish the Avon he would buy a permit and understand why we believe it is important to return fish. Perhaps the conversation made a difference? Of course, it may have been lip service but education is surely better than conflict?

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