An angler's journal

An angler's journal

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Mixed Fortunes

Following the disappointment of my recent match exploits, I decided a bit of lure fishing would get me out and about. I arrived on the banks of the Warks Avon after work with the intention of throwing various lures into likely places for a Pike and perhaps a decent Perch. After about 15 minutes and two lost lures I managed to connect with a small Pike. A lovely little fish and a promising start. However in keeping with my performance in Evesham the previous weekend, more disappointment was to follow.

A promising start failed to materialise
Over the next 90 minutes I managed to hook and subsequently lose four more Pike. None of them were big although one of them did feel a bit heavier. It was terribly frustrating as I had obviously found the Pike willing to have a go and I was using the correct approach to provoke a response but I must have run over someone's cat on the way home from work.

 So moving to the weekend I had another match although this was a friendly affair for charity. I was on the Severn, fishing a stretch belonging to a private group. I was fortunate to be invited to join almost two years ago and I have gone on to meet some great people with access to a super stretch of river. It's a far cry from the draconian approach employed by the BAA. We have no rules since there's no need. The thirty or so members value what we have enough to look after it in a responsible manner so you'll see no litter, theft or other misuse. There's also a great bunch of people involved who are only too happy to help others in any way they can. Anyway, enough of me waffling on and onto the friendly match.
Eight of us arrived on the bank. Well actually it was seven as the eighth and more importantly, the person in charge of the draw arrived late. He had spent most of the week preparing some beautifully coloured cards complete with numbers from 1 to a rather optimistic two-digit number. The idea was that whoever picked one out could pick their own peg and so on. My luck had changed since I manage to fluke number one. I have to be honest and say I am still coming to terms with the stretch and have yet to find a peg that has had me rushing back to fish it again. With this in mind I chose an unfancied area that has only recently been made fishable. My logic was that with the current clear conditions it was most probably going to be tricky so with that in mind I thought I might as well struggle somewhere new and learn about a different area. I always go for the challenge and the least obvious since it makes successes far more rewarding.
Some nice Perch were very welcome
With a fair depth of water in front of me I opted for two groundbait swimfeeder lines. One down the middle and another a couple of rod lengths out. I was expecting most action to arrive down the middle but the first indication came on the near side rod. Soon my double maggot hookbait resulted in a Skimmer Bream of about 6oz. My groundbait feeder approach seemed to be working as a string of Perch averaging around 4-6oz followed, especially after I changed my quivertip to the lightest one I owned. I was getting bites but not catching quickly enough so I reckon I had a couple of pounds when we met up for the agreed half time cup of tea. Unexpectedly, it turned out my catch was good going with most people struggling. Before the break I had baited up with 5 balls of groundbait on the near line in the hope that the fish would remain in the area for the second half.
A string of Skimmer boosted my net
The second session resumed with 2.5 hours to add to my catch. I had a good start as a string of Skimmers found the net via a worm/maggot hookbait. I probably doubled my weight in the first 40 minutes of the afternoon session so things were going well. By now I had brought my other rod close in too to maximise my chances. However the heavier tip meant less bites were forthcoming although a few bonus fish were welcomed to the bank. I continued catching Perch and Skimmers until bites dried up through the last hour and I only managed a fish or two.
The scales finally arrived and resulted in just under 6lb although a few shenanigans meant some fish had fallen in and missed the weigh in. I managed to find three that probably amounted to 8-10oz but since everyone thought I'd walked it we ploughed on unconcerned. About half way down the stretch another decent net of Skimmers were brought to the bank and looked rather threatening. It weighed 6lb 4oz and started to get our appointed man with the scales sweating following his earlier amateurish performance. The angler conceded defeat in lieu of my missing fish although I was more than happy with the more amicable draw verdict. It didn't really matter given the circumstances so we able to chew the fat on what had been a successful day regardless of some tough conditions. With some of the group staying on to fish over the following days there have been some decent catches so I'll be looking to have a few sessions down there in the coming weeks. and perhaps connect with some of its larger inhabitants.  


  1. 2rods nobody said we could use 2 rods :-)

    Mother hen

  2. You probably don't want to know about the drift net then.