An angler's journal

An angler's journal

Monday, 22 December 2014

Back on the bank

It seems ages since I last posted following a chaotic few weeks. With Christmas fast approaching, some unwanted news and a hectic time at work; my fishing has been taking a back seat. A Pike blank followed by a Barbel blank had seen me struggle on an ever-changing river that has seen its level and temperature rise and fall almost daily.
This heron summed up the last few weeks

Today was to be my final attempt before Christmas. I had my heart set on Perch although the river conditions were not favourable. The Severn was out the question with it being bank high and coloured. The Warks Avon had fallen to around normal level for this time of year and the colour was dropping out too. These conditions would give me a chance but I hadn't factored in the blustery conditions that met me at the river. It almost immediately ruled out my preferred float tactics meaning I had to opt for a maggot feeder approach. However, this wasn't straightforward as the wind played havoc with the quivertip. The first cast saw three maggots on a size 14 hook cast towards a large fallen tree. I hoped it might provide cover for a prowling Perch or Chub but the only movements on the rod were prompted by the gusts. On retrieving my second cast I noticed what I thought was a leaf on the hook. On closer inspection it was a fish albeit small and I suspected a minnow. However, once on the bank I was surprised to see a Bullhead hooked fair and square. It was a first for me having never caught one on rod and line before so it was an unusual way to start proceedings.

An unusual way to get off the mark
Soon after, I decided to move a little way downstream to a nice looking crease. I missed a bite almost immediately but my new position saw me hopelessly exposed to the elements. A positive bite saw me bring a small Chub to the bank before an even smaller one followed suit. By now I was starting to get cold so I moved again to fish the same area from a more sheltered spot. The feeder produced a Gudgeon, which in my experience usually means there's not much else in the swim so I changed tactics to concentrate on the slacker water near the bank. Here the bank was a mooring area and the vertical  concrete bankside provided perfect Perch territory. I had a dropshot rod in my armour so decided to give a small replica minnow the chance to see if any Perch were present. I had a pluck early on and 5 minutes later I hooked a fish. A nice looking Perch rose to the surface and had me reaching for the net when a final head shake threw the hook and the fish was lost. With confirmation that I had finally found Perch, I decided to float fish worm. However, apart from a small pluck the swim was suddenly devoid of Perch, which I assumed had been spooked following the lost fish. One more move proved fruitless and before I knew it dusk had arrived and the window of opportunity had slammed firmly shut. It was a little disappointing in the end, especially after finding some Perch and then missing my chance but that's fishing. Now attentions turn to Christmas so on that note I hope everyone has a great break and thank you for all the visits over the past year.


  1. That's the lesser spotted walrus bullhead, a treat to see!

    Have a good break.