Sunday, 28 October 2012

A cold Avon afternoon

I had a window of opportunity to fish last Friday lunchtime through to dusk, the local upper Warks Avon was the chosen venue and with the dip in temperatures predators would be the chosen quarry. I started in a swim where I had been told by a couple of club members about a large Perch that had been spotted, its lair was right beneath the bank in an undercut amongst a large bankside tree's roots, nice!  That may have been a tough enough start but the location of the swim also meant that the cast would have to be made from below the lair and aimed back upstream so the bait dropped on the front door mat of the Perch's place, the fact also that the swim was directly under the bank meant that I would not be able to too get too close to the rivers edge. I used a simple 1 SSG on a short link and 6lb straight through to a strong size 8 with a lobworm impaled on it. The first cast wasn't a bad one and it seemed to settle in the right area, after 15 minutes without a tap I reeled in to re-cast to find that I was firmly snagged.......I ended up pulling for a break and having to set up again, not a great start. The second cast did bring some interest to the tip in the form of rattles and taps but after another 15 minutes without a firm take I decided a move was on the cards, the big stripey under the tree would have to wait for another day but I will not forget about her!
I then moved downstream about 200 yards into a usual peg that I fish for the resident Perch, a float rig was fished in the margin into 9 feet of slack water and a small black cap containing red maggot and chopped worm was cast to the far side still into about 9 feet, both rigs had lobworms on the hook. I had interest on the float from the word go but a series of missed bites and chewed lobbies told me that they were not the larger Perch I was seeking. Both lines then went very quiet so about 4pm I thought about putting a Pike rod over to the far bank so I swapped out the feeder for a Pike rod, the sardine had literally been in the river for 5 seconds when the float was twitching and bobbing it's way upstream, I gave it a few seconds before striking and was into a fish, a short tussle and a jackie about 4lb was in the bag, at least it had saved the blank!

 
 

I gave the Pike rod a further half an hour in another spot but no interest was registered, back to the feeder rod for the anticipated feeding spree towards dusk. As dusk approached the swim and surrounding river did come to life (as it usually does) and I was hopeful of some action but it didn't happen, I don't know why but that's fishing hey! Until the next time.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Reservoir Predators

The plan for the weekend was a river session on the Dove for Predators but rain on the Weds,Thurs and Fri put paid to that after other anglers I knew who fished the river were reporting high coloured water and large amounts of drifting weed.......plans had to be changed.
So the change had to be from running water to stillwater, a reservoir was chosen on a club card and by Sunday lunchtime we were on our way. The car park had 6 cars in it but luckily the anglers present were fairly spread out and the area I fancied was quiet so happy days, a couple of jack Pike were clearly evident in the margins so Josh hastily set his lure rod up and had a cast or three, they looked but didn't chase, seemingly lethargic and soaking up the (quite warm for the time of year) suns rays, never mind there is plenty of time yet.
A deadbait rod for the Pike was set up alongside a float leger as I fancied a crack at the Perch over the marginal shelf into 14ft of water. The Pike rod held a sardine 2 feet off bottom and the float rod was fishing a worm and red maggot cocktail with chopped worm balled in over the top along with red maggots sprayed every ten minutes. The day past uneventfully on the fishing front for the first couple of hours and I began to think that we should have visited a river after all but fished for Barbel instead of preds, no, the decision was made and we have the dusk period to look forward to ...............I then swapped out the size 12 hook for the dendro and re-tied on a size 8 for a juicy lobworm to be impaled onto, time for a big stripey says I!  Ten minutes after the lob was cast out I had a bite, and missed it, I then proceeded to have a bit a cast for the next 4 cast, I missed them all, what was I doing wrong?  The deadbait bung then bobbed once and sunk, I shouted Josh as I wanted him to have the run but as he picked the rod up the bung reappeared, he hovered over the rod for ten minutes without any further indication so the rod was reeled in, upon retrieving the bait it had a small hole in it's flank and its stomach was hanging out, no teeth marks at all, there are no crayfish known to be in this water so I suspect an eel as they are known to inhabit the water, truth is we will never know so a fresh bait was cast out with 'baited' breath......
It was on sitting back down to concentrate on the float rod when I actually hit a bite, after a brief scrap a Perch could be seen in the clear margins trying to gain it's freedom, I hastily netted the fish as I was aware that several sets of eyes with teeth could be watching proceedings and maybe getting ideas!  The fish was brilliantly marked with blood red fins and weighed in at 1lb 10oz, a nice start.

 
1lb 10oz Percius

 


I had just re-casted the float rod when the Pike bung sunk and didn't resurface so Josh was in! He wound down until he felt resistance then slowly but firmly pulled the hooks home, after a brief scrap a jack Pike of about 4lbs was in the net.

Josh with his snapper

This fish had fresh marks on the top and bottom of it's head where another larger Pike had obviously tried to nail it quite recently, a 4lb Pike is a bit big for a bait but a good sign that the larger Pike are there in this water.
 
Fresh wounds


After returning the Pike I was quickly in again on the float and this fish felt better than the last one, surely enough after a slightly harder scrap I saw a larger Perch fighting away in the clear margins, again I didn't mess about and got the fish into the net ASAP especially when I saw the hook just holding in the scissors! After netting the hook dropped out so there was my piece of luck for the day, on the scales she went 2lb 11oz.

2lb 11oz Percius
 
 

We fished on into the dusk period but no further bites were forthcoming, there were plenty of small fish dimpling the surface heading to dusk and some of them looked harassed so I suspect the Perch lifted from the bottom and started to hit the smaller fish on the surface, something I will think about on my next visit.

Monday, 1 October 2012

Vulcan on the Wye

The early part of the week had been wet and lot's of rivers were very very high and probably unfishable so the car was pointed down to the Wye again after results from recent trip's had been pretty good. The river was around 2 feet up and coloured when we arrived, not quite as high as the two previous sessions but it looked good for a few Barbs.
The first couple of hours passed without anything of note happening, Josh found it highly amusing transferring most of the Wye bank mud onto his body!


The first sign of life came to the inside rod that was fishing a small piece of pepperami, the result was a Chub about 4lbs that wasn't the target species although it was welcome. Around 5pm a jet was heard, at first I thought it was an RAF jet but they are not usually seen during the weekend, it soon became apparent that it was indeed an ex-RAF jet, it was one of the most impressive, a Vulcan! The pilot took the bomber over our heads then along the river towards Ross-On-Wye before applying the gas and pulling the stick back, he then appeared over the hill behind us flying vertically whilst performing a left hand roll, most impressive but the herd of 50 cows in the field in front of us were not impressed! It seems that the bomber was performing fly pasts over many places that had produced it's parts when in production, Birmingham, Coventry and Staverton airports all seeing the mighty delta wing on Saturday - http://www.thisisgloucestershire.co.uk/Avro-Vulcan-XH558-bomber-fly-Gloucestershire/story-17004244-detail/story.html

As darkness descended I recast several times to get some bait down on the deck but it wasn't until 7.30pm when the U/S rod folded over and a good fish pulled back, several times the fish stripped line from the clutch when the net was in sight and eventually a good fish was landed and weighed at 9lb 3oz, not my biggest off the Wye but very welcome.

 
 
Not long after the fish was returned a huge bright moon appeared over the hill behind us and lit the valley up, not exactly great conditions in my experience but we gave it until 8.45pm before we packed up and headed back to Coventry.