Sunday, 29 September 2013

Upper Avon Perching

I had an afternoon pass out so plans were made to visit my local stretch of the Upper Warks Avon in search of Perch. It was the first time I had visited this season and the undergrowth was very heavy considering it was the end of September, more like June 16th............
A sorry situation in some ways as this stretch of the river seems to have lost its mojo over the past 3 years, when I first moved to Coventry in 2008 the river was a great stretch, Barbel were prominent and some swims were black with Chub at times but things have deteriorated over the last few years, the Barbel have seemingly moved on, the Chub are still there but in a more thinned out state so I have turned my attention to other species namely the Perch. I have caught them to 2lb 3oz which is a nice fish but I am sure that there are 3lb+ fish throughout the length to be caught which is my target weight. I shouldn't knock the fact that the stretch looked quiet and underfished, that is just the way I like it!
On my trek upstream to my chosen peg I noticed an awful thing, one of the swims on the stretch is a narrowing in the river, roughly 7-8 feet deep over gravel with prominent streamer weed, the far bank used to be adorned with willows that overhung the narrowing causing a haven for Chub and Roach (as I have caught them) and I was sure that Barbel would pass through at some stage as it looked right. Yesterday though I witnessed an abuse to the landscape, the far bank willows had all been cut to the ground, the far bank was now barren, flattened and featureless, the swim looked ugly and unwelcoming, it used to provide a nice private feeling due to the coverage provided on both banks but now that has gone, I am not sure who had done it or why, I originally thought an EA slash & burn team had passed through but no other swims looked affected, an act of vandalism in my mind without any specific purpose.
When I arrived at my chosen swim it was obvious that nobody had been cutting and slashing here, I love this swim as the river drops from 5 feet into 10 feet, a nice deep hole where I have caught many species of fish from. Over the course of the last few weeks willows had fallen over the river below the deep hole and due to the low flow and levels over the summer a huge raft had been created, the swim looked god damn tasty to say the least!

This swim had given me a few 4lb+ Chub in the past and now the large raft had formed I was hopeful that a few more would be lurking about beneath it now. Lobworm would be fished on the float with reg maggot as feed, first cast down the edge and the float was gone, a plump 10oz Perch was soon on the bank.
I had a few more further dips and knocks but nothing to strike at, I decided to then run the float into the hole from above my seating position instead of fishing down the edge, the first run through and the float was gone and another Perch roughly the same size as the first was landed, I didn't stand on ceremony with this fish as Pike was up its jacksi throughout the fight. I then took another 4 Perch running the float through and again the Pike was after them. I had the drop-shotting gear with me so I ran it through the swim a few times in an attempt to remove the Pike as it wouldn't be doing the fishing much good as it was obviously hungry but no takes were forthcoming so it was back on the float. The swim went very quiet then and it wasn't until dusk was upon the river that the final bite of the day came, a stutter take but the float eventually buried and the strike resulted in a decent fish pulling back, after a brief scrap the biggest Perch of the session was in the net, I guessed it to be about 1lb 4oz, not the 3lb fish I was after but an enjoyable session.
I do enjoy my Perch fishing but feel that the summer is clinging on by the skin of its teeth at the minute but cooler weather will no doubt be coming our way, the current forecast for this week is rain Tues-Thurs so hopefully the rivers will be in better condition and some Barbel fishing maybe on the cards, we will see......

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Not a lot to tell

I have found it quite frustrating on the Barbel front this season, fishing sessions across several rivers since June 16th and I haven't really found my groove where Barbus Barbus is concerned, yes we have had a few months without any real rainfall so low and clear rivers have been the mainstay but even a few sessions into dark have not yielded better results on a consistent basis.
My last three sessions out have been on the Warks Avon (x2) and the middle Severn.
The first Warks Avon outing was begun on the float with the usual hemp & caster combo, plenty of silver fish came my way and as usual a nice Pike grabbed one of the hooked Dace and led me a merry dance around the swim, I am quite looking forward to the pred fishing this winter on this stretch! As the float fishing came to an end (I usually fish a Barbel rod and hour before & after dusk on this stretch) I hooked the proverbial Barbus, it stayed deep and unmoving before swimming powerfully past me upstream, it then buried its head into a sunken reed bed before the 3.6lb hooklink snapped, the air turned blue.......I stayed put in that swim thinking I was in the right spot but the following 2 hours on Barbel gear resulted in just a solitary Chub.

The second session was with Josh and a mid-week quick fire job, we this time headed upstream with a lure rod in hand, I was using a drop shot rig and Josh was on a rubber 'thingy', he definitely has a thing for lures and lure fishing and his collection is getting as large as my own.......
Anyway it wasn't long before I hooked into a Perch about a pound, not a huge fish but I was happy that the method had given me a fish first time out.

Two sets of lost gear and a rain shower had us heading for the car but we had enjoyed it.

Yesterday saw me heading to the middle Severn, I didn't arrive until 6PM and the intention was to fish until midnight. Barbel were the quarry 100% this time and 2 rods were deployed, the upstream on a feeder and the downstream rod a lead/PVA bag.

 I was fishing by 6.45 and on dusk a few fish were moving giving me high hopes, they were to be false as by 11.30PM I was packing up without any signs of a fish.

I think the Barbel fishing will be put on the back burner until we get some decent rainfall, Perch maybe next on my list......