Des Tay­lor’s

Fish­ing the War­wick­shire Avon with my pal Wayne was like be­ing back in Ire­land

Angling Times (UK) - - WELCOME -

Diary of a Coun­try­man

MOST of the leaves have fallen now and the days are a lot shorter.

Tem­per­a­tures are fall­ing ev­ery day, but with mod­ern cloth­ing and a hot flask of cof­fee it’s still a plea­sure to be out on the bank.

I do a lot less guid­ing in the win­ter so that means more time for me over the next six months.

In fact I’ll be guid­ing less next year too be­cause I want to spend time achiev­ing a few per­sonal goals I still have in an­gling.

Here’s how my week went…

FRI­DAY

An evening’s perch fish­ing (sur­prise sur­prise!) from my boat, but I ended up spend­ing most of the time fix­ing things on it!

Keep­ing a boat is a hell of a com­mit­ment. Not only is it ex­pen­sive, it’s also very time- con­sum­ing, but at the mo­ment I am en­joy­ing do­ing some­thing dif­fer­ent. I love be­ing out on the boat. Some­times I just do a run up and down the river and ev­ery time it’s dif­fer­ent.

Ei­ther the wa­ter level has changed, the colour has changed, the veg­e­ta­tion has changed or just the weather has changed.

You can never get bored on a boat that’s for sure – at least I can’t!

SATUR­DAY

Drop shot­ting and float­fish­ing from the boat for perch. I caught about 20 of them, the best go­ing 2lb-plus, all on lures. I could have had a few more, but I’d promised the wife an early drink or three so I needed to get back nice and early.

I love the pe­riod when the crows and pi­geons are com­ing in to roost and the tip bends over as an­other perch takes the rub­ber – a magic day that ended with a few real ales and a nice chat in a busy, warm pub. I am do­ing a few guide days for perch this win­ter – any­one in­ter­ested can con­tact me on destay­lo­ran­gling888@gmail.com

It’s a great day out!

SUN­DAY

Took the jig­ging gear out. I need to work on my tech­nique but I am slowly but surely get­ting to grips with it.

I caught both perch and pike – no big fish but that was not my aim. It was all about hon­ing my skills so when I am on a big-fish wa­ter I can take full ad­van­tage.

Us­ing jigs at var­i­ous depths has big ad­van­tages over drop shot­ting, but it is harder to master if you want to be good at it.

There are so many dif­fer­ent weights and shapes of jig heads and, of course, so many rub­bers with var­i­ous ac­tions that all need to be worked dif­fer­ently.

TUES­DAY

Some­thing dif­fer­ent – a day’s bream fish­ing on the War­wick­shire Avon. Not big fish on bolt rigs and mini boilies, but on the tip, and us­ing worms tipped with a mag­got. Yes, I’d be ac­tu­ally strik­ing to hook my bream today!

It’s all part of my ‘I want to

strike’ cam­paign this sea­son. I am fed up of just reel­ing fish in that have hooked them­selves.

I fished with my Eve­sham friend Wayne Langston, who’s an ex­pert on the river.

We ar­rived at 8am, put about 10 balls of ground­bait into the swim

and then fished a feeder filled with ground­bait and a worm tipped with a mag­got on a size 12 Su­per Spe­cial­ist hook.

At first it was quite slow, which we put down to the first frost of the win­ter the day be­fore, but af­ter a hour we started get­ting line bites and then proper bream bites.

For me it was like be­ing in Ire­land all over again, and I have to say it was a re­ally en­joy­able ses­sion.

Catch­ing bream on the tip seems to have fallen out of favour with a lot of an­glers – the same as stick float fish­ing. I think it comes down to an­glers tak­ing the easy op­tion and fish­ing self-hook­ing rigs.

The fish we caught were beau­ti­ful spec­i­mens, true ‘bronze’ bream in great con­di­tion and, typ­i­cal of river bream, they ac­tu­ally fought! There’s some­thing special when you pick up the rod, hold it high and feel that tell-tale ‘thump’ on the tip that tells you it’s a bream. Then it kites across the flow us­ing its deep body as a rud­der, and it’s at this point you can eas­ily pull the hook out of the fish un­less you’re very care­ful.

We both missed a few bites and lost a cou­ple of fish but – and this sounds silly – that’s what I wanted from the day; the un­cer­tainty of the strike and not us­ing the most up-to-date fish­mon­ger­ing method.

When I drove back in the car that evening I felt as though I had fished well and worked for my fish. The tem­per­a­ture had dropped as I drove in the dark, but the heater was on full and I was a warm and happy an­gler.

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