Fishing the Warwickshire Avon with my pal Wayne was like being back in Ireland
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…
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!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s a great day out!
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.
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.