Friday, 29 January 2010

Pike, Warks Avon

Do not be misled by this sunny, warm looking photo. A northerly wind made for a pretty uncomfortable session chasing Pike. This backwater on the Warwickshire Avon is a real hotspot for old Esox and yet again it did not disappoint. A 6lb 12oz fish took a Lamprey section first cast and led me to believe I was in for a bumper day. Fishing is never that straight forward though and four hours and one missed run later, I could feel the cold gusts going straight through my five jumpers.
I was just considering calling it a day when the Roach dead bait attracted a bite. I struck into thin air but my enthusiasm was renewed. Same Roach cast to the same spot and within minutes it was off again. This time there was no mistake and the rod thumped over with a fish on. A spirited fight and she was in the net. A 15lb 11oz immaculate specimen.
One more run and the hook pulled so I quit while I was ahead and went home to warm up.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Pike, River Wye

A sharp ground frost, the sun trying to break through the early morning mist, it had all the feel of a Pike session, only without the Pike. The river Wye did not play ball and it was no great shock as it was racing along and full of colour.  My brother and I had felt confident but that gradually waned as the day went on and we tried several different baits and swims, all to no avail. That's why they don't call it "catching"!

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Chub, Warks Avon

January 12th. What a week, my second child, my first son, Max is born on the 4th January at 2.15pm and the worst snow for more than two decades hits the Midlands. Even if I had wanted to get down the river it would not have been possible and the banks would have been too dangerous. More than a week after the happy event and with snow still everywhere I felt confident enough to leave the kids indoors and have a quick afternoon session locally on the Warwickshire Avon.
Arriving just after 12.00pm the car park was empty and there were no other anglers in sight. No great shock and I love having the river to myself. The half a mile walk to the swim I fancied warmed me through and with the river at normal winter level I felt confident. A cheese paste attack was launched across river just short of the overhanging Willows and I poured a brew. I did not have to wait long before the right hand rod wrapped round and I was in to the first Chub of the day. 4lb 12oz, a good fish for the Avon. Good start.
It turned out to be a false dawn and a series of frustratingly unhittable twitches followed between periods of inactivity. The next lunge on the tip of the rods came when a flock of 30 Canadian Geese did a low level display and caught the line. No harm done, reeled in, rebaited and recast. Within 20 minutes a pair of Swans did exactly the same. Swans must be very short sighted and one of them wrapped up both lines and took off upstream. I pulled for a break and freed both rods from the offending Swan so it was clear to get on it's way. Luckily one of the rigs was still intact but the other needed completely setting up again.
I checked the intact rig and recast. I then started to set up the other rod and was just about to tie the hook on when I noticed a twitch on the other rod. Upon striking there was a solid resistance and a 5lb 2oz Chub was played to the net. No more bites came in the next half hour so I packed up.
A cracking brace in sub zero temperatures and I went home a happy angler.

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Chub, Warks Avon

January 2nd, 2010.
The first outing of the year, actually decade! The overnight temperature was -4% and the Warwickshire Avon had an extra 18 inches of water running in it which was melted snow. Conditions that are not ideal but a sunny morning meant a pair of optimistic anglers(Welsh Simon was with me) made their way to the Marlcliff section of the river. The banks were still frozen which is preferable on this section as the steep pegs can be dangerous when they are muddy and slippy. A body-warming 25 min walk and we reached the pegs we fancied. They were free as expected, there was only one other angler on the whole stretch, a piker fishing the swim in the car park.
Cold, coloured water meant the only fish likely to feed was Chub and a smelly bait was required to tempt him from his sanctuary under the far willows, Cheese paste. The rig was a simple, running leger with a two foot hooklength, 8lb line and a size 8 Owner paste hook. The point of the hook left exposed or the paste would bounce out of the Chub's cavernous mouth.
The rigs were cast out and the 20z leads finally settled in the strong flow. The steep bank of my swim meant there was no place for a chair so I sat on the bank. The ground was still frozen and gradually I could feel my arse going numb so put my unhooking mat down instead and that felt much warmer.
An hour later and not much had occured. I had checked the baits several times. Cheese paste is an "is it on still?" kind of bait. The Chub love it though so if there is no action within 20 minutes of casting I will recast. More often than not there is no bait left on but that is due to it pulling off when you reel in.
Another cast and a little tap tap on the tip, strike, fish on! But as soon as I feel it the hook pulls. 'Didn't feel big' I tell myself. Over and over, until I actually believe it too. Numbs the hurt of a lost fish.
Two hours later and finally another bite, a big pull followed by the tip bouncing violently back, all of which I am not ready for and miss completely. Five minutes later the tip does it again and this time I am ready for it and it's fish on. Everything goes to plan and a big pair of lips slides over the landing net. 4lb 6oz of pristine Chub and the day is complete. Simon comes down to assist the weigh in and photos. A lack of action means he has already packed up and so I follow suit.
The Piker in the car park has blanked. Maybe he should have walked a bit or maybe that would have made no difference, he'll never know.

Friday, 1 January 2010


A warm welcome to my angling diary and a happy new year to all. I am using this diary to keep a record of all my angling trips(including any blanks!) both for my own reference and hopefully for the entertainment of others. It will be an honest and open account of the highs and the lows of my 2010 fishing year and also the tactics used and the venues visited.

I will give you a bit of background about myself. I like to think of myself as an all round angler but admit to barely fly fishing. I caught the fishing bug at the age of eleven but as is typical of lots of young men, found pubs and girls were good at the age of 16 and fishing took a back seat for 14 years. Four and a half years ago the addiction was re-ignited and the flames have billowed ever since.
I am married with a three year old girl and a new born son and work full-time so am restricted on time but will venture out once a week. I am also the Chairman of a 'fun' fishing club which has a specimen fishing competition amongst other things and that is what I like to do best, catch big fish.All details at

2010 is going to be an interesting year for me, juggling fishing around a wife and two kids for a start, and also trying to achieve all the targets we anglers always set ourselves. My ambitions for this year are a 20lb Pike, an English Catfish and a Spanish 100lber, a 10lb Tench, 14lb Barbel and a 2lb Roach. Sounds like a lot but we have to aim high(and keep it almost achieveable).