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Sunday, 11 December 2011

Continuing to catch up .....

I prayed and prayed for rain but it never came, in fact it still hasn't arrived yet well I say that its raining as I type . As we all know we need alot of rain to replace the water that we have lost and the odd shower here and there simply will not suffice.

As I mentioned in my last post, the foot bridge that crosses the river at Saxon mill had been shut since spring and so I gave the river a miss . Not just because the bridge was closed but also due to the lack of rain, the abundance of weed and having little fishing time . There is only so much carp fishing I can do though and before long I found myself revisiting a little spot on my local river Blythe to investigate the river level .

The spot I fish is a free spot at the back of the barston lakes and golf club known as packhorse bridge. The river arc round and flows away under the west coast main line bridge . I describe the area as a spot as there are no set pegs and not much room to fish in and two people would make it crowded. The photo shows the river with water on it at the begining of the year and you can see that the current flows at a strange angle in to adeep pool under the bridge . I like to fish the pool with lobworms on a light one swan shot rig and bounce the worm around in the flow so that it settles in the deep hole. 1lb 9oz perch on an autumn eve.
During several very short sessions after work (literally an hour before dark) I managed some lovely perch and a chub of 3lbs. All the fish fell to worms in the pool and my best perch from there was 1lb 9oz's . I love this type of angling and the fact that bit is free and overlooked by everyone makes it even better.

A 1lb 30z perch from my pool swim.

A 3lb chub that also took a liking for my lobworms .

Every now and again I would pop by the mill and check the progress of the bridge. Each time however I was met with the same answer and even worse a note from the council saying that the bridge would be closed until December . One warm afternoon my better half and I popped down for a slurp at the mill pub and I was amazed to see gleaming in the sunshine a brand new bridge .... I could barely contain my excitement and whooped with joy ( much to the mrs embarressment ) and skipped off to inspect the craftsman ship of the wonderful bridge joiners.

I took the camera and crossed the new bridge to take a photo as she shone in the golden autumn sunshine . We decided to have a mooch on the upstream stretch and see how over grown it was. My happiness turned to shock horror when as we walked through the undergrowth I found my beloved stretch and been used as a bin by some shit for brains.

These pictures show the worst of the litter I found and as I looked further there had been fires and god knows what else going on. I drove home a very ngry man . I had not been able to get in to my stretch of river but some one had been getting on it fro the old milverton side. They had picked a specific tree as a dumping ground and when I returned the next day I filled two black bags with lager cans, barbeques and crisp packets.

As an angler and nature lover I find it hard to comprehend how or why any one could do this to such a beautifull historic place . The cans must of built up over time which showed it was a habit of the prats to throw them in to the same place on each visit. They had even tied bags full of cans to tree branches which could of been a death trap to wildlife .Why oh why!!!!!

Now a new beautifull bridge was in I was free to fish my little heart out back on my wonderful stretch of river . I had so many plans for this place this year and so much bank clearing I wanted to do . Next year I will be cutting a path up to th top meadows and making the bank more accessible to anglers .

The river barely see's any anglers as far as Im aware yet offers such beauty and so many fish. As far as big fish go I am not sure what its potential is as I have not had enogh time to fish it with any kind of plan . There are shoals of dace and roach and plenty of chub as well , also I have seen some large carp in both the up and down stream stretches.

We shall see what it has soon I hope........

Barry Peck

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Catching up....

Well what a non starter of a year it has been for me personally. You name it, it has happened at some point this year . Angling time has been at a premium until the last couple of months as things settle down and normal service is resumed .

Blue bells in the woods of stoneleigh.

As time has been limited through the summer most of my fishing has been short carp sessions either stalking or surface fishing . As a member of the Leamington Angling Association I have access to some decent carp waters . I chose to concentrate on jubilee pools at ryton . The back pool or horseshoe as it is known is a prolific surface and margin fishing pool and it offers very good sport.

A margin caught mirror of 17lb 9oz from Holt pool worcestershire.

The horseshoe lake on a Summers morning.

The water clarity on this pool is extremley good and it can make for some very exciting fishing , in fact quite regularly very large carp can be seen cruising up and down the margins. Every time I fished the pool this summer I caught carp sometimes quite a few. The bait of choice this summer for me was mini marshmallows with a little betaine on them to add sweetness. The use of the sweets as bait came about after my daughter bought me some as a joke to try and and I caught five carp in a morning on them. As well as being very easy to hide a hook in they are also very easy to see at range which I find helps my confidence.

A margin caught common from the point on horseshoe.

I like the point swim on horseshoe (so does every other bugger) as the water shallows in the margins and the carp come past very frequently. I set a trap in the margin and had several carp up 13lb . The lack of rain this summer has been a real pain and water levels at the pools is down consdierably which has not helped with the margin fishing but not made it too much of a chore.

Peg 23 in 'No carp corner'

As well as my exploits on the horseshoe pool I also had a plan to set a margin trap on the Island pool. My peg of choice on this lake was number 23 in the area known as no carp bay . I had noticed some carp of a large size feeding in the margin next to the platform on this peg several times. Each time I visited the pools I would sneak up to the peg and trickle in a handful of micro pellets and a couple of prawns . One warm dull Wednesday morning I decided the time was right and went around to try my plan . As I crept around to the back of the peg I noticed three large carp slurping away at the surface next to the bush to the right of the peg . Two of the fish were very large commons and possibly pushing twenty ponds in weight. The third of the fish was a light coloured mirror. I hastily stripped the margin rig off the line and tied on a hook to free line. The bait was the afforementioned marshmallow and I crawled in to postition so that I may dap the bait on to the surface film .

No sooner had the bait touched the suface than it was engulfed and a strong fish bored of deep in to the lake . I had no idea which fish I was attached to but it felt heavy and powerful as it plodded off purposely. I was just thinking what a cunning bastard I was when the rod sprung back and the fish was gone .Ho hum I said !!!!!. On inspection the line had parted and when I checked it was quite worn along its length which I put down to the battering it had been receiving on the back pool by the tiger like small commons.

I retreated behind the bramble bush at the top of the bank and waited to see if the fish would return to the sanctuary of the overhanging bush to the right of the swim . As I waited I stripped back several metres of line and checked for damage then tied on another hook. Within minutes the carp were back and feeding on the surface again . This time just two, a common and a mirror . A mini mallow was attched and the dapping proccess repeated . This time the bait was taken by the light coloured mirror and after a spirited unrushed fight I had her on the mat.

13lb 6oz and a sweet tooth.

I returned her and then decided not to push my look with the fish and to head off to the horsehoe for some surface sport. Before I left I spread a couple of handfuls of pellet and some king prawns in to the margin for another look may be later in the day.

On the way back to the car I dropped back in to peg 23 and was amazed to see the margin well and trully clouded as carp were tearing up the bottom. Tails broke the surface as they fed a foot from the bank. I attached a piece of peacock quill with a float rubber and moulded a lump of tungsten putty 2 feet from the hook to keep the line down . The air crackled with anticipation as I lowered the whole contraption down in to the mucky water and crept on my knees in to a waiting position . I had hooked a large chunk of king prawn as bait and sat back to wait. After around ten minutes the quill twitched then snaked across the surfce and out of site .I set the hook and bent in to a heavy fish . Again the fight was slow and heavy and I new I had hooked a good carp . After I while she was ready for the net and when she finally gave up I slipped the net under a lovely thick dark common . The fish was one of the three I had spotted earlier that day and on the scales she went 18lb 12oz . Fantastic and what a splendid looking fish.

I left a happy man and as I drove home I looked longingly to the sky . I craved to be on the river at my beloved mill but due to the footbridge being shut I was stumped . I also prayed for rain and for barbel and chub..........

To be continued

Tight lines for now.

Barry Peck

Thursday, 7 April 2011

April the 1st

Just a quick line to say that I managed an afternoon on April fools day and caught a steady string of tench. The venue again was ryton pool in search of the big carp .The pool was empty and there were a few carp showing however they once again eluded me ,may be I need to try harder!!! I had six tench in a fairly short spell all between 3lb and 4lb 2oz . Two of the 3lbers were grabbed on the way in by an enormous pike certainly over 20lb in weight.The first tench was very damaged and I unhooked it in the water and wished it all the best .The second was only scuffed slightly so I took a picture to show the bite mark of the fearsome beast. All the best Baz 4lb 2oz and my first self take !!! hahaha!!!

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

March madness

2lb 14oz of spring tench!!!
Once again today I ventured back to see the mistress.Having been busy at the early part of the week I new there was a lul in work imminent and prayed last night that it would coincide with the predicted warm spring day that was forecast.

Last night I prepared the tackle and bait and had it all ready in the front room.The morning was spent around the house doing various bits of house work. I call it " preparing the case for the defence" thus legitamising my time spent idley by the pool, when really I could of been doing some form of work!!.

11 o'clock came and my work phone lay pleasantly quiet ,so I loaded up the car and headed out through the Warwickshire countryside .The weather was amazing and I had the windows of the car down so as to absorb the maximum aroma that nature had to offer me after what seemed and always does seem a cold suffocating Winter.I arrived at the pool and was the only angler lucky enough to be free of the shackles of work on such a beautiful day .The pool was empty and I scanned the waters surface for signs of anything fishy .I opted to go around to the beach on the far side of the pool away from public and well and truly in to the warming rays of sun .

My plan was to fish both rods on solid pva bags and rove them around the bay .There were signs of fish all day and at one point a group of small commons bustled their way across the swim warming their backs in the sun.

After several very comfortable hours one of the rods was away and I hooked in to what felt like a tench .It zigged and zagged around the swim and gave a very spirited account of its self,unfortunatley the hook pulled and I cursed for all of a second .Never mind bag reloaded and punched out to the bay I leant back to enjoy the pleasant warmth of the day.

It was a day that made you feel truly lucky to be alive. And one that you should grasp with both hands in case of the return of cold weather and low temperatures.As well as seeing several buzzards over head I was amazed to see a red kite circle low over the pond .I have never seen them in Warwickshire before and so felt priviledged to do so .As well as the renewed abundance of wildlife the was also a renewed abundance of lady joggers and summery clad ladies present today .As I admired from a far one particular young lady in a short denim skirt the alarm burst in to life .After a careful fight I was pleased to slip my huge net under a small tench .Another species for the challenge and the perfect end to a wonderful day .I packed up prematurely really and made it home in time to feed the cat put the tea on and retrieve a full line of dry washing .

As I left a very large carp smshed out on to the surface along the no fishing margin of the bay .I could clearly see it was a huge common and was probably also feeling alive again after the clostrophobic cold of winter.

Two sessions ,two runs ,one fish that is the best start I have ever had on Ryton and in March as well.



Monday, 21 March 2011

Super moon ??

Across the bay (no dogs allowed)

The super moon arrived Saturday night and my other half set about burning sage and various other bizarre things which included me drinking half a glass of spring water that was left out all night shrowded in bits and pieces to attract the moonlight .The moral of the story is "I will try anything once except morris dancing and incest!!" .If it could improve my catch rate it must be worth a try.

My plan for Sunday morning was to head back to the old mistress (ryton park pool).I had been visiting it more and more and as the weather is getting better there are some signs of fish moving.This was compounded on Saturday evening when I saw an angler net a tench.

Full of moon beams I set about getting another carp campaign off the ground .I am trying to stick to two approaches early doors so as not to confuse myself.Out went a chod rig and a solid pva bag .Both cast a fair distance in to the shallow bay area.

To cut a long story short apart from the odd liner the day was fish less much as I expected .However during the morning I was amazed to see at around 60yards out over my bait ,not a carp not a tench but a rhodesian ridge back !!!!!!

The dog was in hot pursuit of the resident phsycotic swan and I watched in awe as he swam and swam after it .Indeeed I even sat back and lit the stove up and made a cup of tea as it continued in its quest.The owner was no where to be seen and the dog had now virtually reached the island which is some distance from the disabled corner where its mission began.The swan which in years gone by had been such a dominant and indeed merciless character now looked bothered.Occasionally the swan would stop and hiss ,but the dog did not flinch .I poured my tea and awaited the arrival of the owner and eventually the shout of "bo bo"! went out. All be it half heartedly .After several more shrieks the dog turned from the front of the isalnd and began to head back towards the sanctuary of my beachy swim .

I was now looking at the dog head on as it majestically swam across the pond like a canine torpedo .Its teeth glinted in the morning sun .The owners calls now became more frequent and high pitched which in turn seemed to stir the dog in to some sort of panic .It was now baring down on my beach and looking very dunkirkesque .The shear size of this creature became evident as it now scrambled in to the shallows staring deep in to my eyes .It was at this point the dog (an estimated 10stones in weight) with a head like an anvil ran towards me ."I broke wind at and froze to the spot!!!! ".At the last minute the dog veared left and up the hill away from me .

THANK GOD !!!!!!

Tight lines


Saturday, 12 March 2011


Just a quick line or two to announce that I after several attempts managed to catch my first pike by design today.

I popped down to a little fished part of the Warwickshire Avon and managed to catch not one but two pike in a morning session .It was an itch that needed scratching and it has managed to get me my new pb .The one with the scales in the picture went 9lb 8oz and the one with the float and rod in the picture went 14lb 2oz.Apologies for the piss poor photos but my camera packed up so I had to use my phone.

Also I can add another species to the chart.


Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Solihull Throop??

Today I had yet more time on my hands and really needed to get some fish in the net after three blanks on the trot.Yesterday afternoon whilst returning from work I decided to pop in and have a look at acouple of free fishing venues.One being a little weedy pool which contains literally allsorts from goldfish to chub .The other an irrigation pool set out in the wilds of the borough of solihull.I have yet to fish it and so have no idea as to what lies beneath ,it is literally a crater at the top of a field and is very small indeed .As I walked around it yesterday (i could of jumped across it literally) I noticed some bubbles despite the bitter wind and rain.I will keep this one for another day for now.

Back to the weedy little pool that lies on the edge of the village of Hampton in arden.Along side the pool runs a very narrow stream like stretch of the river Blythe .The river is in its infancy here and very close to its source .On this free piece ( it only has two pegs tops)there is a deep hole that forms under a railway bridge and it has a lot of current deviations and looks very fishy.

I decided to drop on the river blythe stretch today and give it an hour just to see if there were any fish in the little eddy under the bridge.There had been localsied rain over night and the river had some colour to it which gave my confidence a lift.

I set up in a very comfortable area of open grass at the head of the pool and this gave me lots to aim at and bouncy a worm around.The set up was a simple 2 aa paternoster, 5lb hooklength ,12 hook and a lobworm with the head nipped off to allow thejuices out.

I eventually got comfortable and repositioned myself so that the current was gently lifting the worm around the swim and in to slacker water.I kept the rod high which allowed the line to pick up some water but not put too much pressure on the tip.Second cast ( the first found a snag!!!) and the tip trembled before hooping over .The fish put up a really solid fight as I pulled it towards me against the current .Once in the net I had a long lean chub which oon the scales went 2lb7oz.

Fantastic a fish at last and a better chub than I had on the % chart.I flicked out again going slightly longer with the cast to the back of the pool .The tip moved rythmically as the shot bounced across the pool then ....BANG again a fish was hooked .This time though it parted and on inspection of the hook I could see that the worm ahd doubled over masking the point and preventing penetration (story of my life!!).

I repeated the same proccess and once agin the tip went round and immediatley I could feel the fish was bigger .It stayed deep and came in to the near bank plodding around .It surfaced and in the net I could see it was a really top heavy chevin .On the scales it went 3lb 10oz my best chub from the blythe and my best chub of this year .

All this for free......FANTASTIC!!!!.

I packed up strigtht away as I wanted to leave the swim for another day .The plan was to head over to the Leam at Offchurch and catch a 5lb chub .

I balnked !!!....but wasnt bothered in the slightest.

All the best.


Monday, 14 February 2011

Blank expression on my face

Over the past 3 days I have had the pleasure of being able to fish 3 times in a row .Saturday I had a short pike spell at Ryton pool and then yesterday I attempted to fish Longbridge sewage works and saxon mill on the Avon before heading up to the leam at Offchurch.

The weather conditions were the main contributing factor to yesterday's moving around and also to the blank.As I have said before I cannot abide the mix of wind and rain in equal portions .I find it very uncomfortable to fish under an umbrella that is being battered by wind .

On arrival at the Warwick stretch of the avon at the sewage works I thought that the steep bank down to the river may of offered some cover from the howling wind .How wrong I was as the wind was coming across the flat meadows from the M40 and in to my face .I tried in vain to set up but just couldnt settle .What to do now I thought ,I new that the wooded island below saxon mill weir would offer some cover and I would be on the opposite bank of the river so the wind would be behind me .Again I blanked at the mill so decided in desperation to try the Leam for a bite .

By the time I had trudged around at offchurch I was despondant and just couldnt settle .I decided to head home for a cuppa and the Sunday papers followed by a hearty beef dinner.

This morning the weather filled me with optimism despite a slight chill the wind was still and the sun was out.I had decided to push on with my pike angling and popped up deadbaits .I am fishing the deadbaits on 18inch traces with the bait popped up just touching bottom by the tail .This is attatched to an 18gram sinker and float fished over depth .

I set up in the log swim and tried Roach,sprat and Lamprey through out the day but to no avail.The pool looked life less and unwelcoming and the three other gents fishing the pool did'nt seem to fair any better either.

The idiots from Saturday morning had left behind their litter and a stool as well as the tree branches they had damaged to fashion in to rod rests.

Oh well tommorows another day .


Saturday, 12 February 2011


I will make this brief .I went to ryton today and fished dead baits on the float .

I caught nowt but only managed a couplle of hours as it was more of a learning excercise .I have been tying my own traces and have got my popping up of dead baits sorted (i think).

Thats about it really ,nice to be back there amongst the barking dogs ,women joggers and T***s drinking special brew whilst out for the early morning stroll with the dogs .

Not that theres anything wrong with special brew by the way .

Perch /chub tommorow????


Thursday, 10 February 2011

Stolen afternoon

I had a few hours spare after dinner today and so decided to grab my chub bag. I also some left over liquidised bread and half an ageing loaf!!

I couldnt think of an out and out chub venue off the top of my head and so decided it would be fun to tackle the jungle of the upper leam at cubbington.I have only fished it once before but the water was very low and so it fished very hard .My reasoning for picking this stretch was simply because i remembered back to one summer walking along there and spoting 3 very large chub .Also this stretch looks very chubby with lots of rafts and features etc.

I set up the rod at the van and made my way to the nearest swim to the layby to start.The swim has a deepish inside bend and I couldnt see the bottom through the healthy green tinge .I had set up with a tiny cage feeder and a fourteen hook .Not really chub gear but I wanted a light approach to get bites to start with and then would step up if needed.

I flicked the feeder out midstream and sat back to tighten the the line gently .As I wound downthe slack the rod tip rattled and shot round ,I struck and hooked a fish which duely parted and sent a bow wave across the surface .Not to be undone I rebaited and recast ,again the tip rattled and and shot round .I felt the fish kick and steadily wound it upstream towards me ,it felt like a small chub but I then did a second take and noticed a nice sized roach .On the scales it went 12oz and my day was made already as it had doubled my roach percentage .

After doing the weighing and photos etc I recast and caught several smaller roach until a jack pike emerged and began regularly following my feeder in .

I went on to fish several more swims along the stretch and received lots of bites but failed to connect .In all the afternoon was a real joy and the birds were in fine tune as well as warm conditions .


Monday, 7 February 2011

When the wind blows!!!!

As I said yesterday I had found a swim fairly out of the wind and was being plagued by bites that I just couldn't hit.When I did connect I caught 2 roach and felt that there may of been a fair few fish down the end of the swim.

I vowed to return today with the plan of fishing a float down to the tree where the bites were occuring.Looking out of the window this morning I really didnt fancy it .Of all the elements ,I just cannot abide fishing in the grip of gale force winds .Wind hampers presentation ,comfort and is also dangerous to anglers that are usually with in killing distance of a tree.

I turned on the work mobile and checked my in box but by 9:00am nothing had arisen and the day was mine.I grabbed my pre prepared gear and liquidised bread and headed down to Baileys for a couple of pints of maggots .Once purchased I added a capfull of solar sweetener to the maggots as I beleive that sweet flavours appeal to roach (I said I believe I don't know for a fact).

On arrival at the car park it felt that the wind was stronger than yesterday and mixed in with it was a light hint of precipitation, GREAT!!! wind and rain the death knell of any good Roach session.I gathered the gear and trudged off across the car park and round over the bridge in to the wooded riverside.As I ventured up along the stretch I spoke to an elderly gentleman who was endeavouring to run a waggler through his swim .He informed me that he was having a bite a chuck and catching some nice sized dace.I exchanged pleasentary's and bid him good day. Then I continued my walk to the roach haunt.Now though I was some what lifted with the knowledge that fish were in the area and feeding.

I arrived at the swim and settled down on the natural seat created by a wall of some description dating back to god knows when.The swim is ideal and even offered some relief from the incessant marauding gusts.I set up my 13/15ft ron thompson float rod and a small reel containing 2.6lb drennan float fish line .The float was to be a 4BB wire stem stick.A wire stem is usuall only appropriate in fast paced water I know but my theory was to use a float that would cut its way through the upstream wind and offer stability at the same time .The oval body also had a shoulder on it that would help to stabilise the float .I undershotted the float as well to give it extra buoyancy amongst the white horses of the now very lively Warwichshire Avon .

I plumbed up at a comfortable 7 feet and fished on depth.After the preperation was finished I introduced 2 golf balls of liquidised bread and followed it up with a generous sprinkle of sweet bronze maggots.The first few runs through were uneventful and the presentation wasn't great with the float being battered but standing firm and unrelenting .

At around the 5 th run through I let the float trot to the exact spot where I had been dropping my feeder the day before and it bobbed then buried .A fish was hooked and amongst the rippled surface I spotted the lovely blue silver flank of my first roach of the day.The next trot produced exactly the same ,not huge fish but every single run through I was hooking roach of a similar stamp occassionaly a better fish of around 5-6ozs was landed .

I went on to catch around 30-40 roach like peas in a pod and had a really enjoyable couple of hours (I wished i'd had a keep net for the money shot!!!)The wind however got the better of me and beagn to swirl wildly from all angles towards the end which really hampered my presentation.I will return to this swim before the river season ends as I think that with more delicate angling and some alternative baits it may offer a better roach for my challenge tally.

I am now naming this swim the "Roach Throne"!! in honour of its regal nature and the many treasures that reside in the waters beneath it.

Until next time gents .

Tight lines


Sunday, 6 February 2011

Much a do about nothing!!!

Having started a new job recently the fishing has had to take a bit of a break (such is life).

I have consoled myself by cleaning all my carp gear down and re lining my reels. Also tying endless rigs in preperation for a return to ryton again this year.

Something that in my 28 years of angling that has always been pushed to the back of my mind is pike fishing.I have the up most respect for the pike and its prehistoric ever prescence in our water ways .However I have always believed that pike fishing is somthing that must be done with a whole hearted approach and as with all fishing the safety and welfare of the fish must be paramount.

This year I have gathered together all the necessary gear and pike safety equipment (pliers ,mat barbless trebles)etc.My intention is to try to catch a pike by design and get to grips with the basic aspects of this discipline of the sport.

I went on my first pike outing last weekend and boy did I struggle.......!!!!!

The conditions were good the weather was cold but bright and the river was in fine fettle ....I however was a paranoid pike literature obsessed twitch pot.

I have decided to keep my pike fishing down to the safest tackle and basic flost rigs .Eventually the rest will follow and no doubt could lead to more bites but first things first.I set up two soft action carp rods and baitrunners with 30lb fox braid .The rigs were identical long cigar floats to minimalise drag by the flow of the river and 18gram bulk leads .The traces were 15inch 20lb semi barbless size 8's.

As mentioned before I really like to read up on different aspects of the sport and like to go in to things prepared and equipped when targetting different species.I set the floats to what I think was overdepth and set about attatching some rather large (in my opinion ) dead roach which I had purchased from Baileys of warwick.In to the roach was inserted a medium fox balsa stick to pop the bait up.The edges of the river were deep and dark and I struggled to see how the bait was acting before I cast it.

I tossed both rods out and let the bait settle down strem of me,keeping the rods high and line direct to the float.

To cut a long story short after around 4 hours I was packed up and on the way home as I could not settle and didnt feel I was fishing right and presenting my bait in the right way.

My next pike outing will be on a stillwater where I can take time looking at popping up baits and fine tuning my very basic skills .
This morning I decided to give the river a bash .My plan was to go to Bretford in search of monster chub but on arriving at the stretch I wasnt sure what bank you could fish and so decided to head for somewhere sheltered for comfort more than anything.
I set up at the top end of saxon mill and set about fishing a piece of flake on the hook and a cage feeder of liquidised bread to accompany it My 2oz tip was being blown backwards with a really strong up stream wind and bite detection baecame hard .I did however get a pull round and a chub of around 4oz was swung to hand .Several more bites followed and so my spirits were high ,however the wind was becoming a real pain.
After a couple of casts I decided to head down in to the coppice and fish swim that is made from an old wall and is very sheltered .Slightly down stream is a protruding tree that gives somthing to fish to .
Almost immediatley my tip rustled ,twitched and then pulled slowly round .I struck thinking it was a dead cert but the fish was not hooked.This then happened another 5 or so times so I decided to shorten my hooklength and tie on a smaller hook .Out went the feeder and round went the tip with such vigor that surely this time the fish would be hooked but again nothing .
Eventually I did connect with a fish and was not suprised to see the blue shade of a 6oz roach in the clear river.The fish was returned and I recast again only for the same frustrating proccess to happen again and again and again.The bites were every single cast the tip would curve round perfectly and the strike would be met with nothing .I used a whole loaf worth of liquidised bread over the next hour or so and only managed another smaller roach.
I am meant to have the day off tomorrow and have vowed to return with my float rod and 2 loaves of liquidised bread and put these fickle roach to the sword.
Never have i enjoyed so much not catching any fish!!!

Sunday, 9 January 2011

I popped down to the mill this morning just for a brief session and to finish of the lobworms from yesterday.

I was really up against it today as there had been a heavy overnight frost .This coupled with the already coloured high water would not bode well to any angler worth his salt. When I arrived at the river I expected it to of dropped over night and the debris coming down to of lessened.

The level was down around a couple of inches and still there was detritus floating mid stream.I really did not fancy it today but decided to give the island below the weir a chance for half and hour thinking the far end of the island may offer some steadier water on the inside line.How wrong I was and I felt very disheartened to see the river really pushing through right across the swim.

I fished on for half an hour then decided to wrap up and head up through the woods to the peg that I had taken the small chub from yesterday.After a long and bitterly cold walk up to the peg I settled in my chair when suddenly an enormous swirl and eruption of water occured just off the end or my rod.

I looked up to see what at first glance resembled a PENGUIN!!!!! ( it was cold but not quite that bad).There staring back at me albeit very briefly was the huge white breasted cormorant that had been stalking the upper stretch every time I had been there.

He took to the wing and shot off up stream leaving me looking on in total disbelief and dejection .Oh well I thought im here now and am going to give it an hour or so.The wind increased and came across the river at me from upstream causing my eyes to run and face to burn such was its arrid coldness.

After an hour of the arctic blasting I decided to head off and may be even return home.I had some final bits to tie up before departing for the big smoke tomorrow and thought it a good idea to be well prepared.On heading back through the woods and down towards the pub the idea of dropping in the bottom peg came to me .There are alot of small fish down this end and I thought that I may try a piece of lobworm cast across to the far bank.By this time any fish would of done just to spare my blushes ,this was getting ridiculous and I really felt that I had been putting the effort in of late.

I flicked a small lead and piece of worm across to the far bank and let a bow form in the line below the lead .The purpose of this is to pull the tip round and when a fish picks up the bait. The lead is disturbed the fish hooked and the rod tip springs back showing a drop back.

After fifteen minutes the tip trembled and sprang back .I struck and felt a small fish was hooked .It came gently across the river and surfaced under the rod .I looked down to see what I thought was a small chub but on having a second glance I noticed it was a decent dace .I netted the fish and unhooked it now feeling rather pleased with myself.Gently the fish was placed in to my sainsburys weigh sling and the scales pulled around to 8oz dead.I weighed the fish another 4 times just to check it wouldn't go any heavier but I got the same result each time .

Another few casts were tried but the cold wind and impending new job start etc began to weigh on my mind so I decided to call it a day and left very pleased at having pulled a small result out of the bag .

All the best


Saturday, 8 January 2011

The saxon mill billy!!!

Once again I returned to the barren wastelands of the mill.

After last weeks non event I had planned to go armed with my 15ft float rod and fish a wire stem stick float down one of the pacey glides at the top end of the woods upstream.The river is perfect for long trotting and a comfortable depth .I felt that I could of chipped away at the challenge chart with roach ,dace and maybe perch .

The weather on the other hand had other ideas and after alot of overnight rain my plan was scuppered.Never the less I still wanted to fish and felt that lobworms would be favourite in the coloured dirty water of the Avon .

I made my way up through the woods above the pub and out to the right of some fencing at the bottom of the meadow.At this point the river begins to straighten out and is pacey with lots of creases and near bank features.I set up low to the water my favourite way of sitting and flicked a whole lobworm out in to the middle of the river .Fishing just two AA on a paternoster the rod is the placed in the rest and the worm is allowed to bounce across in to the slack water of the near bank thus creating the effect of being washed there naturally.

After some ten minutes and a couple of turns of the reel handle the rod tip wobbled in to life bringing me to my senses immediatley .Eventually the tip pulled around slowly and I lifted into a fish.
The air was filled with joyous expletives and the net was placed under a small chub of around 1lb.I unhooked the fish and reached in to my bag for the camera.Alas the camera was not there and was indeed residing in my float tackle bag ,placed there previously during the week.

Still not to worry it was not an earth shattering fish and should I catch a better sample then i had my phone with its BOND type camera.I slipped back the fish and re cast .Now brimming with confidence after recent dry days on this stretch I settled back and watched in amazement as the tip signalled another touch.

Then it went WRONG.......
Out of the corner of my eye I noticed something fluorescent heading upstream towards my nearside feature .......UNBELIEVABLE ...a river Terrorist !!!!! here in the middle of no where (well compared to Stratford town centre).I looked down stream towards the terrorist and lifted up my green balaclava to reveal an expression of shock and deep deppression to the canoeist .

He saw me eventually and moved out slightly to the middle of the river .As he got level with me he decided to engage me in converstion and to do so began to tread water with his paddle.

"Are the fish biting today ?" he asked
"yes !" came my retort, "what species do you catch here?","CHUB I replied".

"Do they taste earthy ????"

I did not reply and he went on his merry way.My confidence was now shot to bits and I decided a move up the meadow was on the cards .I fished all my usual haunts back down to where i had started and eventually settled down again .I had a slight pull on the tip and began to feel positive again .UNBELIEVABLE!!!!!!! I muttered as Fred Dibnahs twin brother mooched his way along side my near bank towards me .The next ten minutes I was then hit with a flurry of questions on the river ,the club etc before matey boy then mooched of back along my near bank on the skyline pausing occasionaly to peer into my run of river .

At this point I decided to call it a day and do the walk of shame back to the car .

On the way back I once again happened upon the largest cormorant I have ever seen and I now beleieve to be a white breasted cormorant .

I have seen it several times and when I do I make as much noise as possible in the hope that it sticks in its memeory next time it fancies a few pound of Saxon mill roach .

Back out tomorrow and I am now all prepared for my new job start on Monday so can go fishing with even more relaxed confidence.


Monday, 3 January 2011

Sod it!!!!

Yet another blank today and to top it all I now feel like death warmed up.

Head ache ,body ache and complete loss of sense of humour ......

Nice to meet you and Jeff ,Keith .Did you catch on those maggots .

Any way short and sweet by for now.

Sunday, 2 January 2011

last gasp!!!!!!

I returned to saxon mill again today and fished from the top meadows down to the weir again .

Same approach as before and the river was in perfect condition .The level had dropped by 5 inches and the colour was a deep green .I was buoyed by this and really felt that the pegs I had fished before would produce today .How wrong I was and all the way down the meadow my tip remained motionless.

A chub of 1lb 6oz.
I plodded my way down from swim to swim and tried every bit of water craft I had in my arsenal but I just could not get a bite .Over the past 2 days on the river I have seen 2 cormorants and a shag all of which have been in the upper meadows of the stretch away from the pub and weir and more importantly people activity.

It is well known that in the winter the fish shoal up in the steady water immediatley above the pub and pleasure bags here are plentiful.The theory is that the cormorants push the fish down here but won't venture down due to public activity and also the many overhanging trees hamper their escape.

My fear is that they are also pushing the larger fish down there as well .The river in the upper meadows just looks so perfect that I refuse to believe that it is barren.Over the next few month's I intend to try it over and over again and make it my mission to catch fish from this section.

Disheartened I walked down to the weirpool , and ventured left over the stile to another stretch of Warwick water which is banked on an Island down below the weirpool.Down here the river is around 6feet deep and pacey .The plan was to flick out a small piece of flake and let it wash round under some overhanging brambles.After several casts the tip rattled and pulled slowly round and was met with a firm strike .At last a fish was hooked and after a brief but spirited fight a small barrel shaped chub was in the net .

I have never been so pleased to see a fish and it was the only one I was to see for the rest of the day.

Still its my first of the year and a great boost for my confidence.

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Angler Saxon

December 31st 2010
I returned to the Mill today with renewed enthusiasm.Over night I had made up some green lip muscle flavoured sausage meat paste ,re spooled my reel with 6lb line and stepped up my rod to a quiver tip barbel rod to cope with the extra flow.
I started in the swim in the photo and as you can see it looked perfect .It was pacey had lots of features and I was able to sit in amongst the undergrowth very low to the water.
Unfortunatley the swim failed to produce even a rattle of the tip .I went on to fish another 5 swims along the length all equally as promising but the bites failed to materialise.
I fished all the swims for a good half hour and before I moved on I tried a lobworm in each of them.I have always caught here on worms but even that failed to coax a take.
To be honest the day was very enjoyable and I was wrapped snuggly up in thermal clothing and boots and matching olive green balaclava ,like some kind of chub fishing sex gimp!!!!
I was amazed at just how close wildlife came to me including the most timid of birds the little grebe (dab chick).
I would love to know how the snow melt and saline content in the water was affecting the fish's behaviour.On leaving I spoke to a roving lure fishing pike angler who said he had not had a fish for 2 dyas and he usaully gaurentees 2-3 pike per session.
I will return over the next few days.