Monday, 28 February 2011

Sunday 27th Feb

Couldn't get out as I had to travel down to London. Still, it was worth it!!!!

Monday, 21 February 2011

Wormery Update #2

I started this project in August last year on a very small scale to decide if I should buy or build a larger wormery. I reported in September that although the lobs were looking remarkably healthy, there had certainly not increased in number, in fact it looked like there were slightly fewer.

During the months since, I've kept a small amount of fresh veg peelings going in and ensured that the whole remained slightly damp. I came to check this morning and upon emptying the container I found.....................................NO WORMS!

What I have got is a quantity of nice-looking compost for the garden, not exactly what I had in mind. Has anyone else had experience of this phenomenon? Is it just lobs that don't seem to breed in these conditions because I know of others with dendros (or similar) having great success?

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Back to normal at Manor Farm/Wasperton

Oh dear. Had an early start this morning on the BAA stretch. I fished 2 rods, maggot feeder, smelly cheesepaste and bread. My mate went with pellets and maggots. River at normal level, overcast day with a bit of drizzle. What did we catch/ Sweet FA. Any bites? No.

We worked it out that between him, another mate and me we've done approx. 40 rod-days (2 rods per person per day) since Jan 1st without a fish. These 2 guys are ex match fishernman and current match fisherman so, not including me, not stupid. I know we've all been experiencing hard days but this takes the biscuit. I've decided to give up on this venue for the foreseeable future and concentrate on the Lower Avon. Any of you guys been having it at Waspo?

Wednesday, 9 February 2011


Forgot to say that when I was at Pensham I had a long chat with a fellow angler who was piking. We shared experiences about the lack of silver fish and he said, with an Eastern European accent, "It doesn't help with the bloody Poles stealing the fish". At first I thought he must be Polish and was being ironic but eventually he told me he was Hungarian. He lives in Reading and regularly travels up to Tewksbury where he has good results. It was only the floods on the Severn which made him change venue. Anyway, he said that back home, on the Danube, there are huge flocks of cormorants in winter but none of the hunters (apparently a popular sport) are prepared to waste expensive cartridges on shooting them. It seems that the whole of Europe is suffering.

Ah, bless!

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Pensham Pike PB

Don't you just love alliteration?

As this stretch is much deeper than those I've been fishing upstream, I decided I'd give it a go as maybe the fish wouldn't be as difficult with more water over their heads. Also it's renowned for predators. Leaving home the temperature was minus 1 and the day was forecast to be bright sunshine. Coupled with the high pressure over us maybe it would be as hard going as recent trips this year.

Got to the car park about 8:30 after a detour into Evesham to feed my face with a bacon sarnie, yum yum yum! I was pleased to see that the river was a 1 minute walk over a small field.

After a short walk both up- and downstream I decided on a likely looking spot where the main stream came across to the nearside bank. Even then, the flow was pretty steady. I started with a maggot feeder on my quivertip with 2 red maggots on a size 14. I put my pike rod against the rushes about 5 yards downstream offering a nice chunky dead roach. As I thought, there was a good depth here, around 13' a couple of feet off the bank.

Nothing was interested in the maggots so I swapped to bread. Still nothing so a change to meat. Still nothing. Although the weather was super (for a walk, not necessarily for fishing) I started to think, "Oh no, another blank". Then, out of the corner of my eye I spotted some ripples around the pike float - not difficult as the surface was dead flat. I had to sit on my hands for a little while as the float imperceptibly moved out into the main flow. I wound down and was into something which just held station. It then decided to move about not sure if the pulling back was the roach or an angler, (at least that's what I like to think!). It didn't put up too much of a fight until it came near the net, but even then I had little difficulty in guiding it over the rim. Until now my best pike had been barely 9lbs, even when wet. This looked a little fatter in the tummy department. I was glad that I'd treated myself to a stainless steel mesh glove as this would be the first "proper" pike to be handled. As soon as I'd slipped my hand under its chin it nicely opened its mouth and I was able to remove the barbless hooks in a second. Was I pleased, because just as I was wrestling with this leviathan, a fellow angler walked up and offered to take a pic. So a new PB at 12Lbs 12oz. Not up to the heights of some of you guys but nevertheless very pleasing.

This was about 10:30 and despite ringing the changes on the quiver rod I had no more interest until 3:30. During the next hour I managed a "monster" perch on a size 10 with 5 maggots.

Then 3 nice roach around 1/2 - 3/4 lb, the first one of which had a terrible wound along its back. Cormorant damage? (I didn't see any today). Or predators? I'd be surprised if it lasted too many hours, but then again, we've all seen fish with pretty bad (old) scars. It swam away strongly anyway. When I cut myself in the kitchen I have to have a lay down, how I'd manage with such a wound heaven knows!

Finally I struck into what I at first thought was a foul hooked fish. When it came to the net I could see it was an old-looking warhorse of a bream. Not a monster but at 4lbs 2oz a very nice addition to the catch.

These last fish only came in a 1 hour window. Not sure if I'd built up the swim with the recasting of the maggot feeder or was it just a feeding spell? Coincidentally, the bird song stopped about the same time.

I don't think many of you have fished down here but I can certainly recommend it. The BAA seem to have put a lot of effort into making the swims comfortable (and safe). It's a scenic stretch of the Avon, the only downside is the time it takes to get there, about 1 hour for me from Banbury, but certainly worth it.