Thursday, 28 July 2011

Manor Farm, Wasperton

A last minute arrangement saw me join a couple of mates for the afternoon on the BAA stretch. I only took one rod, a Fox quiver tip, a chair and some bits and bobs. We met up at the bottom of the meadow next to Leamington's main stretch. I'd fished near the propeller on several occasions and liked the look of the water lower down.
The other two were already tackling up in the shade of some trees so I dropped in almost next to the hedge separating the two Clubs' waters.

As expected, the Avon was clear and slow here. I spread some elipse pellets just over the nearmost weedbeds - almost mid river - and fired a few 10mm boilies and halibut pellets downstream just shy of the far bank for a later chuck. A 1.5oz cage feeder was all that was needed (indeed I imagine I could have got away with a smaller one) which I filled with some smaller pellets and plugged with Hemp & Halli mix. After some interest from small chub the sun got serious and I envied my mates sitting under the trees! I changed the length of the tail and the number of pellets on the hair but it wasn't until 4 ish that I started to see some movement on the tip.
Instead of chub it was bream that had taken a liking to the pellets. I ended up with 5 nice-looking fish to 4.5lbs, all of which were a lovely dark colour and were in really good condition.
As the sun finally went over the far bank and as I had to get home earlier than usual, I tried the "boilie line" in case some of the larger chub or barbel had decided upon an early tea. No such luck.
While I was packing up, I trod on something which I'd mistaken for nettles which surrounded the platform, but then got a strong smell of mint - reminding me of this weekend's BBQ - and I realised that there was a huge bed of the wild stuff going right into the river at my feet.
So a nice little expedition prior to the weekend at Anchor Meadows.  Look forward to seeing you all then!

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Catfish Question

The last time I managed to get out was 7th of this month. The reason for lack of activity is that upon finishing that session I loaded all my gear on to my shoulders and, when I was climbing the relatively easy bank, I managed to tear my calf muscle. Ouch and double ouch. It was like a bolt of electricity had shot through my leg. Luckily the car was at the top of the bank so I didn't have far to walk.

Driving was a doddle but when I got back home I hobbled the few yards to the front door. The doc said all I could do was rest it. A tubi-grip bandage and some Aloe Vera heat cream was all I've been doing since. (OK, I did venture out to Wasperton for a couple of hours one evening but managed to pull the damn thing again on a relatively straight forward swim so I learned my lesson! If I want to enjoy the weekend at Anchor Meadows I'll have to be sensible.)

The point of this post isn't to evince sympathy (!) but to ask if anyone has any tips on a catfish venue within 30 or so miles from Banbury. Catfish are a species I've never fished for and never caught and recently during this enforced inactivity I've been trawling the net for all things angling and fell upon quite a few catfish sites. (Makes a change for the usual Google searches!!!!!!!)

I've seen the Pitsford Lakes site, near Pitsford Res. and it seems a likely spot.
Anyone fished there? Or anywhere else they can recommend?  Claydon isn't TOO far for me but the walk from the layby from what I've read puts me off in my invalid condition.

I'm enjoying all the Blogs and am envious of your time on the water as well as your successes.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Avon at Harvington 5.7.11

I couldn't get on the river for an overnighter at Barford as the farmer had a big herd of frisky bullocks in the fields and my mate (who knows the farmer) is rather suspicious of things bovine. Wuss! So I met him at Harvington for a pint and some grub. Only problem, both pubs in the village don't open for lunch on Tuesdays! The landlady of the first needs people-facing skills as, when I knocked on the door, she looked blank and said "What d'ya want?" I thought it was pretty obvious. Still we found a more welcoming hostelry - The Bell at Salford Priors - a mile away and had a great hot steak sarnie and chips.

We had planned to fish the island at Anchor Meadows (to do a crafty recce before the BIG weekend) but all the pegs were taken, and not only by fishermen. Some had chairs and rod pods set up, obviously fishing themselves - spooky! Maybe the people on the other side of the lock who were sitting around having BBQs and beer owned these set-ups? Heaven forbid that they had merely put their gear there ready for the evening! Germans and towels spring to mind.

So we drove downstream, along the golf course, to what I think is part of Manor Farm's fishing. My mate had fished matches along here several years ago and assured me it was stuffed with chub.

We set up about 3 ish and struggled, like the other four anglers nearby, to get a bite. I went from 4 ft long mono hooklengths with size 14s to short braided hooklengths . I tried pellets glued to long hairs, boiles and meat, all to no avail. The strange thing was, on a couple of occasions, a large drilled pellet and a chunk of meat had disappeared when I wound in. No indication of a bite and the bait stops were of a size to ensure that the pellet etc stayed on. Not sure if there are any crays on this stretch?

I noticed that there were hundreds of minnows at my feet so I decided to feed them a little Hemp & Halli mix to build them up a bit. Then I remembered my nice new Fuji was made for such underwater magic so I screwed the camera adaptor on to a spare bank stick and, having set the self timer, gently lowered it into the river.  Here's just one of the great pictures I took.

Of course, having a monstrously huge black space ship descend into their world, just a few inches above their heads, made them do the most sensible thing. They instantly buggered off!

By about 6 I started to pick up chub like peas in a pod. All around the 1.5 - 2lb mark.

My mate packed up around 7 having blanked but I stayed on til dark. I started to get more confident bites (to be expected as the light levels dropped) and finished just before 10 with a nice healthy looking fish of 4lb 7oz

It fought more like a barbel than a chub so I was slightly disappointed but it was in nice chunky condition so I can't complain. Also, while relaxing during the fishless afternoon, I watched families of long tailed tits and some reed warblers (?) messing about in the reeds each side of me as well as several fly pasts by the resident kingfisher. All in all a most enjoyable trip.