Monday, 7 April 2014

End of Season, then Having a Flutter

Managed to get on the river for the last day of the season and found the Warwickshire Avon in fine fettle. The early morning mist and near-freezing conditions combined to give some lovely shots of the vegetation.

This went a little way to making up for the lack of fish! For me that is, Martin managed a couple of chub, here he's putting one back downstream so as not to scare the rest of the shoal - some hopes.

By late morning, the mist had been bunt off by the sun so things weren't looking great. We'd hoped for a misty, cold day to tempt the chub.

Amazingly Martin and I had the whole stretch to ourselves until mid afternoon when a lone angler decided to try last knockings. Not sure how he fared as I'd picked up my ball and headed off home by 4ish leaving Martin to get another couple of chub.

As the next day was the Grand National, it seemed to make sense to chose a venue which had some similarity to this big day in the racing calendar.  So it was off to the pond on Warwick racecourse where last year I'd had a memorable day with the silver bream.
Having been inspired by Mick Newey, I'd recently bought a Zandavan roll-over indicator which the eagle-eyed of you can see near my rucksack. It's that thing in a fetching red colour. (They were out of stock of something more neutral.) I was hoping for some of the big perch and fished a large prawn beneath a sensitive waggler as well as 6" plus lobs on a very light running ledger with my new toy. It did take a few adjustments to get used to the settings but eventually it seemed right. After a couple of perch just over the pound on the prawn, the arm of the roll-over clattered back and I struck into a fish which didn't feel too perch-like. Drawing it over the net I was a bit surprised to see it was a silver bream. A nice one nonetheless at 1lb 6oz.
I wasn't too sure if it wasn't a hybrid but Martin assured me it was a true silver. That was the only take I managed to hit on the Zandavan, missing several more. The lobs were coming back halved or even quartered. Maybe I was concentrating too much on the float, I'll try to be more focused next time.
Still, the prawn/float combo was proving fruitful and I finished with a satisfying mixed bag of perch, tench and even a chub. The only downside was that many of them had abbreviated top lips, a bad sign of anglers being less than respectful.

Late in the day Martin arrived and we spotted a small toad which was full of air struggling to make it to the reeds next to my platform.

As things started to quieten down for me, I looked up to see Martin's rod bent double. My first thought was that it was one of the carp which are hard fighters, especially on 3lbs line. When he brought its head up I could see a flash of silver and he yelled for me to come over and give him some assistance. It was a very good eel. Between us we tried to make a balls-up of unhooking it before Martin managed to get it weighed - close to 3.5lbs. A fine specimen.

We both were pleased with the few hours we had and the surprise eel made the day memorable.
I'm planning trips to some of the commercials which are within a few miles of where I live, especially now we have the lighter nights. Maybe I'll get to grips with the Zandavan!


  1. Does take a few to get grips with it, what worked for me though is as you fish with an open bail arm the roll-over indicates the bite initially but then I lift the rod, close the bail arm, tighten up and then feel the line like you would when touch ledger. When you feel resistance you strike. Another tip that worked for me at the Reservoir was double lobworms, a single bait only seemed to attract the smaller fish. With more fish moving the bigger Perch might be harder to catch, I might give a few evening sessions a go in a month or so.

    Sad to see some of those fish mouths :(

  2. Cheers Mick for getting back so soon. I'll try the double lobs. I was quite surprised that the silver got the lob into its mouth. Also I'll try your suggestion of the strike.

  3. That's a proper eel for Martin, just goes to shown in even smallish water there are likely to be big Eels. I've always though College pool has some lurking in it's depths but I've yet to hear one come out of there. Persevere with the roll-over it's a great little indicator.

  4. I fished there yesterday for a few hours and bumped in to Tony the bailiff, the EEL has now turned in to 5.5 :) I love a good story.

    Caught Perch but biggest only a 1lb or so. I think winter is the best time, pre spawning they would munch on anything they could get. Maybe small deadbaits at dusk the best bet as too many other fish get in the way of lobworms.