Who`s got a big head??
The weather had warmed slightly – and there was even a feeling of Spring along the banks – as I walked and looked for signs of piscatorial life. The many different birds were making the most, singing and making nests, and taking to the blue skies with great enthusiasm.
Meanwhile amidst this, I found our friend (pictured above) in what seemed an improbable place to be, in the field quite a way from the river. It had probably been dragged there by a fox or something, I would say it was the head of a Pike (Esox) of 15lbs or maybe more! How it came to be killed we cannot know, but coincidentally, I found the remains of a Pike of a very similar size only yards from the same spot, at the same time of year, 4 years ago!!
The main reason for being out though, was to see if any Barbel could be found and thankfully there were a few to be seen, even though the water is not yet really warm enough for them to start thinking about Spawning. I covered a lot of river and the numbers of fish will hopefully rise because they are – at the moment – down on last year and the year before.
It was nice to be able to find the ones I could, and especially in one area where they used to live, but have not showed for a while. I was going to walk by, but decided to throw a few pellets in, “just in case”. I had not finished my banana before I saw the white of a tail bone of a decent sized Barbel, unfortunately this is now often what you can see of the Barbel, Chub and even Roach in this area. These fish live with Otters very close by, so this damage is always around as I have mentioned before on any previous Bristol Avon diary reports!
The afternoon was a joy to be out and I only hope I can get the chance to have a few more previews before the season opens for 2013/14!!
Indeed there were a few SAS missions to get out before the close of season and one particular trip saw the capture of this lovely fish of nearly 10lbs. The rain poured for the whole time and sleeping in the car to fish next day in dry clothes was a highlight!!
A nice fish while the rain poured! 9lb15oz.
I also met more like-minded individuals than usual and had a good chat and catch up, everyone trying to get a last Barbel before their river fishing would be scuppered for another long three months.
The very last trip I made, was to the Wye, the very river we all started from 9 months prior. I had committments until tea time, and it was then that I made my last dash for the river before Sunset, and a lovely one it was too. The river was a cold 5degrees but I was still sure of a chance in the right spot… The first area proved to be occupied – just into dark – by an Otter, who was not over pleased to meet me, I could tell as it hissed and made all sorts of fuss right at me. Once it settled it decided to dive several times over the area I had baited, so I moved off to the next area, thinking this may hold a chance before the midnight chimes!
Lucky for me I had done this, as it was one of the swims in that new area that produced my last Barbel of the 2012/13 season! It was 22.20 and the rod was poised before a tap and pull and a long fit Wye fish was fighting to the net. It was cold and very long for it`s weight of 7lb, a nice finish to a challenging season, though I did have that one more cast to take me till midnight, and – not to be outdone – had a chub of 3lb in pristine condition.
Roll on June 16th……
Will write up these pics soon….
This is the question in mind for the coming week, some rivers still have colour and are cold, and others the colour has run. So for those with some colour and heavy flow left, I would recommend the meat approach! And the others…the maggot may ilicit some response, we hope. Good luck!!
Finding the river??
Yes. Though the weather has been more condusive to maybe getting bites, they have not materialised. Though last week it was just a matter of timing and my friend and I were on the bank 1 day too soon!! The next day some fish were caught including a few doubles, which was great to hear for their captors, and leave us knowing that next time they may be ours.
The poor farmers fields!!
It also reinforces to me just why I love this hobby. To be out in the country surroundings breathing fresher air and watching wildlife going about the art of survival, in sometimes very harsh conditions. All this, while awaiting the exciting moment when a fish may visit the baited area inside the watery world in front of you, or “not”… Lovely.
The rivers were actually in a bit of a state, and quite cold too, there may still have been some salt content (from gritted roads) in the water also, putting the fish off feeding. That`s the excuses anyhow, it really is a matter of timing and location, and the right tactics of course! You can rest assured, that I will now be looking for the next good looking opporunity to get out and catch one of these prize fish, as I am missing them already!
The River was here!!
After a couple of weeks of up and down weather conditions which have varied from “cold” to “colder”, the tables are turning, or should I say the temps are turning? The snow has melted rapidly causing flooding in many area`s and taking all that cold salty water out of the equation, hopefully. So I for one shall be braving the banks over the next week or so, and shall as ever keep you posted with any stories or catches that may arise…
Well Well Well. Would you believe it, Winter has arrived at last, and with it some “dumps” of snowfall. There will be lots of salt and icy cold water running into the rivers. But on the bright side, a whole change of landscape and scenery to witness out there on the banks. I have not been out yet since the last posted trip, but I am beginning to get the “itch” for a try!!
The latest story to catch my eye though is that of a Seal (affectionately named Keith through local press), who has arrived way up the river Severn at Bewdley. He/She has apparently become a rapid success with the public, and has attracted visitors from far and wide to see him/her. In the meantime though, this animal is munching it`s way through pounds and pounds of fish and even taking the odd duck it can grab!
From what I have gathered, local public opinion states that “Keith” has more “right to be there” than any angler who wants to “hurt and distress fish”, and “leave line, hooks and rubbish” on the riverside. – I must protest and say, that not all anglers do this, and many actually clear up after other anglers who have!! – Yet it is the anglers who are concerned for all these fish and the fish stocks of a wild river. The Seal is not a native to the environment it is currently in, (it is not natural for it to be amongst an abundance of fresh water fish), and should be captured and releaesd (in the same humane way it would if injured) back to the Sea, from whence it came.
As concerned anglers, we also pay our licence fee`s (E.A. & Club) to give us the “right to be there”, and to pay towards an Environment Agency staff force who should, with their expertise realise, that a Seal does not naturally live in freshwater, and should take steps to relocate it.
I am not averse to seeing Seal`s, and gladly do so when at the seaside!
That`s right folks, time to catch up on the things I dont usually get the chance to do! The weather report has forecast snow, and temps not much above freezing, so the Barbel bites will be few and far between. The rivers were fining down and in tip top condition for bites last week and I am quite dissappointed that I didn`t have more chances to get out. There have been reports all over the country of some good fish hitting the bank for those who were out! But, so be it, the account is open for the New Year and I am setting a few personal targets for the coming months…… I shall keep you posted. Good Luck and Wet Nets.