For a few days prior to the first Midlands bloggers annual fish in I was trying to think of what you call a large group of anglers. Fish obviously are a shoal, most animals of cloven foot are a herd, birds can be a flock, mob or even a flight but Anglers seemingly have no word by which to refer to us in large groups. Trying to think how our long suffering partners or any normal person would feel in the presence of such a large group of such focused individuals gave me the answer... Bored!!! Hence forth I shall always refer to a large grouping as a bore of anglers.
Preparation for invasion Harvington had been bubbling away for a few weeks but unlike Dunkirk this was destined to be a gradual trickle of anglers arriving throughout the day Saturday rather than a full on arrival at four and run for the swims boys. With suspicions that the river may not fish until the evening myself and Andy arrived after leisurely breakfast in a tail back on the A46 to find a few were already entrenched in front of gravel runs with that look all expectant barbel anglers get. The one that silently says 'any minute that tip is gonna whack round'.
After walking the bank touching base with some new friends and old we finally settled in an area I had fancied since my last visit to this bit of the Avon. The very point of the island with its deep water shallowing up into a fast run and its lock arm to my left looked perfect for Zander fishing which was pretty much exactly what I had in mind for this trip. Knowing full well that the crystal clear water and blazing sun where not the ideal conditions for this endeavor I opted to spend the day light hours chancing my luck for a carp or a rouge barbel.
During the afternoon little happened apart from everyone else arriving, us gassing and Andy bagging some nice pike wobbling dead baits under a mat of debris. Whilst he wasn't looking I nabbed his his wobbling kit and ran a bait around the lock entrance. Just before I gave up a little Jack pike shot out from a weed bed a nobbled my bait. Normally I wouldn't bother snapping such a petite pike but this one really deserved some credit after it tail walked a good twenty feet down the river like a marlin.
After that excitement the fishing went into that torpid midday sun state when everything falls silent apart from the crackling of human skin in the afternoon sun.
As the dark approached I made the switch over to my intended attack and cast out two popped up dead baits onto the deep far bank. Upon returning from the local watering hole a gathering formed on the point just as Joe dropped by for a social chat. Keith after walking the bank since arriving chose to fish the swim next to me, right next to me! The sun disappeared as we all guffawed and then the pike had a mad hour as mine a Keith's rods took it in turns to go off as Jack pike snatched our baits.
The night drew in and gradually people slipped away to get some much needed rest. but for me my vigil was only beginning as what I sought would only feed at night. I ended up just half snoozing wrapped in my sleeping back as intermittently through the night my bobbins got jangled by a host of bats. My only real action all night came at around 2.30am when my right hand rod lit up with a slight run which was followed by another then stopped. Just after id checked the bait and recast the other one went the same way. Both runs got dropped and I suspect the tension necessary to keep the baits out in the flow may have deterred some cagey summer zeds.
There was only one way to describe the look just about everyone had at 7am Sunday morning. Rough. A few began fishing and I continued but after myself Lee and Andy prepared a real cobbled together half ass fry up which I think we all suspected may off possessed a few unwanted items of fauna, I knew it was only a matter of time before we all started burning out.
Excitement had got the better of most of us and I think our expectations of double figure barbs and zeds gracing most of nets had faded and the reality of not one single 8lb perch turning up had brought us back to earth with a thump though I for one had fantastic time and really enjoyed meeting some new peers although I did learn a few things about my blogging buddies this weekend
- Jeff Hatt it would seem has a different hat for every different day of his holiday.
- Dave has some worrying tendencies towards photographing men in compromising situations
- Keith has no concept of what his half of the swim means.
- Lee I think believes his warranty on his bite indicator may still be valid after he attempted to repair it in the dark after drinking all afternoon in the blazing sun
- Andy when he asks if you want one sugar or two in your tea is referring to kilos not spoonfuls
- Joe was much taller than I thought in real life; Steve was a little shorter.
- Martin believes pike are baby's at 12lb.
- Dan should listen to Jacky when when she suggests he takes some sun block with him fishing.
For the next fish in I would like to suggest that the nearest or first person to the chosen venue should climb the highest point and summon us all using a large alpine horn of sorts, as this I feel is the only appropriate way to bring to together such a melé of a bash.