In the worst of the winters fishing every year I make pilgrimage to a stretch of river that I know has some serious potential when everywhere else struggles. I have been trying to get a good long freezing cold session on this stretch now for about about a month, but just before every opportunity I have been thwarted in one way or another.
This weekend it nearly went that way too. Whilst visiting my local fishing tackle emporium I was informed by the sooth sayers behind the counter, when asked where I was going, that a large number of other locals were also heading to the very same patch of hard worn earth to try and take advantage of this winter bounty.
My only option was to get up at stupid o'clock and be there well before light. Which I did with Andy off of http://piscatorialpastimes.blogspot.com/ in tow. All we could get in the dark was a few minor trembles but once dawn broke the biomass went basserk and it was soon a fish a chuck.
After an hour of one a chuck the bites stopped almost instantly, which seemed a little odd.
A while later we spotted the first other angler of the day crossing the bridge downstream and he looked a bit familiar. It was Keith off of http://warksavon.blogspot.com come to partake of the now finished fish frenzy. Not long afterwards another familar face crossed the bridge tackled up. This time it was Baz off of http://bazalsblog.blogspot.com/ and if four blogging bloggers wan't enough, who should turn up a bit later but Jeff off of http://idlersquest.blogspot.com/ .
How bizzare that all of us should turn independently up at the same venue on the same day, although it could say something of the calibre of the fishing that can be had here.
Though considering how the morning went I suppose you could put it like this:
How many bloggers does it take to catch a 10oz dace?
As bleeding many as you want! cos we had five of em and we never caught one.
Myself and Andy were lucky from what I hear. We did have an all but brief spell where the fish fed and Andy did snaffle a nice pike just under double figures around mid morning. For me I had to settle for the biggest dace of the day, a mere four ounces.
In the few days that have passed since the uber blogger, The lure of piscatorial idlers quest on the Warks Avon returning past Ryton, fished this ancient bit of river I have been perplexed somewhat over the seeming poor performance. Reading that Jeff too has been mulling the situation has pushed me towards some conclusions of my own.
I initially thought a temp drop may have been responsible for a drop off in feeding in this normally reliable winter hot spot. Then I suspected it may have been a drop in barometric pressure or that the two cormorants may have been signs of a more insidious problem. But now I realise that I for one may have been attributing blame to all the normal scapegoats and ignoring the obvious...
I first fished this stretch when not one grey hair sprouted from my temples and way before I had forgotten what a razor felt like on my chin. At that point I remember even in winter we had to stamp dead winter foliage so our lines didn't get tangled in it and in the summer it was impossible to get any further into the thick scrub than the swim I was fishing in. Now it can comfortably hold multiple anglers which leads me to my final theory on what may be affecting the fishes feeding in this once forgotten wilderness. It's us! back in the day I would guarantee that these naive fish would feed from light till dark. I for one remember going home early after running out bait on several occasions. But now the ground is bare and hard from the scuff of anglers feet and at any one time multiple anglers will be in attendance. So if it is not our fault we must at least put ourselves in the same categories as all the other reasons we try to blame for the fish not feeding in our favourite winter hot spot.
Changing tack I do love a good fishing show and on Tuesday morning I received my Leamington angling news letter only to see that unbeknownst to me that we had one on our very door step in only a few days time.
I would just like to say thank you to Anthony for putting that on the newsletter as I for one would not have realised it was on. Also, to the organizers of this show, even though I live in Coventry and work regularly at the Richo arena, I had no idea this was on so maybe your local advertising at least needs some work.
I will certainly be going over to purchase some much needed supplies that I have been planning on ordering online that I fancy will help me out with my summer campaign 'The Lake'; I will let you know if it was any good and what bargains I got from it next time.