Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Show and Short Session reports.

Well it has been a busy one for me this past weekend. On Saturday after spending the morning paying all those annoying monthly bills, I headed over to the Richo arena to have a look round the Midland Carp & Coarse show to hopefully get pick up a few things. 
First of all, I have to say how impressed  I was with this show. I have been to loads of shows, fairs and festivals relating to angling and at just about every one I always find myself walking away thinking something like there was too many manufactures, or that there was not enough retailers, and that what the were peddling was a load of old junk. This one however seemed to have the right balance of just about everything; a few large manufacturers plus their obligatory big names such as Bob Nudd and Dean Macey - the latter of the two I spotted munching down on a banana just as we walked past. 
As well as the big boys there were lots of smaller companies showing off their new ideas, including it would seem, every possible flavour of bait you can (and can't!) think of.
For me and most of the other penny pinching anglers in attendance, the retailers were really where the action was. And for once there was some real top quality bargains to be had. 
I was adhering to a strict self imposed budget, as I have in the past gone mad at these things, so for once I knew what I was after and from whom it should be purchased.

My first stop was at Eric's Angling. Last year I bought some Fox camo soft steel line from them via mail order and was very impressed with both the line and the price. This is the old packaging version of it, but as far as I can see there is little difference between this and the new stuff. 

Retail £18
Eric's sell this at normally £8 
Show price £5 

Next on my hit list were these Nobbler leads which are made and sold by Atomic tackle. Last year I was just using normal grippa leads for moulding hali pellets round for barbel fishing on the rivers, and this year I fancy these may help with that job as well as using them for bream and tench fishing on the Method.

Retail £1.90 each
Show price £10 for 13

I am a massive fan of back leads and although I have recently not been using a purpose made ones and instead I have been using a cheap bombs combined with a quick clip. These, cheekily nicknamed 'The Nutz', caught my eye!

Retail £1.90 each
Show price £10 for 13

Lately I have had some luggage problems. My Korum ruck bag is far too bulky to be used on short mobile sessions, so I have been squeezing the small amount of kit I take on these roving sessions into a tiny satchel sized bag. This always leaves me a bit short of space so I have been looking for a small to medium sized holdall to fill the void, and this oak leaf camo holdall with ergonomic strap and handle looked perfect for the job.

Retail unknown
Show price £11 (That is just a bargain no matter what the retail was)

The final item is a far as I am concerned a must for all anglers camera bags. I bought my first ever bank stick to camera adaptor from the local tackle shop and lost it on a beach in Suffolk in autumn last year. I begrudgingly paid and exorbitant price for a replacement on my return. Then at the show I saw a massive pot of these at a ridiculous price.

Retail £4.50 each
Show price £1

For me anyway, this show seemed a real success. It was attended well by all types of companies and organisations.  Though it was not one of the gargantuan monster shows like they used to have at the NEC, it's simple size, free entrance and parking all seemed to help to pull in maximum numbers of punters. I think everyone involved must of been impressed as money was happily changing hands and anglers were struggling back to their cars weighed down by plenty of bargains. I hope it happens again and will keep my eye out for it next year.


I am determined to get in as many trips to the river as I can before the season ends no matter how short they may be. In previous years I have been lured away in February and the first two weeks of March, eager to get onto thawed lakes. But this year I am sticking to my guns and refuse to leave running water until the very bitter end of the season.

Sunday was the chosen day for my family to mass in a reasonable food establishment to celebrate the 89th birthday of my Grandmother. I love her to bits but the fact that she insists on eating dinner not that long after the time most people are enjoying a leisurely Sunday breakfast, kind of scuppers any plans to do anything that day other than go to dinner with me nan. So with a short amount of time and a self made commitment to maximise my time on the river I opted to again go in search of that rarest of fishes, the 6lb chub from the upper Warks Avon.

I knew I had made the right decision when I stepped out the back to collect a frozen net head and was met by the sight of  a light sprinkling of snow on the ground. I was also very disappointed no one was around to see the best slide I have ever done on the icy path going to the car. Rod in one hand, net in the other and my bag on my back I slid a full five or more feet perfectly calmly right up to the car boot, stopping inches short and pressing the boot open button on the key with my mouth.

The river looked spot on flowing harder than my last visit with that bit of colour that just looks right.

My first cast into the near edge under cut produced straight away when a nice three pound chub gave me a quick double tap as it engulfed my lob worm bait and signalled they might be on the feed.

Just lately I have switched from cheese paste and bread over to worms as I know this stretch contains some nice perch which gobble up lob worms before they even hit the bottom on the right day.
After breaking up a couple of sub par worms and depositing them into the flow, I walked of the have a look at something I'd spotted on the way to the river leaving my swim to settle down again. 
It seemed most of the swans in the county were in residence in some poor farmers field munching away at his soft and tender crops. Literally hundreds of them were grouped in one single field calmly mooching about unhindered, which made for quite a sight.

Back in my swim  and cast back into the undercut I thought the perch may of turned up when I got some very tentative plucks and my worm came back a bit mangled. After casting in again, the tip hooped violently as a brain dead 1-2lb chub crashed around the swim. Unusually this was followed by two more of the same year class which is odd because I have only ever caught micro chub or full size chub from this area.

The three marauding smaller chub seemed to ruin this swim totally so I upped sticks to go and fish a snag on the top of the meadow. After thinking I had cleverly made the perfect cast under the slumped tree, I sat on that it for about thirty minutes until a clump of dead reed forced me to reel in,  where I found my perfect cast was not so perfect at all and that I was well and truly connected to the snag. My pulling for the break only served to yank a swinging branch up and down into the swim ruining this usual banker in only one perfect cast.

My time was running out and although I had another swim in mind way down stream. I opted to return to the original swim to run out my session and save the other one for another day.

Honestly I never expected to get another bite. So I was only half watching my rod tip whilst I scanned the mornings doings on Facebook when I spotted the first nod over the top of my phone screen and instantley dropped the the phone into my bag. It took a while for the bite to develop but it eventually did and I found myself connected to a real experienced brute. This one knew every trick in the book and used every one as well. Twice I had to pull it out of the dead reeds on my own bank as it tried desperately to bury itself deeper. In the end I snatched it before it made antoher to bid for freedom.

A short and stocky four pounder rounded off the morning well and as I packed up happy with five nice fish under my belt I wondered where that elusive six I know is here is hiding.


I thought my fishing was done until later in the week, until Jacky mentioned she was going out for dinner to Leamington with her work colleges to celebrate the end of a particularly busy month in student immigration. At first it never dawned on me and just told her there was loads of parking in Leamington. But then the next day when I was residing in my silent ear defender world it clicked 'there are two rivers run very close to Leamington and  my kit from the previous session is still set up ready to go'.
I felt like a real hero offering to drive her out for the night and then offering to hang round in the dark waiting to pick her up afterwards. Jacky gratefully consented to me dropping her off and I whipped straight over the corner shop to obtain a tin of luncheon meat for bait.

I was strange going to a bit of river I had never fished before and casting blind in the night. Straight away I was into the silvers fishing leftover bread flake on the hook and fruity liquidised bread in the feeder.
My meat line had sat silently on the bait runner since being cast close to a over hanging tree upon arrival but about half way through the session it went off with no warning straight onto the baitrunner.
I felt sure I was going to be met by absolute power of a barbel. So much so that I had dug my feet into the mud and almost spat on my hands before striking. But the power was not there and all to easily another chub found it's way into my net.

My first night time self take of 2012 did not go to well. I didn't even realise until I got home that it was a duff. I suspect the lens had misted up on hitting the night air after being wrapped up nice and warm in my snug new bag.
Now although I am determined to maximise my catches this year by fishing for appropriate species in the suitable seasons. My continuing appearance on my own blog holding nothing but chub is getting to me a bit! So next time my ugly mug appears on the internet I hope to be holding a Lady of the Stream which rightfully could be a man...


  1. My first show purchase was one of those camera adaptors! £1 - a steal!

    I totally agree with you on the show - a very good mix for everyone and the best one I've visited for a good while. I hope it returns next year.

    Good luck on the Itchen.

    1. My only regret Sean is that I only bought one. I should have took the lot and sold em on ebay :)

  2. According to another blog, which will remain nameless as you haven't stated the venue and I respect that, they are all mute swans...if I have correctly deciphered the location Daniel. There were some 'winter swans', Bewicks I seem to recall, amongst them last winter if you had the pleasure of seeing them?
    Dare I ask who controls that stretch as it's in the rough area I intend to visit occasionally?

  3. I try not state in my posts the exact locations of the stretches of rivers I fish. Largely because of an experience I had after one capture.
    But on the other hand I do not try and keep it a total secret ether ;)
    If you have recognise the place George, good on you and good tight lines. As far as I know the club which used to control this stretch let it go a few years ago. Another club did show some interest but nothing ever came of it.
    Beyond that the only person I have ever sought permission from to fish it is God himself and I never got a response! So I took that as a yes.

  4. It was very briefly held by a club until Autumn 2010, when they gave up the rights and told members it was due to a lack of fish! As a member at that time I was a bit peed off and didn't renew my ticket again.

    I don't know if anyone has taken it on since - almost certainly not I'd say.