Tuesday 20th July - River Avon, Wasperton. 10am to 4-30pm.
I decided on a short session targeting Barbel or Chub. I planned to give it until 2pm and tot take it from there, figuring that the weather or the quality of the fishing would determine if the session went into extra time.
The approach was simple - straight lead, 8lb mainline, 6lb hooklength to a size 8, with a flavoured meat as bait. Hemp and caster were loosefed over the area - well they were catapulted into the willow slightly upstream and I kind of hoped they would end up somewhere near the hookbait. I should really have got the bait dropper out.
An hour or so in and I got the first bite, which resulted in a Chub of about 1.25lbs.
I had nothing else over the next couple of hours, but I was getting the odd line bite. I thought it was small fish, so I switched the rig over just to satisfy my curiosity. Fishing caster, the next 20 minutes were fairly hectic and the tip never stopped moving:
It was alive with small fish, but having proved my theory, I went back to the meat set up. 2pm came and I decided to give it a bit longer. Within 10 minutes I had my second bite on the meat and fairly quickly found myself attached to a snagged fish! I changed the angle by moving downstream but it wouldn't budge and I figured I'd lost this battle as I couldn't feel a fish on the other end.
I gave it one last shot using the trusted method - slacken off the line, count to ten and then crank up the pressure again in one quick movement. Luckily it worked and the Chub came up out of the weed. It wasn't a huge fish, but a better sample at 2lb 8oz - the photo was a bit rushed and some of the weed is still attached to the fish!
This renewed all hope again and I gave it another hour and then a bit longer and a bit longer. Foolishly I felt confident of getting a Barbel or perhaps a better Chub, but it didn't happen. With Madeleine needing a lift from the train station I had to call it a day at 4-30.
Just before leaving I spoke to an angler who had set up near the Hawthorn bush. He was new to the area and said it was his first season fishing the Leamington waters. He said he's had 3 Barbel from the stretch this season, two of which were doubles - biggest 12lb 8oz. Very nice!