I kicked off the 2013 campaign by reacquainting myself with the Warwickshire Avon. At long last a period of dry, unseasonably warm and settled weather had taken a grip and it was clear from early in the week that running water fishing was on the cards for me again.
Having been kept off the river for nearly 2 months and knowing that the water level on this stretch had been around 7-8ft up at its recent peak, I was keen to assess the impact. I didn't have to look too far to see a big change to peg 3.
The large snag protruding out from the nearside bank used to be about 12ft nearer to the camera. It's the remnants of an overhanging willow that used to be a feature on peg 3, but has now created an even bulkier feature for peg 2.
I was joined by fellow club member Charlie on this trip and we both decided to hedge our bets by tackling up one rod for Pike and another for anything else that might be feeding. We found it tough going in the main part, but we both found a few Roach and Dace on maggot and caster. I moved on to bread flake and prawns to see if any Chub or Perch would oblige, but nothing showed up. I felt confident of finding a Bream or two in the coloured conditions, but that was totally misplaced.
I managed a couple of Pike, both taken on Smelt deadbait. The usually reliable Lamprey section got zero interest though. Both of my fish were only jacks around the 5lb mark - the story of my winter Pike campaign so far (albeit a very short and interrupted one) .
Charlie is a reluctant Piker, but he still winkled one out himself. It was quite a solid fish and the best of the day at 9lb 2oz. You can see from his handling and the almost pained expression that he's not too keen - although he is a Wolves fan, so sporting a pained expression on a Saturday afternoon is par for the course!
I shouldn't take the mickey about Pike handling though, as I was left sporting some battle scars from one of these feisty buggers! Two months off has left me out of practice - well that's my excuse.
It's good to be fishing a river again. Onwards and upwards from here until March I hope.