Sunday, 25 January 2015

Down the Mill

Last week I suffered an alcohol induced lay off, caused by a little Saturday night over indulgence. Eager to make use of the good river conditions this week, I crammed in a short afternoon predator session down on the Avon.

With time against me I decided to stay a little closer to home and for the first time this season I reached for my Warwick book. It's actually the first time I've held that book during my blogging years. I was a regular in years gone by though so I know their waters pretty well.

Two venues were on my mind for this session and although I wasn't a predator angler the last time I fished them, I had experienced my share of predator problems while fishing for other species at both venues.

In the end it came down to convenience. Saxon Mill was the closest, so it was always going to be tough to drive straight past it.

I have some fond memories of this stretch dating back 20 years. There are lovely swims where you can just hide yourself away from everyone and enjoy the scenery. The only drawback is the access, which isn't always the best.

One peg that would always feature amongst my all time favourites is the one sat in the shadow of the Guy's Cliffe ruins. Aside from the draw of the ghostly and imposing ruins, the peg itself is a classic. A deep nearside back eddy with plenty of overhanging features, a good flow of water just beyond and lots of far bank cover.

I concentrated on the slacker water on the nearside and dropped out a pair of deadbaits. Sardine to my left and lamprey to my right.

It only took the second move of the sardine to trigger a response. At the time I was just clicking off a few photos for the blog when the float twitched. It then dipped under and I was in business. It wasn't the hardest of fights though and I slipped the net under a pike of 7lb 8ozs. As it's the first I've caught from the stretch it set me a target.

The rest of this fairly brief session was a struggle though. I wanted to check out the prolific mill race above the weir. At times it is stuffed with silver fish and that in turn means predators won't be far behind. I recall having some problems here in the past - not from a pike though, but from the biggest perch I've ever laid eyes on.

The promise wasn't fulfilled though and I retired to the weirpool for my last attack. It went totally wrong though, largely due to snag after snag taking its toll. I quit and was left to rue my decision to move away from the area near the ruins. 

It was nice to reacquaint myself with the mill again, but it might be a while before I return. The weeks are slipping by quickly and other venues are still on my to do list.

The week ahead looks set to turn colder and particularly so towards the weekend, when there might even be potential for some of the white stuff. Maybe my snow pike will be on the cards this year after all?


  1. Sean I fished there for the first time ever this morning, didn't do well at all. Blog to follow :)

  2. Looks a cracking spot that Sean, I wouldn't mind blanking there !

  3. A nicely marked pike that, and a great spot to fish

  4. Do you know I've never had a perch from the place except for one caught on blood flavoured bread in the weir pool. I've seen a few dead monster stripeys, one easily three pounds. Never caught one on worm or maggot though, and I've fished both enough times there. Weird but true.

    1. I've caught plenty below the weir (several pegs down) to just shy of 2lbs. Above the weir, the same as you - nothing I can recall. Yet that's where I saw a lump of a perch - easily 3lb and probably nearer 4lb attacking fish I was reeling in. It's not surprising that big perch could exist though, given the food on offer down there! I could never catch them though!

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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