Accidental Avon Bits Bashing

Silverfisher

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For today’s session I had a change of scenery from my usual Thames and had a go on the Avon at wasperton. I’d been debating whether to fish it this weekend since walking it on Monday or to stick with the Thames for probably a guaranteed decent day. In the end the northerly breeze made the decision for me as whilst it’s a downstream for most stretches I have access to on both rivers the smaller more sheltered Avon seemed a sensible option. In hindsight I should have stuck with the Thames but nothing ventured nothing gained I guess.

Despite the longer drive the shorter walk meant fishing commenced about 8.30 like usual and finished around the usual 3.30. In that time I had 6 perch, 6 roach, 6 chublet, 1 gudgeon and at least 40 dace which sounds ok but save for the perch and a couple of the roach which were just about acceptable the fish were tiny! Like I’d have had about 4lb! 60 ish non bleak fish on the Thames would usually do say at least 10lb maybe 12lb if maggot fish and around 15lb if hemp fish which just showed how dire today was. I’ve never caught such small fish outside of the depths of winter tbh usually no bleak means no tiny fish but no today! The bailiff did say it had been fishing well for best part of a couple months before falling of a cliff in the last couple days he reckons due to the northerlys impacting a slow low river but I’m sure I would have done better but for couple mess ups. Firstly I forgot the groundbait which is never ideal on a river but I assumed I’d get away with it as I presumed hemp would work given how well it does on the Thames and can do on the Avon but it didn’t at all probably simply because there were no hemp sized fish in the swim. Then when it didn’t work I didn’t have enough maggots to pile in (never take many on the Thames due to the bleak) so had no real way of pulling better fish in. So bit of a sod of a session but at least it was warm and sheltered from the wind and whilst I’d have surely done a lot better on the Thames I doubt it would have been as good as it has been so far this season given the conditions so at least I’d tried a new stretch of a river I’ve not fished many times full stop.

Tackle wise I caught pretty equally on waggler and stick. Waggler set up was exactly the same as I go with on the Thames of the 13ft drennan acolyte ultra float rod paired with a 2500 shimano sahara RD reel loaded with 3lb maxima to 1.5G drennan loaded crystal insert waggler to a size 18 to 2lb drennan silverfish hook to nylon. Stick set up had the usual 14ft drennan acolyte ultra float rod again paired with a 2500 shimano sahara RD loaded with 3lb maxima but to a bigger 4x8 drennan stick (as opposed to the 4x4 I’ve been using on the Thames given its shallower) to again to a size 18 to 2lb drennan hook to nylon. Both rods were initially set up a bit off the bottom in a bit over 7ft of water but I shallowed up the waggler to about 3ft to fish the margins for perch (I’ve never seen such shy perch in my life btw!) and did have a go at that depth in the deep water as well. Hook bait wise after hemp didn’t work I tried single and double maggot in red and white with no real difference in success plus a couple perch on worm. Loose feed was mostly hemp with still not many red maggots (plus the odd white) but a lot more than I’d feed on the Thames.

My grandad was with me again and had the same bits issue during a hour and a half on waggler so then went on the feeder. He had a better perch and smaller skimmer early on maggot before getting bitted out on that as well before switching to corn for a couple hours of nothing before back to maggots for more bits. He did however have a good perch of easily 2lb which meant whilst he had far less fish than me he probably had about the same weight.

So all in all not a very successful session but at least it was change of scenery and a lovely spot to spend in the sun for a few hours. I plan to get back out on the Thames on Monday and whilst I doubt it’ll be as good as it has been so far this season til the wind changes to a more favourable direction and we get a drop of rain it should certainly be a lot better then today.

Pic of the swim, one of my perch and a rubbish pic of grandads big perch which really doesnt do it’s size justice but it was a quick pic after it spiked him trying to hold it up!
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Silverfisher

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So as per the above I had planned to be back on the Thames today. But when the alarm went off this morning there was already a pretty strong north wind blowing which lead to me think it wouldn’t be very nice at all by the time I got to the bank. Northerlies blow downstream or in your face on almost every stretch and havoc that plays with presentation does not go hand in hand with hemp fishing as the fish won’t tolerate it so I decided to sack it off. I’m sure I’d have done ok at least a lot better than the Avon on Saturday and had I had some company I’d have gone but I couldn’t be bothered to battle the elements on my own in case the fish didn’t play ball. So I thought I’d just leave it til Saturday. But late morning my uncle said he was heading to the Avon thinking he’d just sit on a feeder and hope for the best so I thought sod it I’ll join him even though I knew it would be hard again.

Picked a swim a couple hundred yards down from Saturdays one in the hope of better results but it was much the same with just tiny fish to waggler and stick and nothing on feeder. From 12 til 4 I had 2 perch, 6 roach, 6 chublet and about 25 dace which again sounds ok until you realise they would have only amounted to about 2.5lbs! I’ve just never know a stretch of river seemingly absent of normal sized fish outside of winter it’s really strange. They’re clearly there at times from past reports but not at the moment.

My uncle had it even worse sat on the feeder though although it could have been different but for fine margins. He had a reasonable perch first cast on worm then nothing for ages on whatever he tried. He then lost a good fish on corn that I suspect was a bream before doing so again later on with a fish that could have been anything as was on a bunch of maggots. He basically had his clutch set too loose in carp mode which obviously doesn’t work very well on relatively small rivers where the snags aren’t far away and the fish are flow assisted. He was fuming with himself as pretty sure whatever they were would have been river PBs for him. At least he learnt a less for when we head to the severn in a few weeks!

All in all it was another struggle hence why I tagged it onto this report rather than do a new one. No idea why this stretch seems to have such small silvers compared to the other places I’ve fished on the Avon nevermind the Thames. Makes me appreciate how good the Thames is as whilst I doubt it would have fished all that well this weekend I know I’d have done a lot better than I did on the Avon. I’ll certainly be back on the Thames next weekend as need to catch something at least half decent and whilst the conditions still don’t look like they’ll be great they do currently look like they’ll be slightly better than this weekend. Fingers crossed anyway!

Did manage to get an ok swim pic between gusts of wind and under all that foliage is where my uncles big fish ended up!

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NoCarpPlease

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well you can't say that I didn't warn you about the micro dace!!
4. Very few decent dace about ... which have been a staple for a few years now. BUT there are loads of micro dace in the river that will shell a caster before even giving an indication. Even get bites from them on hempseed! They need to grow on a bit!
On saturday, upstream at Barford, everybody struggled to get a bite on seed - very odd but in keeping with what you found!
Given typical dace lifecycles - those micro fish should be a decent stamp by next year (if the chub haven't eaten them all by then ...)

In fact - there were hardly any roach caught at all - strangely I snared three proper sized roach in the last 20 minutes of the match, after "filling in" the peg with casters and hemp for chub! I caught them at half depth on a 16 carbon feeder to 0.17 hooklength with double caster ... hardly subtle! :D
Up to that point - I'd only caught two tiny roach fishing "properly"
 

smiffy

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Second peg looks lovely. Very similar to my local river.
With one huge difference. My river would be solid with Cabbage, lilies, pipe reeds, eel grass, you name it, between me and the far bank feature. I envy people that can get on a river in summer👍😂
 

Silverfisher

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well you can't say that I didn't warn you about the micro dace!!

On saturday, upstream at Barford, everybody struggled to get a bite on seed - very odd but in keeping with what you found!
Given typical dace lifecycles - those micro fish should be a decent stamp by next year (if the chub haven't eaten them all by then ...)

In fact - there were hardly any roach caught at all - strangely I snared three proper sized roach in the last 20 minutes of the match, after "filling in" the peg with casters and hemp for chub! I caught them at half depth on a 16 carbon feeder to 0.17 hooklength with double caster ... hardly subtle! :D
Up to that point - I'd only caught two tiny roach fishing "properly"
True you did warn me, they were tiny indeed ouncers were whoppers! I think the hemp didn’t work simply because there were no hemp sized roach in the pegs or if they were they weren’t feeding. The roach I did have were bigger than the dace but still only a couple ounces tops which is about as small as I’d expect to catch on hemp on the Thames save for the odd real tiddler.


Second peg looks lovely. Very similar to my local river.
With one huge difference. My river would be solid with Cabbage, lilies, pipe reeds, eel grass, you name it, between me and the far bank feature. I envy people that can get on a river in summer👍😂
On most stretches of the the Avon, Ouse and Thames around here there are a few very weedy swims but most are fairly clear so it’s not a usually problem at all. Theres usually at least a couple of clean runs in most swims.
 

NoCarpPlease

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Second peg looks lovely. Very similar to my local river.
With one huge difference. My river would be solid with Cabbage, lilies, pipe reeds, eel grass, you name it, between me and the far bank feature. I envy people that can get on a river in summer👍😂
A lot of the Avon is either too deep for weeds to grow, flowing too fast for the more snaggy weeds or navigable, so kept clear by the boats/turbidity.
The same is true of the Thames and much of the Great Ouse - as mentioned by Silverfisher.
The curse of abstraction in the SE corner of this country would be my uninformed assessment.

True you did warn me, they were tiny indeed ouncers were whoppers! I think the hemp didn’t work simply because there were no hemp sized roach in the pegs or if they were they weren’t feeding. The roach I did have were bigger than the dace but still only a couple ounces tops which is about as small as I’d expect to catch on hemp on the Thames save for the odd real tiddler.
My assumption would be not feeding ... there are seed fish in pretty much EVERY peg on the river - not as many as the Thames, but still decent sport. I suspect the reason that they stopped feeding is the high pressure that is sat over the UK at the moment.
 

smiffy

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A lot of the Avon is either too deep for weeds to grow, flowing too fast for the more snaggy weeds or navigable, so kept clear by the boats/turbidity.
The same is true of the Thames and much of the Great Ouse - as mentioned by Silverfisher.
The curse of abstraction in the SE corner of this country would be my uninformed assessment.
Yes. We also receive a lot of water from the Great Ouse, pumped underground, into our rivers then into the local drinking water reservoirs. This comes with all the nutrients from the fenland fields. Twenty years ago you could fish all year round, often without the need to cut. Not so nowadays.
The saving grace is that the weed offers a good safe haven for young fish and fry. Bream suffer the most as they tend to like a clean bottom which is rare away from the mill pools.
 

Silverfisher

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My assumption would be not feeding ... there are seed fish in pretty much EVERY peg on the river - not as many as the Thames, but still decent sport. I suspect the reason that they stopped feeding is the high pressure that is sat over the UK at the moment.
I reckon you’re probably right as can’t believe they weren’t there. Very strange though as I’ve caught them on it from the Thames in such conditions just not as many as when conditions are better. The perch were certainly not very up for it which I’d never seen with perch before. On Saturday I had maybe a dozen sat down the edge in about 3ft of water and they were super finicky over loose feed let alone the hookbaits. Took constant tweaking of depth and pace and the hooking of baits to tempt the half dozen I had whereas normally little perch like that would be ravenous so easy to catch. Quite fascinating watching them and trying to tempt them though.
 

Silverfisher

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Well like a mug I went back for more punishment today. I had planned to fish the Thames but decided to go tomorrow instead cars today’s forecast wasn’t great by comparison. But when I woke up it was surprisingly nice out so I thought I’d better go somewhere to make the most of the weather as the end of summer draws closer. I’d left it a bit late to go to the Thames both from the getting a swim and primarily getting a decent parking place point of view so thought sod let’s go and see if it’s third time lucky on the Avon. Fair to say it wasn’t.

Due to the late start all the good looking early swims were taken so I went for the same one as the last session just to save time really in terms of plumbing and what not. Fished from 10 til 3 and even the little fish didn’t really want to play ball today as I only had about 10 small roach, 10 tiny dace, 5 small perch and 5 tiny chublet for probably 2lb. Well and a couple 4lb ish pike that at least pulled the string a bit. Did manage to start to get the roach going on hemp today (and elderberries) but the pike soon put pay to that and they wouldn’t tolerate it like they do on the Thames probably due it being a much smaller shoal of much smaller fish. Tiny roach by hemp standards certainly much smaller than the Thames stamp. Were it not for the pike I may have got a couple dozen of them but that would hardly be great if a decent size let alone at such a small size. The little perch down the edges were as wary as mullet again so somethings definitely up. Just baffling whilst this stretch is so hard at the moment, even had to drop down to winter hook links which I’ve never had to do anywhere before like November. Whilst nowhere is fishing wonderfully at the moment probably due to the lack of rain there are still quite a few good bags coming out of the Thames and on the navigable section of the Avon just a few miles downstream. I can only think it’s the impact of boats and what not giving them a bit more colour plus the fish just being used to commotion more even when it is clear. Did walk the section above the village after the session though and regretted not fishing there tbh as it’s a lot quicker flowing and shallower and plenty of better sized dace and few perch were shooting about so presumably feeding. One for another time I guess.

Will be back on the Thames tomorrow although after the weather turned out nice today I do regret not fishing it today as options are a bit limited tomorrow given the amount of matches on so the places I know would produce are off limits. Still pretty sure anywhere will be at least a bit better than today! Been 3 weeks since I properly fished the Thames so been 3 weeks since I had a properly good session! Still it was at least nice to be out in nice weather today and should be again tomorrow wherever I end up.

Nicer swim pic today at least and one of the roach just to show how weirdly small they are for hemp fish compared to the Thames. Obviously you do get a few that size on it from the Thames but they are far outnumbered by ones twice the size.
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