Warwickshire Avon Piking

Warwickshire Avon Piking

Warwickshire Avon Piking

05 December 2013

I had been due to carp fish the weekend of 30 November/ 1 December but having enjoyed some river piking last winter this had started to creep back into my thoughts.

I was still a bit uncertain on Friday night as to what I was going to do but my wife was not feeling 100% and news from Farriers was that no carp were showing and nothing had been out for at least a week. That made up my mind, a days solitude on the river it would be.

Living in Evesham, I have numerous good stretches of the Warwickshire Avon within 6 miles of home and these days, I seem to be getting drawn towards the peace and solitude of the river more and more (I really must have a go for the carp – I have threatened to for the last two years but always get distracted!).

Anyway on Saturday morning I decided to try my luck in a weir pool. It was a good mile long walk from the car but I could have an hour or so in each swim and work my way downstream of the weir back towards the car as the day progressed.

Tactics were simple; a float fished deadbait with a 20g weight to hold the bait down on the bottom. The float was set about 1ft over depth to allow for flow fluctuations. The first swim was at the head of the weir, fishing into slack water alongside the main flow. I then tried a bait in the lock cutting, but this was fairly shallow so after a biteless hour I moved downstream.

The next spot was a nice slack on the nearside just as the water exited the weir poor. Whilst being a complete novice at weir pool fishing, this appeared to be the sort of spot that pike would hold up in. After another biteless hour I was on the move again.

I went further downstream this time to a more traditional river swim; a bit more in my comfort zone. I should point out here that the stretch of river was rarely fished so there were no manmade swims/ platforms. I really had to pick a likely looking swim where I had a chance of getting down the steep back to net fish, if I was lucky enough to get a bite. So there were good lucking parts of the river that I simply had to walk past as I could not fish them in safety. The Avon tends to drop straight down to at least 6 ft deep with no shallow margins and I really did not fancy sliding in.

The next swim had some marginal reeds and it looked like the bank was undercut beneath and old tree stump. Baits were lowered in and then just eased up the marginal shelf a little as this seemed to be the best spot for a take according to my experiences of last winter. After about 40 minutes, I received a take on the downstream rod. A firm strike was made and after a spirited fight, I landed a pike of about 8.5lb. I was more than happy with that. I dropped a fresh bait back in the same spot and it only took 10 minutes this time and I had another take. This pike turned out to be about 4lbs.

I re-baited again and decided to move my upstream rod a little further downstream to where there were more undercut banks. After about 40 minutes that rod was away. This fish was probably 6-8lbs but threw the hooks in the margin. The bait was dropped back in an after another 50 minutes or so without a bite, I started to tidy up a few bits ready for another move. I had spotted another nice looking area back near the car on my walk up the river in the morning and fancied trying there for the last hour or so of the day. Just as I was about to reel in, the float bobbed and slid out into the current signalling another bite. This one stayed on and was 3-4lb.

I still packed up and moved downstream to my last swim, with a long bank of snags downstream and some reeds upstream. The baits were dropped onto the marginal shelf and after about 20 minutes, the upstream rod was away. This was a pike of about 4lbs again and despite fishing another hour in the swim, that fish turned out to be my last of the day.

I had enjoyed a fantastic days fishing on a peaceful river not seeing a soul all day. I did fish again on Sunday trying another stretch of neglected river, but despite walking a good 2 miles, I only received one take from a jack, which managed to throw the hooks.

This was great fun and a welcome break from carping. With no fishing trips planned between now and Christmas, I can see me sneaking out for the odd couple of hours here and there on the river just to get my fishing fix!