Kenny's Angling Guiding Service
Kenny's Angling Guiding Service
Kenny's Angling Guiding Service
Kenny's Angling Guiding Service
Kenny's Angling Guiding Service
Kenny's Angling Guiding Service
Kenny's Angling Guiding Service
Kenny's Angling Guiding Service
Kenny's Angling Guiding Service
Kenny's Angling Guiding Service
Kenny's Angling Guiding Service

Friday 12th August Bristol Avon with Andy Cowley

First a joke

I recently found out a friend of mine is addicted to brake fluid. When I confronted him about it he said he could stop at any time.

Andy and I met in the car park at our allotted time. The day was cloudy with a hint of drizzle in the air and this was the forecast for the remainder of the day, perfect for fishing. Andy settled into a swim where I had a small barbel on Monday, however there are some larger fish there together with a double fish. They tend to move through 3 or 4 swims from cover to cover.

I decided to fish a swim that gets so much pressure as it’s the one adjacent to the car park. There were 3 or 4 chub present with one being about 5lbs and the others smaller. I put out a few pellets behind a big boulder where the food settles behind in the current.

As per normal the chub take a few of the free baits and then scarper. I cast in at this point and wait for the chub to return and start to feed. First they do a circuit of the boulder a few times and disappear downstream then they come back individually and pick up a few pellets. This continues until they pick up your hookbait. They started to return after 20 minutes or so and one by one they started to pick up baits. The difficulty with this is that you cannot target individual chub and just have to take what comes first, often it’s the largest one.

The first thing I saw was the twisting flash of the chub as it hooked itself and then almost simultaneously pulled the line tight follow again by the rod top, all very exciting really. The fight was not very spectacular as the fish was caught just a few feet out from the bank and the 12lb line and 1.75 t/c rod soon had it under control.

Still a very nice chub lay in the net.

A nice deep bodied chub of exactly 4lbs

It was such a nice fish I thought I would take a quick snap. I was hoping for the 5lb fish but a bite and a fish in 20 mins is a good result from a very pressurised swim.

So no blanking today.

Meanwhile Andy was blanking in his swim. I decided to look into the swim just above him as the barbel do tend to move from his to this swim. Sure enough there were about 10 barbel with a couple of fish around the 7-8lb mark plus a few chub. I fed a few pellets in and in no time at all, the bottom was being torn up by the barbel and chub present. I quick relayed the message to Andy who came up for a look. Soon he was ready to cast in his PVA bag of pellets with his hook bait.

The barbel were spooked and returned to their hiding place but soon came out and started to feed. I can’t remember but I think he misted a chub bite where it twisted and turned and threw the hook without the tip moving. Then a couple of the larger barbel moved off downstream to his original swim.

The next cast produced a take from a chub which almost took him into the roots of the tree. Andy was taken aback by the power of the first run. After stopping the chub in it’s tracks he soon had it in the landing net. We looked at it and both thought it worth weighing. The answer was a surprising 3lbs 9oz however the fish looked larger.

After this, the swim was going to need a good rest before the fish settled. So Andy tried a swim where he had caught a 5lb 14oz chub earlier in the season. I headed off in the other direction to fish a swim that has produced a few doubles however I’ve not seen the big fish there this week.

I was going to feed another swim for him. However I failed because on my way there I spotted a very large barbel under a tree, so I baited a spot close by. The barbel did move, but not onto the bait. Plenty of chub and bream were showing there though.

I eventually arrived and baited my swim and as I moved to bait Andy’s swim he arrived. Out went a few pellets and within 1 minute two barbel came out from under the tree to look at the bait but not feed. Then there were 3 of them in and out from the swim. They were feeding occasionally but not ripping the bottom up.

As the next 30 minutes went by the fish were more and more confident. I would say one was 8lbs another 9lbs and the other a double. It was time to cast out once they moved away and Andy was spot on the money with the cast. After a very frustrating hour with the fish feeding really well on the pellets Andy hadn’t had a touch. It was time to recast and on reeling in the end rig was tangled. Buggar!

I left him to recast while I visited the two swims I had baited. I bumped into Kevin Richards who is a guide like me. We had a good chat and he told me the 1st Division National was probably being fished on the Bristol Avon next year.

When I returned to Andy, he was not best pleased as he had only cast out for 10 mins or so and had a take from one of the barbel and the hooklink snapped. A very unusual event for Andy.

I had cast out and left the bait in for 1 hour and not seen any large barbel only a small one of about 6lbs that came in had a munch and moved on not to return again.

His and mine thoughts were that he would possibly not get another fish from here in a hurry,  so we moved swims again.

We arrived in the swim and tossed a few pellets in and a few chub came out to feed. The barbel would only poke their noses out and take the odd pellet. We decided that there were a couple of 5lb plus chub present so we would try for these with perhaps a possibility of a barbel.

His first cast was excellent and on the money. We could see the chub gathering and Andy eventually had a take and pulled back half a pellet. How do they do this?

His next cast was a repeat of the first and we sat back and waited. Within 10 minutes or so the chub were munching away and the occasional barbel came out on the shallows too.

Soon after this his rod was wrenched around and a fight was on. Quickly we realised it was a barbel and he put pressure on to keep it out of the weed, when it did get weeded he gently eased it out. Soon it was weeded again under his feet, but that’s not a problem as you just slide the landing net up behind it and “hey presto” it’s landed.

It was not the monster but a nice fish of between 4-5 lbs.

Andy's well earned 4-5lb barbel

As we were photographing the barbel a mate of mine Graham Parry came along and we had a good long chat. He had just lost a barbel too from a great looking swim, apparently it got into some weed under his feet and unhooked itself.

It was almost time for Andy to leave and we walked back to the car. Andy was going to have one more try in the swim he baited in the morning. I thought about staying but decided to head to another part of the river about 8miles away.

I arrived at the new stretch to find a small shoal of barbel to about 9lbs or so. I put in a few pellets and the water coloured up immediately with the barbel feeding. When the barbel left the swim I dropped the PVA bag of pellets and hookbait onto the spot. Would they return yes, but could I get a pickup no.

I only gave it an hour and when it started to rain having no coat or umbrella it didn’t lift my spirits.

So that was it I had enough. Having said that I only cast into the river 4 times today so it was more watching and supporting than fishing. I had a great day with Andy as normal. I only wished he landed that big barbel that he lost. Next time though!




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