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

Tuesday 23rd August Hampshire Avon and Bristol Avon

I was woken at 2am by the rain hammering down on the roof of the car and this continued until 4am, then it started again at 6am.

The fields were really soaked as I squelched my way to the river. I fished another swim where I had seen some good chub, but would they take my bait, no! It was getting difficult to hold the bait into position as the loose weed was fouling the line, even with the rod tip under water. Whether it was the rain or people clearing weed hatches the situation was not good. By 10am it was almost impossible to fish properly.

I decided to look at another stretch of the river upstream to see if I could see some of the chub. I remember seeing a couple of large chub last year and told a friend about this spot (I was fishing a swim downstream). Within 15 minutes of telling him this news, he was coming to see me with a big grin on his face the chub went 6lbs 9oz.

Sure enough today there were 4 large chub swimming in mid water in the same swim. One was a very big fish with the others over 5lbs.

I walked down stream further to a couple of swims that contained some really large chub and it’s here where I saw the biggest chub I’ve ever seen. I only saw it a couple of times before it disappeared under some weed.

Disaster the place had been cleared. The willows torn from the earth, swims which once contained the huge chub were none existent. In fact I couldn’t recognise the swims which I fished. We talk about the riots on the streets well, this was riots on the river banks and the only difference is that nobody will be held responsible for this damage on this once beautiful stretch.

The rain continued to pour and the sight of this havoc on the river bank plus I had broke the tip of one of my barbel rods, made me feel pretty miserable as I walked back to look at those lovely big chub upstream. I had been wondering what to do, the forecast was for more rain. I quick phone call home confirmed that the rain was on the east side of the country and around my home area we had no rain at all.


With a heavy heart I left there and then and drove home to try and fish the Bristol Avon for the remainder of the day.

Arriving home I grabbed a quick lunch and set off to the Bristol Avon. I had fished this stretch a few time recently however the otter had decimated the barbel that swim there. Where you used to be able to catch a good few doubles each year the fishery is now almost devoid of fish this size. There are plenty of barbel in the 3-6lb range and these fish are about 8-10 years old, the question is will they reach their maximum weight before they too meet a terrible end by being dragged up the bank and destroyed by the otter. Quite often just for a small few mouthful of organs, the otters favourite item on the menu.

If these otters live for 15 years in the wild then there will be few barbel around in the rivers. It’s just not the otters but the cormorants finishing off the silver fish too.

Do you know what we will have the cleanest rivers in the EU but devoid of  fish swimming in them. That’s it rant over!

I baited a swim which contained some small barbel and sure enough out they came to feed. I had seen a much larger fish there before and hoped it might just show itself.

After tackling up I swung the bait out underhand just under the bush on the far bank and sat back. I didn’t need to wait too long as the rod was almost wrenched out my hand and I was playing a barbel which tried to get under the snags on the far bank. I had set the clutch quite tight and the clutch only gave line a couple of times. Once it’s in mid river then the fight takes on a typical scrap of the barbel lunging away for freedom. the rod took most of these in it’s stride and soon the prize was in my net. It wasn’t the big one but a good size one from the stretch.

It was a good barbel of 6lbs 3oz

The river at this point is about as narrow as it gets so the swim was well disturbed so I moved to another swim upstream.

Here a few pellets were put out just behind a small weedbed. The chub were straight on the bait. There were a couple about 4-5lbs but all together about 8 or so were having a go. Again I swung the baited rig into position and sure enough the chub scattered in all directions. However I didn’t need to wait long for a bite. Again the rod was almost pulled from my hand. this was no chub but a small barbel of about 4lbs.

So this swim would be dead again for a while, so I moved to swim number 3 where I saw about 4 barbel all about 6lbs feeding in and out of the cabbages. A few pellets had them scurrying around to clear them all up. I don’t need a better invitation to fish than this.

Soon a few more pellets were fed into the swim plus my baited rig. Again it took less than 5 minutes before the rod was pulled around and barbel took off into the cabbages. Again the line scythed through them as I gained line. It was very tight swim where you couldn’t raise your rod too high to play the thing, however I soon had her in the net.

So this one had been recently ottered. Not good!

While I was watching the barbel return to feed I spotted some good chub coming into the swim. One of these looked close to 5lbs which for a BA fish is quite large. So out went just a few more pellets.

The chub came mooching around and would take the odd pellet then move off. They did this for about 15 minutes and I thought it would only be a matter of time before they make a mistake.

Then out of the blue the line pulled tight across my finger and the rod pulled over against another fish which shoot off into the cabbages. Was it the big chub, it fought well into the cabbages which normally means a chub. Slow pressure had me beating it and slowly extracting it from the weed. No big chub but a small 5lb barbel, and this was going to be the signal to the end of the session in that small swim.

Small barbel of about 5lbs

I returned to swim number 2 caught a scruffy little chub of about 2lbs. So with this swim now finished for the session too, it was time to return to number one swim where I hoped that the larger barbel would put in an appearance.

A few pellets were scattered into the swim and the rig cast out under arm. This time I had to wait for sometime for a take, and I missed it. Don’t ask me why but I did.

Then about 20 minutes elapsed and the rod tip lurched around and I lifted into a fish which didn’t do anything other than come straight in…………..arghhhhh……….. it’s a bream, not a small one but one which I guessed would weigh 5lbs.

It was lively enough to jump out of my hands and luckily land on my unhooking mat. That was as much fight as it put up for all it’s 5lbs 3oz.

So that was two fish in each swim 6 fish in total, 50% had signs of otter damage, I ask myself why do I pay the EA rod licence  for them to be burying their heads in the sand and saying there isn’t a problem with otters…….there I go again…..just chill!

I was going fishing again tomorrow I think it will be somewhere else on the BA.




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