Session 29 – Pensham Bream And A New PB!!

As suggested in my last post I did indeed set off for a BAA stretch on the Warks Avon at Pensham near Pershore at 0600 on Tuesday 17th August.

The trip, largely on the M5 (J2-J7), was not bad … a large number of trucks and lorries on the motorway but traffic was flowing freely past … and I did fine until the last half a mile or so when the SatNav did its usual trick of saying ‘keep straight on the road’ when in fact what it meant was ‘turn right halfway round a left hand bend in the road’ ie a right turn but you don’t actually have to turn the steering wheel’ … Anyway, this ended up with me going round in a circuitous route, probably passing the same place twice before I worked out what was happening via the street signs!! That probably added 15-20 minutes to the journey so my arrival at 0715 on the BAA car park was reasonable.

As I’d not visited the venue before – and as usual I was the first to arrive – and the only arrival all session as it happened – I decided to take a short stroll to view the water which was only 60 yards or so away.

Firstly I walked to have a look up stream … looked at the first 3 pegs but a scattering of lily pads between the bank and open water were deemed to be a possible hindrance to the landing of fish and so I ventured a short distance downstream and the pegs there were more open and so I decided on the second of the pegs there.

All the pegs had steps cut into the bank down to planked platforms but, despite mine being one of the larger ones, they are quite cramped … at least for my style of fishing but probably better if you have one of those seat boxes to which your rod rests, bait waiters, etc clamp. I had to use my XL telescopic rod rest (1.2m-2.1m) almost fully extended and pushed into the water via a gap in the planks at the front – that was fitted with a ledger head/bar … and the rod butt was rested on my bait bag … and with my folding camping seat alongside there was not much space left and all else had to be left behind my chair and on the lower steps…

My Swim

Tackle for the day…

  • Ron Thompson 360cm/12ft EVO2 feeder rod with red quiver tip
  • 8lb Daiwa Hyper Sensor main line with 8lb uncoated braid hooklength, size 6 barbless hook
  • 15g cage feeder

Baits used…

  • Bread
  • Worm
  • Prawn
  • Sweetcorn

The mix used in the feeder… well, a picture is worth a 1000 words they say so …

2021-08-17 Feeder Mix

The feeder mix – cereals, rice, hemp, corn, dead maggots, pearl barley, etc, etc.

So, first cast was made aiming about 30 degrees downstream and 3/4 the way across at 0745 with pieces of  sweetcorn on the hook…. with a few gentle trembles of the tip ensuing…

0840 … first boats pass by – two one behind other. Boats are no problem with the fishing as the water is 10’-12’ deep and so the line is well away from the hulls and propellers unless they come within 20’ of the bank really and on this occasion a protruding tree downstream of me pushes the boats over towards the centre line.

0900 … first fish of the day … a 5lb 1oz bream is landed. Unfortunately, due to the previously described compactness of the fishing stage I was unable to set up my usual camera-on-tripod to take timer operated selfies with the fish and thus had to settle to try to photo in the net on the unhooking mat by my feet … however, the fish was a feisty devil and wouldn’t stay still and managed to flap himself off the map and into the water before a photo was managed.

1015 … a change of bait to bread and another bream reaches the landing net … and a PB one at that! Weighing in at 5lb 14oz it exceeded my previous PB by all of 2oz! Luckily, this one was not as excited as the previous fish (or was very vain and wanted a photo taken!) and so do have the photo of this one …

2021-08-17 Steve - 5lb 14oz Bream (New PB)

5lb 14oz Bream (New PB)

1155 … another bream, again on bread … 5lb 6oz

2021-08-17 Steve - Bream 5lb 6oz

Bream 5lb 6oz

And then all went very quiet until…

1325 … I swapped my bait to two cocktail prawns and a perch of around 4oz found these to be of his (or her) liking…

2021-08-17 Steve - Perch

Prawn loving perch

… then all was quiet until I packed in at 1500.

I decided to travel back on the A449 rather than M5 which I thought would be getting busy by the time I would be getting on and travelling along… and all went swimmingly only getting delayed in a long queue near Kidderminster but even that dissipated far quicker than I’d thought it would do so all was good in the end.

PLANS:

Well, I had thought to go back to the Worcs Stour on Thursday 19th but with Shrewsbury Folk Festival due to start on Friday 27th there’s a few jobs I want to get done before then so I’ve postponed that plan now. So the next outing will be some time after our return from festival now…

BTW … Shrewsbury Folk Festival main stage is, and has been for many years, streamed live on the internet for free viewing by all. Slightly different this year as the usual seated marquees will not be in use and the two main music stages (The Cuckoo and The Skylark) are open air – and from the line-up the Cuckoo seems to be the ‘main’ with the bigger names – but the usual screened live streamed broadcasts will still be made. See Who’s On and When for timings of appearances BUT note these can often fall behind by an hour or so by the end of the day. As to viewing the streamed content, there should be at the time a link on the main web pages (Shrewsbury FF Main Page)… And if you should miss them then most are available via YouTube at a later date. Sometimes it can happen that due to contracts (recording companies, etc) various acts cannot be broadcast but these are few and far between. Search YouTube for ‘Shrewsbury Folk’ to see content from previous years….

As Steve Knightley (Show Of Hands) and John Jones (Oysterband) are co-patrons of the festival then their bands perform virtually every year and sometimes they appear in other forms/groups….. J

Tight lines to all in my absence!!

Session 28 – Mower Stower…

Well, a Black Country dialect version of ‘More Stour’ rather than someone who puts their lawn cutting equipment away…

Thursday, August 12th, I made a return journey back to the Worcs Stour as I said I intended to at the end of my last posting… the section being the BAA controlled length at Stourton in Staffordshire. Just looking up, on Wiki, the county that the stretch is in (as its very close to entering Worcs and Hereford at that point and I wasn’t sure) it seems there’s as much controversy over the pronunciation of the name as there is with Shrewsbury (Shrews-bury, Shrows-bury or Shows-bury) with three differeing pronunciations: Stower-ton (the right one to me as it matches the pronunciations for Stourport and Stourbridge and also the name of the river itself) but seems others call it ‘Stir-ton’ or ‘Store-ton’. Oh well, ‘a rose by any other name is still a rose’ as they say :).

Anyway, the day started as it had for the previous outing … again due to the alarm clock … actually a case of ‘bad workman always blames his tools’ as the alarm clock didn’t do what it what it wasn’t told to do and didn’t do it perfectly! I set the time perfectly, I even set the alarm time perfectly … but then I didn’t actually activate the alarm this time round! 😦

So, I again was 30 minutes later rising than intended … luckily due to the body clock kicking in…

Anyway, it wasn’t too bad as I was only taking my ‘roving’ kit and thus with limited luggage to take most was pre-packed and had just a small selection of baits to be taken from the fridge and a flask of coffee to be made, my snacky stuff having already ready prepped the previous evening.

I arrived at the waterside in my selected swim – the one I’d fished on my last two visits – around 0700. Easier walking from car to water this time as the field had been mown and the 2’-3’ high grass intended for winter feed was now in plastic covered cylinders awaiting collection.

On arrival at the water’s edge I mixed up, and fed into the the margins to mid-stream area, some bread mash mixed with dead maggot … and at 0715 I made my first cast with maggot on my size 12 barbless hook to 6” 8lb braided hooklength and 8lb Daiwa Hyper Sensor main line weighted by a small (3g?) penny lead on a sliding short link. The rod is an 11’, Grandeslam ‘Des Taylor Avon System 3’ with the quiver top in use.

0730 – first good knock but no follow up ….

0732 – 1210 – all seems as dead as a dodo with not a single tremble even of the tip. Change of baits between maggot, bread, worm, cheese’n’garlic paste along with searching the water bank to bank, near to far, etc, etc plus light feeding of bread mash and catapulted dead maggots brings no change…

1210 – a definite small tug on maggot but again no follow up…

1530 – I call it a day, pack up and head home to shower and change ready to collect Liz from work and to collect our Thursday night McD/KFCs for tea.

SO … first visit was good (4lb bream, lost carp of about same size, plenty of plucks plus a few small fish), second and third visits however have been blanks and only produced a few knocks on each occasion. Why the difference? The place is hard to read, as this swim is located within 30 yards of the sill of a weir the water level changes literally less than 2”-3” if that even … there is a monitoring station at this location BUT it is situated 300 yards or so BELOW the weir so doesn’t help with levels above … and the only other station on the river is upstream 8 miles away but should be the best indicator of water flows (current) at my area of fishing I’m thinking. Maybe need to try to get a correlation between results and water levels (and hence current) by referring to the data available via GaugeMap (https://www.gaugemap.co.uk/)?

Anyway, being as quiet as it was, I did walk upstream a little way and found some swims possibly worthy of investigation – easier now with the grass cut to get to without the battling. I think I will actually revert to the ‘roving’ that I’ve geared up for – fish a swim for 30-60 minutes then move on to the next one. As the stretch is relatively short it would be possible to rove in an upstream direction, fish and then bait up each swim as I move on the the next and then fish each again on the return back downstream on my way to the car. Ummmm…. 🙂

PLANS

Tuesday – Liz has decided not to fish so I’m planning to fish a BAA stretch of the Warks Avon at Pensham or Pershore) … https://www.baa.uk.com/where-fish/avon/pershore-left-right-bank-pensham/ … both areas are close to each other but of differing character allowing a choice to be made between fishing for chub/barbel at Pershore or for bream at Pensham … and its not inconceivable that I may do a half day on each as due to having to travel mainly on the M5 or the A449, both being very busy roads in the daytime, it requires an early start and a late’ish return to avoid the work time traffic.

Session 27 – Back To The Tench And Bream Pool [Including The Tale Of The Blitherin’ Idiot 2]

Monday, August 9th, Liz and myself set off for a day at the tench and bream pool (AA-B) … eventually as, and I expect this could come under the ‘blitherin idiot’ heading too, I’d set the alarm clock wrongly! Having been away camping a short while ago I did what I usually do before leaving the hoiuse for an extended period and turned off the power to anything not necessary to be left on – such as the PC and the various chargers I have connected in the bedroom to a multi-power block that also powers the radio alarm. I’d not needed the radio alarm since our return and thus I needed to set it on Sunday night for the Monday morning awakening… it was around 11 when we went to bed and I wanted to get up at 5:30 in order to finish off fishing preps (flasks, baits) … so the alarm WAS set to those times … at least numerically … BUT I set the 11 as AM not the PM it should have been but I did get the 5:30 correctly set as 5:30 AM … consequentially there was NO alarm at 5:30 AM as the clock now reckoned it was 5:30 PM … luckily I awoke naturally at 6:30 AM so we were only an hour behind time for the day…

So, it was around 0830 when we arrived at the pool, driving up to the far end as we intended to fish two swims up there but decided that the vegetation would be a problem and so drove back down to around the midway point which looked good.

During tackling up we had a short shower of rain which lasted about 1 minutes and later when tackling down there was another similar burst of precipitation – other than that it was a very pleasant and warm day.

We both fished ‘lift method’ with driftbeater floats – 6lb main line and 6lb braid hooklengths – size 14 and 16 hooks.
Bait was mainly 2-4 maggots although I did try sweetcorn and worm which both had interest shown albeit in the form of nudges and knocks rather than proper strikeable bites.

By the end of the day, Liz had had a few small perch and roach/rudd and myself a few small perch and two tench landed (2lb 11oz and 2lb 6oz) with another lost to the lily pads.

The 2-11 avoided getting its picture taken as it seemed the camera batteries had gone flat despite having taken a few scenic pics (per above) a bit earlier and so tench was returned without a picture. The 2-06 did get a pic taken though after the camera batteries had been replaced in the interim between captures.

2021-08-09 Steve - 2lb 6oz Tench 02

2lb 6oz Tench

1530 we decided to call it a day … and headed off for the usual beer and scratchings…

And the homeward journey wasn’t without its ‘events’….

On the way back we usually make a left turn at a ‘T’ junction onto the Wolverhampton- Bridgnorth Road but on this trip the road was closed and we had to right turn turn and do a detour. We assumed initially for road works as there are quite a few in progress in the area but as I looked back up the road there was a police van parked up … and so we then thought it was an accident… However on return home we discovered it was due to a murder with a body dumped in a large laybye often used by lorry drivers for overnight stays, etc.

Newspaper Report

So, back at home, I searched for my walkie talkie that seemed to be missing on the day. Liz and I use WTs to converse, etc when fishing as even in adjacent pegs my hearing is severely lacking and the WTs save Liz having to scream at me when I’m needed to land a fish, etc… I know I’d had it on the holiday but could we locate it anywhere? Searched the bags, the box of tent appliances, even the camping chairs in case it’d been left in the cup holder or pockets on the arms thereof… with no result… and then ‘blitherin idiot’ on his way to bed spotted his fishing coat and waistcoat hanging up, something that had not been checked as I’d have surely noticed them in the pockets on Monday … but then I remembered I’d not worn either on Monday at all … being warm I’d just dropped both into the back of the car with the tackle when leaving the house … and not worn whilst out. So, first dip into a coat pocket and like a magician’s rabbit out pops the missing walkie talkie!!! DOH!!!!!!

PLANS

Thursday 12th … a return to the Worcester Stour for me…

Next week … Liz has a hair appointment on the Monday so any fishing will be on Tuesday and destination will be decided once Liz decides if she’s fishing or not that day…