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Fun and filming on the Hampshire Avon with a legend
This event is organised to not only raise money for both causes but to serve as a group meet up where people can socialise and fish together.
We met up with James Van-Gowler who showed us around the stretch of river where several anglers were having a match. The water was crystal clear, full of minnows and fry, and plenty of weed drifting in the current.
Shortly before we arrived a whopping 14lb barbel had been caught! We soon got on with the task in hand, filming an angler who was a member of the Barbel Society. He told us about the good things the Barbel Society are doing and how he had been fishing the Hampshire Avon for over 50 years.
We spent the rest of the afternoon walking and exploring the river, enjoying the scenic surroundings.
Later on James drove us to an inn, close by the river, where all the anglers who had been fishing the match and many more Barbel Society and Avon Roach Project supporters met up for the evening.
It was here that we met Hugh Miles, wildlife film-maker and author. He has made many brilliant fishing films that we have watched so it was great meeting him in real life. We talked to him about film-making and how the Hampshire Avon has changed a lot in the last 30 years.
Then it was time for the meal; I was so hungry after a day of filming and travelling! During the evening we had a good chat to everyone and learnt a lot about the river. We also heard about the big pike that had been coming out of the weir pools recently… they would be a good target! Then there was an auction to raise money for both the Barbel Society and the Avon Roach Project followed by a raffle. I won a big box of chocolate!
That night we stayed in a lodge alongside the river Avon, next to a weir pool, however we were too tired to fish, so we managed to get a good night’s sleep.
We woke bright and early ready to film Trevor and Budgie and their stew ponds where they have been raising many roach. They showed us both the two year old ones and the one-year-old roach; it was amazing to see what they have done and the incredible effort they have put in. I think it’s a great idea as there are many people who moan about decreasing roach populations but are not doing anything about it.
Next we filmed Pete Reading, a regular Angler’s Mail magazine contributor, who knows an awful lot about the Hampshire Avon. He talked about the Barbel Society and explained about protecting barbel and conserving their habitats.
After completing all our filming, we had a chance to fish! We had heard of the great pike catches and had to give it a go. Carl cast a rod out and not long after, the float went bombing under the surface. He struck and a hard fighting pike pulled a load of line. It gave a great fight all the way to the net and ended up being Carl’s PB at 10lb.
He was over the moon at catching his first pike of the season. It wasn’t long before I also had one, only around 8lb but it pulled like nothing else. The colours on the pike were amazing, really vivid spots and stripes.
By the end of the morning Carl and I had caught four pike all together, Carl’s first one still being the biggest.
Our weekend in Hampshire had been thoroughly enjoyable, meeting many new people, learning loads and having an opportunity to do a little pike fishing and catching a few! The whole event had really inspired me to understand more about the fish that we catch.
Hope you’ve been catching too – and in the meantime check out this cool video of chub, dace and trout underwater!
THE CARL & ALEX BLOG RETURNS HERE NEXT FRIDAY, OCTOBER 18.
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