Friday, 29 March 2013

Dead weight.

Right, now I should be readying myself for a spring tench campaign? Truthfully though I can't motivate myself to get prepared and instead I find myself still perch fishing. It's not that I don't like perch fishing because I do, but in the scheme of things I never intended to fish that much for them right now. So why am I fishing for them? Well that's simple... because the door on the fishing season slammed shut two weeks ago and as this sort of weather is best suited for chubbing on rivers it's a simple case of the next best thing. So still water perch or pike it is then, and as pike for some reason don't concern me right now hence perch it is!

Anyway, the other day I was doing a job not so far from a small secluded fishery that has been on my radar for a while in regards to perch, and being as I was already there and that the light of late seems to last a little longer, I felt a few hours into dusk might be nice.

I knew I would be pushing my luck with the fishery owner but I have got to know him recently and if I was the only one around he might be open to the idea of me staying a little later than the norm. So after getting my job done quickly I found myself parking my van and rooting out the light outfit I had hidden away in the back.
As predicted I was the only angler present and given the still freezing north easterly wind cutting across the countryside I was also the least sane. Even before I got there I knew I fancied fishing a slightly deeper area of the water where nearly five feet is found right under the bank.

Having little more than two hours to hand, baiting had been rattling round in my head all day. I did not want to over feed the swim with a large deposit of bait and then risk the chance that although my feed may attract fish they might not find my hook bait in time. Conversely a single hook bait to my mind offered no attraction at all, so I decided to just feed a small amount of chopped goodies on arrival and hope that scant scent might garner some attention.
Given the current weather I knew I was fishing an outside chance here, so all I could do was have faith and wait. It took nearly forty five minutes for the float to move and when it did, it did so very slightly  A tiny single bob heralded the float moving as if the tow had caught it. It was a fish, and a perch, but at maybe six ounces it was one the smallest I have encountered so far.
The church bell in the village across the fields sounded before I had another repeat performance. Exactly the same bob and slide resulted in a monster by comparison  Over a pound and young - this was getting towards being what I wanted, but time was drifting away quickly to catch it.

The whole swim seemed dead as the light went and nowhere across the water was there any signs of topping fish. I knew it was getting to that time and I knew I was in pushing my luck territory with the owner, but as always I stuck on. All my gear was packed back into my bag and all I had to do was stow my rod and leave. Then through the gloom the float bobbed once hard, sinking it halfway up the bristle. I waited for that float to move a millimetre but it never did. Whatever it was had had second thoughts. I left the bait in the water hoping it would come back knowing where that lovely juicy worm was, but after five minutes I knew time was up and I needed to be off.

Finally I moved and sat up in my chair, arching my stiff back as I said to myself  'come on lets get off', then I picked up my rod to reel in. As I did, the rod bent over and I realised I was snagged solid on the bottom. Not wanting to lose my recently acquired handmade float, I pulled gently upwards and slowly the snag pulled free.
It felt like the same sensation I, and every other angler has felt before, like a small branch is slowly rising in the water  You can imagine how shocked I was then when it wasn't a rotten old stick that broke the surface but a bright red tail!!!

Everything went into slow motion instantly. The tail appeared, then a pale green flank and a white belly. Before I knew it I was staring down at a massive perch, which was just lying still on the top no more than four feet away. That's when I spotted what had happened  My worm at one end was firmly within the giants mouth and the rest of it was taught across the fishes face like half a moustache  My hook was not hooked in its lips or mouth for that matter, but was caught lightly on its gill plate. Then it dawned on me that the fish had grabbed my bait, but in its torpid state hadn't moved anywhere with it. Then I, thinking it was twig, had quite gently and without striking, slowly raised it off the bottom without rousing any suspicion that it was on the move, and now there it lay on the surface a dead weight, with me staring at it in the cold night air.
The only choice as far as my flapping mind could muster was to quietly pick up my landing net and try and slip it under with out breaking the giants trance. Barely moving, the net was in hand and I slowly swung it over the water ready slide the fish in. The perch never moved a muscle until that net touched the water when it's eye opened wide with panic and with a single shake of its head I watched my hook fly free. After hovering for a split second it was gone in a single oily swirl.

Quite honestly that was the biggest perch I have had on the end of my line, and there I was standing there gawking in the half light having just watched the perch of a life-time swim back to the depths to sulk after being so cruelly tricked.
All the way home I thought about that moment before I remembered doing the same to a carp on a roasting summers day. That fish I found mooning under a blackberry bush in the midday sun. On that occasion I placed a crust right in front of it's nose and the wind blew straight into it's mouth. Expecting the fish to bolt when it felt my line, I concluded the hook had come free of the bait, so quietly I retrieved my line so as to cast again, but the line was solid. Before I even knew what was happening, the carp was slowly moving side ways towards me. That fish too went berserk when the net hit the water. The only difference was that one had the hook in its mouth not its gill plate.

I suppose the only way to think of it is like tickling trout, but like tickling trout it's not exactly the done thing and even if I would've landed that perch I could never have claimed it as a PB. Oh, and how big do I think it was? Well let's just say I have a good idea of what a big perch is, and this fish was a pound bigger than that.

Thursday, 28 March 2013

From the ridiculous to the sublime ending up at the inane

What the hell is going on with the weather! I mean honestly, if a polar bear walked past my front window I don't think I would be that shocked, it is that bad. Since my last canal trip where it first began snowing, it has snowed on and off all week and I now wonder as does everyone else in the UK, if this may actually be a new ice age.

I did nab what could only be described as a changeable session early in the week to have a go at a commercial after perch. Sun, rain, snow and wind all made an appearance throughout the day and this had no good effects on the fishing. Bites came in waves in differing conditions and left me probably as confused as the fish seemed to be feeding.

One decent perch found my worm fished tight against the still rotting reeds and although still slightly the wrong side of two pounds it did confirm recruitment to the giants ranks.

That changeable day though chilly in places, did show hints of spring. After that though the weather just went south, or should I say north. But as I always, I remained confident that by Sunday morning the snow would be melted and yet another wet March fishing trip would be on the cards.  Looking out the front window in the wee small hours Sunday morning the road was powder white and Coventry had a hint of Arctic tundra about it again.

 I wasn't about to give up and instead of getting back into my very tempting warm bed I loaded up on porridge and went out anyway. The thought crossed my mind that driving all the way to where I was going to go may be a foolhardy idea, especially as I was a little concerned the canal may have a slightly solid nature about it this morning, so instead I opted for a slight change and headed for my friends little lake not too far out into the Warwickshire wilderness instead, where I knew if it was frozen I could at least cadge a brew before driving back.

After crawling along the winding country road I traversed what I believed to be the drive which was covered in virgin snow, and stepped out into the silent frozen woodland.  Normally at this time of year the wildlife is going insane; every bird is busying themselves ready for new arrivals, the rabbits bolt through the undergrowth and the fields on the east side of the lake are normally fll of hilarious spring lambs. This year though the whole coppice that shelters the lake seems dead as a door nail.

The arable fields too are by now normally verdant and green but instead they look more like the back drop for the siege of Stalingrad. This really has been, and still is, a horrid winter of which no steel could strike a generous fire. Hard and sharp as flint the cold could freeze your features and stiff your gate from within, making your lips blue and nipping at your nose. It is the sort of ungenerous cold only scrooge could conceive.

Amazingly I did fish and by some miracle did beat the blank by snagging two half frozen roach before I myself nearly froze. The highlight of this insane trip had to be my encounter with the ubiquitous robin.

My bait box had barely made an imprint in the snow before this cheeky fellow appeared in a flash. He was so tame that he waited no more than a foot away whilst I opened the bait box up. I adore feeding robins at the best of times but I especially make the effort when times are hard as  they are now, and in return this one had no objections to having his picture taken a few times.

If I keep still, you can't see me...
Ok you can see me. But I am pretty cute, so can I have a go on your magics mate?
mmm decisions decisions! They all look similar...
That one will do!
Right I'm off. Thanks for the free grub, sucker!
Strangely only this one would venture right onto the box. All his friends, or should I say competitors, stayed well back. As I was not sticking round and as I felt sorry for the local bird population, I deposited the whole pint of maggots onto the frozen ground just as I left. From nowhere, robins and all sorts of other birds fell onto the free offerings and a riot almost ensued. That was it for me, I was off and hopefully I had a bit of Karma in the bag now to use up when the weather gets better.

Friday, 22 March 2013

Oh that will be a unicorn then!

I fished next to a patch of wild sown daffodils the other day. That might not seem especially poignant, but I can assure you that it is! As only last week I sat fished next to the very same patch of wild sown daffodils. Fishing in that same spot on two occasions lead me to the very realisation that made this innocuous patch of flowers poignant, and what that poignant realisation was was: in the period of supposedly one spring week those daffodils had not grown so much as a millimetre. I could have put a ruler next to them and taken a picture on both visits and quite honestly I would of had a perfect and impossible spot the difference competition ready made. There had been zero progression on their part whatsoever. No height, no width and certainly no marked movement towards flowering. Their yellow treasure remained hidden within.

One thing that had changed though over the past week was the colour of the canal. It had gone from a nice hint of greenish brown to muddy flood water brown, and now resembled the colour of my Gran's tea. I am not exactly sure where it is, but I suspect somewhere not too far from where I was fishing there must be a brook or stream that spews filthy flood water into this canal when rain falls, and the river rises and ruins the fishing something terrible.

A month or so ago I walked away from this section of canal when it was like this but after last weeks superlative performance, I really thought that even in these terrible conditions the perch would still be in the mood for a feed. I stuck with it and confidently feed the nearside shelf with a slightly more potent mix of freebies than normal to help the fish locate my bait.

Turned out my confidence was ill founded and the perch were in no mood to feed at all. Whether they weren't able to detect my bait due to the turgid water or whether they were just off the feed I did not know, but after two hours my new handmade float had not ventured below the surface once.

When you find yourself in the situation when you have had no action and have resigned yourself to the belief that you will encounter no action, when something does happen you automatically think it is not say a bite, but is instead something else like the wind, or tow, which is now moving your float.
That is exactly where my thoughts had gone when my float began a merry dance. Bites here consist constantly of bob and sink, not a pirouette and drift!  When a bite does not fit the norm I often worry that an early strike might ruin my only chance of the day. This case was no different as I delayed, rod in hand, waiting for something more extreme than a rotation. The moment it dipped even slightly I panicked and struck into a familiar weight but unfamiliar fight...

I could not truthfully estimate the number of perch I have caught on this stretch of canal. What I could say is that being that all related they generally look very similar and for the most part all fight in the same way. This as yet unseen fish was not fighting that way and was instead boring all over the swim quickly and violently. Amid the hordes of perch and zander I have caught over the years, two bream and one roach bream hybrid have been landed amoungst them. The latter of which was what I expected this would be when  flash of silver was sighted as it rolled just before it went in the net.
But how surprised was I when I opened the folds of the net to find no mangy hybrid but instead a perfect unicorn.

Rare mythical unicorn-like big roach are rumoured  to exist in this percidae dominated canal but until now I have never seen one. Once I thought I saw a shoal of small roach dappling the canal one summers night but I put that down as a mirage or a hallucination. Then out of the blue I go and catch a great big fat pristine one in the worst possible conditions.

The rumours now become even more pressing as this, my first roach caught here, weighed one pound five ounces and they are fabled to go grow right up to that most special of weights for roach, two pounds. Now with the general Jurassic nature of the perch round these parts I believe that maybe the roach that survive the hungry horde should be left with enough food to attain such weights, and seeing this fish just makes me believe it even more.

With that fish released far way from my swim and still in a state of  rutilus shock I cast out again only receive two more tepid and shy bites that never developed into anything. There was more than one roach there for sure but no more became confident enough to suck in the mess of lob worm I was presenting. And then it began to snow badly.

I have fished in a few snow showers before and this, like every other one I have not been prepared for, was punishing. Tucked under my brolly the air temperature plummeted as my umbrella became weighed down by the accumulating snow, and I began to shiver. Over the last few weeks my many layers of clothing have reduced here and there by one item at a time, and I was regretting discarding every one hunkered next to the cut.

The blizzard eventually stopped and for a while the sun showed its face long enough to melt any settled snow and for a single average perch  to show up, before I slipped off home with the thoughts of big roach to occupy my mind as I warmed by the fire.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

You clever chaps.

Well done George and Martin you clever chaps. Both of you were right in thinking it was a float holder for drip drying float tops/sights.

I have been busy cutting and shaping peacock quill into simple lift floats ready for some close quarters carp fishing in the summer. Using this simple and recycled float holder means I can get a really nice round top on the float and paint fifteen or more floats at a time.

As for the bit of card inserted into the slit in the sponge! I did this because even after sanding, the tapered bottom end of the floats still caught on the soft sponge. As I was dipping them multiple times in the paint, they needed to be inserted quickly and easily into the holder. The bit of card allowed me to push the float against it and slide it into to place with no fuss.

Monday, 18 March 2013

Just for fun.

Over the weekend I caught up on a few preparations for the impending summers fishing and in doing so it all got a bit Blue Peter to say the least. I ended up constructing this monstrosity to help me with what I was making. Although I always knew what I was making, Jacky had to see it in use to realise what it was.

So I thought I would pass the challenge on to some fellow anglers and ask you what you think it is. Leave your guesses as comments.
Sadly there is no prize on offer this time as it's just for fun and bragging rights. I will post up a second picture of it in use in the next few days. So get guessing....

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Picking at passing perch pods.

I often have rivers running through my mind and the last few days had not been that different. Often I thought about the Avon and often I pondered whether or not I should return. My last sessions capture could and should really be a great finish to the season, but as always the weather had changed and temptation had grown. That mythical opportunity to chance a barbel was on offer and all I had to do was give in to temptation and take that gamble.

A day was stolen, which turned out to be the best of the week, but not so much as whisker was sniffed and myself and Rob bathed like lizards in the early and much appreciated sun after a long cold winter. Although sans barbel, fish were caught and importantly the memory of warmth now bookended the winter.

Now though I found myself in a quandary. Did I risk another trip to the river, which could end the season much as it always begins? Or should I take an early shower and walk away with nothing but feeling of warmth and joy in my soul for the river?

As always it was the weather that played the deciding hand. I watched the temperature drop slowly and the rivers rise a little and in the end there was no temptation to draw me. My season on the rivers was done! With one decision made another always arises and what and where next lay before me. Carp fishing weighs heavy on my mind but the heat of summer and spring still seem a log ways off, so that can wait. Now perch are in my sights and even though I have been vocal about not wanting to spend to much time after them, I can't resit the sight of a big fat Sargent in the bottom of my net.

The canal seemed an appropriate spot for a warm up for this years compacted perch pursuit. So with limited time free at the weekend I found myself  walking a damp tow path filled with wood smoke from a distant narrow heading to a reliable spot where big perch are known to hang out.

My perch float fishing rig has grown vulgar in it's simplicity over two successful seasons: four pound line, small chubber float, a few shot and a size 6 hook tied directly to the main line. It sounds crude and probably should not be a devastatingly successful as is, but all I can say is, it has worked on every big perch I have caught in the last two years so why change it.

After depositing a foul mix of various chopped baits into the margin I sat back to wait. And wait I was made to, for quite some time I should say. I was just getting the pangs of concern when I spotted a single bob of my orange float top. It never became anything, but that single bob restored my confidence one hundred percent. It took another fifteen minutes for it to bob again, but this time it soon sank away as something slinked back down the marginal shelf.

One and three quarter pounds was a nice first fish and more I knew would follow. I could only hope that the rest were in as wonderful condition and just as bristling as this first one. 

I have absolutely no doubt that these perch patrol this section of canal in small shoals. The bites cannot fail to indicate otherwise. Up to one hour of inactivity is predictably followed by a flurry of bites where one fish can be hooked, landed, and returned before the next cast hooks a second fish lingering over the tiny patch of bait which attracted them in the first place.

My theory proved exactly the case when on my very next cast after releasing my first fish, the float never even settled fully before bobbing as a perch engulfed my sinking worm and then buried as it moved off quickly. This second fish felt much bigger as it dived at my bank hard before zig zaging up and down in the shallow water.

Two pounds four ounces is just above the seeming average ceiling weight achieved by these canal perch and a great capture on my first outing for them. Then after she went back, three more chunky fish all over a pound and half but not quite two pounds hit my net quickly one after another.

The action had died a death after this initial spell and I found myself fancying a second spot a bit further back down the canal. So rather than top up I saved my bait to ready for a second trap in a different area. In the new spot it was the exact mirror image of what had happened only forty feet away. Bait went in and I waited patiently for an age then right on cue a bob of the float indicated the fish were about.

This time only three were landed and everyone was identical to the last. Thick, deep and angry as hell. I weighed all three of them at 1.13, 1.13, 1.14. this trio had to be related by year class.

Honestly I would of thought there were recaptures if it weren't for the fact that the first two were taken right back to my previous spot to prevent them spoiling the mood of any remaining fish.

A winter of scratching bites has made me forget how good this fishing can be and I don't suspect it will be long before I come back here as I can't let fishing like this slip away from me. I know they are not all three pounders, but seven fish all getting around that two pound mark and one over it all caught on wet afternoon on a free venue, using a few left over worms and whatever churvey I had in the freezer draw, well that is great fishing as far as I am concerned!

Friday, 8 March 2013

Amazing dace how sweet thou art.

Spring is knocking on our door and it's signs speedily increase, but the frost still forms on the chilly March nights and in the last remnants of dark the world sparkles white. During the daylight the early suns soothing rays dry deep every tarmac road of an entire Winters worth of damp, leaving them white with salt dust. It's those powder white, half light highways in which I speed to try and beat the rising sun to the river. The end of the season fast approaches and after a maddening winter not ability to pay the attention I wanted to the river, I now feel if I must take every chance I get to spend whatever time I can casting onto running water before the last hour comes.

Four different people on five different occasions boasted to me only the day before that the Avon was in perfect condition. Winter green, clear and with the just the right bit of colour. It always sounds contradictory when I hear people say that the river is clear with just the right amount of colour, but I know exactly what they mean and so does any other angler worth their merit. I for one believe it is that rare state where the water has the perfect combination of good visibility so the fish see every morsel from a good way ahead, whilst the having adequate colour to enable them to feed confidently even during the brightest of days. Its ironic however that the rivers attain this perfect nirvana-like state just as the season ends.

It's about this time that the Avon's dace population find optimum condition, ready for the temperature to become constant enough for them to spawn. That's still a little way off so they are still feeding hard, and happy coincidence means that I just happen to know where probably the best dace fishing is to be had on the entire Warwickshire Avon. Only problem is... I am not the only one who knows this information, hence my need to get to the river before first light.

This ever popular section is only really fishable at the tail end of the season. During Summer the banks are so overgrown that you would need a machete just to access the river and it would hardly be worth it anyway. You see when Winter comes and the temperatures drop, the majority of the rivers dace and roach seem to drop downstream from miles and stack up in this deep slow section forming a bonanza ready for the taking, much like the sockeye of North America.

Is not the smell of a weir in the half light the most intoxicating scent? With the wind in the right direction that very specific smell can be detected miles away from the waters edge. That wondrous aroma licked round the corner, down the alley through the dank and went straight up my nose, and in one quick sniff, I knew it was going to be a good day on the Avon before I had even left the car park. 

Every time I come to this bit of river and cast out my feeder I wait expectantly with a hint of worry, even though I know that as long as Winter is cold and I have bait the fish will more than likely bite. You see nine times in ten the fishing is insane, but that one time it is not it is the worst kind of dire, and trust me, this stretch on a bad day is the exact opposite of it's many good days.

Worry was soon abated when two casts in the first bite came. From then on in it never stopped for one moment; every feeder load of grubs was eaten with nothing less than gay abandon  At first it was little roach that viciously pecked at my maggots, then after a while the dace began to show. Small ones first, then not long after that they began to grow in size.

Hitting dace bites using a quiver tip is never easy and truthfully sixty or more percent are missed. But my theory on this has held me in good stead for many years fishing this particular area. Yes, fishing the stick or waggler as many of the match style anglers do undoubtedly converts more bites into fish, but while this will put together a match winning bag it does pander to the smaller fish. Undeniably bigger ones do get caught, but probably on a ratio of  ten little ones to one big one, on the float. 
Using the feeder those little dips of the float caused by smaller fish never enter in the equation. You never strike the trembles or slight nods: you just wait for a convincing bite, hit it, and more than fifty percent of the time it's a better fish for sure.

Sport was fast and furious and the speed in which my maggots were dwindling reflected that. It was about this time that Andy who was downstream encountered some action on the pike rod he had cast in the margin. 
I watched him strike, play and land the fish before venturing over to have a look and offer help if it was needed. He had the nice plump double well under control so being surplus to requirement I slipped off to have a quick cast before he wanted a picture taking.

The tiny hook re-baited I flicked the feeder underarm using physical memory, straight onto the line I had hit all morning. I felt it drift down to the soft bottom with a muted thump before resting the rod on the butterfly rest and my knee. The other day I talked to a friend about those times when you instinctively hit a bite; seeing the rod tip begin to move in a way that countless previous experiences tells you will be a proper bite, and striking before it has had time to develop. This was exactly what I did. This whole minute may well be one of those few perfect minutes of my angling life. One cast into exactly the right spot. One bite which was detected instantly and reacted to before it happened. Then that heavier pressure than I'd felt all day followed a long bar of silver rotating towards the bank. No dallying, no losses, just straight into the net in one shot. A PB dace!

I looked at in the net and called out to a distracted Andy that it was a big dace. He though had just freed up his pike and was getting ready for me, who was in that heady PB zone, to come and do the camera job on his pike. That done I went back and took a second look. That was when a hint of doubt came into my mind and I thought maybe it was a little chub. I have had a few that I would describe as decent dace, but this thing was in a different league and I think that's what threw me at first. It took two hands to hold the wiry critter; it's features were not like all the others I had caught. Instead of solid silver it had different tones of colour. A dark back fading into a silver belly, it had a huge mouth and was wide across its back.

I know anyone who has reads this who fishes any Southern rivers might think I am over reacting to what they think is not that special of a dace. But for the Warwickshire Avon this is a absolute monster the likes of which I have never seen before. The shot of the fish in my big old ham hock hands really did not show the fish for how big and fat it actually was, so this mat shot shows her for the kipper she was. 

Ten inches long, pigeon chested and with a stomach like Pavarotti. She was with all the best possible meanings an absolute hog of a dace, and luckily for me I had my digital mini species scales to weigh her on.
The plastic box I have been using to hold my captures on the scales was only a little over eight inches long so the poor girl found herself a little bent in there whilst the scales recorded her weigh,t and my new PB, at 12oz plus.

After that capture the keenness was taken from my cast. I often feel like this when I land a big fish, like I should just stop fishing and bask in the afterglow of a great capture, not sully the moment by casting again. But I never can not cast again as my whole ethos is based on the fact that I cannot have caught the biggest fish out there. On this occasion I should have stopped and gone home. The bites withered away as did my attention and soon I wandered off upstream for a few casts in another reputable spot.

Although well populated by anglers it seemed they were having a fruitless time, bar a few small silvers. So I soon wandered back to find Andy about to chip off, and Keith who had slipped in my swim working hard for bites.

Later myself and Keith wandered off downstream to explore what I can only describe as the oldest looking bit of the Avon I have ever fished. Sitting under the sandstone cliffs in the warm winter sun feeling for the tug of a perch as it picked up my worm, the question of how long it took the river to carve that stone down from the fifty feet peak of the cliff to where I sat was mind boggling. Jeff has often written about how spooky this place is at night and I was beginning to realise what made it feel that way. It is its age! The slip of land that surrounds that river has probably not changed for thousands of years. The cliff above has, as have the fields that flank it, but the bit where I was sat couldn't due to its geography  How many other anglers had sat aside this river searching for a fat perch dangling a worm I can't imagine. Anglers, like those dace, have probably been returning to these same few fields for hundreds of years and I know that I, like many, will continue this tradition come what may so next year I will be back.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

And the winner is!!!

Thanks to all of you that put forward your ideas to the identity of the that odd little silver sliver I caught whilst fishing  on the broads last weekend.
A few of you got it right by saying that it was actually a smelt.

The particular southern broad I was fishing, though officially fresh water, does have a link to the sea via a lock which enables large or sea going vessels to enter and leave the broad. This tiny link to salt water does quite often lead to some very strange captures for anglers more used to catching roach, perch and bream. In the past I have seen people catch dabs and flounders amongst roach and skimmers.Once whilst eel fishing on a warm summers night I spotted no less than ten huge mullet drifting around just under the surface of the water. Not that I could catch one for trying, mind.

Three people got it right and with fairness in mind Martin, John and stevetheteacher will all get put into the prize draw.

So without further ado my worryingly hirsute and thankfully non Lycra clad assistant will draw the winner from this particularly gaudy hat.

And the winner is?.......


Message me your address Steve and I will post your bottle of home brewed ladybird wine to you. As for whether you drink it, that's up to you. Be warned, it does seem to have very mysterious effects due to the large amount of alkaloid exuding ladybirds that may, or may not, have have been amongst the grapes when I crushed them.