Monday, 27 April 2015

Closed Season Zander Quest Pt.5 – Glutton for Punishment

What, back to where I’ve already had two blanks and remained fish-less. Yeap, after the last session here when something large disturbed the surface it was playing on my mind, so much so I changed my plans and decided to put off my visit to the Stratford-Upon-Avon canal. This time though apart from fishing the same swim for an hour and a half or so to put my mind at rest, I’d fish the end of the stretch for the remainder of the session. It was an area I’d not fished before, it was narrower, had easier access and also had a few locks in the mix for much needed feature. If a half decent Zander was here as I’ve been told hopefully it would be easier to find.

The simple headless Roach rig.

The reality is with so much canal to go out and so few possible double figure amongst the plebeians I knew it was a herculean task. It really is needle in the haystack stuff and needs far more dedication than I can probably give. If I blanked again, I’d not be returning especially as next week after suffering 2 years of driving a mediocre Diesel car ( what was I thinking ) I’m back in gas guzzling petrol car again. I don’t think I can justify the distance especially as 10 miles less there are swims I know full of Zander where a blank is an impossibility. A mission on the scale of the 1986 Operation Deep Scan of Loch Ness probably wouldn’t even throw up anything, well maybe tyres, trolleys and dead bodies.

Big Zander are elusive in the Midlands canal system, schoolies aplenty. I need some luck, big time if I’m to catch a decent one…..

The session went pretty well to be honest, well with number of fish caught. The first couple of swims I tried I never had a nibble but then a 3lb 8oz Zander took a liking to a deadbait I had positioned next to an aerated swim next to the lock paddles. This swim actually produced 3 further fish and a most welcome Perch of 1lb 7oz on the lure.

The next lock down I managed another 4 or 5 Zander, all on the lure this time, none on the deadbait. All schoolies though, so I walked another ¼ mile or so to another lock where I managed 2 on the deadbait and 2 on the lure. This area must be chock full of them. With 14 fish caught, and no big ones I got back in the car and drove back to the swim where a fish caused a huge boil in the water when it took an interest in my lure. I positioned a headless roach and used the lure again, it certainly looks like it holds fish, an area thick with near and far bank cover.

I think the mistake I made was that I should have started here instead, when a lock gate is open it literally turns in to a flowing river. The deadbait rod was useless as debris being washed down kept the deadbait off the bottom and kept on lifting the bobbin. I persevered with the lure for two hours and swapped the lead to a larger one, sadly a blank again, damn. Encouraging signs and just goes to show Zander are in small pockets and you need to do your groundwork. It certainly helps with the exercise as I walked 3 miles or so. I’m not sure if I’ll fish this area again, it needs more time spent on the bank and not sure I can justify it. I’m sure there are big Zander to be had. I might rope in a mate and give it one last go and try an evening session when the boats are less and the bigger fish might be more inclined to feed. I finished slightly earlier than planned so took a slight detour to local landmark.

Watch this space….


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