Friday, 13 January 2017

Canal Zander – Hunches and Hobo’s

I’d fished a handful of times below the lower reaches of the Laryngeal Prominence without even a nibble, a bite, or even a tiny Perch to show for my efforts so I was in no rush to go back, especially as the weather was going to be rather wild.

But then, hang on a minute...

A photo appeared of a cracking double figure fish which was caught on this particular canal, more or less this time last year, and it’s only when I was looking at a Facebook mail trail screen grab Dave sent to me recently (I’m not on it ) where the picture was posted again, something stood out.

As someone who has trodden the towpath on much of its length you tend to recognise features and landmarks which are stored in ones subconsciousness.I’m sure I’ve been past ‘that’ even though it was pretty well hidden in the background behind some thicket was most prominent in the photo. Sure enough a quick look through the photos on the anglers Facebook page, one of his pictures revealed that he had indeed visited the stretch where I thought it was.

Even the most careful of big fish captures who try and disguise an area the best they can, sometimes slip up and a swim can be recognised. We as anglers spend many a hour on the banks don’t we so it’s just the way it is, not a fat lot you can do about it.

The thing is does revealing a specific swim or area really matter….?

I’ve been finding with this canal Zander lark that you tend to find pockets of schoolie Zander that will always be there but the specimens will be there one day and gone the next. These lunkers appear to be transient after all, nomads and hobo’s if you like.

I can tell you that I’ve fished the same swims where I’d caught my PB of 9lb and the second biggest at 8lb 10oz many a times, and up till now, I’ve not had a sniff of anything like those two fish that graced my landing net again.

However was this fish different? As it appeared that after losing it on a previous session the eventual capture returned to the same swim and managed to bank it.

Now I’m not a big fish chaser usually ,I’d leave that to those well conversed in it, but if this fish is still milling around these waters which is unusually full of prey fish I’d like to catch it as it will be a zed with a capital Z.

It will be a proper’un, a lump….if you Phil.

The large Carp appear to be very different and the more and more time I spend on canals it appears that they tend to settle in one area and stick with it. If I do eventually catch a double figure canal Zander maybe they will become my next target. There are some beasts to be had too judging by the ones I’ve seen when Zed’ing as they don’t seem to mind sharing the same swim from what I’ve discovered.

The bruiser and the cruiser, top and tailing….

Now this Zander was apparently caught on the lure which I was surprised at because in my experience a deadbait has been more selective with 5lb being my biggest lure caught fish. For this session in to dusk it was a Roach chunk out on the sleeper and a lure rod as the main attack. Recently I’ve been enjoying my lure fishing and you can see why it’s become so popular, it can get very addictive with the aggressive Zander and the sense of anticipation.

There are more shiny bits to buy which can only be a good thing, got to spend money on something and enjoy the fruits of ones labour haven't I….

Thinking about it, I did manage a schoolie by the bridge, so might was well give it a bash.

1 rod my usual overdepth float set-up, the other the lure rod. Better get going.

Now swim bound I can spot the 'feature' but hmmm, looks like it, but not quite, looking at the picture again. 90% there, could be, might be, hey maybe it's been altered since the picture was taken, who knows.

So better get on with the fishing. After about 7 or 8 chucks of the lure a small schoolie, grabbed the lure. It isn't hooked well so managed to get free, but at least there is Zander here.

Next was the deadbait rod, three fish caught over the length of the cover. The biggest three pound. Another Zander banked on the lure, a reasonable session but for the last half an hour in to dusk I was hoping for something decent.

Sadly, the float remained motionless, the weather getting worse....

Back to get the fire on....


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