Monday, 30 January 2017

Canal Zander - On thin ice

Kettle on, tablespoon of Maltodextrin, Monosodium Glutamate, Disodium Inosinate, Disodium Guanylate, Carboxymethylcellulose and hidden in there somewhere, chicken extract and chicken powder, thing is when it’s cold after preheating ones flask, Bovril certainly keeps ones neather regions from doing a full retreat and when looking out the window to a frozen car coffee wouldn’t cut the mustard.

I fully expected the canal to be frozen over as the pattern the frost has made on the car roof overnight was a stunning bit of artwork, but having parked up at first light a stick chucked over the bridge in to the canal waters didn’t bounce but luckily splashed.

So that meant plan A was ok and I didn’t need to resort to running water and plan B….

The thing was as the morning went on I did wonder if I made the right decision as it was a frustrating session, there was cat ice hanging around on the surface in areas that moved around seemingly in a random fashion. That meant having to move the float over and over again until eventually a clear area could be found so it could be left for a decent amount of time.

The lure approach didn’t fair that much better either as often the braid hit the thin layer of ice on the retrieve and eventually the sodding guides started to freeze.

What a pain in the proverbials….

Now I had a Zander first cast on the lure which was a 2lb schoolie scrapper and that made an effort to break up some of the mobile iceberg but the clarity of the water wasn’t conducive for chasing that elusive double figure fish. You could almost see the lure all the way to the bottom, it was that clear. There is also limited boat movement this time of the year also, so not ideal.

I don’t usually fish down the edges but bouncing a lure up and down in-between some ice a tiny Zander grabbed the lure, easily the smallest Zander I’d ever seen, probably only 6 inches in length or something like that, it dropped off sadly but another hard nibble of the lure I decided to position the deadbait tight to the margin.

It didn’t take long for the float to receive some attention too and sure enough a fish had taken interest. I wait till there is a confident movement of the float and then lean in to the fish, no need to strike. Again, after breaking up the ice that remained another schoolie was banked.

Two more small fish on the lure, one missed run on the deadbait, at least I’d managed a few fish.

The sun started to rise and it was a little more pleasant but then that seemed to put the fish off, it was stupidly clear after all, having fished many sessions on the canal now, dirtier the better for me, the clarity or lack of it really does make a difference.


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