Monday 22 September 2014

A Zander P.B. - They're getting bigger.

I’ve caught a Zander from the banker swim every time I’ve fished it; the biggest was just over 3lb on a headless roach. I’ve kind of exhausted it though, lots of fun with the schoolies but a larger specimen is my target. From what I’ve read the smaller ones feed in packs hence why you can catch a few in the same swim, the loners, the bigger fish, are solitary feeders so the plan was to cover the whole 2 and a ¼ mile stretch on a morning session with a lure cast in to likely fishing holding areas and then to do the same on the return.

Roving is my favourite type of fishing, a rod, a landing net and a bag with the essentials. Today’s tackle was Savage Gear’s Road Runner Gear bag, which despite its size has a decent capacity, a folding mesh net and an 8ft lure rod. Simples…

This particular area of the Grand Union does get a significant amount of boat traffic during the warmer months so I was on the cut by 6.30am. I’ve had quite a bit of success of the fire tiger pattern of the Savage Gear ready to fish shads, I usually use the 7.2cm version but for this session I upped that to 11cm.

You wouldn’t really want to take a bath in the canals I fish, but I think that helps when targeting the Zander, not only can you catch fish any time of the day but even in bright sun shine you can still find feeding fish. Canals are so full of feature and these are the best places to target, there are no hard and fast rules to where I have caught fish but any oxygenated water around the lock gates or cill’s have been particularly productive. The first fish on was from exactly this area, it was a Perch, and a decent one too, sadly after a thrash of its mouth it managed to throw the Barbless hook.

With braided line you can even feel what fish has taken the lure because the take you can feel through the rod couldn’t be more different. A Zander takes it with a proper BANG.. I’ve had quite a few Perch whilst targeting my chosen species but as yet I’ve not had a Pike in the areas I fish.

An hour later I cast the lure 50 yards towards the cut wall and within seconds of starting the retrieve I got a violent take, the fish was moving round in a ponderous fashion hugging bottom and was putting a decent bend in the rod. I was soon in control of it though and once in the net I could see it this was by far the biggest fish I’ve banked. A chance passerby was at hand to photograph the fish and it weighed in a 5lb 4oz and a PB.

Finally they are getting bigger and half decent for a canal fish. Certainly an impressive looking and obviously thriving in its habitat. A couple more schoolies made up for what turned out to be a decent morning, the Zander may have moved up in my favourite fish list. Certainly an intriguing and enigmatic fish and here to stay.


  1. Well done Mick. Perseverance is clearly paying off. I say it every year but I must give zander a go. There's plenty on my doorstep.

    1. Cheers Sean,

      I've about exhausted this stretch I think so got another couple of areas of the Grand Union I'm going to give a go. Haven't bothered with the Barbel in anger this season, the lack of rain hasn't helped but these Zander have kept my mind off it.

  2. Well done Mick, that's a good canal fish and kudos for being lure caught ;)

    1. Cheers Lee, not tried for Zander on the river yet but got a few ideas where they might hangout.


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