Friday 24 April 2015

Closed Season Zander Quest Pt.4 – The Dark Side

I’ve walked past this stretch before but never wet a line, the overly large paddles provide a fish barrier and occasional gateway to a stretch of waterway that seemingly offers fish utopia. Not only is there more space for fish to spread their fins but as it’s frequented by the boaters and ramblers who regularly feed the ducks and geese it provides a buffet to the smaller fish and that naturally attracts and draws in the mysterious and sinister Zander. Or according to some people I’ve spoken to recently when fishing the cut, the merciless killing machine ,and must be put to death. Yes really….

They are here past the lock gates in numbers too but as the schoolies are a pack fish I’ve only managed a run of the mill sized fish, a pound and half the average with the biggest 3lb or so. All very mediocre considering I’ve spent decent bank time fishing for them.

Like my women, I prefer mine with a bit of timber, time for a change….

There was something about this passageway and short length of murky canal though; due to the dense overhanging trees providing lots of cover it’s dark and mysterious no matter the weather. Even in the sunniest of days it’s gloomy and the permanently moored and seemingly abandoned barges also add to the interest.

If there is a reclusive larger fish to be had, it’s got to be here. 

It was a short session but having blanked recently I wanted a fish on the bank. Upon arriving and walking to the swim I saw a couple of carp on the surface, not huge, probably 5 or 6 lb or so but a nice sight all the same. After 2 and a half hours or so in 5 different swims with a lure rod and a deadbait sleeper I hadn’t a touch so I made the decision to drive to an area a couple of miles away and spend the last half hour there. It was a swim where I’d lost something half decent on the lure a few weeks before.

A deadbait was positioned in an area of oxygenated water and I began to throw the lure around the swim. Within 20 minutes or so the sleeper rod was getting some interest and sure enough the bobbin started to rise in a vigorous movement. Strike, and a fish was on. It felt half decent too, they are not the strongest Zander but they give a reasonable account for themselves. With the fish in the net and the roach section still intact I cast out in the same area and weighed the fish. My PB canal fish is 5lb 4oz and this fish matched that exactly, damn, no PB but still a half decent fish. Within 5 minutes of the fish being returned to the water (oh, the horror) I had another bite, this time a really angry schoolie of a pound and a half or so that cut my hand. The small ones really are aggressive little bleeders.

I’ve another three sessions planned in the next 7 days, I’m enjoying this Zander challenge and makes a nice change than fishing a pool that you know contains big fish.

Off topic but the Royal Leamington Spa Anglers Association is a cracking club, well run and some excellent waters in their book. The secretary Anthony Simmons asked if he could use one of my pictures that I took for the125th Anniversary Edition Member’s Handbook. I received my new book and the picture is proudly shown on the front cover.Some printing issues as the colour is a bit weird but nice to see it all the same especially in another month or so I'll be trying to catch one of the old warriors that are in the reservoir.


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