Monday, 19 December 2016

Canal Zander – Iced Buns and the search for the Sized Ones

The long stretch between the Laryngeal prominence and Tefal head remains largely uncharted, I’ve fished it a few times, and even caught a couple of scrappy Zander but I couldn’t quite put my finger on why it vanished off my radar and hasn’t featured in my quest for a canal double.

Even travelling light like one does, the location is a pain in the proverbials. I see that as an advantage though. It’s a neglected bit of canal and sees little foot traffic, a dog walking poop picker, a jogger sometimes, another angler, forget it….

I’ve caught a 9lber below, a 8lb 10oz fish above, a transition route, quite possibly. There are schoolies in numbers in these areas, so the bigger fish were lucky captures I’m sure of it as. I’m trying to find out where they lay up in sanctuary. 

I’m sure the bigger fish thrive on neglect you see. Proper large Zander sit back I’m guessing and don’t want to be competing with the schoolies for bait fish letting them get on with it on the most part and are perfectly happy doing their thing on their own terms. Throw some fisherman in to the mix with lures being thrown around here there and everywhere upsetting the applecart even further, they are not likely to get mixed up in the playground activity.

A game of British Bulldog, not likely….

Eventually once they are bored with sticking their fins up watching the world go by, it’s off the sofa and down shops for an iced bun, and a slice of Bakewell tart. 

Although I’ve found Zander take practically any kind of dead, fresh or on the turn, a shop bought 6” roach cut in to sections seems to get their pecker up more than anything else I’ve tried. There is more ‘stuff’ going on, if you look at it in section. The neural spine is surrounded by thicker muscle segments for starters but obviously depending where you cut it you can capture some of the numbles which in-turn will release more of that blood. All good stuff for a fish that has some fantastic sensory organs, they haven’t just got good eyesight you know.

I’ve caught Zander on lamprey, maybe I should give some more a go another time….

So the picnic basket was open, cloth laid, food displayed, a service station as such. 

No Scotch Eggs and piccalilli for these canal Zander though, just 2 big fillets of Roach.

The clarity of the water was similar to last week where the fish were feeding but here, it’s a notable change in everything, quiet, almost eerie and there is a lack of movement in just about everything, no boats in the 4 hour session either.

Leapfrogging likely looking swims is the easiest way to scope out an area for Zander but it was evident it was going to be a tough session. After about 4 swims and motionless floats I stuck the baits tight to some thick cover. It’s a sensitive set-up so any movement, above or below will move the float. The right hand float starts to move slightly and then an almighty bow wave like a depth charge surrounds the float.

Yeap, there are other species here and a large Carp has just come to investigate what’s just appeared in his lair.

To try and avoid a blank retracing my steps I used the lure rod in a couple of swims but again, no fish.

Always a learning curve, this Zander lark. Same swims, same techniques on another day, could bank some fish.


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