Piscatorial Quagswagging

...the diary of a specialist angler in around the Warwickshire Avon and its tributaries.

Monday 15 January 2018

Warwickshire Avon – Mafficks and Mindhunters

A few months ago now, down at the deep bit, bobbins relatively quiet for a few hours, then out of the blue, a single bleep, then one of the bobbin jumps a little, then the other rod goes off with a one liner with line being taken. It was the start of a mad hour where a shoal of Zander must have moved in to the area apparently to ‘eradicate all within their path’.

They were straight on to the bait as soon as it went out, bites on the drop signaled that as did the amount of runs I had in a bit of a mad spell. I’d experienced the pack mentality at the cut on a number of occasions where they feed in almost celebratory fashion. The mad hour ended up with a few fish banked, multiple runs and sadly the loss of a big fish that do what only Zander seem capable of and that’s free themselves from a hook with relative ease despite them appearing to be well hooked.

After many a hook experiments, trials and tribulations the offset Sakuma Manta in size 1 is what I use exclusively for my Zander fishing and I’m in no rush to change, I’m utterly confident with it and especially when fishing for Zed’s, if you’ve found a hook pattern that works for you, stick with it. It will end you doing your head in, missed runs and hook ups are just part and parcel of the Zed fishing, there is no quick fix as far as I’m concerned.

If you find it, please let me know….

The thing is, it’s a powerful fish and when it exits the water, like they do, mouth wide open, head shaking back and forth, it’s either going to hold or it won’t. Still to this day I’m 50/50 either way and that’s from someone, confident with his end tackle and a banker of hundreds of Zander that frequent the waters from my neck of the woods.

You think you have them sussed, then the loss of a big fish, you’re re-evaluating your approach to the nth degree because you don’t want to lose a fish like that again. Last season I lost what would have easily broken my PB on both river and cut in the same fashion, hooked seemingly well, rod bent double, towards the net, and then head out of the water shaking violently the hook eventually loses its hold, the fish back to its sanctuary.

But then that’s why we like fishing though isn’t it, the one that got away, the one we now know where it lives, the one that will be always be looking over his shoulder. I’ve grown to love the Zander and enjoy it every time I catch one, proper proud looking fish, tough as old boots and considering they were re housed in a dirty Midlands canal or river thriving on their misfortune.

They will still for many though, will always been seen as the waters ways serial killer, the canals are deserted for maggot danglers these days, because the Zander has eaten them all. Nothing to do with the rise of commercial fisheries and the emergence of the lazy angler then, yeah right….

Now talking of 'serial killers' I’ve been watching Netflix's true-crime centric thriller series "Mindhunter" which was inspired by the true story of how the FBI's Behavioral Science Unit began studying psychopaths and serial killers in the late 1970s. While the names of the special agents involved were changed, several of the convicted murderers they interview are pulled straight from history.

One of them for example is Edmund Kemper, the "Co-Ed Killer," who was found guilty of ten counts of murder.

Kemper, who was six-foot-nine and weighed 20 stone, was found guilty of 10 total counts of murder between 1964 and 1973. He confessed to killing his grandparents at age 15. After being incarcerated for those murders and released at 21, Kemper continued to kill. He kidnapped and murdered six young women, all students, in the Santa Cruz area in addition to killing his mother and her friend.

His victims were killed using various methods, shooting, stabbing, or choking, but Kemper confessed to practicing necrophilia with eight of the victim's corpses after separating their heads from the body.

The show goes into Kemper's childhood and abusive mother, but leaves out a couple details from his past. He also killed two cats (one of which he dismembered) when he was a young boy, and also had two near-death experiences at the hands of one of his sisters. Kemper is still alive and incarcerated in California.

Yeap, all very gruesome…

The thing is as someone trying to get in the head of the Zander to bank a cut double the series had some crossover….

Yeap, I’m clutching at straws now, just get on it, if you haven't, it’s a good watch.

The theory that I had that made sense from the last session was that rather than try and chase the Zander over this rather large stretch of the Warwickshire Avon maybe the best way would be to set a trap and then wait for the fish to come to you, they seemingly patrol in packs and can be intercepted as they go about their travelling.

A sting operation if you will….

The problem is they appeared then disappeared in quick succession so the window of opportunity would be over as quickly as it started. So whilst waiting for the bobbins to rise rather than twiddle ones thumbs, get a maggot feeder out to see what else swims within these Zander infested waters.

You never know, something special might turn up….

So to put the theory in to practice a few sessions may well be needed, but I’m up for that, I’m fishing for Zander, and you know me I’m always up for that.

So the first session….

Hmmm, well lets just say it was difficult to put finger to keyboard.

I rocked up at the river at dawn and the conditions looked perfect, the river was up, flat and with a nice colour to the water, there was small fish topping everywhere too. So two deadbaits went out, one in the middle where most of the fish were topping and the other by some far bank cover where I'd hooked and lost a decent fish before.

An hour went by without much action with the lure being cast around as well. Then the boating club that shares this water were on their training drill, sadly with a rotund megaphone user who was also controlling an outboard. The wake was frankly annoying as was his voice.

So I packed up and moved to an area of oxygenated water where I'd lost a sure double and also landed one 8lb 10oz. About ten minutes in the right hand rod was receiving some sharp pulls but not enough to register on the bobbin, upon retrieval the bait had been stripped to the bone.

Crayfish the likely culprit....

Again after an hour nothing much doing, so the last hour was spent in a section of deadwater, again some sharp tugs on one of the rods but no proper bites registered. Why is it so quiet I wonder, usually here, at least one a two jacks give themselves up. So a switch to a Mepps at least my bring something, an sure enough with 15 minutes to go a small Perch took a liking to it.

Back to drawing board, well not just yet, I might leave it for a few weeks for them to properly get used to the conditions again. 


Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...