Wednesday 28 March 2018

Closed Season Canal Zander Quest PT73 – Cacophony and Conduits

The murder of crows I passed nesting in a tree the other day were making a right old racket. The volume was horrendous, a proper raucous pitch with what sounded like a few hundred squawkers despite there only being 20 or so roosting.

The tree was right in front of a dwelling and close proximity to a few narrowboats, so God knows how they sleep at night, probably not very well being the answer. It could certainly drive someone to murder the murder, as it was like something straight out of the Hitchcock movie.

Caw, Kraa, Caw, Kraa, Kraa, Krawwwwwww !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Apart from the regular immersing oneself with load repetitive beats which I have control over, I struggle with dealing with noise, I really do. Fishing largely needs to be on my terms and they usually means on my own and away from others.

 I’d not fished the area before and despite the possibility of a fish holding area because the tree was opposite a few moored boats (they must be hard of hearing) I walked straight on by without wetting a line.

Maybe I’ll bring ear plugs next time….

The thing is my gaff at night is quiet, so quiet in-fact a farting fox or bleating badger is enough to wake the neighbours and have the curtains twitching. 

After staying round the Father-in-Laws house recently where jets taking off in the early hours of the morning would prevent me living in the area, maybe it’s just me as apparently it “We cannot hear it, like you can”

I’m sure the quieter areas you see are where these larger Zed specimens retreat to despite my mediocre results thus far in the 2018 quest for a cut double.

To try to avoid a blank this session was at an area where the fish have no choice but to pass from nightclub door to cloakroom, to seek the solitude a curmudgeon like me requires.

The first half of this short after work session would be under the disco ball to try and put ones arm around a stray biffer, the last hour spent right smack bang in the middle of the attendant’s door.

With the tackle still in the car from Sundays sessions, one rod lure, one rod dead, there is a mosh pit at the far end of the dance floor and who doesn’t like a foam party, the schoolies seem to. Fish any oxygenated water on the canal, there is usually something hanging around even if they are on the fringes waiting for a turn.

I found this 'waspers' lure on the towpath, in complete contrast to the lures I use.
A pleasure angler was passing as he had just finished his session in one of the holding areas and he had one small Zander on worm and a skimmer and that was it, tough going but then it's a canal, you cannot just turn up and start catching fish, you need to do your groundwork like I do, well unless you live in the Somerset Levels that is. (Hi Russ !!!)

As per usual I didn’t have long, but with the waters gradually warming up I was hoping fish would start to get moving more as they are proving hard to find at the minute. At least my fitness levels are improving I suppose and nothing wrong with that.

The first fish came pretty quick on deadbait right where I thought it would be holding up and then soon after another two fish on the lure, the first on the drop.

This Savage Gear lure really does seem to be doing the trick despite the size of it compared to the fish I've caught with it on the last couple of sessions.

I moved from the oxygenated area to the middle of the stretch and within half an hour managed another 3 small fish, two on deadbait, one on the lure.

The last part of the session was uneventful, after foul hooking a schoolie on-route walking the lure in an open body of water I settled in the in the  transitional mouth. where the deadbait rod remained motionless and the lure without hinderance.

One thing I've found on this extensive Zander journey of mine, is just how shallow many of the areas of the cut I fish, even the channel isn't that deep on the most part. The fish obviously don't seem to have an issue with it. Not only that but the bigger fish really don't seem to like the open areas of canal.

The more secluded, quieter areas, or at least areas with some canopy cover, be it fallen trees, far bank cover or the fin stretching turning bays.

On to the next one, hmmm mediocre results up till now, I'm off to explore some more areas.


  1. Every year for the last 8 years I’ve done a barbel quest, broken into two targets; biggest barbel and total number of barbel caught. It’s changed the way I fish for them as I always try and get one on the scorecard before searching for a bigger fish. Just an idea but I know if you break the zander quest down to include number of fish as well as biggest it’ll make those of us with limited access to zander even more jealous!

    1. Probably not a bad idea Brian to be honest. I don't mind the single minded approach to be honest especially as I rarely take the tackle out the car. A weight chart even just to show how rare these larger specimens are. Well rare or good at not being caught maybe. The canal challenge brings more visitors to the site, so there must be some interest out there too.

    2. There are about 20 blogs I always read, but in the closed season my fishing drops from about 2-3 times a week to about twice a month - so I'm always up for some extra vicarious fishing - and always look forward to the next zander quest.

      This is probably a bit extreme but I record every local barbel I catch here:

      I do love some stats - I've got a personal version that includes location, conditions, bait and time of day - and a pike version as well!

    3. I’m twice a week without fail but then I’d go mad otherwise. Ta for that Brian I’ll have a look and might setup my own.

  2. I would be intrigued to know just how many Zeds you do catch Mick and as Brian suggests, the more detail the more us soufy's will be salivating. We simply don't have the water with them in, in numbers that is.

  3. Stats are good, hence the length to weight graph I produced, schoolies can end up looking like F1 carp so a little samey but certainly if I stick with the lure verses deadbait approach I can compare methods. What I’ve found though which I’m a little worried about is the numbers seem down to me and the overall size hence why I intend to fish areas I’ve not fished before to try and mix it up a bit.


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