Thursday 19 April 2018

Closed Season Canal Zander Quest PT80 – Cockwombles and Cynophiles

It's mind manifesting watching these contrasting florescent green floats against the turbid canal. Now as we know psychedelics are a class of drug whose primary action is to trigger psychedelic experiences via serotonin receptor agonism, causing thought, visual and auditory changes, and the end result a heightened state of consciousness.No need for LSD or psilocybin I tell you, stare at the tips (that's tips !!!!) as much as I do and the towpath does something straight out of Doctor Strange, proper trippy sometimes, and to be honest, quite nice when you get used to it, it becomes addictive.

Yeap another annual pilgrimage trip to Ibiza booked and paid for....

Anyway a shared towpath is usually not for me, but this deep bit I’ve found it demands some extra attention.

The problem you see with this area, is as a solitude seeker, this discovery has a little more foot and boat traffic than I’d like. Having fished it five or so times now, there are others with routines too and familiar faces are established.

Dog walkers, portly big tyred mountain bikers, joggers, mumblers and mountaineers…..

One particular dog walker, brunette and rather attractive, a walk of determination, one of those purposeful strides, big tan high boots and tight leggings, the exercise clearly showing its benefits, as clearly nothing to hide. Our paths crossed a few times with a routine that could be timed by the minute. Unlike the Zander here which are a bit hit and miss. A couple of initial pleasantries, a passing gaze, then eventually proper eye contact with a beaming smile, just what I needed to take my mind away from the motionless floats.

“Hi Ya, fancy seeing you again” She says….

“I could say the same about you; you cannot keep away can you”

“Do you catch much in here then?”

Whips out phone, “look at these beauties”

“Wow, they look big, what are they?”


“Never heard of them”

“Yeap, most people say the same, they are non-native to this country, but established now”

....continued conversation, appears fascinated most probably bored.

“Anyway got to go, same time next weekend ?”

“Most probably, see you soon” 

If I look at my captures at this section though, the afternoon and beyond have been more productive, so I was back for an evening session hoping paths would cross again, not with the rather engaging lady however, but with a half decent canal Zander.

You see time is running out again for this closed season Zander quest, I'm over that half way hurdle and got to crack on. What is encouraging mind you, is the average stamp of fish at this deep bit are half decent, but also the fact these fish are from an entirely different canal network to my PB of 9lb and a 8lb 10oz fish I’d caught 2 years ago. Ok they are not up there in overall size yet, but I’m sure when I big’un is eventually caught (fingers and toes crossed) it will be a proper lunker.

A change for this session was as I was fishing in to dusk was to fit a proper Zander float on one of the rods, a Dutch classic! A faithful reproduction of the most popular zander float of Dutch Snoekbaars experts. Holds firm in the wind yet indicates even the finest bites from these cautious predators was part of the blurb. Produced from indestructible Rohacell and made in Germany!

It looked a little cumbersome against my usual small zeppler and I'd fish it half cock rather than it was intended on a lake but I'm sure come a Zander bite the erection would be a sight to behold. Fishing in to dusk and lowlight maybe it was just what was needed. 

The towpath is narrow here so rods needs to be positioned parallel to it and also as close to the edge as physically possible. Bail arm open, sit back and wait. Floats are less disruptive than a running ledger for example because depending on what size float you use you can use a small running lead to hold bottom. I use a 10g coffin lead which is around a 1/3 of an ounce and the fish bait makes more of a melee when it enters the water.   

So enough of the preamble, get back to the session I'm probably talking a load of nonsense, but maybe there is method in my quite obvious madness ....

It was officially the hottest April day in 70 years today reaching 27.9 Degrees C, not far off that in my patch either with not a cloud in the sky and reaching something like 26. I could have easily sat in the garden with a G&T but I need to get bankside for a few hours because if I am to catch a double figure fish eventually then I won't do that at home now will I.

A small schoolie was caught quite quickly on the smaller float rod sadly, but then not a jot really, the water temperature was over 15 degrees so I expect the Zander have other things on their minds like guarding the fat females in their nests, they were certainly not interested in deadbaits anyway, or there could just not be any fish in-front of me and I that's more what I'm thinking.

So not quite back to square one with this area, I'm going to give it a couple more goes and then I might give it a little rest for a while, feels a little Groundhog day at the minute I've fished it that many times.


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