Sunday 20 May 2018

Closed Season Canal Zander Quest PT91 – Face-palms and Flappers

Unless you've been living under a rock lately, you'll know that free-to-play survival game Fortnite is taking the gaming world by storm. Played on PS4, Xbox One and the like, the Battle Royale version of the game which has hooked so many people features up to 100 online players who must attempt to be the last person standing by either killing or evading all other players.

Add to that scavenging for weapons and armour plus a construction element which enables players to build forts to keep them alive, and you've got yourself a recipe for a pretty addictive game. Popular why, well its popularity is down to its sense of humour apparently, including dancing, which has gained huge participation

Players can pull a wide variety of dance moves, which have crossed from the virtual stratosphere into real life.

Kids in primary schools can often be seen doing "the floss", "the flappers" ,"the turk", "the Carlton" or that old classic, "the robot", heck I’ve even seen parents who should know better, participate too.

There is also controversy, guided missiles have just been pulled from the game by Fortnite's makers, Epic Games as it’s a game played by pre-teens so yeah maybe not a good idea.

Now I’m not a gamer, but a huge percentage of the population, especially the younger generation are, breeding a nation of telly addicts and delinquents? to be honest as a kid I used to be too, from handheld Donkey king, Atari, ZX Spectrum and then on to the Commodore 64, I cannot be one to preach but as long as there are other interests and hobbies like I used to have I don’t see it as an issue, you just need time limits.

So where are all the kids fishing with their Dads then ? I’m an advocate, so where are the rest I wonder.

Even frequenting the mud puddles from time to time I can count on one hand the amount of under tens I’ve seen fishing over the last few years, we need more recruits we really do otherwise this pastime of ours will start to die.

One particular element of the game has got fans talking more than anything else: dancing. It may seem random, but people can't get enough of boogieing their way around the game - with many real-life moves inspiring the various dances. Now as someone who uses VR (virtual reality) from time to time in my line of work and seeing the technology improving I can see where it's all heading….

….maybe we are missing a trick !!!! ?

I can see a scenario in the future after you’ve lost out to the great white shark who’s just bitten through your line again in the latest VR fishing game, you’ve picked up ‘actual’ your rods, given Dad a shout and gone down your local canal to try and catch a proper living fish.

Anyway Mick, back to the fishing please….

Having started this closed season quest of mine 3 years ago, where I would attempt to try and catch a canal double figure Zed, the area I refer to as the Laryngeal Prominence was once home to my PB of 9lb on the noggin. That was caught 2 years ago more or less to the day and since that fish, a lunker of 8lb 10oz’s was caught a couple of miles away up at the Tefal head and I thought I was on to a winner and something ever bigger would turn up and close this seemingly impossible dream of mine.

You see it’s beginning to feel that way I must admit, the preverbal needle in the haystack which to be honest I know it would be. Certainly at this rate the quest will span in the fourth year as my results have levelled off and starting to dip. The Gloucester and Sharpness could well be the answer in 2019 but to be honest, I’d rather catch one on my patch in Warwickshire. The turbid canals I fish Zeds can be caught throughout the day, even with the blue skies and the sun at their strongest but maybe a big Zander has feeding patterns like maybe fish seem to do.

Barbel for example, fish the river all day and zilch, nada but then as the light goes the fish start moving and you could time the bite on the button. That’s why my sessions in the summer months are short, very short indeed if targeting them. Finish work, tea, tackle in the car, rock up an hour before dusk and pack up just after it, usually with a fish in the net.

So in 2019 during the closed season (if there is one that is) I’ll be changing my ways a little, I’m sure the large fish that frequented this stretch of canal are still here, they must be, but if they are fasting during the day and feeding come sundown, maybe it’s worth fishing in to dark just to think outside the box a little, try something I’d not done before.

I’ve a trial run with Nic from Avon Angling UK planned very soon, so that I’m sure will be a good introduction in to the tactics especially when at the venue as soon as the boats start to move it’s practically unfishable.

So this session was back to where is all started, oddly last year the results here were mediocre to say the least, it fished like a different water, schoolies thin on the ground and bigger fish even more elusive than ever. The reality is unless I put up with the blanks that will likely happen here I’m not going to know whether there are some lumps still hanging around from where I’ve had them before. Now in my experience they are very transient indeed, so it’s just a matter of fishing as much as possible and putting the hours in and eventually something decent will turn up.

Dead only for this morning session where I’d be leapfrogging cover or fishing likely holding areas.

After a dropped run eventually a schoolie decided that he would like my smelt bait and that's where the excitement ended because despite a number of swims no more bites were forthcoming. With the sun out and clear blue skies the carp were clear to be seen on the top in a few different spots, the problem was they were not interested in feeding on the small bit of bread I had with me at all.

Encouraging signs mind you, as they were in areas I know hold fish that. The boats movement didn't help and after the 7 or 8 boats went through it was time to call it a day.

So another mediocre session but hey, that's Zander fishing for you. To be honest it's one of the reasons why I like it, because many are put of because of the dire results and hence why the banks are generally quiet.

What is worrying though is the lack of fish in an area that usually is very productive, even a couple of banker swims didn't produce. I do catch more Zander when it's cold though, so maybe that's the issue. They just were not up for feeding. A familiar story mind you,

Heck even the Zed's are shedding a tear for my recent results....


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