Saturday, 2 June 2018

Closed Season Canal Zander Quest PT96 – Toads and Tranklements

With Ben and the Wife enjoying another ride on Alton Towers new rollercoaster ‘The Wicker Man’ after I’d just had my turn sat on the front row with him, less of an adrenaline junkie Sam wanted a gander at the Sharkbait Reef aquarium in Mutiny Bay. Once inside you are brought face to face with a plethora of underwater species, from clown fish to seahorses and eels to shrimps.

You pass through a ten metre ocean tunnel which is home to sharks, rays and other creatures of the deep. Nothing special I might add but the colours are wonderful, like a psychedelic trip without the use of tryptamines and phenethylamines.

The puffer fish I took a picture of reminded me of documentary I saw on the BBC if I recall called Dolphins: Spy in the pod by producer John Downer where they witnessed them putting their ingenuity to use in the pursuit of getting “high”. In extraordinary scenes, young dolphins were seen carefully manipulating a certain kind of puffer fish, if provoked, releases a nerve toxin.

Though large doses of the toxin can be deadly, in small amounts it is known to produce a narcotic effect, and the dolphins appeared to have worked out how to make the fish release just the right amount.

Carefully chewing on the puffer and passing it between one another, the marine mammals then enter what seems to be a trance-like state.

Similarities to toad licking I suppose which was a bit of an urban myth to be fair, because unless you can find yourself a Bufo alvarins, that’s the only one known to produce the correct chemical 5-methoxy-N, N-dimethyltryptamine.The toad is found in the Sonoran Desert in North America and catching one will be difficult because many amphibian species are disappearing fast due to climate change and loss of habitat.

Heck even an episode of the Simpsons covered it. The toads apparently release the substances through their skins using specialised glands.

'Mucous' glands, as the name suggests, secrete mucus, whilst 'granular' glands secrete toxins. The role of these toxins is to protect the toad from predators like birds, mammals, snakes and crocodiles.

Now the other day an area that I’d not explored for a while popped up on my radar again because I’d spotted a Zander milling around in the far margin in some shallow water holding station and with its back out the water for much of it. It wasn’t doing much either like it had taken a dose of Spice and it had been left in a Zombie like state. Despite casting a deadbait right on its noggin, it didn’t move a muscle. I watched it for a good ten minutes or so before a boat went by, then it was never to be seen again.

It was a decent size Zed as well which over the last few weeks have been difficult to pin down even down at the deep bit. Maybe it was resting post spawning, feet up, fag out but I’d not seen that behaviour before, well not from Zander anyway, from Pike certainly.

Anyway talking of Pike for this session well north of the Tefal Head I was back to see if there were any other fish in the area that would like a smelt deadbait or would like to grab a lure. With not much time left for this closed season 2018 quest for a canal double, I need to make the remaining time count. This canal has form albeit a 10 minute drive away and not fished it for a long time as I said, so it was definitely worth a bash as the other stretches I've been frequenting have properly gone off.

With polarised sunglasses on I thought I'd spot some carp too but sadly despite giving it good 4 or 5 hours in humid conditions apart from a few nibbles on the lure which was probably small fish smaller than the lure itself. I fished quite a few oxygenated swims which usually picks up the odd fish after the first boat went through at 6.45am there was a constant stream of the them. Even the deadbait rod remained motionless throughout the session. Hmmm, not ending well this closed season quest, still a couple or three more sessions planned, hopefully can finish off on a Zander at least.

We'll see !!!!

7 miles walked and a nice location, it's not all about the fishing, honest. But I'm finding it really tough at the minute, then again, not just me by the sound of it, others are struggling as well, so at least I'm not doing anything wrong.

Not long to the river season, not long to the annual pilgrimage to Ibiza, at least there is plenty to look forward to. I've said before maybe when I start this quest all over again next closed season if it's this warm again maybe some dusk and beyond sessions are the way forward.

Especially with he discovery of a productive area which wasn't on my radar, that defiantly needs more time and effort spent on it. An overly large stamp of fish doesn't come up very often, so maybe concentrating on two areas are the way to go, on entirely different canals which is good, where I know larger specimens are likely to be. Today's sessions although enjoyable felt like a wasted effort if I'm honest as the boats ruined it for the Pike fishing especially knowing that the Zeds are no feeding to brilliantly in these conditions, oh well you live and learn.


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