Saturday 12 January 2019

‘Not quite the’ Closed Season Zander Quest Pt.104 – Cannibals and Carrion Hunters

Is saw in the press the other days that the engineers from Greggs HQ had created a Vegan sausage roll to sit alongside their rather tasteless pork offering, ok they are kept in different cabinets, but you get the picture. There share price is up and they are flying off the shelves apparently and they are confident that you could serve the quid vegan version at a buffet and pass them off as the meat equivalent.

But this is the bit I don’t get, veganism is a movement that has animal welfare at its very core so I don’t understand why a vegan would want to eat something that tastes of cooked pork. I can’t imagine the pork in the meat version is free range for the price they charge, so the vegan sausage roll is a success I suppose for replicating the taste without the slaughter.

It's getting pretty good reviews apparently, no I'm not talking myself in to a vegan lifestyle, well not till next weekend anyway, I've got a huge piece of pork shoulder to get through first. Anyway back on track, talking about meat eaters with the river a little out of sorts art the minute and the fact my mind switched to turbid waters and things with teeth. 

The last trip out for Canal Zeds the couple of feeding spells I experienced was boarding on the ridiculous as I could hardly keep one of the two baits in the water without the float going on the move.Now schoolies and waspers delights are all very well but I want to hopefully bring my Zander quest to a close with the capture of a 10 lber.

There were encouraging signs for this years closed season though as not only were the stamp of schoolies bigger than the norm but that the Zander that had been elusive down here last year were back in numbers.
I’m sure a big girl is waiting in the wings, and you’re talking to a man with plenty of first-hand experience, a man to whisk her off her feet !!!!

The places I frequent are lightly fished, in-fact I rarely cross towpaths with other anglers , but the fish must be back for a reason. Maybe they are following the bait fish, or maybe they have switched to cannibal mode which fishy predators are known to do, yes they eat their young, well “they’ve eaten everything else haven’t they” (Bob my postie)

Now a bit of a revelation for me last season which was when I switched to almost exclusively fishing smelt deadbaits on river and cut, was not just how effective it was as bait for Zander but they seemingly preferred them over a roach deadbait when fished side by side.

The cucumber fishy smell, the texture ? a bait they’d not seen before ? who knows but it put plenty of Zander on the banks especially down at the ‘deep bit’ I discovered where the stamp of fish was a bit of an eye opener, rarely a fish was caught under 3lb, but having caught hundreds and hundreds of them now, it was a hot spot for sure.

So for this session it was out with the smelt and I planned to leapfrog another section of cover not far from the last visit. Predators thrive on neglect hence my concentration on this area and considering I eventually manage to land a couple of right lunkers here, it’s always remained on my quests radar.

It’s tubid, very turbid and I’m sure that’s why they are happy to call it home, on the whistle during a lure competition I know where I’d head to, dirtier the better, but then you already knew that didn’t you, well if you’ve followed my ill thought out quest from commencement that is.

Now where are the ageing undertakers, the old skool ravers ?

Only one way to find out?

The sky was pink when I got them, some decent cloud cover but I could tell from looking at the water colour it would be tough. This stretch of canal I've only done ok when it's been chocolate brown, this was a light green colour with around a foot of visibility. Now usually a boat helps matters but for the three and half hour session none came through to stir things up.

It didn't take long for the first fish to be fair, an odd looking thing, quite long with a pronounced bump on its flanks and soon after a small schoolie decided that it liked the smelt. After that despite leapfrogging some tasty looking swims and fishing a last gasp banker swim they were the only fish caught.

Conditions have to be right for canal Zed's on deads, so ok, not a blank but certainly a little tougher than I hoped.

Tomorrow is the start of another one of my Quests, I must me mad, this one has gone on long enough and seemingly just as far away of reaching a conclusion than when I started it.

"Is that wise Mick" ? To be fair, probably not, a glutton for punishment me thinks. 


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