Saturday 4 May 2019

The Close Season Zander Quest Pt.123 – Schism Shops and Scoville Scales

Out one lunchtime in work to get some vitamin D, I spotted the many chilli’s on the packet, hmmmm what’s that then, interesting, heck might give it a bash nothing to lose, so in the basket on a whim it goes.

I was expecting a little more from Morrisons Takeaway Chicken Phall, ok we know that Phall is a Bangladeshi restaurant creation from these shores for those that enjoy the hotter curries, but their 'Volcanic Vindaloo' wasn’t a bad effort from someone who usually makes their own from scratch.

You only to look at the contents and packing to see that chilli and tomatoes would dominate the flavour, the chilli heat coming from from naga extract and scorpion paste, but the other ingredients stated on the packet such a coriander powder, whole curry leaves, cumin and mustard seeds couldn’t really be detected.

For a supermarket curry, it was a hot’un though, I must admit, if only the justice system in this country followed the same scoville scale in their workplace rather than their mass bell pepper consumption, this country would be a better place.

I’m a bit of a heathen when it comes to saucy curries, the ones I make are generally drier in the main so a simple side of basmati rice complements them better than the skinny fries I had with this raging retail effort. Sprinkled with a few small prawns and chopped coriander, and washed down with a freezer cooled bottle of Italian dry white, it certainly woke up the taste buds that’s for sure.

Now talking of taste buds I was hoping after the capture of a Zander in the week on smelt that after being off for a while with all things bukkake they would be back seeking some palate wake-a-rupper’ers as by now in theory the young should have hatched.

I was in two minds where to go for this session but an area stumbled upon that I recognised where a double was caught, won over an area that a bite would be forthcoming, the fish size all a bit mehhhhhh !!!!.

Well I say that, you never know when a big’un will turn up, because all the ones I’ve caught over 5 or 6lb (quite a few now) have come out of nowhere.

The biggest a 9lb fish, came from a shallow area I’d only ever had schoolies before and the second biggest from an area that is usually a banker, but for waspers delights, nothing of note, but it can save a blank if you’re staring down that barrel that no angler wants to if they can help it.

So anyway back on track for this session I was at an area that I tracked down from a picture that appeared on a clubs Facebook showing a cracking Zander, a proper lunker. After a bit of messaging with the like-minded and someone who knew the capture, it was 12lb fish, but it was only when I decided to see if I could find it's location that even small details in a picture I could narrow it down to an area.

As someone who has covered miles and miles of towpath you build up a pictorial recall or retrieval of memory boarding on hyperthymesia, if I've been there in the past, I can pinpoint the location quite quickly and confirm it with the online tools we have at our disposal these days.

The reality is, if I'm to bring this quest of mine to a conclusion then I need to give myself a best chance of backing something big, and that sometime means jumping on other anglers successes. Not my usual way of fishing, but sometimes I need to do what others do to increase ones probability of catching a canal double.

I was initially given some information where it possibly was caught from but despite being on the same canal it was niggling at the back of my mind it was in an entirely different area altogether, albeit not a million of miles away, well 4 miles when I measure it on Google maps.

You see despite only a few features in the picture of what was a rather large canal Zander a quick look on Google and it's 3D facility and confirmed with actual pictures from the brilliant CanalPlanAC it was exactly where I thought it was. Well it looked that way anyway, the angle on the pictures wasn't quite right, so I needed to get to the location first to confirm the method in my madness.

The problem is, in my experience anyway catch a big Zander from a particular area you won't catch it again from the same spot. Unlike big Pike they appear to be very transient on the whole, however I'm sure there are areas such as marina's which will always hold the same fish and despite catching Zander from the spot where the big fish was caught, it I remember rightly it had enough feature to keep a big fish interested.

The fishing can be a little hit and miss at the minute but you cannot catch a fish without a bait in the water can you. So after an early start I headed straight to the big fish swim and as suspected it was where I thought it was. Now it's a big piece of water here, so there is a lot to go at so for the first couple of hours I put a couple of deadbaits, in and around the swim. It's deep as well as I had to adjust the float stop a couple of times. So I can certainly see why a big fish would be happy here.

I found a roach dead though so, someone else must be fishing it like I do, bugger !!!!

After an hour or so the first bite came with the float getting some interest and being dragged left to right and then right to left. As soon as I felt its weight I realised it was only a small fish, in-fact one of the smallest Zeds I've caught recently. But then as an experienced zed angler these bigger fish don't give up easily.

All went quiet and with the first boat going through I decided to go on the rove and fish some cover I've fished before. It's a bit of long walk but the sun was out and it was quite pleasant. After twenty minutes after the first cast I bite came.

It carted to the right quite quickly so I lifted the rod and the fish was giving a decent account for itself. I could tell it wasn't hooked properly though and sure enough after seeing its flanks It came off. Not a big fish luckily maybe 3 or 4 pounds but a fish I'd have liked to land.

I leapfrogged the stretch but when the locks are open here the water ends up in a torrent and the bait is often dragged off station. So again, back to where I came from to try and beat the boat and fish the big fish swim for another hour.

An out of condition spawned out Perch fell to a roach deadbait and that was that, the boats started up in anger and it was time to go. I'll be back though, maybe a couple of in to dusk session would be worth trying, there are certainly Zander here and some lunkers among them as well.

The problem is there are good Zander on my doorstep as I'd fish this area more often, the scale of the water is very different to what I'm used to and that brings issues in tracking down a big fish even harder. I could well spread myself too thin, I should be confident in where I fish because I have banked some nice fish now, just not that double I'm after.

On to the next one !!!!


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