Tuesday 17 March 2020

The Close Season Zander Quest Pt.148 – Self-Isolators and Sacramentarianism

So the quest for a canal double figure Zander continues, a quest that seemingly I'm no nearer concluding. I was spoilt by a bit of a heyday where one particular stretch was home to my two biggest Zander of 9lb and 8lb 10oz, but not only that, bites were easy to come by. 

There wasn't an in-between size either any Zander caught over the 3 or 4 mile stretch was either a schoolie and after catching 50 of those, out of the blue a proper chunk would show itself.

Since that purple patch though it's become tougher, those banker swims no longer bankers, those overhanging trees or far bank thicket no longer holding fish. I've cast my net wider, to be honest I always did, but this is a convenient stretch that at one time had been very good to me.

For this session were the fish back ? was the banker swim, still producing ?

Only one way to find out....

It was out with the 7ft Savage Gear matching rods to replace my Fox 9 footers which to be honest were a little cumbersome.

Some of the areas I fish the towpaths are very narrow the overhead cover low and dangling, so I found it hard work sometimes just to navigate from swim to swim. They were more a hindrance than a help, 2 foot less I'm sure would make all the difference.

I still use lures from time to time especially where the water is oxygenated, where there are locks, where there are features.

For this 2 hour after work session though it was out with the smelt again and the over-depth float set-ups to re-live where it all started for me, where I became fascinated in this species.

Recently I've been fishing an entirely different canal altogether and the results there certainly more encouraging but I'm sure there are big Zeds swimming here, despite my questioning why am I wasting my valuable time.

Big Zeds are self-isolating experts, separating themselves from the pack when they get to a certain size. They like me, have reached a time in their like where they need to seek solitude, the need to swim the turbid waters on their terms.

The problem is I've found is catch a decent fish >70cm's you're unlikely to catch it in the same spot again. Get on the move once again, maybe it will be a double next time.

When you've fish for canal Zander as much as I have though you tend to get an idea where the fish are holding up. Spawning isn't far off now but even when the female is away from the nest, one holding feature is that thick cover holds fish.  Not just any old cover though it needs to be a tangled mess of them that extend out in to the cut itself.

Now after a tip-off by a like-minded insider he said I wouldn't like what I saw when I got bankside to try and snare the needle in the haystack. A good 200 or 300 yards of thick cover near and far, butchered, buggered and hacked away by the contractors Sweeney Todd limited 

An area that not just held Zander but also carp and some good'uns too. The carp you wouldn't know were there but they used to tuck themselves right out of harms way and it's only because I spend so much time on the towpath they occasionally revealed themselves.

As suspected the session didn't produce a bite. I didn't bother with the now shaven once hallowed haven because I knew what the results would be, however even after moving up to another section where there was some cover left, again a banker swim, the floats remained motionless.

Pastures new now need to be sought, I need to stop flogging a dead horse.


  1. Found out the same when I went on Monday Mick, in fact I was that mad I got on to the R&CT web site and told them there was no need for it especially as they're always promoting get back to nature with canal walks. But as usual they they cherry pick the comments they want to answer.

    1. The boats can get past so what's the issue ? just make a stretch bare, baron and not a nice sight.

  2. Last time I saw a double (or near) figure zed was on Great British Menu last night, being filleted up.

    1. Really,might watch it on catch-up, quite like that program.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...