Monday 30 March 2020

The Close Season Zander Quest Pt.*** – Memories and Metapsychology

The month everything changed !!!!, it escalated quickly didn't it, the pandemic spreading throughout the world and causing many countries to 'lock-down' their citizens to varying extents to 'flatten' the curve, to halt the spread of COVID-19 and lessen the pressure on the health service.

If we all stick to the government guidelines of social distancing, staying home and only venturing out when it is absolutely essential, hopefully it can keep those with underlying health conditions and also the other unfortunate people that have caught this horrible respiratory disease a fighting chance.

Luckily with this great country of ours the fight back well underway with BoJo leading from the top  albeit having to self-isolate after testing positive for this coronavirus as I type this, luckily on hand 750,000 NHS volunteers having put their hands up to be the first to deliver a food parcel to him.

Pubs, restaurants and clubs shut as well as almost all other non-essential businesses, shutters down, the cat out, it's going to be a tough number of weeks it really is.

Luckily as a CAD Monkey working from home designing interior parts for a rather exciting EV automotive project, it's business not quite as usual.

Microsoft Teams providing a good medium to host video conference calls where at any one time there could be over 100 participants in the latest package meeting.

Many haven't the WFH option like I have, now having to look behind the sofa and under the cushions to see where the next quid will come from to replenish those fast depleting coffers.

Now on a positive note HMRC are having to work as hard as they have never done before, not to extract it from employees and businesses with their rather large thumbnail pliers, but to actually divi it out to those in need, in an unprecedented turn around.

No doubt there will be tax implications for all of us  I'm sure, but we all need to get over this hurdle, the foot over the style and get to a position when we can stick the middle finger up to this virus and get back to what we were doing before.

With the schools shut and the reality that the kids may well be at home for a good old stint so, like many I 'm finding it tough.

Ben my eldest who is now 10 years old was diagnosed with autism and global development delay when he was at nursery likes his school routine, he loves being outdoors, so his containment isn't easy.

He can be loud and noisy from when he wakes up at 5.30am till he goes to bed at 8.30pm. It's just the way he is, Ben is Ben, but even now, 10 years in, it can be testing.

He is always happy despite his complex needs so we are lucky in that respect, but it's a shame because his speech was coming on leaps and bounds after being almost non verbal a few years ago, now he can read books, the change incredible.

The school has the specialists that get the best out of him, they will be missed. I'm hoping the light at the end of the tunnel is closer than we think in these testing times.

Now at the minute it is what it is and luckily after getting in to a relaxed daytime routine with both of the kids, things have gone pretty well so far. Schoolwork on the mac, lunch, exercise, art and crafts and then ipad or ps4. I don't watch a huge amount of tv but this weeks watch has been Tiger Kings on Netflix which is just bizarre and the third series of drug drama Ozark, which if you haven't watched it, do, it's a fantastic watch.

Good Rum and repetitive beats have been absorbed in even larger quantities than normal and although I'm struggling with not being able to get ones rods on to the towpaths to chase canal Zander, I can cycle there luckily, and intend to join those others not singled out, the joggers, walkers and mountain bikers will have a free reign to 'exercise' and who no doubt will fill their boots.

For some ambient to chill out too, you could do no worse than Gigi Masin streaming from isolation. headphones on, an escape.

The fact is after a hard slog at work sat on ones backside I go all out and often walk mile after mile on my Zander sessions, where 15,000 steps are exceeded on nearly all trips out. Sadly in these tough times ones wellbeing and only weekend exercise is now put on hold till the restrictions are lifted again. My job means long periods of time sat on ones backside the weekend cannot come soon enough.

It's frustrating as you can well imagine, but then many have had their hobbies and pastimes stopped for the foreseeable future, nothing they can do about it either. I suppose commercial fisheries and packed pools and still waters haven't helped maters, sadly for many, fishing isn't the solitary pursuit it once was.

Us rovers are in the minority, the trolley pushers, van drivers and bivi erectors the humdrum these days where you could almost open a tackle shop with all the gear you need. Lure fishing has certainly been a welcome addition to our pastime, for me, you need to mix fishing up otherwise it can get a bit repetitive, dare I say it a little bit boring.

So I've re-spooled some reels, cleaned some rods, had a spring clean and tidied the garden. What has been nice though is that we have been out as a family to walk the countryside around our village. We've been to areas we'd never been to before, fields we'd never explored, birds we didn't know existed. Heck Google earth, has been plundered and plundered again.

The weather has helped, spring is definitely here and it's made us appreciate just what a lovely location we live in, and how lucky we are to make use of the area when others haven't that option.

Only one incident so far, a welly stuck, a muddy sock.

So the first trip out on the bike I will check out a stretch I'd not been to for a while to see if when the restrictions are lifted it was worth bothering with.

I need to seek solitude whenever I can, fishing gives me that in abundance and you only have to look at the timeline on my blog I'm fishing more than ever these days, it keeps me sane, keeps those wheels firmly on track keeping the cart from going wayward.

Now I use my mountain bike from time to time when I accompany Sam when we visit the Stratford Greenway , so it was quite nice to get my government quota where if we get bored with walking in muddy fields, we could if desperate for a mixup and get waterside, it's a stretch we could all actually walk to.

In-fact one year when the roads were covered in snow I walked here and caught Zander when many would question ones sanity I did exactly that. Sadly all the cover has been hacked down in this area, but other areas too ? only one way to find out if it's yay or nay.

Social distancing can easily be adhered to here, it's one of the quietest stretches I fish for canal Zander. Moored boats, nope, joggers, occasionally, the odd dog walker, yes, to 'spoil' the enjoyment sadly.

This area has gone off though, my catch rate considerably less than the heyday. Roving long distances is fine if the catch rate is good, a drag if it's not. Two of my biggest Zander we caught here, sadly a distant memory, you're lucky to get a bite these days.

The cover here was one of the main fish holding features but over the years it had started to be removed to such an extent, certain stretches unrecognisable from when I started to fish it at the start of this campaign of mine.

The purpose of the reccy one aim, my legs on the pedals secondary to the question was it worth fishing here again when the drawbridge is raised. I've fished for canal Zander so long now, I know where fish will likely hold up, the swims that scream Zed's.

My PB came from this stretch, a fish with a large frame that was built like a brick outhouse oddly came from smack bang in the middle of a shallow turning bay.

Despite fishing other similar swims since catching that fish, the results have been very mediocre, nothing to write home about.

The picture taken by a passerby, my self-takes nothing like what they are like now.

It's a shame because what a magnificent fish, it deserved a better picture. Even the woman that took the picture who was walking with her daughter couldn't believe the size of the fish that exist in these very turbid waters. The quest effectively gained pace here, but sadly has gone down since.

The problem is these bigger fish I've said before are transient, catch it in one swim, you won't ever see it then again. And yes I've tried, and tried again. Maybe they follow the baitfish, always on the move, always on the chase.

Anyway, bike at the ready, tyres pumped, I need my water fix, sadly the fishing will have to wait till the restrictions are lifted, fingers crossed soon rather than later.

I'm chomping at the bit !!!!

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