Saturday, 16 May 2020

The Close Season Zander Quest Pt.153 – Groupuscules and Gynotikolobomassophiles

Now Clickbait, a form of false advertisement uses hyperlink text or a thumbnail link that is designed to attract attention and to entice users to follow that link and read, view, or listen to the linked piece of online content.

The aim and the defining characteristic of being deceptive, typically sensationalised or misleading.

It's the intentional act of over-promising or otherwise misrepresenting in a headline, on social media, in an image, or some combination what you’re going to find when you read a story on the web.

Now I wouldn't sink that low this is not Easy Fishing, no Sir, this Zander quest of mine is keeping you entertained I'm sure of it and I'm putting the effort in you cannot argue with that.

By far the most emails I get on fishing is about fishing for Zeds, they are a fascinating fish after all, they have certainly got me hooked....


....anyway eyes below please !!!!

Bigger waters equals bigger fish ? for sure, a greater volume of water to roam around in, more baitfish for the Zander to plunder, more space for a big Zander to stretch their fins.


Now sometime ago now, out of the blue a shad shifter caught what looked like a double figure Zander at a feature filled lock I recognised straight away which was actually on one of my cliquey club books.

Even with the picture turned in to lego bricks I could have worked it out, because I've put the miles in, despite not catching a canal double yet.

The fear on the face of the angler, a rather large Zander held aloft for all to see. I found the actual swim quite quickly, but to be honest after fishing deadbaits there for probably approaching 8 to 10 sessions so probably 40 or 50 hours of fishing time I've never caught a decent Zander there.

But it's a BIG are to cover, the volume of water between locks very large indeed, and in some of the lock mouths in and around this one, the depth for the grippa stop just goes up and up till the float can lay on the surface overdepth, they are deep here, deep I tell thee.

Now for me anything over 5lb is a half decent canal fish because most canal Zander you catch are the humdrum 30 or 40cm schoolie.

For lure anglers that don't tend to weigh their fish but measure the length instead a 5lber is around 58 cm's.


The handy chart below which I put together back in 2017 shows the Length-weight Relationship of rod caught Warwickshire Zander (Sander Lucioperca) Anything over 70cms gets interesting for me because that's when their frame changes, that's when they thicken out, they grow in to proper'uns.


The problem is having fished for canal Zander for a good while now, anything over 70cms is very rare indeed and they seem to be getting even harder to find.

One good thing though is despite the persecution and electro-fishing that is still carried out by the CRT, Zander are still in good numbers, as are the bait fish they feed on. In-fact the lockdown really was an eyeopener, with the canals relatively low and clear and with the sun out, the size of some of the roach shoals were huge.


So after mulling over where to fish on 'fish and chips Friday' the utopia swim chose itself, social distancing not an issue such its locality. Not only is footfall less that much of the local canals at the minute, you can tuck yourself away quite easily, largely unnoticed.


To be fair Jon Arthur the match fisherman put me on to this area a couple of years before this fish revealed itself, when I was on his brothers stag-do my good friend Micky Arthur.

The problem is it is much further away than I'd liked, and it was always hit and miss when I did fish the area if I'd get a bite or not. Now If I lived closer, this would certainly be ones playground.


Now interestingly the last proper trip before the lockdown I was down at this stretch and it ended up being quite productive. In-fact one swim I managed bite after bite and some sporting fish were caught.

Ok nothing big, but in this big double figure Zander chase, success is all about numbers, or pure luck. These larger transient fish don't give up easy, I know I've been chasing that elusive double  long enough.



So for this session I would have the deeper fishfinder with me, not only did I want to see just how deep some of these lock mouths were, but also when the floats were positioned it might be nice being able to see a fish turn up on the sonar whilst I was twiddling ones thumbs waiting for a bite.

The road I usually park on was closed when I got there, so I drove a mile down the road and parked up next to the canal.

The route to the big locks meant I'd have to go past 'Mick's Bush' swim, an area of cover that I caught a 7lb long and lean Zander from. It's always remained in ones memory because it was the first half decent Zander I'd caught.

The floats out for half an hour whilst enjoying a coffee, zilch....

The walk up the locks things were not looking good, as I've never seen a canal so clear.


In-fact the mile and a bit walk, I didn't spot one fish, being that clear I suppose they would be taking cover under moored boats or shoaled tight under some of the thicker cover.

Still there were the deep locks to fish, and the first dunk of the deeper showed that there were indeed fish in residence. However an hour with two deadbaits in two different lock mouths, the Zander were suspicious in their absence.


Not even a nudge of the float, a pull on the deadbait, very strange conditions, the odd fish topping but that was it. The lack of boat movement really had taken an effect.

Maybe chasing carp might have been the better idea, none spotted here mind you, I might have to stay closer to home. Still not all bad I watched some cheeky moorhen chicks getting in to mischief and I cover 10,000 steps quite easily, fishing exercise ? for me it is yes.

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