Thursday, 24 December 2020

(Not Quite) The Close Season Zander Quest Pt.171 - Tangoreceptors and Teratology

The great thing about having a bait fridge is not only are the maggots in a comfortable environment to prolong their short life but the Wife goes nowhere near it for fear of untold contamination.

 Over the years I've hidden all manner of things such as presents for her, wine I want to consume all myself and the odd chocolate bar. 

This week however was a packet of crispy crackled pork bites from RayGray Snacks.

Based in Rugeley in the heart of Staffordshire they have been producing great tasting pork snacks since 1995. They are now one of the largest producers of traditional pork snacks in the UK and in addition to producing our own brand of snacks we also produce private/own label pork snacks for many well known household brands.

Now as a bit of a pork scratching connoisseur these pork bites are right up there with some of the best I've tried, heck even the packet feels good. These are double cooked for a lighter, crispier texture with a unique blend of the aforementioned tasty pork seasoning.

See for yourself here

So after given some instructions to "can you stop off on your way back and get some tonic" that errand was ticked off quite quickly when entering the local shop,

Then in this COVID world the 2 metre distance from the next couple of shoppers, ones eyes were looking what goodies had arrived this week.

It didn't take long for ones eyes to stop on the quite recognisable light brown packet. 

It helped that this newly delivered job-lot covered half the shelf and almost blocked out the inferior other offering, you know the one in a clear packet. 

These RayGray beer accompaniments don't need to be shown off, those that have partaken in the meaty treats before know exactly what the score is. 

Now Sam and Sarah both like pork scratchings but the packet wasn't to be shared.

I'm greedy at this time of year, anyway, it's not a problem, they would be none the wiser.  Oddly they seemed to taste better being cold, method in ones madness me thinks. 

I've not posted a picture of the contents as I would like you to try them for yourself, preferably with a bottle or two of Abbot Reserve. 

Now ever since the fly outbreak (yes still an issue ) because of the maggot escapees the garage seems more or less a forgotten about place now anyway, but the washing machine is still in there, so hidden behind another door that I knew wouldn't be open was ideal. 

So the bag of crispy pork fat took its rightful place next to a Disney Pandora Charm the kids wanted to get their mummy for Christmas. 

Heck, I think I'm on to something uncrackable fridge for the males masses, a pint or two of maggots thrown in for every purchase. 

Anyway to this short morning session, with the rivers up and over the banks I still wanted to get out for Christmas Eve so back to the canal it was. 

This time though, a bit of a change of venue, but not only that, if I was struggling for a bite I'd venture to an area I've actively avoided. The establishment isn't open at the minute though as we are in tier 3. 

Again only a short roving session this but hopefully something would be up for a bite, I'd only fished this section once to be fair and caught a few small schoolies but I did see a picture of an apparent 10lber that was caught here (looked 6 or 7) so it has some form. 

The problem for me is that it sees more foot traffic than I would like hence why I was here today. The overnight rain meant the footpaths were even more lethal, but also it would be rather cold too. I'd also be off by 11ish around the time when the rest of the world starts to move. A quick smash and grab, just how I like it.

Now the scarf was donned initially because it was very cold indeed, the sun was strong though and it was very pleasant indeed. 

Especially when the walk from cover to cover highlighted some nice small streams to be added to ones radar. Easy access and not only that despite all the rain we have had over the last couple of days not as high as I thought they will be.

Not far off fishable either, in-fact hopefully get to try one bit I found before I go back to work on the 4th of January. Now 3 swims down I was biteless but I doubt the fish will be moving as the water was cold so I needed to drop on them.

After a few more swims there was nothing doing whatsoever....

There is a considerable walk between likely looking fish holding areas and that is some of the problem here. Not only that but it's another stretch where the cover, near and far has been hacked down to an inch of its life. Maybe I'll pop back in March when the banks may look entirely different. 

Like much of my canal Zander fishing I just wasn't feeling it....

So with scarf removed I hotfooted it to area Plan B, this was a change that brought a bite within 5 minutes. The right hand float which was tight to a boat sprang in to life and carted to the left.

I've not had a bite from a canal Zander for a good while though so I was rather premature in the strike and pulled the bait out the fish. Usually though it's a small'un though and sure enough the bait put back out in the same place another bite came within minutes. Yeayyyyyyyyyy a tiny schoolie, a Zed for sure, but not exactly the size I'm used to.

This quest of mine is getting harder and harder though, like I'm being conspired against. I can just feel it after ever session but cannot quite put my finger on it. Now no more bites from the holding bay I went up to some cover where I have caught Zander before, the best a 5lber if I recall.

As my floats were positioned in the first spot to my right just up from me I spotted the telltale bubbles of an otter which was heading towards me. I stood my ground and then followed it down the towpath. It eventually surfaced and it saw me, within a split second it popped back under the water and went back to where it came from. This is the first time I've seen an Otter as this location, then again I've not fished it for a while.

As expected in this predicament no more, bites....Merry Christmas to the blog readers !!!


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