Piscatorial Quagswagging

...the diary of a specialist angler in around the Warwickshire Avon and its tributaries.

Saturday 10 April 2021

The Close Season Zander Quest Pt.185 - Snail Snafflers and Snooperscopes

A little like the English Zander the French croissant is not that French at all! There are in fact two legends about its creation. First is the story reporting that the Turks invented the croissant during the siege of Istanbul in the 16th century. A second legend arguably more glamorous came from Vienna in Austria. 

In order to celebrate the defeat of the Turkish army at the siege of the Austrian capital in 1683, the Viennese bakers came up with a brioche in the shape of a crescent (which was part of the enemies’ flag) to take a bite out of them! 

This explains why we still use in French the word “viennoiseries” (or Viennese pastries) to refer to all sorts of croissants, brioches, pains au chocolat, apple turnovers, butter pastries and other breakfast delicacies of the kind. 

Visiting France is not a guarantee that you will be savouring a traditional fresh croissant! In a study published recently, it was estimated that 40% of the croissants sold in French bakeries were baked from frozen dough. Vote with your feet I say, otherwise you'd make do with the poor offering we have to put up with.

Now this Tesco Croissant aux Amandes was a much needed bankside breakfast snack because the Wife and I decided to continue our wine consumption way past out intended bed time. The cool fresh air clearing ones muggy head rather quickly, the sweet and buttery croissant despite being squashed on-route still lifted my spirits as I starred at a rather clear canal.

Hmmmmmm, clear canals you see are no good for Zander fishing, especially at this stretch where clarity is usually chocolate brown. Find cover though sometimes you can be lucky but after an hour or so in the banker cover stretch ones floats remained motionless. I'm lucky though where I live because I retraced my steps and strapped the rods to the car and I was on my way again.

I know it would be tough because I was scrapping ice off the windscreen and yet again the temperature had plummeted overnight, the fish wondering what the heck is going on again. Find some deeper areas though the clarity of the water is less of an issue and this entirely different canal network offers some nice swims that the depth is waist deep not knee deep. 

The first bite came quick but so shocked it came so quick I pulled the bait out of the fishes mouth. With Zander they can mess around with the bait so you need to leave the bite develop a little and the float is being taken confidently. 

Soon after I had a second chance and the fish was hooked but I knew what is was before I got sight of it, yeap a small jack pike,

Not unexpected as here and one other stretch I fish pike are a possibility, in-fact I've seen pictures of a 16lber caught here and it looked every bit that weight. I have thought about fishing for it properly because pike do tend to hang around the same area and this fish could well just be moving up and down between two locks so would likely to slip up if I put some effort in.

This is a canal Zander quest though the pike can wait. Anyway back to the fishing the swim went dead so I went on the rove and fished some cover and in the second swim I tried had another jack after another quick bite.

By this time I decided to sit it out in the last swim where I'd caught a nice dark fish recently. It is always good for a bite and as I hoot footed it to the swim it was perfect timing as a narrowboat had just shut the gates on the lock.

It took twenty minutes to get a bite though, and talk about messing around with it. The bite wouldn't have registered on a ledger set-up but the float amplifies the bite registration hundredfold. After five minutes eventually it takes the bait and this time the float submerges then bobs on the surface and the float sails away. At last a Zander, not a big one admittedly but it gave a decent scrap for its size and really wanted the small roach offering. 

A fantastic dark fish again though like they tend to be here and not much more than 3lb I'd imagine. I retained it in the landing net after a quick picture but his mates were sadly not with him. Another quiet session again but there is a good reason for that, the conditions are not ideal. 

Now I've got next week off work now my freelancing jobbing days are over and it's the first time I've had holiday pay since1998. I've been CAD'd up to ones eyeballs since the New Near and need a much needed break from the screen. 

So lots of session planned and hopefully get to enjoy a pint or two now that the pubs are open from Monday and can serve their thirsty customers in their previously baron beer gardens. 8 session in 8 days ? I'll have a good go at it for sure.


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