Piscatorial Quagswagging

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

Thursday 15 April 2021

The Close Season Zander Quest Pt.189 - Big Girls and Bidenticulate

After tennis and a spot of dinner Sam had the choice of some online gaming with his mates or joining his partner in crime Dada for yes another evening Zander session.

At the moment there is a no better time to catch canal Zander at their biggest so if I'm to bring this quest of mine to a conclusion, I've just got to knuckle-down and rack up the sessions as best I can.

The great thing about finding an area that has decent sized Zander in numbers is that sessions can be short and this was no different, so with a 20 minute drive we'd arrive for 7.00pm and have 2 hours to try and catch a decent fish.

Sam was better geared up for this trip out because when the sun set the evening before he was getting too cold, and a cold Sam ain't a happy Sam so his jeans swapped for his ski trousers and his LED hat he got from Santa helping keep the heat in. 

I fancied something different for this session so one rod would have a dyed smelt as bait the other a snack sized roach. The water here is clearing and cold, 8.6 degrees is still fine for Zander fishing especially as they have had a while to settle in to the conditions.

Whilst Sam was busy jigging the margins I had chucked out the smelt next to some cover and was baiting the other rod when I glanced over my shoulder so see a bait had already developed. The fish I'm sure must have picked up the bait as it fluttered down through the water column.

I knew instantly it was a half decent fish as it carted the right and I was following it down the towpath. It was soon under control after a couple of decent runs where it was taking line but no match for the set-up and Sam doing the landing net honours.

Not a long fish but over 60 cms and fit to burst, if it were 10cm's longer it would have concluded the quest for sure, especially with its girth in front view matched its side view. A cracking of a canal Zed though, a proper fish with a lovely dark back again.

The biggest I've had since the quest started up again when the rivers were out of bounds, 6lb and 2 ounces and a canal Zed not to be sniffed at. 

I love it when the fish get this size, a little like Big Perch I suppose a Zed over 5lb is very impressive indeed. 

The next bite came within minutes after this fish was put back and Sam this time waited for the bite to develop, struck in to the fish and played it extremely well in to the next. This one though was around 3.5 to 4 lb's and with fresh claw marks to mark its otherwise untouched flanks.

We fished in to dark and apart from another decent fish that dropped off once the light went the bites dried up. I've never felt the need to fish through the night for Zander because they do seem to have feeding spells and those can happen at anytime I've found.

In to dusk is certainly one of them because all of a sudden the bream start rolling and the roach topping. Here specifically they stick to that rigidly and it's mad to think all the fish I've been catching of late have all come from this one swim, this one specific bush. The returns nothing like I've experienced before, I just need to stumble on the lunker which I'm sure is here to be caught, I'm sure of it.


  1. Nice session. Im coming up from Essex on the GUC this week hoping for a zander. Fingers crossed.


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