Piscatorial Quagswagging

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

Sunday 8 May 2022

Canal Zander - The Hallowed II Chronicles Pt.4

A little like a Sunday roast with much needed gravy there has been something missing of late in my fishing and that is fishing for canal Zander. Not any old canal Zander though, the hallowed canal Zander really are something special and there is a possibility I could well catch a fish even bigger. 

So I was back, back in the exact swim where the quest concluded slipped up, a canal Zander of Brobdingnagian proportions that when I saw it rise up out of the water I knew it would bring the 6 year quest to an end.

It went 11lb 8 ounces on the scales and still till this day probably the fish that will remain my favourite and also my most memorable catches. It's a little mad to think that in the same containment I also caught a 17lb 8 ounce canal pike that at the time I did think it could possibly be a 'twenty'.

When I put it back after photographing and still on cloud nine I did wonder why I didn't video it like I had the odd fish before, but hey, these things happen, I just need to catch an even bigger fish now to put that tick in the box.

Thing is would the capture of an even bigger fish provide the same euphoria ? possibly not but there is only one way to find out I suppose. So for this evening session in to dusk two deadbait rods, both with snack sized roach and none of this roving around lark, I was here to stay.

To be honest to get to it is a chore in itself, not just the 35 minute drive, but the long walk after parking the car. They always say predators thrive on neglect but the reality is even for me, it's a pain to get to. Still when there are fish swimming in this bit of canal of huge proportions those thoughts are quickly banished. 

Larger baits are employed for this session as its a big bit of water and also the fish are of a much bigger stamp.

The problem at the moment is with the water temperature over 16 degrees now the fish often have other things on their minds. Breeding not banquets but you cannot catch fish without a bait in the water now can you. Anyway an hour in fishing the same swim where the big fish fell to the roach chunk tactics eventually the float next to the lock gates bobbed twice and started to move. 

When I tightened up to the circle hook I didn't realise there was a fish on the end at first but a smash when it surfaced I realised a tiny zedlet was on the end.

I've been catching these tiny blighters of late where the larger fish are suspicious in their absence. The baits went back out but even after plenty of thumb twirling and toe crossing the floats were unhindered. Hmmmm. Usually here bites can be frequent, bites forthcoming but not this evening.

To be honest, I was a little bored so I decided to head all the way back to the car and retrieve Sam's old whip and a few maggots and catch some of the fish that swim in these hallowed waters.

You don't have to fish very far out here to catch fish and within a few minutes I was catching fish whilst still watching one of the Zander rods which by this time was tight to the bow of the boat. 

Dusk was fast approaching and to be honest even topping fish seemed less prevalent that normal. All very odd. So it was thinking outside the box time and I put on a livebait which I rarely do but that was going round and round the big open swim without any interest.

It did bob under a couple of times me thinking there was a bite going to develop but it was actually where the fish managed to tangle itself around the hook link swivel. 

Still at least the whip was keeping me interested. I stayed till I couldn't see the floats and the action didn't improve really.

A little disappointing if I'm honest as I might have well stayed nearer to home but oh well, fishing shouldn't be easy now should it. The bigger Zander never showed at all but at least I know what is swimming in these waters, I'll be back for sure, next time though with Sam and his whip I think and I might even try for a Tench rather than a predator. 


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