Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Zander, got to love them.

We are a bit spoilt in Bards country, such a wide variety of course fishing on offer. Some wide stretches of river, small streams and flowing water that meanders through the lovely English countryside. There are lakes and pools in abundance and miles and miles of canal. The target for my 2 hour evening session was Zander.

The canals and rivers in the Midlands have them in numbers; a non native species first introduced into the Relief Channel by the Great Ouse River Authority back in 1963, their family tree has gradually spread throughout large parts of the country. Not much we can do about it now but to try and capitalise on an interesting and predatory fish.

Zander Distribution - NBN Gateway

With the night’s drawing in I can be at my banker swim within 10 minutes of leaving my house, and it’s handy that there is a car-park yards from the lock gates. I explored the whole 2 mile stretch in one session and managed a few on the lure but the banker swim produced a few in the same session.

There are plenty of ‘schoolies’ however I’ve had them up to 3lb and I’ve lost one that was probably twice that. I’ve not tried for Zander on the stretches of river I fish, but that’s something I’m going to try in the future. The canals are an ideal habitat for this intruding fish very murky and gloomy which gives them confidence in feeding any time of the day.

Tactics for today were my usual, a lure rod to explore the area and a sleeper rod running set-up with a small dead bait, roach or gudgeon. The deadbait is secured with a Jeff Hatt recommended Mustard Ultimate Bass hook tied to a 50lb Korda arma-kord leader. 9 times out of ten if you strike as soon as the bait gets interest you will hook the fish in the scissors, and by crushing the barb on the hook, removal is a piece of cake.

I had a ‘schoolie’ with first cast of the lure and it properly nailed it too, no messing around, just BANG. They do fight quite well despite being small and a bit like a Perch they try and throw the hook by shaking their heads back and forth.

Despite being a short session I managed 6 Zander and 1 Perch, not big’uns but an enjoyable after work session. The last fish came to a lure in the dark and weirdly the deadbait never got a touch when the light was diminishing. Sander lucioperca, got to love them.


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