Friday, 8 May 2015

Closed Season Zander Quest Pt.8 – Scores on the Doors

Having trodden miles and miles of dog poop riddled towpath in this quest for a double figure canal Zander, I’ve come to the conclusion I cannot see the appeal of living or even holidaying in a narrowboat. I suppose it might well be an option for some, the nomadic, the retired, the brassic the fleeced divorcee or simply those that have made the lifestyle choice to take to the water. A large percentage of them however seem to be neglected much like the dishevelled owners. The broken aerials, the rusty bikes, the rubbish that litter the roofs, the peeling paint, the manky flower pots and stained curtains that have seen better days. The well cared for ones however look fantastic, colourful, vibrant and adorned with spring blooming flower pots and a welcoming Jack Russell. I’d like to see more of them, please; it is a / your home after all.

Space is obviously cat swinging restrictive, but then there is the privacy with people like me peering through your windows, the pumping out of the poo holding tank, the filling of the water tank, finding moorings etc. Oh and the cold, that has to the biggest issue surely, Shirley. I know it would be me that would be chopping the wood for the stove too; the Wife would chip her nails. Toilet duties?, let’s not go there. The lovely Wife wouldn’t even have a clue where the tank was. I’m sure the kids would probably see it as a novelty at first but I expect it would wear off pretty quickly, when they cannot play Lego Star Wars on the ‘big screen’. If I was single and kidless maybe I’d think differently. They don’t appear to be that cheap either after a Google, a permanent mooring at a decent marina can be £3k a year, £500 for yearly bottom blacking, £600 quid for a British Waterways licence, £200 quid insurance then add in the variable cost of fuel, heating cooking and maintenance. It adds up, that’s for sure.

To be fair a 11ft wide one might be doable, but has one big disadvantage as it would restrict canals that you could visit, but 6ft wide internally? A bit like the Japanese ‘capsule’ hotels, I’d expect my largely dormant claustrophobia to kick in big time. Maybe to escape the rat race a big cruiser on the Norfolk Broads might make it more palatable, more space, no locks, plenty of pubs and bigger fish for us angler’s. So fair play to those that manage to live somewhere along the 3000 miles of Britain’s canal system, a big thumbs up.

Anyway back to the fishing…

For this short evening session I returned to the Grand Union in an all out deadbait attack. I know this 2 mile stretch reasonably well and they do respond better to deads than lures, in-fact they go mad for a headless Roach. This particular stretch I’d not fished before but was one to cross off the ever increasing list. I decided to up my bait size to see if that would attract the larger fish if there were any amongst the probable schoolies. I was hoping a potential gobstopper might put the smaller fish off.

For 2 hours not a touch even after positioning and refreshing the bait a few times. My mate Simon was in tow who was joining me for a pint, so nice to have a natter whilst for the last hour the roach sections were positioned in the flow. A couple of bleeps on the bite alarm and with fish topping it was only a matter of time.As expected the bobbin started to give it some and a fish was on. Not a huge fish at 4lb 8oz but a decent chunky canal fish all the same and a half decent score on the door for the bloggers challenge.

I'm running out of deadbait now and with the river season not far away I'm planning a couple of session for the Zander and then might give the Crucian carp a go at the reservoir. 


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