Saturday, 13 June 2015

Closed Season Zander Quest Pt.18 – It's no laughing Badger...!!!!

I'm hoping that's my lot, the week leading up till Thursday's short evening session on the Grand Union the local wildlife seemed to have suicidal tendencies, every journey in my new car met with near missies with birds, muntjac and rabbits. Tuesday was the first death when a raven decided he would like a better look at my windscreen, Wednesday a magpie took a liking to my nearside headlamp and it sure enough the third incident concluded with a huge kamikaze Badger on a mission who succeeded in causing considerable damage to the front bumper, grille and under-tray. Luckily the huge radar sensor and mounting bracket and modern cars pedestrian impact legislation meant it stopped short of the radiator so the car was still drivable and I managed to nurse it home.

The bonnet to grille gap also highlighted the bonnet has had a bit of a bump too. The car is in to be fixed now, so I've now got a bright red steel wheeled Nissan Micra spam chariot with less than 4 times the power, at least I'm mobile I suppose and can still go fishing.

The incident happened when I was returning from the area where I'd lost a big Zander a couple of sessions previously, it was by far the biggest fish I'd managed to hook and the shear size of it's mouth when it was shaking it back and fourth was something to behold. The resulting hook pub was one of those moments in fishing that everyone has, I just seem to get the brunt of them. This would fish would have beaten my 5lb 4oz PB by a very long way and also highlighted Zander really do can put up a bit of a scrap as it certainly put a proper bend in the rod and an ache in to my forearm.

I'd made a slight change to the set-up for this all out headless Roach attack, the Ultimate Bass hook was replaced with a Raptor. I've only used a Raptor a few times now but it does have similar hook up rates as the bass hook, I made the change as I wanted to use a thicker gauge hook to hopefully prevent a similar hook pull if I'd manage to hook up to it again. The Zanders boney mouth plate once penetrated gives good hook retention but I'm sure the lost fish was due to the hook pulling out because of the reaction against the broom handle, sorry Carp rod.I have tried small trebles in the past but especially with the smaller Zander who are reluctant to open their mouths I find barbless single hooks far easier to remove, especially when 95% of the hook holds are firmly in the scissors. I also swopped rods so now the terminal tackle was rigged to a 2lb TC Fox Barbel rod.

It was a bright sunny evening and when I rocked up at the swim it was 22 degrees and pleasant to feel some sun on my back. The oxygenated area I intended to fish had a large film of surface scum and debrit but I known from past sessions this won't trouble the Zander, in-fact I've caught fish from the most of unlikely of places. They like it dirty. Within 15 minutes I had a near 3lber on the bank which was an encoraging start but then for some reason I was missing bites. I'm sure it might have been a Eel having a go but strikes didn't result in a hook-up. This is unusual as as soon as the rod gets attention if you strike early a Zander would be on the end. 5 further Zander later as a photographer was chatting to me I hooked in to another decent fish again, it was only only for a few seconds to maybe it was just mouthing the bait, damn another decent fish lost.

The last fish, which you see below I just had to photograph as despite not even making 3lb it punched far above his weight. It was on of the fights where I'd played it for a decent amount of time to then end in big disappoint when the fish surfaced. Then can fight well this smaller Zander, this one could anyway, I was well impressed. Another quest session down with probably only one remaining, the river season is here Tuesday and that's where my attention will be. I've loved every minute of my canal time though, even cancelled planned Crucian and Roach sessions for them. The Quest is not over either, I'll be carrying out Zander sessions from time to time throughout this season and then I maybe even be as dedicated again in the next closed season, there is loads of areas I want to try to try and capture a double.


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