Sunday, 13 March 2016

Closed Season Zander Quest Pt.20 – Finding a Yeti in a Snowstorm

Yes, yes I know it's premature but I thought the rivers would be unfishable the weekend, how wrong was I, more of that later.

I really enjoyed the 2015 closed season Zander challenge and the quest for a cut double. Newly trodden towpaths with off the beaten track locations, some very much familiar. Plenty of fish were caught, many lost, with the biggest fish a PB equalling 5lb 4oz. I lost two larger fish and one that made a disturbance in the water any kid farting in the bath would be proud of.

I’ve refined my two rod set-up over those 19 dedicated sessions and the result I feel is very effective for targeting Canal Zander.

It may seem overkill to an outsider but the large single hook remains on the float rod and is fished over-depth. I’ve tried plenty of hooks sizes and patterns now but the decision is down to the hook-up rate and the fact that 95% of the time the fish is hooked squarely in the scissors rather than down the mouth that may need some surgery. As the barb is crushed, it is also a doddle to remove too. I had lots of success with a running rig with a heavy’ish bobbin but I like to travel light and a bankstick and bite alarm is one item of tackle I could leave behind (and I often do), there is also something very satisfying about seeing a float disappearing.

Bait as usual is a headless or a sliver of Roach….

The light jig rod stays, braided line, a 0.3mm fluorocarbon hooklink with a small 5g 6.5cm shad. Until you feel a Zander properly nail the lure through the braided line and dainty carbon rod it’s difficult to describe, its additive, it even sounds great as the braid tightens, and the eyes pull towards each other and bend the blank.

In my experience the deadbait does out fish the jig rod but I do like to be active when fishing these days, it also means you are more likely to pick up other predators so a blank is a rare occurrence.

I have miles and miles of towpath I can fish, that’s the issue, it’s like trying to find a Yeti in a snowstorm, schoolies prolific, specimens not so.

But, but, but…having been shared the location of a capture of a near double figure fish where I’d actually fished a couple of times before, there is plenty of luck needed but I’m hoping time and hours spent on the bank will only improve the odds that are clearly against me.

Now talking of Yeti’s my youngest Son is really interested in them at the moment and I’m reading him various chapters from the Bigfoot Book, the Sasquash, Yeti and Cryptid Primate encyclopaedia. The story of the ‘Monkey Man’ was of much interest.

On the chilly evening of January 21, 1879,a man was walking home, with his horse-and-cart in tow, along the tree-shrouded lanes that to this day still link the hamlet of Woodcote in Shropshire to the tiny locale of Ranton, Staffordshire, England. All was as it should have been until around 10.00pm, when barely a mile from Woodseaves and while crossing over Bridge 39 on the Shropshire Union Canal, the man’s life was plunged into chaos and terror. Out of the darkened woods emerged a frightening beast: it was large, black-haired, monkey-like in appearance, and sported a pair of bright, self-illuminated eyes that glowed eerily and hypnotically.

And the story continues….I'll leave you to the conclusion.

I had an encounter with a ‘beast’ myself and weirdly after not being too comfortable fishing on my tod on dodgy towpaths and riverbanks it’s become very palatable and I'm planning some evening sessions this time.

So for the start of the 2016 challenge it was off to a whole new area of the Grand Union for me.

It was chocolate brown which put me off at first, only around an inch or so of visibility but particularly with deadbait that's not an issue. When the clarity is like this I tend to leave the deadbait much longer than I usually would. It took a good while to find some fish, probably the fifth swim I tried and luckily I did as only had an hour left before I had to return home.

I eventually caught 4 fish from the same swim, all schoolies but the biggest went 4lb 13oz and I had another 4lb 8oz., the bigger fish on deadbait. They fought better than expect too, encouraging signs but I might wait to come back when the clarity is a little better to see if it fishes differently.

We're off the mark....

4lb 13oz Grand Union Zander
Now I had a small window of opportunity to fish the river tomorrow for a last gasp Zander before the season is at a close but my plans have changed yet again so luckily I've 5 hours in the daylight and not the couple of an evening I thought I might have had. The session will be an all out assault for them, fingers crossed they will be biting.


Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...