Thursday, 31 March 2016

Closed Season Zander Quest Pt.25 – A rush of blood to the Zed

With the Zander caught from ‘Mick’s Bush’ still fresh in my mind and the potential we may have uncovered I was eager to get out on the bank again.

This short after work session may be 20 miles away from the scene of the capture of my PB but this stretch has been reputed to have produced some decent Zander in the past and it’s far too handy for me to ignore.

Expect the unexpected it’s really that simple…

The lure rod remained in the garage and was swapped for an identical float set-up and it was an all out in to dusk deadbait attack. I’ve had a handful of session trying for a river fish so I’ll not comment, but certainly for canal Zander in my neck of the woods every size of Zander likes a chunk of roach but rarely do I catch anything sizeable on the lure.

Well you say that, my best lure caught fish equaled my previous PB of 5lb 4oz’s but that was a one-off as that was a standout fish out of all the schoolies I'd caught. I’ve tried a large lure but anything over a 5g jig head I don’t feel like I’m control of it and I pick up so much rubbish from the bed it starts to get annoying.

Small ‘schoolies’ like the sanctuary and security of a large pack but I’m sure then they are confident and big enough they leave their friends and foes and eventually their mothers gill strings to tackle the big bad wide world on their own.

I’d had mediocre results fishing here previously but the more I fish for Zander the more I appreciate them as a species. Having spent a considerable amount of time fishing for them I’ve gone from utterly demoralised to merely confused. However I’m gradually starting to work them out and my catch results have improved because of it.

I only fish small sections within my patch so just looking at my local canal network I’ve hardly scratched the surface.

Of course there are double figure fish to be had, that’s why I'm fully in to this quest….

I do love a challenge….

So how big can they go in the canal network….? I’m talking proper fish not those embarrassing photos that appear in the angling press and social media from time to time.

I bet there are some proper freaks around so at a guess over 12 or 13lb, quite possibly I reckon.

I’d modified the two Drennen Zeppler’s and superglued on a ‘skimmed’ buffer bead to hold an isotope and planned to try the other side of a bridge from when I was here last where it's narrower to properly give the Zander (if they were in the vicinity) time to find the bait.

I’m yet to find my perfect Zander float set-up but I’ve adapted this overtime and it’s getting there. I like it because it’s suitable for fishing at all depths and surface conditions which has proved troublesome in the past.

Anyway back to the fishing….

The first swim had some nice far bank thick cover and the baits were positioned but after an hour without any interest I decided to fish next to the bridge, one of the baits next to some reeds, the other right under the shadow of the bridge.

I've never been that successful in and around bridges but not long after the baits were positioned the float 10 yards from the mouth of the bridge narrowing was on the move. Only a small schoolie that was hooked nicely in the scissors but a fish all the same.

I decided to sit it out in the last swim for the last hour and well in to dark, not a jot.

I've not given up yet as I've only fished a small section of it, so here's to the same time next week.


  1. Keep it going Mick, I'm sure you'll find one of those "Enormous transient vampires of the cut", just a matter of time.

    1. Well I'm putting the hours in :) I've got two more sessions this weekend


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