Monday, 18 April 2016

Closed Season Zander Quest Pt.31 – Nothing to See Here

Walking along the towpath, pike floats visible….

A roach head on one hook, a chunk of dead on the other….

A boat approaches,

“So what can you catch in here then”, “Gudgeon and that”

“What with these!!!!” (my rods held high)

I wonder if that’s why I hardly ever see another fisherman on my travels, I’m sure many haven’t a clue what lurks beneath. It’s like I’ve got the whole Midlands canal network to myself.

For this early Sunday session to avoid death by mamification, I dragged myself out of bed and I was back at the Tefal Head, I wanted to try a couple of swims I’d not fished before and then mosey on back down the stretch to fish an area of thick cover where I’d had a couple of scrappers.

The day started like a winter’s one, a heavy frost because of the clear skies but the sun was strong and within an hour or so my cold hands were more than comfortable and it was very pleasant to be out in the Warwickshire countryside. 

For half an hour at a lock mouth the floats remained untouched, further up at some cover, again motionless floats. As fisherman we get that feeling don’t we, when we ‘ain’t feeling’ the only option is to up sticks and move.

Two floats were positioned tight against the cover, the surface calm, no debris. It felt much colder here, the sun not quite penetrating the trees and thicket.

It was out with the coffee….

The right hand float is twitching, at last some interest. It’s gone from flat to standing upright and now it’s on the move.

A schoolie, a bigger fish ? you cannot tell from these Zander bites

The floats being dragged from left to right, wait, wait, Rod held flat, the slack taken up, time to lean in to it.

Yeap, Yeap, Yeap

Bloody hell feels a decent fish, its keeping low, feels hefty, It surfaces, and then it wakes up. The rods now bent double, line is being taken.

It’s headed downstream towards a reed bed, right, need to show him who is boss, I apply more pressure. It’s slowly tiring.

One last gasp lunge, the rod tip doing its thing.

Fantastic it’s in the net.

It wasn’t as long as the 9lber, but look at that huge stomach, this fish isn’t shy round the buffet.

Scales out, fish weighed….

Another good fish, 8lb 10oz’s

You beauty, and all before 7.30am, yeap, I am mad. Definitely worth the trip out, don’t you think ?

The more I fish this stretch the move I know why big fish would like it here. There is a double here, there HAS to be. With the swim now disturbed and the left hand float remaining motionless it was time to get on the move again.

Three more swims fished, biteless

Again I’m back at the thick cover and quickly manage a schoolie, a couple of boats have gone through in quick succession so floats back out again for the last half hour.

Hang on a minute, what’s that….

I’ve seen the flanks of a big fish, the strong sun reflecting off its wide back. I stand and watch….

Bloody hell there’s two, one looks twenty pounds. Jesus, canals, remind me again why they are hardly fished…..?

I’m back Tuesday evening to the Land of Giants.


  1. Mick, you're in danger of breaking my resolve with all these quality zander! I might have to cave in and try the canal for a change next week. Got a spot in mind that I stumbled on last year but never tried it yet.

    1. Don't, you'll get hooked like I have. Fishing for Zander has just overtaken any other fish species.

  2. Really stepped up a gear - great stuff. There's going to be a real monster on here in the near future...

    1. I'm sure there is Brian, it's the amount of food these Zander are getting that separates it from the other stretches I fish. Still plenty of session left so fingers crossed.

  3. Brilliant Mick, what a porker. Glad you're finding some big girls, a double on the cards?? I sure hope so. Keep at it mate as I could wish our canals have fish like that in them.

    1. I'd like to say only a matter of time James but it's a funny old game Zander fishing, I've fishing countless miles of towpath and big fish are not easy to come by. I like to think I'll eventually be rewarded with my efforts.


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