Saturday 11 June 2016

Closed Season Zander Quest Pt.44 – The Quest or The Temptress

The lure bag over ones shoulder felt a little alien to begin with, I’d not thrown a lure in anger you see but for this session the 2 rod deadbait approach for canal Zander was dumped and it was back to roving the towpath with a lure rod in hand and a net in the other.

This long stretch is very much off the beaten track, but with accessibility somewhat limited, the foot traffic is very little.

Strangely of late because the floats have remained very static for hours on end on the most part I’m back listening to repetitive beats, without it, the amount of mediocre sessions I’ve had recently it would certainly test my resolve. For this session the bluetooth headphones were donned and one of Nick Warren Soundgarden DJ mixes was rattling my eardrums.

After an hour without a nibble in numerous swims without a take, I need a change. In half or mile or so beyond a bend there is a large turning bay….

Surely I’d do better there….

My eyes focusing on the straight towpath, a recent and unusual mow having cleared a nice path through the thick weeds, the tall grass and what looks like giant hogweed.

To my left a thick wooded area, to the right towering and still uncut, the canals waters barely visible.

It was a sunless but a warm and oppressive evening, gnats active, bats at the ready.

Then, in to view a silhouette.

My eye adjust, then gradually focus, a female walking her dog headed my way.

She’s spotted me now, hmmmm she’s stopped dead in her tracks I continue walking, her contours gradually emerging.

She’s wearing a black vest top, shorts small, marl in colour, sun kissed.

Athletic but curves clearly visible. Her Dog one of those awkward looking Borzoi hairy wolfhound things, they share the same golden bronze hair colour.

I’m 50 metres away, mid to late twenties I’d say, she then looks at me and turns to retrace her steps, I continue on at walking pace without hindrance.

I’ve eventually rounded the corner, she’s in full view, stationary again but this time facing away from me, the dogs head turned away from his hourglass chaperone, its eyes focused on me, tail between its scrawny legs.

Walking pace I continue on in my quest for Zander, headphones now stored around my neck….

She, about-face, our eyes meet, I’ve now caught up, but then she’s off on her way again with the dog leading the way, lead under tension, her cheeks barely contained.

Not much further now, I can just see the far reaches of the turning bay, her figure a pleasant distraction from the needle in a haystack challenge I’ve got myself into.

But hey, got to keep my mind on the matter in hand haven’t I….

Not quite there but I need to catch that double....
She stopped again, I’m getting much closer now, very captivating, even mesmeric, she then faces me, waits till I’m in pole fishing distance, smiles and then with a 45 degree pirouette she leaves the towpath and she’s wood bound, the with dog no choice but to follow her. She’s clearly confident.

“come, on, follow me”

I can see here move further in to the wood, her shapely side profile sometimes visible.

I’m now adjacent, I look through the weald and our eyes meet again, she smiles, bends over and retrieves the lead she must have dropped.

My eyes are fixated….

“come, on” “this way”, she flicks her hair as she goes further away from the towpath, out of sight.


The Wife suddenly appears as an apparition on my shoulder with a death stare, tut tut.

The large turning bay is a stone’s throw away now so I get my mind back on track.

Bag and net down, I start casting a cannibal shad searching the shallow bay for any Zander up for a challenge.

10 minutes pass, one bang and a little grab, my mind still very active, my imagination kicking in….

I hear the faint sound of dry trodden ground, it’s gradually becoming louder, I look to my left, and she’s back.

The dog emerges, then she does, luckily for me cleavage led.

“Hiya” “lovely evening isn’t it” “Thank God you’re a fisherman”

“I didn’t know if you had a dog or not, I’ve not got my glasses , Sorry about that” “Bet you thought I was a weirdo or something”

“He’s really really nervous around other dogs so I’ve got to be careful where I take him” “You’re the first person I’ve seen along here in ages”


“Anyway, hope you catch something, enjoy the rest of your evening”

“Oh I will, don’t worry”

So back to the quest it was… conscience intact but my pipe dream in tatters.

One small schoolie at the death....this is hard work.

One session left of my 2016 Zander Quest, I've certainly made some big leaps, but I'm not quite there yet....the fishing has been painfully hard of late but at least these sessions are giving me some good memories.

Now where's that deadbait...!!!


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