Monday, 13 June 2016

Closed Season Zander Quest Pt.45 – Schoolied Out

I got bit to buggery the other day, and I’m not sure where either but despite applying all manner of treatments they are still itchy as hell. My shoe was rubbing on one of the bites when I went to fish some thick cover I’d not fished before and it was very unpleasant indeed. It’s a good mile walk too but I was hoping a good fish would be lurking here, maybe even a double.

It was notably colder than the most recent sessions and for me anyway the fish have not been interested in the slightest, I was hoping the weather change would get them feeding again.

The thick cover was a good 300 yards long so the plan was use my usual two deadbait approach and leapfrog one rod then the other until the whole length of the cover was done.

It rained for more or less the whole session but talk about a feeding frenzy, often both rods were off at the same time. The problem for me was this stretch was full of small schoolies. I upped the bait size to a whole 3” roach which meant lots of runs but limited hook-ups. 

I eventually managed to get in to one or two reasonable fish but the biggest probably not even 4lb. Easily the most I’ve ever caught in one session, 15 or so I would say, madness, they were properly on it for the 4 and a half hours I was there.

Any enjoyable session but the quest for a cut double will need to start all over again in 2017.

I’ve learnt a lot mind….

Deadbait is King.

A 20lb fluorocarbon hooklengh works a treat, wire, less productive. I’ve not been broken off yet even with a rare Pike.

They love thick cover, the closer the better.

Sakuma Manta 540 hooks in size 1 are prefect. Super sharp, wide gape and very thin wire. I’ve not used an ultimate bass for ages. (barb flattened)

Fish 6 inches or more overdepth, with a drilled bullet to anchor the rig to the deck. Even with a large tow the rig stands its ground. 

Before you retrieve the rig, give it a quick nudge and leave for a few seconds. It’s surprising just how many fish I’ve caught that have been acting on their predatory instinct. 

I personally didn’t have any success in the dark, daylight isn’t an issue.

The dirtier the water, the better.

Big canal Zander are rare indeed, they feed when it’s cold and are transient.

Bank-time and pure luck is the key.

I’m not over with this malarkey yet, I want a double.


  1. "Bank-time and pure luck is the key."

    I think that sums up fishing perfectly!

  2. Indeed, best of luck for the new season Sean

  3. Mick there may be an element of luck, i.e. whatever takes the bait on the day, at that moment, but you've narrowed it down through your dedicated endeavours and its now only a question of being in the right place at the right time. You're making your own luck for sure.

    I've enjoyed your write-ups and look forward to you cracking it next winter.

    Thank you for the entertainment!

  4. Cheers George appreciated, surprised I've kept my blog going this long to be honest.

  5. Mick, Good luck on the rivers from the 16th. I've enjoyed the write ups and armed with the knowledge they contain has enabled me to put a few decent fish on the bank.


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