Piscatorial Quagswagging

...the diary of a specialist angler in around the Warwickshire Avon and its tributaries.

Monday 28 November 2016

Canal Zander – Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Deep fried crab claws, sesame King prawn toast, spare ribs Peking style, dim sum, chicken wings, spring rolls….

That was one of many plate full’s, crisp duck pancakes in obscene quantities, yuk sung, prawn crackers, beef noodles, chips ,and more bleeding chips….

That sort of gluttonous eating I participated in back in the dark days when the all you can eat establishments were just starting to rear their ugly head. As a youngster with excess testosterone and a metabolic rate to rival Zola Budd’s apart from the huge post food belly the obscene quantity of food didn’t even really show on one’s waistline once the inevitable chocolate hostage was released.

Now however….

….I only have to lick a pork scratching for it to register on the scales, probably not a bad thing to be honest as if I continued eating that quantity of food Mr Creosote would have had his double . Luckily my palate has changed for the better and a visit to one of the places now wouldn’t put the fear of dread in me, to be honest, I just couldn’t do it justice.

Now talking of doubles, I’ve come close to a canal Zander double a few times now and looking back at my previous captures there is one thing they have in common. Not the length as such, but the girth, these larger transient fish really have been feeding well and finding areas of canal where prey fish are prolific is a good start to finding the specimen fish rather than the humdrum.

The last decent one I’ve caught was 8lb 10oz’s but what made up the weight was its huge stomach, it really was fit to burst. If it were a woman it would be searching out for the tummy huggers or body shaping spandex.

Porky thing it was….

These are young fish from this rather productive canal, very good nick and fit as you like, because hook one of them and you really know you’ve got one on the end, they certainly do give a good account for themselves. Don’t fight well? Well they do on my 1.5TC rods that’s for sure….

Now for this session I wanted to use some of the bait I had in the garage so I made a concoction of bait I’d ball in over one of the two rods fitted with my usual over depth float set-up. Meaty ground bait, some maggots, hemp, caster and even some predator plus liquid went on the deadbait for good measure.

The thinking was, attract some bait fish in to the area the Zander might follow.

Always worth tinkering me thinks, even though the set-up I use nearly exclusively works superb I’m sure there are some improvements to be made.

Danny joined me for this session and the more it went on we realised it wasn’t going to be easy. It was unusually clear probably because there are less pleasure boats and also because it’s be cold of late. The clarity is usually weak tea or even chocolate which is one of the reasons why the Zander thrive here, so it really was a change of conditions that was probably putting them off.

The usually banker swim looked dead and the floats remained motionless, again, a stroll to another area that has thrown up specimens in the past and is usually very productive….


Some bank word had been done recently and a barge complete with Timberwolf must have been going up and down the stretch causing quite a disturbance, that certainly didn’t help as it may have pushed the fish out of the area. If you’ve heard a Timberwolf, they are noisy buggers.

Now Danny had an interesting theory that made a lot of sense. Maybe it’s that time where the bait fish are still fairly active and they are feeding themselves on their terms, another month when it’s more difficult and there is less chasing to be done then a deadbait would be difficult to refuse.

Even the lure remained untouched however until a lock was reached and Danny had a Perch from around the paddles, I’ll let him continue the story as it was a bit of an eye opener for me and might even save a blank session for me in the future. He caught as per normal, I blanked.

Always learning, with this fishing lark….

A follow up session will be sometime over Christmas, next time a bit further afield.


Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...