Piscatorial Quagswagging

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

Sunday 30 April 2017

Closed Season Zander Quest PT58 – Fool’s Errand and the Gangling Bush

I feel like the wondering fool at this moment in time.

….set out on a task which ultimately has no real purpose or likelihood of success.

A small glimmer of hope is always at the back of my mind though and ‘Go On!!’ give it one further go just to see where it gets me and what can be achieved. If it wasn’t for the closed season and the dedication I can apply to my fishing without the draw of running water then I’m sure my resoluteness would waver and the undertaking would have been haltered by now.

It’s not the fact I don’t like catching Zander because I do, it is because at the moment all I’m catching are the small fish and I’m no closer to catching anything remotely over 5lb for the 2017 continuation of the quest. This time last closed season where some decent fish were eventually being caught, 5,6,7,8’s and eventually a 9lb canal fish, I really looked forward to the next session, I really did, not the chore it feels like when I’m typing this.

A Wild Goose Chase, most probably….

But then post port and cheese with some friends who came over for dinner last weekend I’d laid on the bouncy castle staring at the sky listening to a long Psybient mix, a thought entered my rather relaxed mind. You see I realised I’d not fished the big bush swim in anger where if there was a big Zander tucked away then it could well be seeking sanctuary here, not only that but at the tail end was an area of reeds where I've found them hiding before.

It’s a swim that provides plenty of cover, in-fact, so much so that it would likely take-up the whole of this 5 hour morning session.

Leapfrogging is the key and it’s a method that is a proven Zander banker, it’s taken a big temperature drop this week and not far off freezing overnight so the assumption was the larger fish wouldn’t be that active, but drop something edible on their laps then their stomach would take over.

I’ve had multiple runs here in the past when a group of Zander moved in as a ravenous pack but to be honest I’d not had anything over 4lb.

It was the overstayer I was after though, I'm sure there are some here to be had….

Now the session went as expected, lots of fish, lots of runs with the biggest fish 3lb the majority as above, tiny.

Lots of poo, dog and horse, very much Groundhog Day.

I lost one fish that felt reasonable but it's that been that long since I've caught a decent Canal Zander it's hard to judge how big it was.

Luckily I'm off for a pint or two....it's becoming hard work.

Wednesday 26 April 2017

Closed Season Zander Quest PT57 – Maggotfication and the Shirtless Gardener

It’s official canal boater’s are a bunch of hoodlums and tyrants, two weekends ago, 4 moored boats over a few hundred yards, a domestic, hard liquor and tramp juice on show, skidder kegs and tank tops (yes really) drying in the morning air and then past the last moored boat with a rancid smell of excrement you wouldn’t believe.

A porta potti disembarkation and malfunction I assume.

I love a good stereotype I really do….I could sell up I suppose, oh for the life on the cut.

Anyway time to think outside the box for this short evening session, a handful of maggots, a float rod and a fish holding area….

float dips, hopefully a shirtless gardener, a veritable female Zander head turner….

I was in no rush either both deadbait rods were already positioned, one in the main channel, the other in the shallows.

So out with a small pole float, and a sprinkling of maggots….

Now with a pyramid of floats to watch, that ain’t going to help ones occasional visual hallucinations, is it, but hey, needs must if I’m to land a double.

I was expecting small perch in the margins, maybe even roach in the channel, these Zander are getting fat somehow.

I’d tried similar tactics at Hatton Locks as did fellow angler and good friend Simon ‘feed the worm’ Champion without even sucked maggot to show for our efforts and again on the Severn and Avon where it was more successful, bait fish were easy to come for starters and it proved quite a productive method especially when the light was starting to go.

But the canal is different, much different, not just the added attraction of dog baubles and delinquents,but the levels vary more so but are linear, water clarity can go from clear to mucky over a short session and the fact of the matter is there is a load of water to cover and the Zander could be anywhere. Schoolies travel in packs, the big’uns staying in the sidelines or somewhere of solitude.

Over 10 sessions,with utter mediocrity, God knows what's going on and where the big ones have disappeared to.

It's certainly testing my resolve.

So as expected best laid plans, as I really do plan them, over a couple of swims not even a sucked maggot despite regular feeding and a nadger of swim stim as feed.

All very odd too as in the morning here, the swim is alive with fish, maybe a little like the river if I'd stayed another hour or so then the fish would have been more active.

The deadbait rod however received some attention with a few fish banked, the best probably would scrape 3lb if the bait reached its stomach.

Yeah, bit bored now.

I need a proper bend in the rod. I'd maybe bring a lure rod to the next session, at least a Perch might be biting.

I really need a change of fortune, It's like Groundhog Day, trapped in a time warp and I'm catching the same fish over and over again.

Monday 24 April 2017

Closed Season Zander Quest PT56 – Below the Coconut Mushroom

I cannot quite put my finger on why, but this near two mile stretch of the canal below the coconut mushroom has escaped my Zander challenge radar.

All very odd really as I’ve fished for Zander above it, as I have below it and in those areas managed to bank a couple of decent fish among the veritable conveyor of schoolies.

I’d shared a cab with a couple of local women I’d not met before who were dropped off here when I was cabless, I’d overheard them chatting about the taxi they were expecting when ordering my shish kebab with a battered scallop snackette you see.I introduced myself, explained the predicament I was in and next minute I was home bound with a couple of well watered attractive women who more than covered the taxi bill, jobs a good’un.

Despite the boobage on display, as an angler one always looks at the available water in the vicinity at this was no different, hmmm I wonder what is swimming in there.

Women feel comfortable in my presence, and rightly so….the answer is right there.

I’d even parked in the same spot for this morning session many a time, visited the local hostelry a stone’s throw away many a time, and yet never ever fished

below the coconut mushroom….

Till now that is.

Now taking of women, these big female Zander really are frustrating me at the minute so I thought I needed a change of scenery to get my mind back on the matter at hand. This stretch I assume not only would see less foot traffic but maybe even boat traffic too, problem being, it was relatively featureless looking at Google Maps and Zander do like a good feature, I can assure you.

However it was definitely worth a butchers me thinks, maybe this was the Playboy mansion I’m seeking.

What a lovely morning, cold initially at a couple of degrees but then as the sun rose it was very pleasant indeed and nice to be out.

Dead baits positioned it didn't take long for the first bite, the left hand rod tight to some reeds started to move positively, a small schoolie but considering its size it gave a pretty good scrap.

Re-baited no more interest.

As I moved down the stretch I fished likely looking spots but after 5 or 6 locations the floats remained motionless.

It's a lovely stretch of canal mind you,path well kept and very scenic too.

Then I spot a sign on a tree and a quick Google revealed I was poaching, whoops....

Not only that but it's expensive to fish he too, albeit the club has got quite a bit of water, including some bits on the river Severn that look good.

I could have pleaded ignorance I suppose but I retraced my steps and then went to a stretch that I could fish. I'd caught Zander and Pike here in the past but the problem is nothing big over quite a number of sessions.

So two hours left lots of walking, 3 swims fished resulted in a small fish again. 11,000 steps covered, at least I can have an extra beer. I need to fish where I know there are some lunkers, it's the only way.

I need as many tips as I can get.

Talk about hard going....

Wednesday 19 April 2017

Closed Season Zander Quest PT55 – Fridge bound after Jizzneyland

Catch results so far for this 2017 closed season double figure canal Zander challenge of mine have been mediocre to say the least. Not only has got me thinking, where have all the Zander gone as even my hot spots are devoid of fish, but also what am I doing wrong and what do I need to change or tinker with so to get back on track as

I'm running out of time to better my PB of 9lb on the premaxillary....

I don’t think fishing exclusively with deadbaits helps with the quantity of banked fish as a lure rod spurs up the predatory instinct of the Zander

It’s a stick poking approach after all.

….lures are clearly the way to go if numbers of fish are priority, but I know for a fact that for the chance for a biggy i.e. one over 5 or 6 lb then bait appears to be King.

Last week’s discovery of a tryst zone for adult Zander to engage in lusty pursuits got me thinking about the bottlenecking portage that this area possesses as it sure must form the transitional route from nest to feeding ground and back again.

The pre and post spawning feeding grounds up till this point have been difficult to nail down so before normality returns to the canal then something a little different is what this pursuit requires.

I’m sure after a week or two things will get convention but maybe if I can dangle that carrot in front of the hungry donkey then maybe I can intercept the big female Zander puffing on that fag and fridge bound.

So with ones arms out, and traps set this short evening session in to dusk I was hoping there was method in my madness to try and abate my ever increasing insanity.

I'm sure I'm overthinking things.

So enough of the guff how did the session go….?

Well a bite within seconds of the first cast which resulted in a fish that stayed on for a number of seconds but then the schoolie I assume dropped the bait.

Fifteen minutes throwing a lure around without a bite the float is on the move again, this time a more confident bite resulted in a small Zander, then as I was unhooking it, the other float bobs and stops and motors off again....

A similar size sadly and that's how the session continued as within forty five minutes or so I had another 4 or 5 fish all on the roach sections.

They were angry too, this one was a proper little snapper like he had seen the Goliath Tiger fish in Jeremy Wade's River Monsters

The little tart....!!!!

A micro lure dangler would be ringing his mates at this moment, me, whilst I'd still got the tail firmly between my legs.

A bigger fish was eventually hooked and it was hugging bottom much more than the others, but sadly  when margin bound after a few nods of its head it was off.

Maybe a 5lber who knows in these baron times as I've forgot what a big Zander feels like.

On to the next one, and this time,somewhere that for some reason I've overlooked.

Hopefully a canal towpath, devoid of dog sh*t.

I live in hope....

Tuesday 18 April 2017

Closed Season Zander Quest PT54 – Morning Glory and the Mind Messer

Heavenly blue, crimson rambler and pearly gates, delicate blooms that crawl quickly up trellises.

But when morning glory seeds aren't planted when they are instead ingested whimsical thoughts can crawl through altered minds with kaleidoscope-like visions.

And teenagers know this....

Popular in the hippie era of the 1960s, apparently morning glory seeds as a hallucinogen seem to have sprouted once again. Garden centres in the States have noticed their seed stocks depleted by adolescent hands, users experiencing adverse reactions, or bad trips, from the seeds that are drank as tea or merely ingested.

Ipomoea nil - Morning Glory

They contain a compound known as LSA you see (D-lysergic acid amide), a precursor chemical to the better-known hallucinogen LSD — hence, the seeds’ psychoactive effects. But even budding chemists have to be careful. While it’s true the drug can induce acid-like hallucinations, like LSD, it can also provoke psychotic episodes, flashbacks, overwhelming paranoia, and vomiting.

Don’t sound great does it but then 99p from the local garden centre, you can see why some are dabble with them.

LSA is legally considered a depressant you see and it’s notably also a very active hallucinogen / psychedelic. It’s thought to be somewhere between one-tenth and one-twentieth as powerful as LSD, but because the dose of the compound present in plant seeds varies, it’s easy to overdo it.

Please, I wouldn't bother....

I don’t need seeds to get my fix you see as the last session the staring of one’s motionless Zander floats for a considerable amount of time give me a visual trip that to be honest was quite appealing….

The towpath snaking like a roller-coaster, the fishing rubbish the hallucination enjoyable. A bit like the Beatles Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds video, a bit of a mind messer.

Stare at the red dot, and stare a little more....

Troxler’s Effect I reckon, well something like that. This means that the small, involuntary eye movements made when fixating something fail to move the stimulus onto a new cell’s receptive field, giving unvarying stimulation

So back to the mind messer it was....

Starring at floats and leapfrogging another area of cover that I’ve largely ignored in the past, there is Zander here I know what but up and till this point, the larger fish have eluded me. Treading the towpath on a bank holiday Monday morning though is something to be relished, boat traffic nonexistent, wildlife active, spring bloom in its full on glory.

Another tough session, 300 yards of cover, covered, nada

Down to West Nipple, nothing.

Back to a banker for at least one fish, yeap you guessed it.

Then I decided to walk beyond where I usually do and prior to reaching a lock there was a disturbance in the margins. Hmmmm, couldn't work it out at first.

Float positioned, small schoolie quickly nailed the bait but soon dropped off.

Bugger, the activity got more and more and yes you guessed it they were spawning, I watched for an hour or so, nice to see it was too.

I assume a female on her nest, the males guarding it.

I didn't have a lure rod but I bet they would be biting this morning, but then didn't want to disturb the passion.

Another week I'm sure will make all the difference.

Saturday 15 April 2017

Closed Season Zander Quest PT53 – Fanny Robin and the three-legged Dog

Poor little Fanny Robin is probably the biggest victim in Tomas Hardy’s ‘Far from the Madding Crowd’

Modest, frail, but proud and fair.

She comes across innocent and vulnerable, an orphan and a low-class working woman.

Doesn’t end well mind you, as when she dies she was with child.

The thing is Fanny Robin had a bit part in the novel, but just goes to show how such a small character can be so significant in the entire novel. The author wanted to highlight his concerns for the plight of working women as he was bought up in rural society himself and experienced some of the issues at the time of writing.

Now talking of characters, this stretch of canal for some reason has an extraordinary mix of people that frequents its towpath. Seriously, you really haven’t got a clue who you will stumble upon, all very weird it is too, despite being the most I walk to get away from the madding crowd, there is always someone that likes to tread the same as oneself.

No illicit encounters, 80’s throwbacks, big tyred mountain bikers, or those battling joggers nipple this morning though….

Just a three-legged dog talking a dunk, that’s dunk !!!!

Dog’s live for walks and to be honest this dog didn’t seem to be that affected by his affliction. Trauma or disease who knows but after jumping in to the canal to fetch a stick the owner had thrown in for him, he clambered out without any problem whatsoever. It does help that the path is close to the waters edge and the margins are filled with forna.

Dirty water, no doubt. I'd not want my dog in it....

An insignificant moment maybe, if it wasn’t for the fact it came upon a group of carp that were well and truly hidden if it wasn’t for this canine discovering their sanctuary.

Surface disturbed, game given away....Danny take note !!!!

There are Zander here too though and after last weekend loss of a half decent fish I was back to see if I could snare one. This area for Zander had been largely off my radar but it just goes to show, they really can turn up anywhere on this canal. Big ones are scarce as hens teeth , schoolies ten a penny. So this session was to concentrate on this area of cover, two deadbait rods leap frog style in areas of thick cover.

The beauty of over depth float fishing for Zander is any interest whatsoever is shown on the float, a Zander farting in the vicinity is shown a ripple on the surface. So enjoy the environment and leave the Zander rods to do their thing till a bite is registered.

Now the session couldn't be more different than last week, carp active, the zander not so, in-fact after covering 300 yards of thicket all I had to show for my efforts was a dropped run from a small schoolie probably.

Three boats before 7.10am, what's all that about...?

The water was hardly flat all session to my anoyance as the baits had to be repositioned frequently.

With a morning session Monday and after a Korum 3 rod quiver has turned up when I got back, maybe I'll sort a sleeper rod out for the carp.

Talking of sleeper, I've a slow roasted shoulder of pork to sort on the webber....

At least that will be 5 hours with a nice ending....

The quest is testing my resolve now I must admit, I'm sure wine can sort it.

Wednesday 12 April 2017

Closed Season Zander Quest PT52 – A Tarradiddle up West Nipple

In this search for a canal double I do wonder sometimes why I’m fishing the far flung reaches that I do. The thing is having caught a few bigger fish now in one particular stretch surely I should be concentrating ones efforts in said place as it would only be a matter of time when one turns up again.

Knowing that a double was caught away from my frequent stomping ground albeit on the same canal, the area of concentration has just got another couple or three miles longer.

That may not sound much but considering that these transient fish will be there one day and not the next it’s no mean feat.

To add to that for me a big fish turned up in water with plenty of breathing space, another with barely enough room to swing a cat, this challenge I’ve decided to take on tests ones resolve as the probability of a double just gets bigger and bigger.

The reality is there probably isn’t a big Zander haven that has been stumbled upon it could be the fact I’ve been lucky and that large fish exist throughout the network amongst the endless schoolies, and that all one has to do is pick a stretch and fish it and fish it and fish it a little bit more, till eventually something worthwhile turns up.

As I said before you need a carpet bombing approach.

I’m sure it’s that simple....

So maximising the time the bait is in the water maybe the way to go about it, I suppose it’s all about the life juggling.

Now this is post PT52 of the closed season Zander challenge, if you consider I've probably fished the same amount or maybe a little more of these session outside the closed season the reality is, it's time consuming thats for sure, certainly not easy from the towpath I'm treading.

The weekend before last you see I could have easily managed a further hour maybe with bait in the water, that may not sound a lot but over a few sessions that would add up a considerable amount of fishing time and for someone with limited opportunity these days that’s probably not a good thing.

Obviously the clock changing helps as this session is just that, back for tea at a decent hour , see the kids and then still nearly 3 hours of fishing.

So this session was up at West Nipple again, there is big Zander here there must be, so for this session I wanted to fish in to dusk to mix it up a little, I’d never done that before here and maybe it’s another trick I’m obviously missing. Between these locks I've caught big fish, I'm sure an even bigger one is lurking around.

For various reasons as I suspected this sanctuary of mine will likely see a little more foot traffic, it was only a matter of time I suppose but on route to the West Nipple I bumped in to a fellow Zed angler who was fishing it for the first time with a lure set-up and somehow managed to blank. I knew what the question would be before it asked it, but after confessing it was my first time fishing this stretch too and I was just about to wet a line, it ended the conversation.

A much needed tarradiddle, but hey, no halm done.

Now the session couldn't be more different than the last. An hour and a half with two dead bait rods in a holding area, one a big bait with prototype / mule / trial stinger, zilch.

Up the stretch a little tight, against cover, nada....

baits changed, back to the holding area till sun down, diddly-squat....

On route back to the car in the banker swim till I could just make out the floats.....

Yeah, you guessed it, a blank.

What was I saying about them being on it, hmmmm !!!

Monday 10 April 2017

Closed Season Zander Quest PT51 – Fake News

Fake News has been around for a while now, obviously in recent times Donald Trump has brought to everyone’s attention in recent times but for example but basically the term Fake News is a type of hoax or deliberate spread of misinformation….

….during the First World War one of the most notorious forms of anti-German atrocity propaganda was that of an alleged corpse factory in which the battlefield dead were rendered down for fats used to make nitroglycerin, candles, lubricants and human soap.

The unfounded rumours regarding such a factory circulated in the allied press at a time when Britain was trying to convince China to join the allied war effort, the alleged stories came from The Times and the Daily Mail but enough to ruffle everyone’s feathers and add meat to the bones of the propaganda bandwagon.

Now I’m not on Facebook but after weeks of criticism over its role in spreading fake news during and after the 2016 presidential election, Facebook recently said that it’s taking some concrete steps to halt the sharing of hoaxes on its platform, yeah right !!!!.

God knows how they plan to do that.

Anyway an Email I received last week.


“So where are you catching these big canal Zander from ?”

You can imagine my response….

And yes there was one, I didn’t just bin it….

….so with the blindfold donned, a map and pin I steered him in the right direction.

The thing is on the river as I’ve said before, in my limited experience they seem to like certain areas and stick with it and yet on the canal I could point said sluggard to a specific swim and they could fish for a week and not any fish worthy of note.

The fact it, it’s not rocket science you need a full on carpet bombing approach, fish many sessions, in many locations and eventually the persistence will play off and from the huge numbers of schoolies that exist in the Midlands canal network eventually sometime worthy of weighing will turn up.

Look at my results, there is no quick fix, there really isn’t. Hundreds of canal Zander caught, very few over 5lb, it’s tougher than I first thought.

Now Danny was after carp for this early morning session so the thought was to piggy back his swim selection not only could have a natter but also it would mean fishing areas that I don't usually fish that often. Maybe I was missing a trick.

Overnight it was nippy and 6.00am it was jacket weather but luckily the sun popped its head up and it turned out rather pleasant.

This stretch rarely sees other anglers so to our shock, there was two other present, yes TWO, one after carp and another from the 1980's Shakespeare pole fishing team.

The first Zander caught was full of spawn and the floats rarely stayed still throughout the day with 5 or 6 fished banked and similar lost. One larger fish too which was disappointing but at least it wasn't the double I'm after. Encouraging signs mind you, it really was a Zander day.

The bites were confident and the runs reminded me of Jason 'Billy Whizz' Robinson the rugby player. From a standard start to sprinting pace in a split second.

The barges were active throughout the morning, the spring sunshine paying dividends for the boaters.

The carp were not playing ball sadly, suspicious in their absence.

Now is the time for me to up my game. They are on it.

Friday 7 April 2017

Closed Season Zander Quest PT50 – Cold Water Torture

Me “I’m not sure they are going to survive this one”

Wife “Why not, they have been fine before when you’ve cleaned it out”

Now keep this hush hush, but after siphoning off nearly two thirds of the water from our tropical aquarium and using the gravel vacuum to suck up the waste food I’d neglected for some time,

I decided to cut corners….

Rather than replace the water properly, I was….

out in to the garden, hose unravelled, Fluval Edge bound.

Trigger pressed, Severn Trent’s finest….

Now weirdly the smaller fish seemed ok but then the larger Gourami (I think) started to show signs of serious distress, not just one either, the entire group.

They had obviously suffered from shock from the influx of cold water, they like it at 25 degrees not the 7 or 8 I was subjected them to.

The usual sprightly fish went from upright to horizontal in matter of seconds a bit like a Saturday night binger leaving the boozer and breathing in fresh air

“Out the way My Dear !!!”

I filled the bucket I’d used to siphon off the water and it was out with the warm water.

What seemed like a lifetime, the bucket was full, again Fluval bound and I couldn’t get the warm water in quick enough.

It worked like a heart defibrillator, it was instant….

Water conditioner and biological enhancer added, crisis averted.

The Wife none the wiser, the fish out of danger.

Why Oh Why !!!! One of many
What it did show me though was how sensitive fish can be and the more I fish for Zander I can usually tell how the session will go. Particularly the clarity of the water which needs to be just right. The problem is with these morning session are the often it’s too clear, they just don’t want to know. I've also found that if it's murky AND cold, the chances of a decent Zander are much greater. Luckily even though the warmth of the sun is encouraging and invigorating during the day, it's still pretty nippy overnight.

So much so, I've been premature with some grass seed and got to go through the process again. Even had a frost at the start of the week.

This after work session was a quicky at the Tefal Head, a 8lb 10oz fish came from here and numerous other Zander in the past. I’d tried here recently though and it was like they had all but disappeared, the thing was it was clear though, very clear indeed.

So with the boats moving throughout the day I wanted to fish waters that were a little more turbid.

I've had a thought on my rigs too, I'm going to try a gob stopper on one rod with an additional stinger double ryder hook and then on the other small whole roach that I need to use up from the freezer.

A very slow session, three small fish were banked with 2 epic runs missed. The whole roach was getting the most interest however when the first boat when by and I had to retrieve both rods. The right hand rods bait was stuck in the bleeding cover, so for nearly an hour and a half I was fishing with only one rod.

For Danny's benefit, the third rod out for carp (I've got a 3 rod licence now) had the odd inquiry that was it, but then walking back to the car at the end of session I disturbed a carp that was in the margins.

Certainly encouraging though and when the water warms up they should be more active.

The Zander must have been laying up out the way and not that active either as they were covered in leaches.

As soon as the sun went down it went notably colder, the water is just that, it's still cold at the minute. Zander don't seem to have an issue but the Carp especially the big ones might not be interested.

On to the next one....

Saturday 1 April 2017

Closed Season Zander Quest PT49 – Exhibitionism

This venue has form….

The problem is out of the 25 miles or so of canal I've got at my disposal this is on the outer reaches of my patch.

Over 20 minutes door to door....

I’d fished it a few times on my own and with Danny with relatively mediocre results but one early morning session on retrieval of a lure, a Zander surfaced close to the margin and produced a huge boil in the surface and there was no denying the fish that caused it was a very good fish indeed. Sadly it didn’t grace my hook but the suspicions were confirmed there are some good fish here.

It was exhibitionism in full glory, it appeared that it wanted to be seen.

Now talking of exhibitionism a friend of a friend used to live in the canal side cottage just up from where this session is, and one summer evening a couple or three years ago his daughter pointed to a boating couple outside the kitchen window and asked

“Dad, what are they doing ?”

“Err not sure to be honest, best look anyway”

She was astride the paddles, chuff naked as nature intended, he with a professional camera set-up, not a care in the world, ‘hey look at us’

Then there was an incident here last season where a group of elderly teenage girls who were treading the towpath as part of the Prince’s Trust decided to undress and change out of their wet clothes under a bridge just down from where I was fishing whilst sheltering from the rain.

It made a blank day palatable, so I’m not complaining....

Maybe there is something in the air in this part of the world, now before you come to conclusions the reason why I’m back is not for a chance glimpse of a jotter it is because if there was ever a classic stretch of canal where Zander would reside then this would be it, the thick far bank cover goes on for ages and there are holes, cut-outs and overhanging branches that seem to jut out feet from the bank.

Not only that but much like much of the canal network fish feel safe here as foot traffic especially those from anglers is very rare indeed.

For this early morning session I wanted to be get some fishing in before the locks are opened where the water goes from a gentle bouncing off the gates to a full on raging torrent.

It needs to be seen to be believed, it’s about the only time where I’d thought maybe a running set-up would be preferential than the over depth set-up I usually use.

Lure not a problem, just make it a heavy one… >15g’s should do it

Now it was a tough session, I leap frogged the stretch with dead baits and then worked my way back. Nearly two hours without a touch I switched from far margin to near and that ultimately made the difference.

Two schoolies banked and somehow I managed to not connect to a fish after one of the most powerful bites I'd ever had.

Proper submarine stuff with the float properly under for a not insignificant time.

I'm not sure it was a decent fish or an overly aggressive schoolie, who knows but again, this venue has been tough again.

I'm sure if I was closer and fishing it frequently the results would be different, but for the moment, I'm not likely to rush back.

The problem is, I've got so much to go out, and so little time.

On to the next one....
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