Piscatorial Quagswagging

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

Monday 22 May 2017

Closed Season Zander Quest PT64 – Clupeidae and Petromyzontiformes

With only a few sessions remaining of my Double Figure Zander Quest before my mind wanders to flowing water and how I will start the new season, I had a quick review of my blog posts and it really highlighted what a poor closed season it’s been for me.

I made some proper good strides last year with quite a few decent fish caught with the biggest a 9lb’er and I really thought I’d manage some nice fish again this year.

It’s just not happened for me and I cannot put my finger on it.

I don’t want to fish the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal just yet as it’s outside of my jurisdiction and not my patch but it’s testing all ones resolve. I’ve kept a media eye on this stretch of canal and there does seem to be some very big Zander being caught from time to time.

If you don’t know much about this canal, have a butchers on Google earth, it’s nothing like other navigation's.

The canal opened in 1827 to bypass a particularly treacherous stretch of the River Severn below Gloucester. Now it was for sea going ships so you can only imagine the size it would have to be.

It’s on a scale as a regular cut angler cannot comprehend.

Just look at some of the stats….

86ft wide, 18ft deep and could take crafts of 190ft long and 29ft wide.

You can see why big Zander like it here, they have room to stretch. No doubt bigger means more fish and if you look at what is being caught other fish are getting bigger too.

Big Carp, Big bream, you name it.

The thing is I would feel like I’m doing myself a disservice, after all I’ve proved there are some nice fish to be caught in Warwickshire and Bards country and I don’t need to travel an hour and a bit to catch something that needs the proper scales.

It boils down to I want to catch one on my doorstep, in ones postcode.

The river season cannot come soon enough though as I’m being tested at the minute, seriously it would have broken a lesser man. After catching the umpteenth ten a penny Zander for the float to dip and another one wants to play, it can feel like getting kicked in the knackers time after time and another go for good measure.

So a few sessions left and I’ll continue the quest next year.

So on to this session, it was back to the drudgery. A visit to the tackle shop the freezer was a baron as mine, so with some lamprey and some herring added to the Tesco order, I was hoping this was the Michelin Star the bigger females were after. I've never used herring before but no reason why is wouldn't catch Zander I suppose, be nice to try it out anyway. I also had some lamprey though and I've caught Zander on that before, both tainted with some predator plus liquid.

I wanted to cover and area of thicket that was been largely ignored, it needs to be fish now too as the banks grow so quick now they become very overgrown and difficult to fish.

Leapfrogging is the key here and within minutes I had a run on the herring but premature on the strike the fish felt resistance and dropped the bait.

They were on the feed that's for sure and quickly found the bet as it sat on the bed. The biggest fish of 3lb 8oz came as a nearby lock was opened and the lamprey section drifted out of position. Zander hunt on sight after all and the movement must have stirred it's predatory senses.

One fish caught on herring but it was clear that Lamprey was the order of the day.

9 fish banked, runs missed.

Not a bad morning, sadly the big ones elusive as ever.


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