Thursday 5 April 2018

Closed Season Canal Zander Quest PT77 – Hussies and Hugger-muggers

Having stumbled upon an area by chance over the weekend that produced a couple of nice Zander I was back again to see if I had discovered Abraham’s bosom, an area where the adults wanting a bit of rest, contentment, and peace could lay up their fins before their fate would be decided. There is good reason why their sanctuary could remain just that and would unlikely see an Isham Baggs derived anode or two up the jacksie from the CRT or one of their contractors.

To be honest it wasn’t as if had been staring me in the face all along. You see it wasn’t glaringly obvious even to me as a relatively seasoned Zed head where I can walk miles of canal and pick a few likely holding areas.

It was only when I had to adjust the line stop on my over depth set-up as the floats stood to attention rather laid flat on the surface like they usually do that I discovered it was a quite a bit deeper than the norm. I’m sure with more water covering their backs, the bigger fish would feel more confident and that's why they were held up here.

They were in at the deep end so to speak….

And any feature be it, big or small, hidden or seen, can hold fish....

That wasn’t the only reason mind you, but details I’m not prepared to share to reveal it's location. I’ve spent enough time looking for these swims, which believe you me are few and far between. Fish of that stamp don’t crop up very often and if they do, two over 4lb is a rarity.

Now Mr Jeff Hatt of Idlers Quest fame who used to frequent these dog poo riddled waterways, fished dawn, dusk and dark for canal Zander and the best he managed was 5lb I believe, now a 5lber from the canal ain’t a bad fish, because the humdrum is much smaller believe you me.

It's all about the groundwork and bank time to net something half decent and that don't come easy, then again pure luck has plenty to do with it, because anyone could rock up in theory and may drop the bait in front of a lunker.

It was only when I took a step up the cut ladder 2 years ago when I fished with Danny at a local stretch, when out of the blue I banked a half decent fish of 7lb 6oz’s as I thought,like many, there wasn’t anything other than small fish to caught, and I was wasting my time if I wanted to bank a double figure fish.

I really did think I should take up mud puddle fishing or something, or maybe fish dark sessions and lots of them, which to be honest I'd rather not do and having caught my PB of 9lb and a 8lb 10oz fish in broad daylight and clear skies on a small stretch I realised, nah stick to it, they are there to be caught.

I wasn't in any rush to either, as weirdly I quite enjoy fishing the cut in the closed season and if a double did eventually did turn up I'll have to look in to another quest, such as a 20lb carp or something, I've seen them after all because the amount of time I spend on towpaths.

Now what really got me over thinking about this stretch was I’d only dabbled in a small area of confinement but a short leapfrog away was a really tasty looking area I’m referring to as the green lagoon, such was the similarity.

It was uncannily free from the surface crud that plagued me a leapfrog away, but it also looked bottomless because of position if there was ever such a thing.The more I fish canals I've realised just how shallow they are on the most part, and the reason why my brother didn’t hesitate before throwing himself in to the Cov cut when he had to rescue his battling bathing Bulldog Vinney who got in to trouble, struggling to keep his head above water.

The diary makers put paid to the last session earlier than I'd have liked, however for this one, at least I was better equipped.

It was out with the deeper you see….

I didn’t want to disturb their utopia with a big kapppooooshhhhhhhh !!! on their heads, as I was going to lay a couple of smelt hors d'oeuvres down for them a couple of hour before dusk and give the swim a proper go. Before all that though, just how deep was this uncharted area I'd not even put a bait in yet ?, or was I barking up the wrong tree and it was an optical illusion due to it's position, cover and location.

Inspector Clouseau or Mr Magoo....?

Well to be honest, it was quite a good find I must say, a pat on ones back. A section of canal where tight to cover it was 5 ft deep, but not only that but a good length of it, probably a 100 yards or so in more open water also 5ft. So plenty to go at still, this session was concentrated on 20 yards of it with relatively thick cover. I had to dodge the heavy showers but eventually I could fish the intended swim, away from this area where I could shelter I was biteless.

So with floats positioned not much for half an hour but then the right hand rod starts to bob and is carting left to right and eventually submerges, as I was playing the fish I get a bite on the left hand float and that starts to go in similar fashion, so with the fish quickly landed and unhooked I struck in to the next fish which by this time had dragged the float a good 6 foot.

A bit hectic but two fat ladies 88 in the net....

I didn't weigh them as I wanted to get them back as quickly as possible but the biggest was certainly over four. Despite the floats going back out for another hour no more bites, but certainly encouraging signs for this area, very productive indeed and the fish are bigger than the average stamp, in-fact I'd say out of all the swims I've discovered on my quest, this is the best find yet. Spawning time is not far off I'd say with the water temperature being 10 degrees, another 2 they will be preoccupied.

With one thing and another I won't be able to get out for a bit, probably not a bad thing, but I'm eager to get back this area again to explore some other swims.

Smelt did it again today, what a superb Zander bait, I'm converted I think....   


  1. Nice double - if not quite the double you're after! The smelt results sound encouraging. I have a little stockpile to clear, so it's good to see them producing zeds.

  2. It’s certainly upped my catch rate I reckon, give it a bash Sean.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...