Monday 30 April 2018

Closed Season Canal Zander Quest PT83 – Landmarks and Loitersackes

2 years ago now I caught a 7lb 6oz Zander from a swim now known as ‘Mick’s Bush’ (® Daniel Everett) . There was a good reason for its ceremonial champagne naming, you see as someone who was struggling to better 5lb for a canal Zander, all of a sudden it propelled me to a fish worthy of note. It also meant that all those sessions where mediocrity ruled, by sticking with my single-minded approach eventually I was rewarded. As someone that has caught countless canal Zander now, that fish was a very rare fish indeed, because fish greater than a couple of bags of sugar really are elusive within the Midlands network I fish.

I managed to catch my current long standing PB of 9lb, and that was the start of a decent run and after a pump 8lb 10oz Zed was caught soon after and a couple of 7lb’ers, I thought that elusive double maybe on the cards.

Now a 9lb canal fish is a needle in the proverbial haystack, but that wasn’t enough for me, as obviously a double is required to complete the quest. I could have easily read the scales through a gap between my fingers during a head palm moment and lied about it, but 55 sessions later since the capture of that fish I’m still trudging those towpaths in search of the that double, which is attainable, I’m sure of it.

So this morning session was back to where it all started and a meet up with Dan again to see if the fish was still lurking in its lair. The weather was meant to be overcast for the session but for the first hour or two it rained, it was cold rain too, so complete contrast to the previous weekend which was warm and sunny.

Zander are hard to work out sometimes put out a bait in front of them or in their vicinity they usually are up for feeding. The problem is though you need to find them. Dan was in to the fish straight away using a small dropshot lure where a shoal was using the cover of a moored boat as their hideout. 

I then had a couple of bites on deadbait and both times despite the floats moving considerably I struck in to thin air. This is usually a sign the fish are small with eyes bigger than their bellies. We leapfrogged a section of tasty looking cover with Dan now on the deadbaits as well but after a good hour without even an enquiry we decided to fish ‘Micks Bush’

This swim is a classic hideout for Zander with thick cover that extends a good number of yards, but after half an hour without a touch again, it was time to move on. So after retracing our steps we settled down in an area where a few moored boats had been settled for the night. Within fifteen minutes or so after greeting the ever increasing towpath traffic Dan’s float starts to move from left to right and he was soon in to a fish. This was no Zander though but a decent Perch. Hmmm where are all these Zander then? Suspicious in their absence. 

The clarity was ok, maybe a little clearer than I’d like but even after the boats started to move which usually gets the Zander up and off the bottom, my floats remained motionless. The usual spots that produced fished didn’t today, so after walking up past a bridge neither of us had fished before we gave it half an hour in and around a huge barge which looked out of place on a narrow waterway. As soon as the locks are opened in this area the water turns in to a torrent, so floats were having to be recast quite frequently which was frustrating.

So back to the first swim we headed to at least avoid a blank and sure enough the first were there. After ten minutes one of my floats starts to move and a fish is taking some interest, whilst that was happening both of Dan’s floats move and we have three bites at the same time. Both Dan’s fish were landed for a nice brace and mine decided to drop off at the last minute.

It didn’t take long for another bite though and eventually a small schoolie was banked after reducing the size of the bait. It was nice to catch up as it always is but the session was mediocre indeed. But that’s canal Zander fishing for you though they can go from lazy to lairy at the flick of a switch, the following day could have been different altogether.

Maybe a trip back to the deep bit again the weekend but if I look at all the two biggest Zander I've caught, they have been in one area. The quantity of fish seem to be down this closed season though as it was the last however the likelihood is there may well be some lunkers lurking and that's what I'm after.

1 comment:

  1. Love that photograph of the blackthorn blossom and the water. Email me an address to and I'll see what I can sort out re-asparagus. John


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