Monday 10 September 2018

Warwickshire Avon - Otters and Orgiophants

Mick it's 2018, get with the program, there are ‘model’s' earning tons of money that have their backsides in different postcodes, with generation Z’ers that would sell a kidney to look like them. YouTube millionaires making videos of themselves having Nerf gun wars and other such rubbish, full time Instagram users, you what ?, you’re not even on Facebook FFS. It’s the sign of the times. Little 7 year old Sam for example when we touch downed at Birmingham airport after the recent holiday said, “Yeay !!!, we’ll get decent Wifi now”.

Then again I’m a blogger, I’ve my toe in the water I suppose.

One thing I’m not about to compromise and be influenced by though is food, good food on one’s table has been a requirement of mine for some time now. You only have to look at the rubbish the supermarkets put out for those that would rather go down the ‘ping’ route and have someone ‘prepare’ the food for you. Ok to be fair some supermarkets are better than others, but on the whole the market appears to be pretty mediocre.

The problem for me is why would they add sugar to almost everything they stock the shelves with, the nation’s sweet tooth? I’m not convinced, they certainly didn’t ask me.

Obscene amounts of saturated fats, ridiculous amounts of salt and additives and preservatives you have trouble trying to pronounce let alone try to spell. I like cooking though and that might well be the reason why I’d rather make my own than buy a ready meal knowing that I’d only be disappointed.

Zander however they really don’t give two hoots, I did think reading about their feeding habits and rituals before fishing for them that I’d need a fresh supply of bait for each session, but that just hasn’t been the case. I’ve used Roach defrosted and frozen multiple times with that distinctive ‘past their best’ smell about them and smelt which has been a revelation for my canal Zander fishing captures.

To be honest, they would eat anything based on my experience….

Same with resistance, Zander hate it apparently, and yet I’ve never found it an issue. Zander are similar to perch in many ways and are perhaps even more prone to their fellow shoal-mates pinching their prey. If you have ever watched seagulls picking up dead fish from the water surface you will realise why those gulls fly away so quickly. A Zander with its prey caught by the tail must get away quickly to swallow its prey, much the same as the gull.

Zander I’ve found can give storming runs when using a livebait. They may put a greater distance between themselves and their fellows when dealing with a live fish simply because it takes time to swallow. Dropped runs are also a feature of zander fishing. Resistance caused by a lead or a float can be a problem, but in my experience 90 per cent of dropped zander runs are due the fish being really small.

One reason for using for not using large baits for zander fishing is that they tend to be over ambitious when it comes to picking up baits which are on the big side. While it is true that zander can eat fairly large prey fish, when they are attached to hooks, the longer it takes for them to get the bait into their mouth, the greater the chance of a dropped run.

For this session I was up at the deep bit, I was in two minds what to fish for, but with the bait fridge needing to be defrosted I decided to use up the smelt that had seen better days. I’d also have a lure rod that I’d use from time to time. 

The first port of call was the weir, it looked well down, but then to be honest we haven’t had much rain have we. After having the deadbaits out for 20 minutes a load of bubbles came up close in to my right and moved from right to left. I’d seen a Pike do something like this down at the River Severn so I reeled in the left-hand rod so it was in the vicinity of the bubbles to try and get a take. 

Within seconds a head popped out the water and looked straight at me, yeap an Otter, and a big’un too, it didn’t hang around long before popping its head back under. I’d seen Otters before down here and also some tell-tale signs that they were here and yeap, they are around. I decided to move up to the deepest area I found on the deeper and put the smelt back out.

Within half an hour after the baits being out and distracted and fascinated by a slug orgy, the left hand bobbin starts to jump and a fish is showing interest. I picked up the rod, took the bail arm off and allowed the fish to take some line. 

When I struck in to the fish I thought, this is defiantly a Zander and a good one at that, it felt a decent fish and it was taking line from the relatively tight clutch. When it surfaced though it was much smaller than I thought it would be, not disappointed because it’s a Zander, a species I’ve grown to love but I expecting something bigger, It went 4lb 13oz on the scales.

I also managed a few small jack pike on the lure but the river despite the fish caught looked lifeless without any fish topping and the flow was well down. I went back to the weir for a while without any interest and dropped in to an area of dead water I’d caught Zander before which appeared about a metre down, zilch.


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