Wednesday 17 April 2019

The Close Season Zander Quest Pt.120 – Jobbernoles and Jumbleguts

I've never been great with altitude or even heights, I was persuaded to take a trip up the Aiguille du Midi cable car in Chamonix. Now that features the worlds highest vertical ascent cable, which when you reach the top provides some unbelievable panoramic scenes of the Alps and at 12,605ft, literally takes your breath away.

Once ones body and mind got used to just how high I was, I could navigate around the Central Piton terraces without issue but, but the reality is heights are not for me, unlike these fruit loops that scaled the Shanghai Tower like they were scaling a playground climbing frame.

Now the last time I went to Shanghai and went up the World Financial Center Skyscraper  (looks like a bottle opener) they had nearly completed the larger towers construction which was another hundred odd meters higher still. It is beyond my comprehension just how the human mind can accept what you are about to put yourself through is a good idea and allow you to do it.

You only have to look at YouTube though to see similar videos though. People get off on this stuff, whatever floats your boat I suppose, unless you die on the job of cause,as that will certainly put a stop to your subscribers. then again life is about experiences, not just sitting on ones derriere watching TV, drinking beer and eating bags of chips.

Luckily I've got both ones feet firmly on the ground for this quest of mine. You see the reality is, it's a challenge that I took on that, I began to realise it might not be that easy to bring it to a conclusion. I've continued on with it though because every now and them the humdrum shoolie turns in to something remarkable, something that's gets me reaching for the scales.

An area sheltered from the biting wind with Zed’s tucked up tight against the cover, one fish caught, one lost, and 2 further bites. Out of nowhere this area appeared on one’s radar. To be honest it screamed Zander but with an area further up also producing it was a stretch largely forgotten till I was staring at a blank, and I needed to act fast.

It deserved another go before the waters would warm, the fish up off the bottom….

So I back once more for this short after work session to cover the whole section of thick cover, not just the aforementioned swim . Now with the evenings getting lighter my Zander Quest will be stepped up a gear if that was possible. You see I will soon start fishing evenings in to dark after having ones tea first. Last time I was here I had to leave to appease the clock-watchers despite stumbling on the blank saver at the last minute, me cursing what could have been.

To be fair after getting back the Wife said “You could have stayed you know, you could have got yourself a bag of chips on the way home “

I don’t need to worry about that if I’d already eaten now do I !!!!

So anyway back on track, I’ve a whole section of cover to well yeah, cover .

I love this sort of fishing for Zander, it’s a relatively narrow bit of canal here, so a dainty underarm cast the deadbait is hugging the overgrown, the float easy to see.

Close quarters fishing and when fishing with a sensitive float set-up you can see every little murmur, every little nibble.

It’s a great way to fish for canal Zeds and when that bite eventually comes, can it get any more exciting. You could be attached to a 1lber or a 9lber, it’s only when you’ve felt the first pull, you’ll know.

What amazes me how shallow the canal is on the most part and yet with the surface still, the surface covered in crud, you wouldn’t know beneath the waterline there are beasts (it’s all relative) to be had.

The bigger fish can turn up anywhere as well, my biggest came from some shallow open water, the second biggest in a deeper swim with thick cover. Cover is always a good place to start if you’re a novice and want some tips.

Bait as tight as possible to it as well, the closer the better in my experience !!!!

If you’ve not had a bite within ten or fifteen minutes, it’s time to leapfrog to the next bit of cover.

….and repeat over and over again till you find the fish.

It’s been cold of late hence why Sam hasn't been that interested in tagging along on my usual morning sessions. Despite the milder afternoons and evenings, I'm penning this, up till now I’ve not seen any signs of spawning.

They will be not far off mind you as the weather is starting to get milder, the water likely to be going 12 degrees and beyond in the week following this blog post. I've got a weeks family break planned which may scupper my plans for a proper big one, but I will keep plugging away when I'm back.

Now these Zeds, even the small'uns can cram more food in than you'd imagine, a little like Sam with a bolognese, eyes bigger then their bellies, so even when they are full, they'd give it another go. But then you can also get dainty bites and pinky in the air efforts like older brother Ben when trying to make his ice-cream last.

I feel that time is running out for a proper lunker, but I suspect they are still laying up waiting to be found. One’s carpet bombing approach having rewarded me with plenty of canal Zander over 5lb now, two 7's, an 8 and the best going 9 lb. The 10lber has eluded me thus far, but they are there to be caught, that I know for a fact hence why I'm continuing on with this needle in a haystack quest of mine.

So why are canals largely forgotten about I wonder, I rarely bump in to any other anglers. The Zander may be top dog but there are still plenty of fish to be caught if things with teeth are not your thing. But then look at the fishing weekly’s, pages given over to match fisherman harbouring too many post match fried breakfasts and pictures of bulging keepnets appeasing those that like it easy and given to on a plate.

Canals are not like that for sure, and have changed from days gone by, but come on,they have lots going for them, at least they have character in abundance. There is the intrigue too, what will be on the end of the line, a hot-spot that only you know about, those carp swims you’ve found for next time, that bream swim that was a bite a chuck. Heck, you might even get a bit of exercise as well, and you can even leave your trolley at home.

Banks deserted, waters to myself, yeah, better keep ones mouth shut hadn't I. Anyway way to the session, I just couldn't get settled properly for this session. The length of cover looked great for Zander but after a boat went through quite early on, the water was moving and bouncing all over the shop. The floats were often dragged out of position because of the amount of crud and debris on the surface that was being collected on the line.

Even elevating the rods to keep the line off the surface didn't really help, nor did trying to sink the link and putting the rod tips under the water. Eventually I had a small fish which actually took the bait as it was being dragged along the bottom. To be honest I'd not really experienced the water movement as bad as this before. Even a good 2 hours after the boat went through initially it was still 'flowing'

I decided in the end to finish the session early and give the Zander sessions a rest for a bit. The water temperature was 10.2 degrees and that will rise significantly from next week onward, so with other things on their mind than eating ones deadbaits, I'll have a think about where and when I'm going to start my post tea in to dusk sessions.


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