Piscatorial Quagswagging

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

Thursday 16 January 2020

'Not Quite' The Close Season Zander Quest Pt.146 – Woke'rs and Welsh Ejectments

After the Christmas break with the nippers back in school the Wife and I back in to the eating out on a Friday afternoon routine, so a Turkish restaurant for the first meal out in 2020, the prawn starter which was lovely, with some flatbreads and various tips. then a meat feast lamb shish, chicken shish, and minced lamb adana,

Vegan's please look away !!!!

The simple things in life can often be the most pleasurable, a shared good meal, bellies full. I'll save the homemade Baklava till the next time we visit. We'll be back. Fishing gives me similar pleasures as does a large rum swigged with a film.

The local rivers in turmoil again, storm Brendan bringing lots of rain with him to top up the already full water-table, the ground sodden, rivers chocolate, yeap, you guessed it, having to scrat around to get that much needed fishing fix. To be honest I thought about not having a dangle this week, but after a nice chilled weekend only a few days in to the working week, in one way and another I really needed to get out bankside.

One option for sure, yeap you guessed it, canal Zander, so with tackle cobbled together a sheltered swim of convenience. Only a couple of hours this session but enough to re-align the cogs, reset the dials. Now this may be a swim of convenience but there are some good fish that swim in these turbid waters.

'The Deep Bit'  I discovered, which isn't far from here I'd managed  fish to over 7lb, but I'd also caught quite a few fish over 5lb, which believe you me, stretches like this don't come up that often. Now I lost a big Zed here sometime ago so it's always been on ones radar, and there is a good reason for that, away from the 'Deep Bit' it's still feature bound.

Thick cover, marginal and overhead it provides some sanctuary where predators like to hang out and the more I fish for canal Zander, these are the areas I like to target.

I rarely fish dusk and beyond for canal Zander but maybe I'm missing a trick ?

In my experience there is no need to, the stretches I fish are very turbid and all you need to do is find the fish and they will feed. When the water is cold though they tend to hold up and things do get tougher, they often lay on the bottom hence why, when you catch them they are covered in leeches. When they are like this you need to put a bait right on the top of their head, they don't seem to budge much these fish.

Smelt as pictured above is the main stay of my Zander fishing, they seem to love it. The bait looks bigger than it actually is, because the float is only around 7cm's or so. If it's a small smelt use it whole, if it's a big bait, lop the tail off.

So anyway back to the session, the floats when out at dusk. Now Nic from Avon Angling UK put me on to this torch off of Ebay. You can focus the beam so the beam of light is really narrow, so for illuminating rod tips or floats without much disturbance it's ideal. When focusing on floats in the dark even with a light on them they can be difficult to focus on, unlike in daylight there is less references to focus on, so bites are less obvious.

So back to the session, well, I thought I had a bite quite quick when it was dark as the far float drifted out of the beam quite quickly, sadly a struck in to thin air, a lock must have been opened as the water was flowing from right to left. If there isn't a bite in fifteen or twenty minutes then it's time to move on, easily said than done in the dark, so I stuck it out for an hour before I moved.

The next swim 'the banker' I've caught multiple fish a few times, the most 10 or 12 in a short mornings session all from the same swim. So a trudge up the spooky muddy towpath I settled down for the last half an hour. Floats went out, wait for that bite. I waited and waited and waited a little more, nothing. Heading up to dusk I'd have expected some fish moving, some fish topping but after the session finished on a blank, that played on my mind, for some reason the fish were off big time.

Yeap, another blank to add to the list !!!!

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