Saturday 29 February 2020

(Not Quite) The Close Season Zander Quest Pt.147 – Behemoths and Bathythermographs

Just what we all didn't want, the rivers out of bounds yet again because of another storm, another deluge of rain. I really wanted to see the season out fishing for probably my favourite river species and that is the Chevin.

Ok slack could be found on the Warwickshire Avon I'd imagine, but in my experience especially as the river was on the rise it would have been a very tough cookie indeed.

Now talking of tough cookies, I've spotted quite a few of the new Land Rover defenders of late without all their camo. 

As far as I'm aware they haven't had any press ride and drives yet to proper give them a good run out, and the James Bond trailer that is doing the rounds that features the car is, well, a modified car that, lets be honest, won't be the car that comes out of the showroom.

What I didn't realise though, was just how big the thing is, a proper Behemoth, which would tower over my little car and work horse I've got if I'd been parked next to it.

The good thing about the NewSuzuki Jimny is that the farm tracks and fields I've been driving in, the fact that it is so small is that I can squeeze between gates, trees and and the like with relative easy. In-fact as much as I'd like to own the 90, when it's over twice the weight of mine now, you do wonder, where it's gone so wrong. 

But then look at the wading depth of 900mm and the towing capacity, which is ridiculous, these new Defenders are seriously capable cars, and to be fair I'd love to take it through some of the flooded roads we have had in and around the area, roads, where even in the capable little spam chariot I've been turning round to find a different route.

Sadly it was the canal I was looking to, to get ones fishing fix, the flowing water venues out yet again, for what has been a testing season.

It didn't start well to be honest, fifteen minutes in to the session I had to shelter under a bridge to get away from the cold rain which was horizontal at one point.

The storm front staying longer than expected because according to the weather it was meant to have all been done and dusted over night and in to the early hours.

That was clearly no the case, in-fact an hour in, I was wondering what the heck I was doing there. Dogs off the lead aggressively growling at me, dumped dog poo bags in clear sight but probably the worst of all, the CRT had been overactive with the pruning.

'The Deep Bit' which has been home to multiple fish over 4 and 5 lb, now devoid of cover altogether. Now that cover was a fish holding feature, not only that, but I think it was a spawning ground as well. 

The tangled mass of branches ideal for laying of eggs and a deep area for the males to guard it.

It was a hotspot for sure, a little hit and miss sometimes but if you got a bite it generally was from a good fish.

In-fact this is the swim, barely recognisable from the swim I know and love. The cover removed to such an extent I'm not sure it will hold big Zander ever again. The reason they were there was because of the cover, and now it's gone, well yeap, they would have gone too, the roof taken from over their heads, for what end result.

A canal stretch even more featureless, and the cover didn't hinder a boats path or progress, so for what purpose I'd like to know.

So after plugging away with my usual two rod smelt deadbait approach and biteless, I ventured over to an area where a canopy of cover houses most of the time a pack of schoolies. If they are laying up you can have multiple bites which can be an eye opener at times.

But yet again I couldn't believe my eyes, why the heck would you remove a lovely section of greenery that wasn't stopping a path of a narrow boat. One of my banker swims, no longer a banker swim because the heavy hand of the CRT

A budget to spend before the start of the new financial year, who knows, but all I know is, one of the areas where I've caught some cracking canal Zander, is likely to be a thing of the past. Having fished for them extensively now, they like cover, if it's removed they won't be hanging around.

After nearly 5 miles covered and even switching canals, I just wasn't feeling it, not even a murmur on the float despite the water colour looking like there was a bite there to be had.

A zander blank, and for me that's rare, very rare indeed.


  1. Yes i've made comments about over zealous prunning lately on the R&CT site recently, of course they say its not them but the contractors, but the contractors do as they are told surely. This year the overhanging bush and 2 trees were removed from a favourite of mine (you would know well) the RH side of the bay on the luncheon meat tin length, looks absolutely desolate now.

  2. Not good John, going to be a tough Zander quest come the closed season me thinks. I might have to look for new stretches, maybe that's not a bad thing.


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