Piscatorial Quagswagging

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

Wednesday 15 April 2020

The Close Season Zander Quest Pt.*** - Swoopstake, Swullocking and SAVETHEZEDS

Another bike ride to the cut, this time to deposit some freebies in one particular swim to see if there is method in ones madness. The thing is, I've fished for canal Zander for a while now and am always after an edge.

Ok I've caught 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 lbers now on my quest for a canal double, but thus far one hasn't graced my net, so maybe I was missing a trick.

Like humans fish can become lazy you see, especially the big'uns. Certain species of fish particularly don't want to expend energy for their food, if its there on a plate, happy days, fins up.

A pre-baiting campaign on a river for carp for example is certainly a good way to catch the chosen species because the lumbering sluggard likes it easy, if it can have it's food on the table for it, there is no need to pootle off to the shop now is there.

I'm not going to put in a lot, what you see in this picture basically every three or fours days, a smidgen of smelt, a couple of roach, that's it. When the lockdown is relaxed and we can get out on the bank again a primed swim may well lead to a quick bite, and I could do with a bend in the rod right now, the sooner the better for my well-being.

Now the bigger Zander tend to be solitary fish in my experience, likely to hang around in one area till their cover is blown or the party going zedlets gatecrash without an invite and disturbing the peace.

Some areas will always hold fish though, the carp pictured above in an area fellow zedhead Danny Everitt put me on to when we fished for canal Zander.

They are always there, year after year, it's an area that luckily up till now has been forgotten about by the overactive CRT shear chucking jobbers,.They feel safe there, that's why the bigg'uns are now joined by their offspring, encouraging signs for sure, so, so nice to see in relative gloomy turbidity .

Now talking about being safe this fat bluetit chilling in the bird feeder in my garden used to fear the resident grey squirrel that use to bully his way in, made himself top dog, the bouncer to the nightclub. It broke the bird feeder twice, and got my back up with his blatant disrespect for property.

So after trapping it, branding it with some pink spray paint for ridicule by his mates and relocating it a couple of miles down the road, olde nibbles returned the nut nicker.

So the bird feeder was upgraded, now squirrel proof, the birds are left to their own devices, they've moved on to annoy someone else now.

Anyway talking about leaving fish to their own devices the canals surface and upper layers was alive with fry, small roach and some of the biggest minnows I'd ever seen. In-fact there was so much food available for Zander in the two miles stretch I cycled I was amazed.

Still their persecution goes on by the CRT despite electrofishing being as effective as an ejection seat on a helicopter. In-fact this stretch has been done quite a few times over the years and yet they are still here, in numbers too if you drop on a shoal bite after bite.

Cormorants, Otters, farm slurry all seen in this area, and a fear of a electrode up the jacksie, they haven't got it easy fish in these 'troubled' waters.

Leave them be, commercial fisheries have taken over for the match angler, gone are the days where the canals were filled with fisherman, that hasn't happened for years not because of this 'invasive species'. Thumbs up for the 100lb bag of F1's in overstocked fisheries, suits me, it really does.

I rarely see another angler on my canal jaunts, that's why I like it. Gudgeon you cry ? yeah plenty of them to be caught, in-fact one swim I know not a million miles from here, they are in numbers believe you me.

Now a nice walk with the family recently, an area just a little further than we'd walked before. A lovely lake I'd not set my eyes on before despite knowing it was there. A field with cattle grids both sides, lambs running wild it was very nice indeed.

A lake where Big Eel fanatic Nicky Duffy who reads my blog, I'm sure would like to chuck out a dyson rig, chuck out a roach head, it looked eel'y and it's feed from a stream me and Sam fish for bullheads and trout, it must be well oxygenated with a good source of food.

Much bigger than I thought it was too, got to be something special in it, it's privately owned though, maybe a letter through the postbox is in order.

As much as I trying to get my water fix over these surreal times, it's no substitute to wetting a line.



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