Saturday 23 May 2020

The Close Season Zander Quest Pt.157 – Double-Baggers and Dontopedalogy

Last week I quite enjoyed my session here, the roving never happened, confined to one area. The fishing was hectic too, with run after run. The sleeper carp rod unhindered but hey, there was still a decent bend in the rod.

I crouched on ones knees, or sat myself on the unhooking mat last time, but for this session I fancied chilling out even more and would take my lightweight chair and just enjoy the morning.

The only change for this session would be smelt fished in addition to roach, a most welcome delivery from Online Baits Uk cannot argue with the service I have received over the years either, I can only go on my experience to be fair, but they have been great. 

Not that bad value for money either despite the delivery cost with a small order. The <2 quid bulk 'Zander Bulk Pack' of roach are handy to have in the freezer and are the perfect size to fish whole on the canal.

I like fishing larger baits in the main though, because usually it does better the stamp of fish. Smelt as well has been the mainstay in my Zander fishing, one of my fishing books praised the use of them for Zeds and they work fantastic.

Being soft the hook pulls out of them easily and being on the canal only an underarm chuck is required anyway.

The baits arrive in good nick despite their overnight delivery, insulated polystyrene box and ice-packs mean they never spoil on-route.

That  brings me on to the discovery of  "that smell" in the Newey's garage. The thankfully the source was found yesterday because even I was struggling with its pungency.

At first I thought it was a landing net or unhooking mat that had fish residue on it, but after giving the possible stench sources a good going over, and then once more, it was still lingering and in-fact was getting worse.

In-fact it go so bad that the Wife had to have an extra gin or two, just to enter the wall of fish that hit you as soon as you opened the garage door which resides as the end of the kitchen.

I naturally played down the mackerel matching malodor, but then I would wouldn't it. However as luck would have it, I decided to have a sort through some of my bait containers to find one I could use for cheese paste when upon lifting the lid of a small bait bucket, the manky discovery was made.

Now smelt has two smells, one is there is no denying it's a fish and the other to try and mask that 'fishy' smell cucumber, yes you heard right cucumber.

When I saw it banded around in various predator articles I'd read I really was surprised when it purchased some for the first time just how true that was, it really has a strong cucumber scent.

The problem was this forgotten smelt has turned in to mostly liquid over the time it had been forgotten about and its now unidentifiable origins now left to the crime scene forensic scientists. I knew what it was straight away though.

Now if the bucket was sealed it wouldn't have been so bad I suppose, but I'd used this for worms in the past and the lid had a load of air holes in it allowing the transmission of the fumes to wherever it decided to take itself.

I had to act fast, the bag it was wrapped up in was lifted away from its home and was double bagged in a couple of biodegradable supermarket shopping bags.

Then the container complete with it's liquid was poured down the kitchen sink and I got to work on giving it a thoroughly good clean. Fairy wouldn't budge the smell though, so it was out with the COVID-19 quashing disinfectant and some added bleach to avoid a second attempt.

A good half an hour soaking, rinsed over and over, and then I sat it in the sun to dry and also to remove all traces of this unfortunate incident, I was now back in the good books, the hue of rank fish still in the background, but the Chrismas Febreze which was stuck at the back of the cleaning cupboard now in the foreground.

Not sure which is worse to be honest....

So anyway, back to the session...

The usual overdepth float set-up with smelt on one rod and roach on the other to try and winkle out a Zander or two.

Blue sky, then cloud, then a light sprinkling of rain it was still quite a pleasant session being out, and to be fair it was quite nice sitting and chilling, rather than roving.

They were biting too, 6  in total and a couple of dropped runs, nothing massive, but then sometimes it's just nice to have a bite or two.The clear(ish) water showing their dark backs to best effect. Most of them had leaches so are laying up still but nice to seem them back in numbers again. Smelt counted for the biggest I caught shown here, which was around 4lb.

A passing lure angler had caught a couple of Zedlets and had said he'd spotted carp spawning, there are signs the Zander already have, quite a few marks on half of the fish I caught in this session.


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