Friday 29 May 2020

The Close Season Zander Quest Pt.160 - Margaritiferous and Malkintrash

Light at the end of the tunnel ?

Are there signs of improvement in a situation that has been bad for a long time, or signs that a long and difficult piece of work is almost finished ?

Well it doesn't seem that way, seemingly this Double Figure Canal Zander Quest I set myself is getting more and more unlikely to come to a conclusion the more it goes on.


A glimmer of hope though ?

Maybe, you see, two sources now have come up with the same picture of a lump of a Zander caught in an area I'd not previously fished before, an area where the capture over the years has apparently caught the same fish 3 times.

To be fair me and Danny fished the area a couple of times without much success but clearly this area has some form, and a non transient big Zander who acts like a territorial Pike, I want in on it.

It certainly looked a good fish from the picture and you could see why a Zander could live here happily, it has all the features one one want.

Locks, bays and cover, Zander utopia if there ever was one, especially as now the towpaths are quiet here because there are no warm ales to purchase and friends to share some pork scratchings with.

One big issue though, all the fish I've caught over 8lb have all been from the same stretch five minutes drive away, this area is almost five times that.

For someone that has to maximise each and every session and to fit in as much fishing as he can in the small window I've got that's one big hurdle to get over.

Quick results are never that easy in canal Zander fishing unless you've been blessed with pure luck, but anything to help me boost my chances of catching a 10lb canal Zander, must be taken up and fully explored as this lead may well be a quest concluder.

At least if only to say I've been there and got the t-shirt....


Now Nic was with me for this evening session in to dusk and planned to fish similar tactics to me, two deadbait rods in one particular area. The problem was the swim where the Zander had been reputed to come out of a number of times was occupied already.

An elderly fella who by the sounds of it fishes it a lot. The swim isn't exactly peaceful as the overflow means where he was sat, the noise of the water is almost deafening. Still he was quite forward on his fish captures here and some of the species caught were frankly a bit of an eyeopener for a canal.


He had pictures to back up his stories though and he too had caught this Zander, 10lb 1 ounce the tail end of last year. It looked a good fish too. After speaking for a while we headed to another area up from this where there was some nice fish apparently to be had too.

In-fact not long in to the session when we moved after being biteless for half an hour, Nic spotted a huge bream shoal. And what an eyeopener it was, now I don't get excited by bream shoals but this one was frankly quite staggering. We are talking probably >100 fish, and their black silhouettes were big, hard to gauge but certainly 4 or 5 lb.


I stuck to my guns with the Zander but Nic went back to his car and got his float gear to try for one of them. He balled in some groundbait to try and get them feeding and intended to stay in to dusk and beyond as it was an opportunity not to be missed.

I stayed for a biteless hour and chatted with Nic for a while but he couldn't buy a bite until later on that is. The fish were not playing ball despite them moving and topping literally everywhere. With hardly any boat traffic the water is still clear so I suspected when the light starts to fade things should pick up.


I left Nic to it and decided to fish in the same area as the elderly gentleman who was struggling as we were when I started fishing just down from him. He was fishing sweetcorn and was after whatever came along and to be honest it seems lots of different species live here.

There is one thing I don't like about this area and its the footfall, it is constant. Maybe in the winter is the best time to fish it when many would be put off by the cold. It was a lovely evening though and we are still within a sort of lockdown so that could explain it.


Still they seemed a friendly bunch here, in-fact as I was watching the motionless float a man who's house backed on to the canal popped his head over the fence for a natter. He'd lived in the house for 20 years and was a match angler at heart but still likes fishes the more natural waters like what can be found here.

He'd seen the canal change over the years but again had multi species here and some clonkers of fish from any canal, let alone a dirty Warwickshire one. The problem in tacking down this Zander is that from lock to lock, ie the area it has to roam is 1.4 mile long. That is a heck of a piece of water, like a needle and a haystack. So I left when I could barely see the floats and sadly a blank.


The issue I have is the distance here to fish it, it needs some dedication which I couldn't justify. However by the sounds of it because the fish has been caught in the same area, maybe in the winter when it is less likely to roam it could hold up here. I missed the best time for Zander in the close season because of the lockdown but maybe when the rivers are in flood next time I'll come back again for another visit.

To be fair, I might give the 1.4 mile long area more of a look when I can justify a day off. I fancy fishing the whole day and in to dusk just to see what else is about here. It's an area I've largely overlooked and after some interesting chats maybe I should familiarise my self a little more with it.

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