Saturday 6 June 2020

The Close Season Zander Quest Pt.163 - Hypertrichologists and Hallucinogens

A sort through of some unused tackle to put on to Ebay, I came across these suspicious items !!!,  now to untrained eye, or the eyes of the law they don't look good, they really don't. I could be having my collar felt because of the job lot of acid tabs I'd be harbouring in ones toolbox, but no this was plain old blotting paper believe it or not, which I bought in one of my many trips to Ibiza. To be fair you could see why it could be mistaken for something that shouldn't be in ones possession.

However a pike-perch ? I'm not sure how that came about, I mean, put a pike and a perch side by side and say what a hybrid would look like, would you have a picture of a Zander in your mind ? No I doubt it, but I wonder how many people still to this day think a Zander is a crossbreed and not a species in its own right.

So anyway back to the fishing, a feature not properly fished before, a feature similar to its bigger brother not far away always produces Zander you see. Here though things are different it's more sheltered, less out in the open, could there be a bigger stamp of fish here ?

Certainly carp feel at home here, in-fact I walked past this stretch recently and stopped and stared at a couple of mud sifters approaching double figures just sat on the top sunning themselves without a care in the world.

They didn't seem to be that bothered I could see the either, just going about their business in seemingly carefree fashion. A quick dunking of the overdepth float setups in the drink the coffin lead kept on going, the float stood upright, the float stop needed moving, it was deeper here than the water immediately above and below it.

Any kind of feature like this is a worthwhile target to catch canal Zander, they just seem to be attracted to something a little different than the humdrum.

The 'deep bit' I sort of found by accident when I decided to use my deeper sonar really did turn in to a bit of a hot spot and I caught more 5lb fish and beyond from the same swim than any other area I fished.

The problem is, that swim is now devoid of fish because the scythe wielders not only have given it a number one with the clippers, but a wet shave to give it the full Duncan Goodhew. All the thick cover that was there, now gone forever most likely, like it didn't ever exist such the butchery. Why so much was taken away I don't know because it wasn't a hindrance to passing boats.

Still I have fond memories of the big Zander banker swim, the biggest I caught from it was 7lb 8oz, but the reality was most fish than ended up in the landing net were proper'uns, not schoolie splashers.

If only I discovered it before, because I'm sure a couple of years earlier I'd be rubbing ones hands together because of a successful quest completion.

The plan was to head to the feature swim and then if nothing was doing, retrace my steps and leapfrog some sections of cover on the return to the car. If you've been reading my Zander quest for a while, roving and travelling light is the key. I often fish 10 to 15 swims and cover a good couple or three miles in some cases.

Invariably if you drop a bait on a Zeds head you will get a bite quite quickly. You can stay in one spot mind you and wait for a group of fish to come through, but I prefer roving because the higher probability you'd bump to a transient lunker.

Anyway back to the session, what a change in the weather, cold, the odd shower and very windy indeed. Still I was wrapped up warm and it was nice to be out. Now this area is about the only area I fish where Pike are around so both hooklinks were changed to wire.

In-fact one of the reasons why I decided to come here was because I fancied register a few points for the bloggers challenge which is coming to its conclusion, and a decent canal Pike would be most welcome.

I better get to the point, a proper tough session, both rods with smelt after an hour biteless in the feature swim I got bored and went on the rove. There are some nice looking swims here, in-fact with 10k steps covered with an hour and a half left and another 6 or 7 dead swims I went above and beyond where I normally fish just to try and get a bite.

An overflow was making the dead canal lively, there had to be something here. I cast one rod just off the turbulence and the other within the lock mouth itself. Within minutes of the smelt being out I get a bite. At first very tentative knocks and trembles but then the float rockets off from right to left and I lean in to the fish.

I knew it was a pike straight away and as soon as it felt the resistance of the carbon it then does an about-turn and is heading towards me, it was then I saw its flanks. Yeap as guessed a Pike and a half decent one too. It felt a decent hook hold at first but then as soon as I got the landing net ready and lifted its head out the water I could see it had grasped the bait in it jaws not swallowed it.

That could only mean one thing, yeap as soon as it saw my ugly mug, it let go of the bait and vanished back where it came from, damn. I gave it another 40 minutes or so just to try and see if it would take the bait again, but sadly not. Tail between ones legs when I headed back to the car, another blank and an unsuccessful mission, no pike, no zander, another blank to add to the list.

On a more positive note the lockdown beard has gone beyond the itch !!!!


  1. You make blanking sound interesting, you must have a well kicked cat :o) I enjoyed your little video below too. Good to see lockdown hasn't had any effect on you.

    Keep up the good work, I'm tempted to join the Zed hunt this year myself.

  2. Thing is Dave, will this quest ever end ? The thing is do I want it to end ? I quite enjoy walking the cut especially when I cover so much ground. It's a nice diversion from the rivers when they are our of bounds.

    1. Any fishing is a quest without end..... I hope.

  3. Hi glad I found this* as it a good read although I yet to work through all 160 or so zander posts.

    *From my Word Press stats I can see you've been looking at my'Sidestream Bob' blog.


    1. Yeah stumbled upon it Clive and added it to my blogroll so to speak. Wish I started this in Wordpress, Blogger ain't a brilliant platform to be fair and support seems to be lacking. >800 posts now, doubt I'd change now till forced.


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