Saturday, 27 March 2021

The Close Season Zander Quest Pt.179 - Bushwhackers and Bumposophers

You'd have thought a rum or two might get my motivation up to tackle the local canals again, but I woke up early and nearly stayed in bed instead rather than keep the momentum up with the Zander quest.

Ok I've caught a 5lber soon in to resuming this needle in a haystack challenge but apart from that its been very tough indeed with not many fish tracked down in those first number of sessions.

The conditions are not ideal for starters because the boats have been locked down as we have been, and the coloured water I know and love here, is now almost clear. In-fact in certain swims I can see the deadbait 3 foot down. that ain't got for any fishing, let alone the apex predator and eagle eyed fish the Zander. 

The towpaths seem to get more footfall as well because we've been told to exercise locally. The dog poo on the increase my hackles well and truly up, it's my pet hate having to fish the local canals and the session this morning not only did I put my hand in one when putting down my rod but also the turd tainted my reel handle and also the rod itself.

It's still good for my wellbeing and exercise though with 12k steps covered in this 4.5 hour early morning session where I ended up here there and everywhere just to try and get a bite. 

It was very cold overnight and the hail that came down late evening the day before was still there in the morning. It had frozen to the windscreen as well, the wipers like a block of ice.

Monday the 29th of March will see some of the restrictions lifted and the quest will change tact.

Ok my nearest canal has been home to the two biggest Zander I've caught on the canal but they were caught a while ago, and there is reason I've not fished it in anger for a while. 

To put it bluntly it's been a little pants of the last couple of years so much so I've discounted it entirely for the challenge. A 4lber was caught the other day though so it looks like they could well could be back.

I started where I caught the 4lb fish and after forty five minutes without a bite which is far longer than I usually leave the baits out in one swim, I went on the rove.

The sun was bright and the skies were clear and with the water clarity like it was my confidence was low, however find some decent cover you can still mange to catch fish. Three or four more swims down without a bite I was wondering if I should have gone in the evening instead, but the evenings are busier and I've some in to dark sessions planned anyway.

The bay swim I caught my PB from was also fished for half an hour in this trip out without a nibble before I decided to walk to another section of cover which luckily has seemed to missed by the heavy handed CRT bushwhackers.

LOA Dan many moons ago put me on to this swim because it usually always holds some fish and after leapfrogging the cover eventually a bite came.

Now by this time the towpath was like the M25, dogs on leads and off them, walkers, cyclists and stick swingers that look like they were just about to tackle Snowdon. 

The bite took a while to develop but eventually the floats drags confidently to the left and confident enough to see if there was a fish on the end.

And there was JUST, a swingable Zedlet and probably the smallest Zander I've ever caught I think. The smaller deadbaits I'm using now just about able to fill the gob of this proud predator.

There was no way he would have been able to engulf the normal size baits I used for my canal sessions, the 3" roach it had eaten almost acting like a gobstopper. I gave it another half an hour but in the end that was it. 

Even with another hour to be able to fish I had better things to do, I just wasn't feeling it at all. So I needed a lift so finished early and decided to stop off at the butchers and get some proper big Lashford's. If you find any Lashford's in your neck of the woods, fill your boots if you can.

The king of sausages basically and a couple of those in a nice soft white roll with some black pudding and HP sauce, the forgettable session was luckily quickly forgotten. 


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