Saturday, 6 March 2021

Warwickshire Avon - Clank-Nappers and Co-Conspirators

With my Closed Season Zander quest about to kick in again with the end of the river season soon upon us I fancied catching a river fish before having to reacquaint oneself with the poo riddled towpaths.  The quest will continue avidly where hopefully I can better my PB of 9lb and bank that elusive double.

Now this socially distanced session I'd join Nic from Avon Angling UK where I'd revisit the private stretch where the video below was filmed. 


The roach biomass here is quite incredible where feeding regularly with maggots the large shoals can provide a bite a chuck if that's you thing. 

The Zander are here too and myself and Nic have caught some nice fish here static fishing deadbaits in to dark.


Not huge ones though but usually when the light starts to go the Zed's that reside here go on the hunt and as the video showed above you can get multiple bites when the pack turns up.

I've not caught a Zander for a while and you know me, I love catching them especially on the canal so I was hoping for a fish especially as I'm confident the fish I lost just 24 hours earlier was indeed a good Zander.

There is good depth here and a clean bottom to a deadbait can be left to it's own devices knowing that it will always be in the eyeline of a hungry fish when it drifts by.

I've been using smelt almost exclusively for the Zander even on the canal but for the start of the 2021 quest I will also fish small snack-sized roach from time to time.

Zander are scavengers and will readily take anything that is in front of them if they see that it will quell their hunger. Smelt is not only highly visible but there is a cucumber fishy pungency to it which I'm sure can help a predator to home in on the bait.

The roach is a more natural quarry though and these small offerings from Online Baits  are dirt cheap 2 quid for 15 to 20 baits so for a relatively insignificant outlay when defrosted and sorted in to individual bags.
 
I've now got plenty of bait for ones upcoming canal Zander sessions where I was hoping the smaller baits might leave to more bites which my most recent canal sessions. 

Yes that's the kitchen sink, don't tell the Wife !!!!

The Zeds on this stretch of the Warwickshire Avon were all of similar size a 5lber the humdrum, a 7lber a good'un. I'd not fished here for a while though so if they were still here were had they grown to more specimen size fish ?

Well only one way to find out !!!!

After a mild spell the week before the weather this week had been pretty cold but my confidence we'd get a bite was boosted obviously with sadly the loss of a decent fish the evening before.
 
I didn't get to see the fish sadly as it snagged me up good and proper but the characterful fight Zander give is unmistakable really and I felt the 'nodding' so I'm sure I did lose a Zander 👎

I might go for a revenge mission next week as it did feel a good fish, but then having caught 7, 8 and 9 pounders on the canal you rarely will catch the same fish again in the same swim, was the river different though ?


I got to the stretch at 5.30pm and Nic was already fishing to see what would come along till he, like me would put the deadbaits out.

The conversation had barely started till his tip bent round and judging by the bent rod and a nodding tip clearly a bream was on. A good chunky fish too and gave a good flight with a river with some pace on it, some roach bites after that led to some small roach before he packed that rod away and would sit on the deadbaits to hopefully catch a Zander or three.


With dusk now here I didn't think we'd at least have a jack pike or a zander would have been nice, but no, nothing doing at all, the bobbins remained motionless well in to dark where usually we'd get a bite or two.

Still it was nice to catch up because I've been fed up of seeing the same old faces. The air temperature had dropped dramatically and Nic like me is a roving angler at heart so we called it a day and vowed to meet up on the canal in the closed season. As we were packing up with our head torches on, over at the opposite bank we spotted an otter patrolling the margins, that wouldn't have helped for sure.

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