Friday 30 April 2021

The Close Season Zander Quest Pt.197 - Banana Lovers and Bathythermographs

I'm all for sustainability, especially when there is alcohol involved, originally, the purpose of this Caribbean Rum from the Discarded Spirit Company was to impart flavour to prepare empty whisky casks for the final phase of maturation. 

Once the cask is seasoned with the Rum’s flavour, the Whisky replaces the Rum to complete the whisky’s final maturation. The Rum, however is then often sold on or even disposed of. 


An undiscovered treasure, this ‘finishing’ Rum has now been repurposed to form the base of Discarded’s rather fruity-forward offering.

The revealing quality behind this Discarded Rum comes from an unlikely source, Banana Peel. I quite like pineapple flavoured rums for something different and this was the same ilk.

Once extracted, Banana peel provides a fresh toffee note with a fruity balance whilst maintaining the foundation flavour of an iconic Caribbean Rum. 

I'm a neat rum drinker, and oddly whiskey cannot get a look in now, despite enjoying a dram or three over the years. 

I blame a mate of mine Simon where our FLAG (Friday Liquid Appreciation Group 😈) mornings at a client we use to work for in years gone by, the Friday morning whiskey tasting turned in to one of exploring other alternatives and it grew from there. 

Variety is the spice of life it always has been, so anyway back to the fishing before you get bored. For this session down at the new hallowed stretch (Nic's 10lb 12ounce canal Zander) where I'm going to fish from time to time before the rivers can be fished again.

The pike activity in one swim was frankly ridiculous, in that mad hour or two they really were on the rampage and were attacking anything that moved. It was quite incredible to see really especially when the canals I tend to fish closer to home I rarely catch pike. 

It's a shame because at the aforementioned session I lost a clear double figure fish that after the final headshake she'd managed to eject the roach and sadly we'd parted company. 

A double dipping session this, so I'd rove around with the deadbait rod to try and drop on a Zander but also I'd have a Zebco top water Frog lure to try and get a pike to act on its instinct and come up to grab the lure off the top. 

I love fishing for Chub this way because being another predator, they too can really nail a surface lure if they they think a potential meal is getting away from them. 

Now my best canal pike came out of the blue when I was fishing for Zander, a fish that before it surfaced the force it was pulling back for much of the fight I thought this could be the Zander to conclude the quest. 

Sadly it wasn't the case but still, it was a decent fish for the canal though and not to be sniffed at. There is a good reason why in this new stretch predators are in residence and that is because their are food offerings in numbers here, a biomass of small fish I'd not seen before on the canal, a veritable smörgÃ¥sbord of tasty silverfish for the hungry top dog to feast on. 

Not only that but it appears to be relatively unfished, but then in my tramping grounds that is not uncommon. These natural venues don't appeal to many for some reason, that I cannot fathom really, but then much of modern angling pursuits are not on my agenda. Not a bad thing really, as it means the solitude I need to seek can be achieved quite easily.  

The short session didn't start very well, I caught a tiny jack pike almost as soon as I got the deadbait in but then the boats started moving in vigour and I counted 15 in around an hour. 

The first Zander came when a boat came through and stirred up the bottom and it took a roach that I had positioned midwater and allowed to drift around the turbulent swim.

A tiny schoolie so not exactly I was after but then soon after chucking the frog lure around without success and roving around and fishing 5 or 6 swims I returned to the hallowed swim. Soon after getting a deadbait out the floats starts to move and a fish is on. If felt decent and then I realised when its tail came out of the water the big pike that spat the bait out last time was now on the end. 



The problem was it did exactly the same and it managed to eject the bait again !!!! wtf !!! Not long after though just as a boat was heading my way again a bite came from a suspended roach and after the float buried straight away I knew there was only one culprit.

The boater came along side and wondered what the heck I had on the end but then I knew exactly what it was. This time though after taking line eventually I turned it and it was heading towards the inadequate landing net. 


The ridiculously long fish oddly ended up resting in the landing net without issue. The circle hook this time holding well in the scissors. Ok not the right double but an impressive canal beast especially when after weighing it in the net returning it and subtracting the landing net after weighing it separately it went 13lb 8 ounces which beats my river PB believe it or not.

It just goes to show what can happen when you're in the right areas, find the silver fish in numbers like Nic did, the predators follow. All went quiet after that so I decided to call it a day and will return the week most likely to fish in to dark. 

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