Thursday 30 September 2021

Warwickshire Avon - Stalwarts and Stagmometers

A little like fishing everyone should have staple ingredients in their larders and cupboards and this simple chickpea and spinach curry was knocked up in no time. Not only does it mean you haven't succumbed to the processed rubbish you get in ready meals these day, but you get the satisfaction of putting in front of the hungry, who in this case was the Wife who was about to hit the biscuit barrel.

Now talking of the wife,  I actually allowed her (joke) to put the heating on this morning where it got down to 6 degrees overnight and when we woke up, there was certainly a chill in the air. So a boost of the heating, jobs a good'un. 


Only an hour of course, no cheap shale gas to be seen had in Bards country, OH NO !!! I hear my bank balance cry and those of the elderly people and fuel poverty families that Insulate Britain are causing carnage for !!!

In the 1990s, the UK made a “dash for gas” and in recent years, it has leaned on the fuel to ease the phase out of an even more polluting fossil fuel, coal. That makes the UK heavily reliant on gas for energy, with 86 per cent of homes using it for heating and more than a third of electricity supplies coming from gas power plants.

Now estimates suggest that the amount of shale gas that we are sitting on that could be feasibly be extracted could easily supply the UK with cheap gas for >100 years. 

However there is currently a moratorium on fracking in England cus back in November 2019, the Government would take a presumption against issuing any further consents for fracking in England, because of the environmental concerns over its extraction. 

However hydraulic fracturing in the United States began in 1949. According to the Department of Energy, and at least two million oil and gas wells in the US had been hydraulically fractured, and that of new wells being drilled, up to 95% are hydraulically fractured. 💭

So apart from the North Sea which is still one of the main contributors to the reserves, around 50% of the UK’s gas supply now comes from across Europe, predominantly Norway, but Netherlands, Belgium, and Russia too, all supplied through long distance pipelines.


Because of the demand more recently though wholesale gas prices are only going one way, and that way is up !!! Energy companies going bust, bailouts being talk about, not a good time is it, luckily no issues with other fuels and their supply, oh wait !!!!

I'm alright jack I managed to find a petrol station that wasn't closed (Asda in Whitley Coventry) that had some petrol in it, luckily despite the Jimny being on fumes the pump restricted £30 fill later it was back to full again (almost)


Now talking about back to being full again the recent rain (thank God) the Warwickshire Avon had a nice top up and as did the Alne and the other local rivers. With more rain on the way a little like the gas prices, it is only going one way, The temperature is dropping as well I'm hoping to start targeting some of the species that wake up from their slumber. Perch, Zander being within one thoughts at the minute and also Chub and Barbel.

I spotted a couple of Barbel in a swim the other day and for this cold session in to dusk I'd try and winkle one where I'd seen them. 

To be fair not big fish, the biggest maybe 7 or 8 lb, but certainly one to give a good bend in the rod and to satisfy the angling craving. 

Only a short session like most of my barbel sessions are mind you, where I'd fish a pungent paste wrapped boilie with a pva bag of mixed freebies. 

In January time I love nothing more than using 1/4 tins of spam especially when the water is coloured up, give them something they cannot refuse, like a post pub kebab craving. 

For now though a more of a scaled down approach because the river is still clear as I'm typing this. We've still quite a change to happen to the Warks Avon before its big meat time. 

So when I got there the river had literally risen a couple or three feet when I fished it last and it looked in perfect nick for a bite. The temperature had dropped though so the larger fish could wells switch off  but within minutes of getting the rod out the first chub clang came.


It didn't take long to properly snaffle the boilie and it hooked itself eventually. Only a 2 lber but at least it wasn't a blank.

I unhooked it in the net and released it downstream of me and got the rod back out. Again within minutes of the getting the bait out the same happened. Two more fish came soon after and again released downstream. The were getting bigger though with both around the 3lb mark.


The best was yet to come though and just after dusk as the light was going a few tentative pulls turned in to a Barbel esk bite and a fish was on. It carted to my right towards some cover in the margins so I knew it was a chub again.

A bigger one though judging by the fight and sure enough when it was in the net it was one of the longer fish that reside here. Probably not far off 5lb and when it gets its winter belly on probably a 6lber. Oddly with that returned nothing else materialised despite fishing another swim for 15 minutes, sometime the Avon can be like that though. I'll be back.

Monday 27 September 2021

Warwickshire Avon - Quadragenarians and Quomodocunquize

Now the gudgeon is a little fish which takes the bait as eagerly as the most impatient angler could wish, all through the hot weather when no other fish, except chub, can be persuaded to look at the most tempting morsels, can only be described as a friend of man. 

The friendliness of the gudgeon extended to the table in the 60's , where, after having been carefully egged, bread-crumbed, and fried, they apparently made a most delicious dish, as any visitor to a Thames-side 'hotel or restaurant on the banks of the Seine, can no doubt testify. 

A gonk bait for large perch he is unrivalled, and is by no means despised by our friend Esox Lucius. In shape, the gudgeon is something like a barbel, with two barbs and an overhanging upper lip. 

His colour on the back is brown, with slight silvery sheen over the sides and belly. The flesh is delicate and semi-transparent and sometimes as shown in these pics from the weekend, they can be very vibrant too. 


He rarely grows longer than 6 ins. or 7 ins, the fish that is. Now Gudgeon spawn in May, and are very prolific in some waters. So numerous were they in the Thames in times gone by that it was not uncommon thing for twenty dozen to be brought in as the result of a day's fishing. 

Find those pockets of fish on the Warwickshire Avon and you'll have fun catching with the simplest of tactics. I use either a light float set-up or like I fished for them in this short session with a scaled down link ledger with a quivertip rod. 


What's not to like when the conditions are tough. No PB beaters but not far off but with a few just over the ounce, so >28g's or so. They are very bold biters indeed and were keen to get the maggots before the perch and small dace did. 

Maybe I'll wear my gonk t-shirt next time, I might be missing a trick and the larger ones may appear. Get yours here from creator Brian from Pike Blog. As an old git  (49 in November) on the countdown to retirement, I wish I never tire of catching gudgeon, such a lovely species. 

Sunday 26 September 2021

Warwickshire Avon - Panic Buyers and Perspectography

Two petrol stations passed, two long queues, I've better things to do and that is what defines me and many other anglers. You see the hunting style of angling which I love can be used on any waters really but is most effective in smaller rivers and streams in which chub can often be seen, poised darkly in the glass-clear water. 

It is not a form of angling requiring infinite patience or the use of enormous quantities of groundbait. Rather is the accent on mobility and the careful fishing of every likely spot with one selected bait. 


Success depends much upon an intimate knowledge of the river and of the times when chub are most likely to be found in open water, the ability to select the most suitable bait for the occasion, and, above all, upon a stealthy and unobserved approach. 

Low clear water and brilliant sunshine, conditions which many anglers regard as hopeless, are not always so adverse as is generally supposed since the chub are more easily seen and pin-point accuracy in presentation of the bait can be more easily achieved. 


Bearing in mind the need for a well concealed approach, it is best to start fishing at the downstream end of the fishery and to work gradually and carefully upstream, though opportunities to present the bait downstream or even under the rod tip do sometimes occur and should certainly not be neglected. 

As a general rule it is better to cover a small amount of water thoroughly than to attempt to cover too much carelessly. 


Over-grown rivers and streams which twist and turn and offer a constantly changing variety of swims provide the most fascinating fishing but also demand greater concentration and slower progress than the bigger more open rivers. 

When the hunting style is used the bait is tossed or lowered to the chub and little or no weight is used. It is one of the simplest styles of angling but, properly executed, one of the most effective. 


Now the chub down this particular stretch really have gotten really cautious over floating bread and it is more miss than hit. When they are up for it they lose all their cautiousness and can feed quite readily but those events are very few and far between.

This is when I like to mix it up a bit and these little Salmo Bug lures really are a cracking lure to use.


They are quite weighty you see and a little discrete underarm cast sees the lure floating down the rivers in places where you'd be hard pushed to get a piece of bread. You have more control basically and there isn't the issue of the bread falling off for starters.

To cut a long story short I caught two chub and lost one the biggest going 4lb and 3 ounces and a fantastic scrap with light tackle. They are starting to pack on the weight as well and I cannot wait for winter when they are at their biggest. I've not fished any local known big Chub spots yet but I will wait for better conditions for when I target those in anger. 

Friday 24 September 2021

Warwickshire Avon - Mud Pigs and Mysteriosophy

So the new version of the quirky Suzuki Jimny's UK residency ended abruptly after the manufacturer announced it could no longer pass tightening emissions laws, despite being relaunched just two years ago. 

Unsurprisingly, the problem area seems to be its high carbon dioxide emissions, which Suzuki made clear was an issue in 2018. All car makers are now under pressure to meet average emissions across all models of 95g/km of carbon dioxide.


Unfortunately for the Jimny, it isn’t anywhere near clean enough, oozing a rather smutty 154g/km from its 1.5-litre petrol engine combined with manual transmission. The problem was there were many customers let down that had their names on the waiting list and because of that second-hand prices have shot through the roof. 

I paid the retail price of 18k ish for my SZ5 model and 2 years and 15k miles later unbelievably they are fetching 7k over what I paid for it. Ok yes I could cash in no problem but it suits my needs if I'm honest and the back to basic approach oddly has made me enjoy driving again. 


Unstoppable in mud and wet river banks and enough space for ones tackle, with approach and departure angles to rival any competitors. Would I pay that much over list for it, having owned one for the last two years, errrrr nope. 

Now Suzuki addressed the problem recently because you can now buy a van version believe it or not which hasn't the same strict emissions rules, the problem is they are like rocking horse poo to get hold of now as well and the prices have also sky rocketed because of that. 


Will the prices drop when the supposed 4dr hybrid version is due on these shores ? no idea but if I sell up now, I still haven't the foggiest what I'd buy instead, especially when the subwoofer is now up and running in it and the Wife still hates driving it.

...."is the steering wheel connected to the steering rack ?" "its very wobbly" 

Anyway enough of that Autumn is officially here where the autumn equinox in the Northern Hemisphere was Wednesday just gone. Now I've certainly noticed a drop in temperature, well in the morning anyway where its got down to 10 degrees or so, so I'm hoping with some rain on the way (crosses ones fingers and toes) that the fish are thinking about getting on the feed. 


The problem is the days have still been warm so come the evening with the doors and windows open those daddy long-legs or lanky crane flies if you like that are in good numbers this time of year want to find warmth in your house where its much warmer come sundown. 

They skulk lankily in the corners of our living rooms at this time of year, and jitter disconcertingly about the bathroom when we are trying to brush our teeth. 

There certainly seems to have been more than normal this year but who knows. As the Newey household resident spider and insect catcher I've had more work cut out to keep up with the cries of help from those less keen on showing them the door. 

Anyway back to the fishing as I've not made it out this week yet. Luckily for me though the Waning Gibbous moon phase was here for this session because there is something about the full moon that not only effects my sleep but looking back at my blog my fish capture returns too. All very weird I know but I'm getting paranoid over it all....

....yes really !!!

Now the Waning Gibbous phase is when the lit-up part of the Moon shrinks from 99.9% to 50.1%. So it It starts just after Full Moon and lasts until the Third Quarter Moon. Waning means that it is shrinking and getting smaller, while gibbous refers to the oval-to-round shape.

It can be challenging to differentiate the first stage of Waning Gibbous from a Full Moon when 98%-99% of the surface is illuminated. Unlike the rest of the household my sleep has been very restless over the last couple of days and those early hour walks down the wooden hills where the garden almost seems its been lit by a football grounds floodlight.


Even a well deserved nightcap doesn't seem to help, bolt upright in the middle of the night, what is that all about. Even those post blue cheese vivid dreams seem almost impossible to achieve when the moon is full, maybe I'm a vampire or something.
 
Now talking of vampires this would be a double dipping session where come dusk I'd fish a deadbait on a sleeper in the deeper water this syndicate section has, to see if there are any Zander here. 


Then as per normal here I'd fish a pungent paste wrapped boilie with some freebies to see if a Barbel was about or maybe one of the big chub that reside here would be nice.  

The good thing about this time of year is that I could be bankside post tea, get the gear ready before dusk and the light goes, and then hopefully not long until the action starts. But this is the Warwickshire Avon is can be very moody indeed and one day to the next it can vary so much.


I was bankside half an hour before dusk and would fish till 9.00pm so only an hour or so in to dark but enough to winkle out a fish usually.

I got the smelt deadbait out as soon as I got there and after fifteen minutes or so after a couple of bleeps I retrieved the bait and there was a huge crayfish hanging on to it. Now I've banked crayfish in the past on the Avon but this one was a scale above the others I'd seen but sadly this one released its grasp before I could get it out.


The smelt was getting attention throughout the short session but sadly not from fish, it was very quiet indeed. The Avon felt very lifeless indeed however the stars and the bright moon kept me occupied despite the lack of action. 

To cut a long story short after some initial chub plucks and pulls it went dead but then 20 minutes before packing up time a proper bite where a small determined 3lb chub had hooked itself insistent on having the blue cheese and garlic boilie.

I didn't even use the landing net but unhooked it when still in the water. And that was that, after getting the bait out again my self imposed curfew had arrived and no more fish. What a moon though 😎
WANING GIBBO

Monday 20 September 2021

Small Brook Fishing Pt.18 - Floccinaucinihilipilification and Floricide

Oddly despite walking parallel to this little brook for many a time now I've never wet a line here, well why would I when there is bigger fish to catch. 

The other day though prior to a biteless Barbel session I noticed in one of the pools there were some dace and chublets sunning themselves in the upper layers of this diminutive waterway. It is a snaggy as hell so so any fishing would need to be done with the bait off the bottom. 

The estate owners a couple of years ago had 'landscaped' this short section because it had become rather overgrown, you see when the main Warwickshire Avon was well up, the water backed here and basically flooded the adjacent farmland well before it should have done really. 

To be honest clearing it out was probably long overdue it also meant the rickety old bridge that I'm sure had caught anglers out in the past would also need to be removed.  

Before the works were carried you'd be hard pushed to distinguish what was stream and what was scrub let alone see where the watercourse actually was. 

Once the works was carried out it frankly looked ridiculous but its surprising just how quickly things recovered and the landscape looks largely unaffected, well apart from the felled trees still piled high for all to see.  

Now Sam had really taken to his whip of late because well he loves getting bites from small fish.

Float fishing is probably his favourite method out all of the techniques I've subjected him to over the years. 

We didn't have long as we had some good friends over for Sunday dinner however just enough to winkle out a few fish. An hour or two though and more than enough time to get a few bites to keep a youngster entertained especially when the quarry was largely unknown. The waterways varies so much over a relatively short distance from swims with barely a trickle to swims where you cannot see the bottom. 

The Warwickshire Avon has been clear for weeks and weeks but there is always colour in these forgotten waterways so the fishing can be more productive than you think. 

It was evident that minnows were in good numbers because the float wouldn't settle in some swims because the little blighters were after the maggots. The first swim we tried was more out of necessity than anything because the rain was quite heavy to begin with. 


A few chublets and dace were among the countless minnows and it was surprising just how many fish were packed in to some of the swims. The maggot hardly settled before it was snaffled by something. 

So luckily the bites were forthcoming throughout the short session where we managed to fish 4 swims. In one of the swims 5 chublets were caught before the group wondered what the heck was going on, all retained in the landing net before being returned. 


I was hoping for more species such as bullheads and gudgeon but chub were the predominate species.  In the last swim a few roach turned up the tell-tale superfast bites indicated there presence. We both love this sort of fishing and I bet no other anglers have even bothered to fish it. 

Why would they ? seems a forgotten pursuit these days. Still 6 years in to his fishing thankfully Sam hasn't yet asked me to take him to a commercial. He loves his Whip fishing so I might give Santa a nudge and get him to add a better one to his Christmas list. To be fair the freebie one from Angling Direct has been great up till now but it could do with being another foot or two longer. 

Saturday 18 September 2021

Warwickshire Avon - Dunderheads and Dontopedalogy

Back in 2005 Purity Brewery established itself in Warwickshire and have been growing exponentially ever since. They have produced a great range of beers over the year with Mad Goose being my favourite but it was last year when Purity launched their first new permanent cask beer since Bunny Hop four years ago.

The best bitter, called ‘Jimbo’, marked a celebration of the life of Purity Brewing Company co-founder James Minkin who sadly passed away of pancreatic cancer during the height of the pandemic.


To compliment a stilton topped pork pie I cannot think of anything better than a decent pint of bitter and hats off to the team another winner and every time I have one I raise ones arm to Jimbo. 
 
It was brewed to showcase the very best in British and local ingredients, Jimbo is described as a classic British Best Bitter with a recognisable Purity character and balance of flavour.

Now a qualified accountant by trade, Jim had a huge passion for brewing which led him in the early days to take on the mantle of Head Brewer at Purity. 

Purity has also announced that 5p from every pint sold of Jimbo will be donated to the Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund (PCRF), founded in 2004 by Maggie Blanks, following the death of her husband from the disease.

My Dad his going through his own cancer battles at the minute and I'll be surprised if he sees this year out after his recent scan however unlike Jim my Dad has had a good innings up till now but old age is catching up with him and over the last couple of years his health really has turned for the worse,  especially with having to deal with the onset of dementia too. 

That's why we all need to do things to make us happy, even those small life's little pleasures we all have must be embraced whenever we can, because in that moment however small it may be, it gets us in a much better place. Now this section of the Warwickshire Avon has some nice chub in residence and for this session I wanted to rove its banks to see if there were any willing to take the bread off the top.
 
After catching a few they did wise up and when you can see fish coming up to the bread to inspect it before backing away, you know it is probably time to give the tactics a little rest. I hadn't been here for a while though so were they up for a feed ?

Only one way to find out !!!!

I was a foggy mild morning and as expected when I got to the river it is so low at the minute and with the water being gin clear I knew it would be a tough morning. 

That was confirmed in the first swim when a couple of chub came up to inspect the bread but then spooked off straight away. Even slow sinking bread didn't fool them so I had to do some swim hopping. 

The last swim on the stretch usually has the bigger chub hanging around and after depositing some bread over at the far bank in a slack near some snags, eventually after half an hour the first sign of chub. 

They turned up in a decent size group and after feeding more freebies they lost all their cautiousness and were competing for the bread. When they are in that frame of mind they are pretty easy to catch and I managed 4 hard fighting Chub off the top before they realised what was going on. The smallest around 3lb the biggest getting on for 4lb I'd say. 


And that was that, as soon as the sun came up I went for rove but the river looked devoid of fish. I deposited maggots and some pellets in one swim at the start of the session but despite returning to it a couple of times there were no Barbel to be seen, only the odd small chub.  

Just goes to show right time right place in the these though conditions there are still fish to be caught. We desperately need some rain though because a little like this unfortunate hare or rabbit the river feels lifeless.


A gruesome find and God knows where the rest of it went. After all the bank walking I've done I don't think I've ever seen one before,

An enjoyable session despite only being a couple or three hours but that's all I need these days and catching chub off the top is one of my favourite methods, especially when combined with balanced tackle. They were in a proper fighting mood today and every fight I had to bully them otherwise I'd have lost them. Got to love a Chevin, up there with my favourite fish species. 

Tuesday 14 September 2021

Warwickshire Avon - Coprophagia and Comstockery

Back on the river for this short evening session which I was surprised at because I've had a recent lack of piscatorial motivation, you see since coming back from holiday with the weather how it has been, ie lack of rain and a mini heatwave. I just haven't been that interested in getting bankside. 

The Warwickshire Avon clear as a teetotallers head and the River Alne for example a mere trickle !! I did fish everyday on holiday mind you and racked up the steps to well over 20k over those 6 fishing days. 

Not everyone's idea of a holiday I suppose and despite the effort put in ones results were, well a little mediocre. Still I caught a nice bass though and was well happy with that. 

Still I've got a couple of projects on the go, for example my little Jimny audio upgrade has taken over ones spare time of late and all being well come the weekend the additional rear speakers, will also be complemented by a JBL Bass Pro Nano.

Sat under ones derrière hopefully it will satisfy the low frequency air movement every dance music lover craves. With nearly 15k miles ticked off since buying the car I'm surprised I've lasted this far with mediocrity.

Wind from the east, fish bite the least; Wind from the west, the fish bite the best; Wind from the north, few sailors set forth; Wind from the south blows bait in their mouth. Yeap you guessed it, we had an easterly wind and bright blue skies in the main so better get the excuses in hadn't I.

Now prior to going on the Ibiza Legends weekender eleven days or so now I deposited a load of boilie and pellets in to a swim down at the syndicate stretch to hopefully get some passing fish in to the area to feed on the buffet table. 

I wanted to try some pungent boilies I bought recently as well because they just smelt right if you know what I mean especially when the main pungency was GARLIC.

I air dried some baits (well what could be achieved in a few days ) and glugged them and also made some paste by grinding the boilies up and using some of the matching liquid to get it to bind together. 

Proper stinky stuff and when fishing in to dark like I would be for this session a stinky bait it well worth having for a Barbel or Chub for that matter to try and home in on the bait. 

It can be very much a waiting game on this stretch but all the Barbel that have come out thus far have been a decent stamp and I'm sure right time, right place a proper lump will eventually turn up. 


When I fish in to dark I rarely fish in to dark even on the Warwickshire Avon where bites from Barbel can hard to come by especially in these conditions.

Colour make a big difference in catch rates especially during the day but when it's clear in to dusk is the best option where a motionless tip can switch in to one of pulls, plucks and twitches.

When I got bankside I was surprised the river wasn't up a little because it had been raining all day but there was a little delay because when I left 2.5 hours later the almost stagnant looking river was flowing a little faster.

Still painfully clear but the witching hour really is the best time to get any action from a decent fish. That's why I like this time of the year because not only is it mild but it suits ones busy life.

Work is done and dusted, watered and fed, the family duties ticked off and still there is enough time to go fishing and set-up just before dusk, fish well in to dark and be back before the neighbours curtains start to twitch. 

Not for everyone but I find it hard to sit behind motionless rods these days and these short sessions suit me perfectly. Now I was surprised that the chub pulls started as quickly as they did, but half an hour before dusk some quite violent pulls I knew it was only a matter of time despite the long hair before a chub would hook itself. 


It came an hour after the first indication though so well in to dark, and a nice fish it was too. Giving an almost barbel'esk bite it registered 5lb on the nose on the scales.

A fairly hollow fish with a big frame hopefully it will fatten up for winter where it could well go 6lb I reckon, it was certainly looked like it wasn't doing its frame justice.  And that was it, once I put the fish back and getting the rod back out all went dead. A nice fish though, not a barbel but when they are this size who cares. 

Saturday 11 September 2021

Canal Zander - The Hallowed II Chronicles Pt.1

Now a balti bowl is an essential cooking and serving pan for foodies with a love of curry! A balti or bāltī gosht the name may have come from the metal dish in which the curry is cooked, rather than from any specific ingredient or cooking technique. They are cooked quickly using vegetable oil rather than ghee, over high heat in the manner of a stir-fry, and any meat is used off the bone. 

This combination differs sharply from a traditional one-pot Indian curry which is simmered slowly all day. The make-up of the bowl means when oil and oven 'seasoned' beforehand and then cooked over a high heat, the bowl takes up an identity of its own as it enhances the flavours which is hard to replicate unless the curry is cooked in the eating vessel like a balti should be.


My own bowl is years old now and these days only comes out in special occasions usually when the Wife is out and I'm just cooking for myself and I fancy a notch or two up from the usual scoville scale. 25 years ago now I think I had my first balti and I've been eating them ever since. As you can see above the iconic black patina is plain to see. 

For busy midlands Balti establishments a 'base sauce' is usually concocted from cooked and blended onion, garlic, tomatoes, fresh ginger, paprika, cumin, fenugreek leaves etc. 
 
Then the cooking gas is then  cranked up and once the chopped onion, green peppers, tomatoes are cooked through the meat / vegetable is added before finishing off with a few more spices such as garam masala and a ladle or two of the 'base sauce'

All the time the flame is trying to escape over the rim of the bowl and yet oddly because everything is added and stirred around quickly burning the food isn't an issue. 

The technique means not only do you have a quick simple curry within minutes once you have the 'base sauce'  to hand but it is a cheap as chips too unlike some of the more extravagant curries I concoct these days. But a busy life means that sometimes compromises have to be had. 


Talking of compromises and cheap as chips I had the Jimny in pieces the other day because the tight penny pinching gits at Suzuki decided to only fit front speakers to the latest Gen 4 model and as a mixcloud lover just two speakers wasn't good enough despite suffering the silence for nearly a couple of years.. 

Bass frequencies need cone and air movement and even on full whack ones ears were never tested. Even with the additional speakers added its hardly a windscreen wobbler but at least its more what I'm used to. The aftermarket kit was a bit of a compromise as the unit should be sealed ideally but any rigid mount will get the cone to move like the manufacturer intended. 
 
Still it lacked bass so a subwoofer wouldn't go a miss now would it, so I've a JBL Bass Pro Nano to fit under the front seat where hopefully I'll be able to enjoy some bass to not only here but also feel as well. 

Now talking of feel I didn't think I'd ever get my hands around a canal double, however the 11lb 8oz Canal Zander that concluded the closed season 6 year quest of mine back in June has been a fish I've been thinking of for a good while. 

Ever since that well earned capture I have been eating my toast, drinking my tea and listening to the snap crackle and pop and wondering what the heck I will fish for in the closed season. The Hallowed II swim an area which only came on my radar by a chance capture by Nic of a double figure Zander meant my quest was concluded far quicker than I thought it would be.

So stuff it, I want a bigger canal Zander and I've nearly two miles of canal to narrow down the hunt to a fish even bigger than the monster I caught. Zed fishing is in my blood having made up much of my fishing since I started this blog and it is something I'd miss if I didn't carry on with it. 


Those frustrating session and mediocre results up to the capture of the double are well forgotten now and it feels like the pressure has been lifted from what was a seemingly impossible task.

Ok its not the closed season, but with the local rivers a bit of a state due to the lack of rain I will mix up my river and canal sessions and not confine myself to the closed season either. So simple over-depth float tactics I've refined over the years for this morning session but as there are pike here the fluro hooklink will have to been changed to a wire. 


This colour of this stretch of canal really is unique in the previous sections of the Grand Union I've fished in the past and when I got to the water that familiar light green pantone greeted me. 

Sections of roach for this session but other coarse fish, smelt, lamprey and even sprats can tempt a Zander in to scavenging like they do. Now I hotfooted it to the Hallowed II and had two fish within half an hour. In-fact the near 5lber (finger in air) was in the net when the other float started to move to I had two fish in the net. 


The bigger fish gave a decent scrap to be fair and I was surprised that it wasn't bigger when it was in the net. I have seen otters here and it looked like it had a lucky escape looking at its tail. Still it was fighting fit and apart from that it was in fantastic condition. 

The other fish was a bog standard schoolie around a couple of pound and was lightly hooked and like many of the fish this size it wasn't happy to be caught whatsoever. 



A few more bites from small fish the swim went dead and I went on the rove. At the end of the session which was over 4 miles walked 2 more Zander were caught both around 3lb. 

An enjoyable familiar session and as usually only me fishing it. That is the good thing about this stretch it sees little angling pressure and also little footfall. Only two dog turds today too which considering the amount I walked that was very few indeed. I'm hoping the rivers have improved over the weekend as I fancy a Zander session soon and also a go for another Barbel, this time in to dark at the syndicate session most likely. 
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