Piscatorial Quagswagging

...the diary of a specialist angler in around the Warwickshire Avon and its tributaries.

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. 


  1. Nice post Mick.
    Me and Bureboy hoping to get down for a couple of days zandering early October.

  2. Thank God for that - was wondering what I was going to read in the closed season!

    1. :) less pressure this time, I think I will enjoy it more because of that !!


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