Piscatorial Quagswagging

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

Friday 24 December 2021

Canal Zander - The Hallowed II Chronicles Pt.2 (PB Content)

A decent aged piece of beef verses a cheapo Christmas supermarket special is like comparing apples with oranges. In similar vein this stretch of the Grand Union Canal is very different than others I fish hence why I have nicknamed it the Hallowed Stretch.

Everything from the ridiculous fish biomass, the sheer size and jaw dropping volume of water in-front of you, and the fact that to only those in the know, harbours some of the biggest predators that any stretch of canal is likely to see. In the Midlands every single stretch of canal is at threat you see from those that love to wave an electric field into the water in order to incapacitate fish.

Zander you see still has a bad rap in certain sectors and that gives the Canal and Rivers Trust almost free reign, doing what they want when they want. Luckily there are some lobbying and vocal anglers that want to protect the fishing they have on their doorstep and certain areas are now classed as 'Low Priority' areas and the fish can swim freely without the fear of being stunned by the teeth tickling taser. 

217 sessions in to my canal zander challenge I banked a huge canal zander that concluded the quest but despite being the furthest stretch of canal I fish it will always remain on my fishing radar.

For this Christmas Eve morning session I arrived at a rather dull and misty canal and hot-footed it to the exact swim I caught the quest concluder from.

The location puts people off I'm sure and that's good because predators thrive on neglect. The colour helps too and the fact that this is probably the busiest stretch of canal I fish where boats are concerned means that fish can feel safe in its murky depths.

Zander fishing with deadbaits doesn't have to be complicated and my method adapted over many sessions is to make the set-up as light as possible. 

That means a small snapper float, a small weight to aid casting and a size 1 circle hook. I usually use 18lb flourocarbon but here there is pike, and some big'ones too, so I change to wire whenever I fish here because the last thing you want is to lose a big pike.

Now usually this banker swim you generally get a run within 10-15 minutes of putting the bait out but an hour in starting to feel the chill I was contemplating a move, but then the left hand float starts to bob and it getting some interest.

A typical Zander bite I thought until I tightened up to the circle hook where I felt something sizeable on the end. At first it was plodding around a bit but then all hell breaks loose and its taking line from the drag which is starting to struggle. The canal was clearer than normal but when it surfaced I realised it was a huge pike.

So huge in-fact I thought it could well go 20lb. I still needed to get it in though and I was rather under-gunned with my Zander set-up. The short rod was bent double and at one stage I was following the fish down the canal.

After an epic battle though I managed to squeeze it in to the net and the canal croc was mine. The fishes girth was ridiculous and her stomach clearly full with food, a proper winter belly to match mine at the moment. It didn't go 20lb, but 17lb and 8 ounces and the biggest pike I've ever caught. Another canal monster banked from the Hallowed, and I'm sure there are even more surprises to be had. 

Merry Christmas to my Blog Readers, hope you have a good one, I've been rewarded with an early Christmas present. 


  1. Congratulations on the new PB, cracking pike - Hallowed Stretch twenty campaign starts now?
    Merry Christmas

    1. Cheers Brian, still plenty of surprises to be had I'm sure, Merry Christmas to you too !!!

  2. That’s a huge canal pike Mick .. Merry Christmas 🎄

    1. A proper croc Baz, still buzzing now. Merry Xmas too

  3. Lovely ole job. I chuckled when I saw the apples, an ever present on the GUC

    1. Funny isn't it, they are all over the shop !!!

  4. Well done Mick, looking forward to getting back down there soon.

  5. Be interesting to see what you can winkle out, certainly some good fish about !!!


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