Piscatorial Quagswagging

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

Sunday 14 April 2024

Transient Towpath Trudging - Pt.100 (Bread and Maggots)

With the bread not doing the business yesterday morning I decided to venture over to a stretch of the Grand Union a short drive away to see what I could catch using simple tactics. So groundbait to kick it off and maggots or bread on the size 16 KKH Preston hook.

A nippy morning around 7 degrees where I rocked up a little later than usual. I was fishing by 6.00am though and the walk down to the swim there were plenty of fish topping and fishy activity so I was hoping for a bite or two. 

The groundbait consisted of Supercrush Green from Sonubaits with a few micro pellets and a handful of hemp to try and get the fish grubbing around.

It took longer than I thought to get the first bite which came after switching to three maggots on the hook instead of the bread for the hook. I also sprinkled the maggots over the float from time to time. 

Obviously I had a sleeper rod out for a Zander as well but the float was the mainstay. The first fish was a slimy small bream but I wasn't complaining after the frustrating session yesterday morning not far away from here on the South Stratford Canal.

Anyway after getting another two quick bites and releasing those fish I decided to retain a few in the net just to get some nice shots for the blog. 

However I got a little carried away because bites were coming thick and fast as soon as the maggots reached the bottom and also the odd time on the drop too.

There was some tow on the canal at this point but with the shots anchoring the float in position it was holding well enough. You can see why a pole would work better on the canal, but they seem a right old faff and cumbersome to me, and it's nice to play a fish on rod and line I find rather than pulling against elastic. 

Anyway after a couple of hours went by really quickly with lots of bites and even a surprise Zander πŸ˜… on the maggots, when the first boat went through at a rate of knots (8.30am ish) where he proceeded to slow down for a boat that was moored up 30 metres from me, the sport went dead.

It has now coloured up to Augustus Gloop tickbox levels and bites almost disappeared like a switch had been flicked. I had a surprise much better perch well over a pound and that was about it. A quick weigh in the net and taking into account the fish I put back right at the start well, a net well over double figures including some Zander snack sized roach, skimmers and small perch too.

I'd bumped a couple of much bigger bream off and if I had managed to land them probably nearly 20lb of fish or even more I'd say. A very satisfying morning indeed but I didn't want to end the session there even when by now the boat activity had kicked up a notch.

So I went back to the car and ditched my float rod and just decided to fish the dedicated Zander gear. I'd had a roach deadbait where I caught all those fish and nothing was doing whatsoever. 

By now the sun was high in the sky and it was very pleasant indeed but the Zander had other ideas, nothing doing, but then I went to fish a new area where I noticed some activity over at the far side where there was signs of fish spawning.

They were definitely Zander as well because when they were overly jiggy with it, their tails came out of the water. I measured the temperature and it was 12.8 degrees which was exactly the same as when I took it yesterday on an entirely different canal system.

I decided to leave the fish to their fun and end the session early to go and have a ramble out with the rabble to see the bluebells just down the road from us. I believe there are a few colder nights next week however with the canal fishing really well today I fancy getting out after work if I can.

No idea where yet might you but with the maggots doing the business today and plenty in the fridge still some more float fishing might be in order. You do wonder why the canals are deserted to anglers because the sport like I found today can be great, give them a go, you never know what will turn up and that's the appeal for me.

Saturday 13 April 2024

Canal Roach - The Sisyphean Task ? Pt.2

It certainly doesn't seem like 12 mths almost to the day when I caught a rather nice 1lb 12 ounce roach from a local section of canal. Catching that fish got me thinking about catching a 2'lber myself which is certainly possible if you look at George Burton's efforts. Now I'm part of a small syndicate with George and he is still catching some lovely fish albeit not blogging about it. Shame really because his is how a fishing blog should be done not my token effort πŸ˜† 

Anyway with some leaves to forage for a rather nice dish I make, which is a pan-fried chicken breast with wild garlic and mushrooms with new potatoes, it would be rude not to have a go for the roach whilst I was there, as the big roach I caught from a swim is literally right opposite the crop.

Those restless legs of mine don't help with this sort of fishing, especially on the canals where locating the fish can be the hardest task, not actually catching them, for this session however I'd have a chair with me and would concentrate on one spot before the first boat would spoil the (fingers crossed) fun. That could be an hour, or three, I'd only know that on the actual day.

For some reason many of the tiller twiddlers are easy risers where if I was in the same predicament I'd be sipping ,y 2nd cup of tea and getting the bacon sandwiches on. 

What the heck they are doing motoring down the canal in the earning morning, God only knows, as mad as me I suspect, but then the change of a big roach needs this sort of foolishness.

These waters have Zander in residence as well so I'd naturally have a sleeper rod out with a roach deadbait to try and infiltrate a Zed on the prowl. 

The mainstay would be an insert waggler with a small size 12 and a small thumbnail sized piece of bread on the hook. Bread slop to try and get the attention of any fish in the locality and that was it. 

Now picking wild garlic leaves is not forbidden but uprooting them is, as the population is in decline. Therefore, when collecting wild garlic, only take as much as you need about a handful of leaves at a time. Never uproot an entire wild garlic plant. In nature, only the leaves of wild garlic may be harvested.

If you are wondering where to go looking for wild garlic, simply find out what the soil type is in an area. You can expect to find wild garlic in forests that grow on calcareous soils. Focus your search along the bottom of slopes. Lime tends to accumulate at the foot of a slope, ensuring a high pH value in the soil and making it an ideal environment for wild garlic to thrive.

Besides vitamin C and minerals, such as iron and magnesium, wild garlic contains alliin and allicin; the latter is responsible for the typical garlic smell and is considered a pharmacologically active substance. The antibacterial effect of wild garlic has also now been medically confirmed. Additionally, fresh wild garlic, such as in a salad or pesto, is also said to help with relieving coughs and fevers. 

Like its close relative, garlic (Allium sativum), wild garlic is a healthy and versatile Allium. It is also very easy to grow in your own garden, or stumble upon some like I did, and you've a crop of your own you can pick from time to time. And garlic, who the hell doesn't like garlic !!!

Anyway what a frustrating session this was !!

I arrived towpath side for 6.15am and got the zander rod out next to some reeds at the far side and got fishing with the float rod. There was chop on the water and wind blowing to the side of me which wasn't exactly pleasant. 

A good 40 minutes in to the session the first indications there was actually fish in the swim !! Only small fish I assume because there was plenty of movement on the float but not enough to take it under let alone strike. I was using large pieces of bread though I would assume fishing maggots it would have been a different story.

I was settled in to fishing effectively and then the canal starts to flow like a river, yeap the first boat on the way at 7.30am in the bleeding morning. Once that had passed and coloured up the water even more those bites I was getting stopped altogether so I decided to move 50 yards to my right to fish a much more settled area where I could see the float easier.

What I didn't expect was after the float being out for half an hour a proper bite where at first I'd caught the bottom when I struck in to it, however it then started to move off and once it felt the resistance it bolted off !!!

Yeap I'd hooked a carp where after one powerful surge taking line, the next surge it leaped clear of the water to my right where the hooklink parted 😑 and it was gone Arhhhhhhhh !!!! it looked a double figure fish as well and could well have been the fish I'd caught here in the past. On closer inspection the shots were still on the hook to nylon but then the hook had parted company at the knot. 

That's not good now is it, a weak point for sure. btw Kamasan B560 size 12 to 4lb line. I kept on fishing where again signs there were small fish in the swim but eyes far bigger than their bellies. Once the boats started coming in anger and the towpath full of ill-mannered joggers and dog walkers where seemingly I was invisible it was time for the off.

A session of frustration but then that is canal fishing for you ☺ anyway next time I might give maggots a go to at least I'd likely to catch a fish or two. 

Fishing large pieces of bread is very selective and if those large roach and bream are just now there, the reality is you are missing out on the smaller species that at least can offer some sport. Oh well on to the next one !!!

Oh and the Zander sleeper rod, naff all !!!

The canal was 12.8 degrees btw, on the way up for sure. George, well he did better than me a 2lb 1oz roach and a 4lb 11oz hybrid amongst others WTF πŸ‘€ !!! I need to fish where he fishes !!!

Friday 12 April 2024

Warwickshire Trout - River Alne Pt.11

To be honest I was in two minds to actually go for this session because I didn't have long but I fancied a gander at the Alne because it will receive some attention going forward, when the river hopefully will be in decent fettle to try and catch a trout. 

Not any old trout either because I I have my eyes on an Alne trout >3lb in weight. Now I know they are there because I've hooked and lost a few that would provide that tick in the box I'm sure.

I only had an hour and a half to fish and it didn't get to a very good start because a new Range Rover probably 100k plus was blocking the gate, and therefore the entrance to the river was a no go, unless this behemoth was moved. 

After unlocking the gate and sorting my tackle out eventually after ten minutes wondering that to do, the owner turned up and could only 'apologise for blocking the access, because I couldn't find a parking space'. 

 Red trousers, yeap you guessed correctly !!!😁

Thankfully after moving my car from behind his, he vacated the space and I could drive down to the river and get fishing. 

I thought I'd go and have a nose because the river has been stable for a while after being well up, but it was far more coloured than I thought it would be, even with a bright Temu special (6 all the way from China for the price of one Salmo Hornet πŸ‘€) there was only a few inches of visibility. 

Unsurprisingly I caught naff all, not even a hit, a bump or a follow. Then again I couldn't have really seen the trout if they did anyway. Still it was nice to be out with spring definitely here with the butterflies making an appearance where the day peaked at 19 degrees C. 

I'll leave it for a while I think and keep an eye on the gauge. It needs to drop at least a ft or so where usually that means it's clear enough to have a dabble for the nice trout that reside here. 

Thursday 11 April 2024

Transient Towpath Trudging - Pt.99 (Canal Zander)

A new bulk roach order turned up thankfully as I was down to the smelly and soft smelt that had been in and out of the freezer more times than I can count. 

Anyway luckily the thai dish I was knocking up at the same time whilst sorting and bagging the roach masked the rather pungent roach smell, the Wife was none the wiser πŸ’ͺ

Now it is speculated that phat kaphrao was first introduced to Thailand during the reign of King Rama VII when Chinese immigrants carried the spice to be sold in Thailand local market. Eventually, stir-fried basil likely gained popularity around 1957, having been adapted from Chinese cuisine. 

Now the key components include basil, which is stir-fried with ground meat (This I knocked up was pork), garlic, sugar and Thai chili. The dish is seasoned with a combination of soy sauce, oyster sauce and fish sauce. Additionally, it may incorporate other ingredients such as onions, bell peppers and green beans. 

Using red basil will give more flavour and aroma, can add dark soy sauce instead of giving the basil an appetizing dark colour.Like many Thai dishes, phat kaphrao is often accompanied by condiments served on the side, such as extra Thai bird chili, lime wedges, and soy or fish sauce. It literally take ten minutes to cook, give it a go, a very tasty dish indeed. 

Anyway to the fishing warm water rises. Cold water sinks. The fish should be at the top, and it's quite a surprise sometimes to find them at the bottom. It's not their fault: by the time they've had a touch of thermocline tilt and temperature inversion, they're not sure where they're supposed to be.

The warm top layer of water in a lake is the epilimnion. The cold bottom layer is the hypolimnion. Between these two is the thermocline, neither too warm nor too cold. When wind blows steadily from one side of a lake to the other, the thermocline tilts, building up a layer of deep warm water on the side towards which the wind is blowing. OK so far?

Obviously, the place to catch the fish is on that side of the lake with the wind in your face. This means that almost every time you cast out you finish up with the bait in your face. An angler who has spent several hours fishing the tilted thermocline can be identified easily by his blue complexion, watery eyes, runny nose and the way his ears are turned back to front.

Temperature inversion in a lake happens in winter when the top layer cools and sinks, to be replaced by a warmer layer from underneath. Eventually the whole lake cools to a temperature of 39.2 degrees Fahrenheit, or fourpence three farthings Centigrade, and the water is at its heaviest. At this stage there is no more sinking. The top layer gets colder and colder, but the water at the bottom stays relatively warm.

It is generally still too cold for most fish to feed, but the occasional perch or pike, as daft as the angler sitting freezing on the bank above, may be moving around to see what's about. So you sling in your bait, as deep as you possibly can, to see if you can tempt them. As the perch and pike are surrounded by comatose fish, just waiting to be eaten, you generally can't. ☺

Now talking of temperature Zander spawn in spring, typically, when water temperatures go above 12ΒΊC. 

The females produce up to 200,000 tiny eggs (around 1mm in diameter) for each kilogramme of their bodyweight, laid into a prepared (though rough) nest. 

This means a double-figure zander might lay over one million eggs each year! The young 5-6mm long fry feed initially on invertebrates, especially water fleas, though cannibalism is common amongst young zander. 

Big zander also enjoy eating small zander and this may be really important in control of their numbers when they appear in a new water.

When I was at the hotspot a couple of days ago it was a gnats nadger over 12 degrees and they are definitely on the cusp of spawning I'd imagine, a few days, a few weeks, or imminently who knows but I had to make these sessions pay.

Three 6lbers caught in such a short section is an eyeopener really were there any biggers ones here ? As always I didn't have long before the diary makers got involved (2.5 hours fishing time) but hopefully enough time to winkle out a Zander. (Yes CRT I do put them back please come and arrest me)

Well the water temperature had certainly dropped from all that cold rain we had overnight however drop a bait on a Zander's nose they are usually up for a meal. All those usual spots where I'd had bite before though there was nothing doing whatsoever.

The canal wasn't as coloured as it usually is and I'm sure that didn't help either because every swim I fished and there was plenty of them those floats didn't move whatsoever. Best laid plans and all that because a rare blank on this stretch. I'm hoping with some milder weather on the way things will improve though and I'll be back for another dabble. 

Monday 8 April 2024

Transient Towpath Trudging - Pt.97 (Canal Zander - A Near 7lber)

Those windows of piscatorial pleasantries must be grasped with both hands especially when you lead a busy life like I do. I only had a couple of hours after work but luckily a stretch I have been fishing was 'almost' on the way home.

So rods and landing net on the roof 'ski holders', gear and deadbaits in the boot (for nearly 9 hours) I'm all ready to go.

I hotfooted it to the canal after CAD bashing and Buffalo Si from River Masters was there with a mate of his, one of the managers of a local Angling Direct. They had been there for a good while and were struggling for bites with only one fish caught between them.


Could be a tough one this especially with the boat traffic that was pretty frequent apparently. Anyway I decided to leave them to it and fish above them in an area where I have done pretty well recently. 

I've done enough of this Zander fishing to know you need to get on your toes and try and find the fish however section after section of cover there was nothing doing whatsoever, There was a boat moored a hop skip and a jump away so I decided to give that a go instead.

Both deadbaits, one smelt and the other a roach were fished tight to the hull and I after about 10 minutes the left hand float with the smelt on jumps in to life and I have a bite.

That was quick !!!!

Anyway the float after not doing much suddenly shot under the surface and was heading towards the underneath the hull of the boat. I tightened up in to a decent lump where after carting to the middle of the canal it came to the surface with a huge boil.

Nice, another decent Zander on again. After giving a decent scrap I managed to get it in the landing net where it was showing the marks of being in the wars. 

Another cracking canal Zander going 6lb and 14 ounces on the scales πŸ’“

So that's 3 different 6'lbers (I've checked the pics πŸ‘€) from a 100 metre stretch is a bit mad really. It's certainly a hot spot at the minute. Even though the others were struggling today, it just goes to show you are only an underarm chuck away from a right old lump. 

A very nice looking fish and with the temperature now just over 12 degrees it won't be long when the bukkake commences. It could be a day, or two weeks off. The next session I can muster up is Wednesday for a few hours, fingers crossed I can catch another one as they seem to like me at the minute. 

Sunday 7 April 2024

Transient Towpath Trudging - Pt.96 (Canal Zander)

Some Good News and some Bad News.

The Good News is that angling makes you look younger and live longer. Several surveys have confirmed that fishing helps towards relaxation and mental health, peace of mind, and all that. Findings such as these always come as a surprise to those of us who at the end of the day are twitching wrecks and who finish the season totally bonkers, but that's the official verdict.

The Bad News, from the Office of Population Census and Surveys, is that angling can seriously damage your health by rendering you dead. Their latest report announces that, in 1982, angling killed more people in Britain than any other single sport or leisure activity. Eleven of us went to the Great Match Peg in the sky, ten by drowning.

The Good News is that it's not nearly as bad as it sounds. Nothing like. There are more anglers out every weekend than those involved in all the other participant sports put together, so it's really a lot safer than soccer, rugger, hang- gliding or attempts at the ferrets-down-the-trousers record. 

The Bad News is that there are many more ways of doing yourself a mischief out fishing than are covered in the report, some of which may not be apparent until later. And you ought to be aware of these if you're proposing to get with the relaxation and peace of mind.

For a start, there are always a few heart attacks brought on by the excitement of playing a whopper. I thought my own number was up when, after weeks of trying, I finally netted that big perch. OK, a half-pounder, but on the Grand Union, everything's relative. and Big McGinty coming swiftly to my aid with a few swigs of the hard stuff, I may well have passed on through palpitations and tremblement. But what was more dangerous was the secondary shock at the realisation that I'd actually got a drink out of those two.

Heart attacks can be triggered off by other circumstances, such as sprinting fully laden with gear to get to the pub before it shuts. You get there all right, but are in no fit state to sup your ale on account of dropping dead. You can behave sensibly and walk to the pub at a leisurely and even pace. But then you run the risk of arriving just as time is being called; another circumstance likely to do you no good at all.

Secondly, exposure is always a risk in the cold weather. A recent medical theory is that wind can be a shock to the systems of people who are not used to it. (Blowing-type wind, that is. Not the 'Urrrp! Pardon!' kind.) Townies exposed to a good hard blow can suffer from over- stimulation of the doodahs and flake out later on. 

So reservoir fishers, beware. It's one thing to come home minus your nose or with your ears blown back-to-front, but it's quite another to greet the wife with, 'Evenin', Pet. Where's me tea? It's freezing out... Aaargh!" Exposure afflicts many anglers whose wives refuse to let them in when they arrive home at two in the morning, singing naughty songs and falling about.

There's nothing for it then but to kip on the lawn, or at best take shelter in the shed for the night. Even the best of sheds gets very cold in the early hours, so I understand and unless you've got something left in the Scotch bottle, severe hypothermia can set in. Every year, too, there are many cases of angler- battering. Sometimes the injuries are the result of anti-social actions on the part of the angler, such as pinching somebody else's pre-baited swim, lobbing shampoo sachets into a rival's pitch, or indulging in a few double entries at the weigh-in.

Other injuries are the result of small domestic misunderstandings, such as occur when the angler is left propped up against the front door by cowardly mates who have rung the bell and run away. 

The angler may do himself a mischief when he falls flat on his face as his wife opens the door. 

Whether or not, he is still liable to cop for some corrective therapy, such as being belaboured mercifully with a blunt instrument as he lies helpless and there is the occasional case of alcohol poisoning, which I can be brought about because the angler has won the match and is celebrating his great victory, or because he has lost the match and is trying to kill the pain, or just because he likes the stuff. You don't need an excuse, dammit.

Damage is done every year to anglers incautious enough to assume that farm animals are harmless, even wandering cheerfully through a field containing a bull. Anybody short-sighted or gormless enough not to recognise a bull ought to stick to safer pursuits such as origami or ludo.

A mate of mine was bitten by a pig and contracted swine fever, which is very serious and nothing to laff about at all. I tried hard to remember this when I went to see him in hospital but I was still told off by the matron for doing farmyard imitations detrimental to the patient's peace of mind.

Another mate was bitten by a sheep and contracted the rare disease known as Orf. I kid you not. It got its name perhaps because the disease is so rare that medical specialists try to keep bits of you for further study. 'Bitten there, was he? Right. Let's have it orf...'

Finally, there are the casualties brought about by Tempting Fate. It is all too common for an angler challenged in the middle of a gigantic fib, or caught doing naughty things around the scale basket at the weigh-in, to lay his hand on his heart and declare; 'If I'm not telling the truth, may the Good Lord strike me down.' The sudden flash of lightning out of a clear blue sky may restore people's faith in The Almighty. But it messes up the statistics no end, as well as playing hell with your peace of mind.

Anyway a trip to stretch I'd not fished for a while went as well as expected, 14k steps covered, no signs of fish. The towpath as muddy as ever, one schoolie Zander that was it. Tough as my new boots (hopefully). On to the next one if you haven't switched off already. 

The highlight ?  well the wife got some flowers during the trudging, she seemed to be pleased more than me anyway. A session as forgettable as this blog post I'd imagine.

Saturday 6 April 2024

Transient Towpath Trudging - Pt.95 (Canal Zander)

I've been looking through the Guinness Book of Records to see I whether I'm in it yet. (The Writing Rubbish for 14 Years and Getting Away With It Record.) Not a mention. Obviously a typographical error or a total lack of taste and no susceptibility to bribery on the part of the editors.

They've got some funny records in that book. Piano smashing, standing on one leg, being buried alive, walking backwards, walking on hands, welly throwing and long-distance spitting.

But it has its omissions, apart from the lack of reference to one of Britain's most talented, distinguished and handsome anglers. The angling section is a bit sparse. Just a straight catalogue of largest and smallest fish caught, record weight lists, casting records and that's yer lot. Nothing to laff at at all.

I am now about to rectify this. There's more to fishing than catching fish, as we failures say, and some of the most interesting records come from the spin-off activities of angling.

Here you are, then, Guinness. They're all yours. No fee. Just send me a season ticket for the brewery.

The Falling in the Water Record. Held by Fred Pighead, of Eccles, who fell into the water 67 times in two hours while attempting to fish from the end of a jetty on a Bridgewater Canal coaling basin. The jetty had been shortened by six feet a couple of days before, but Fred - who had been fishing from it for 30 years - refused to believe it.

The Sitting There Without Catching Anything Record. Twenty -nine years and three months, every weekend and most evenings, by Jim Stupid of Warrington, fishing the sulphuric acid outfall of a local chemical factory. Jim also holds the record for losing most hooks - 2,400,543 - and the most nylon traces - 16 miles, 650 yards and 9 inches of them - because they tended to dissolve as soon as they hit the surface. Jim's bid for the 30-year record was foiled by an attack of double pneumonia after a heavy rainstorm, but as a consolation he was awarded The Daftest Man in the Cemetery Record.

The Number of Polygamous Marriages Record. Held by Gary Glutton of Ardwick, with 10 wives, one in each water authority of England and Wales. 'Helps with my match fishing', says Gary. 'I don't have to worry about making my own sandwiches up. I only hope they don't find out about the Scottish Lot.'

The Most Number of Zander Caught On The Midlands Canals....

....No idea that one to be honest but I must me heading to a >1000 I'd imagine (might be more, might be less), maybe I should look back on my blog for a look. Then again that would take and Aggggeeeeeee that would. It's a good time to be catching Zander on the canals as the moment because they haven't spawned yet from what I can see. So I was back for some more in the area that I caught those two 6lbers last time that Buffalo Si put me on to.

Could it be any worse than waking up as William Wragg, the MP for Hazel Grove in Manchester, who  admitted giving other MPs' phone numbers over WhatsApp, to someone he met on a dating app that had 'photos' that Wragg had sent to an imposter. Well yeah you could be a Zander waking up after being caught my the angling tag team Si and Mick, their lives will never be the same again, with their sanctuary exposed. 

They have always been there to be honest and despite the efforts of the anode wavers of the CRT's well paid and do what you want jobbers, they are still hanging around in these turbid waters. 

Oddly I'd never caught anything big from the stretch hence why it had fallen off my radar, but it just goes to show doesn't it. One year is never the same than the next. Then again 24 is often never the same on the canal these days, it can be that moody. 

And to be honest I was correct with that assumption....

You see some of the smallest Zander caught of late and no big ones to be found whatsoever. I can only assume those fish have upsticks and gone somewhere else for now. Still quite a few steps covered and at least I was getting bites. 

All very confusing but then, there was confusion in the air for this session πŸ˜†πŸ„πŸ„πŸ„πŸ„...

...there is so much water to go at on the canals and fish that don't hang around for long, those 6 lbers I caught and the other fish in the pack could be a mile away by now. 

Wednesday 3 April 2024

Transient Towpath Trudging - Pt.94 (Canal Zander A Brace Of 6's )

Now I'm not quite sure how this film passed me by, but with the Wife and kids away for a couple of days I needed something to keep me in good spirits and this is where 'The World's End' came to the rescue, oh and a serotonin boosting concocted curry from scratch, with a garlic naan and garlic rice to go with it !!

It's a 2013 apocalyptic science fiction comedy film directed by Edgar Wright from a screenplay by Wright and Simon Pegg, and this was the third and final instalment in the Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy, after Shaun of the Dead (2004) and Hot Fuzz (2007). Jesus, that long ago πŸ‘€

Some recognisable actors too, such as Simon Pegg (obviously), Nick Frost, Paddy Considine, Martin Freeman, Eddie Marsan, Rosamund Pike and Pierce Brosnan. 

The film focuses on five friends who return to their hometown in order to reattempt a pub crawl they failed twenty-three years earlier, only to discover an alien invasion is afoot in the town.

Worth a watch anyway if you've not seen it. Brain out entertainment (quite literally) and it was washed down with the nice nice spicy curry and the surround sound elevated to curtain twitching levels. The Wife cannot do so much spice as much as me, so I usually cook a curry to suit my palate when she is away. 

Anyway the curry, a special one this, well back when the Royal Bengal in Coventry used to be good (many years ago post clubbing and pub going) they used to do garlic chilli chicken dish that year on year was exactly the same whenever you ordered it. Strips of tandoori chicken in a tangy and pungent chilli sauce with copious amounts of green chilli and loads and I mean loads or fresh garlic.

Sadly the place is a shadow of its former self probably a victim of their own success and there are now far better curry houses to spend your hard earned money. It used to be rammed all the time but then the cost of living doesn't help, I think many curry houses are struggling these days, so if you're mediocre anyway diners vote with their feet. Maybe their chefs went elsewhere ? who knows. But since the refurb things definitely changed. 

I used to love that dish and from time to time usually when I'm cooking just for myself I recreate it the best I can. To be honest this most recent effort could definitely be improved upon because despite using a whole large garlic bulb it would do with some more. πŸ˜€

I added quite a bit to the fried basmati rice though with some onion and that was very tasty indeed but one thing I always remembered about the Royal Bengal dish was the amount of garlic it contained, serious amounts, enough to keep vampires away and those ladies of the night that roamed the streets of Earlsdon back in the day.  

Soooo easy to make though and can be knocked up in no time. No 'Just Eat' to be seen here, then again where I live those choices are non existent, probably not a bad thing I suppose.

Anyway enough waffle, good old Buffalo Si from River Masters said "get yourself down here" because he was catching a load of Zander at a section of canal local to me. He was heading towards double figures and wanted me to get in on the action too.

It didn't take me long to catch the first one either where after a bite where the fish dropped off, I flung the bait back out again and within seconds it was going again. This time the float buried right under the surface where I tightened up to a solid fish.

It was giving a good account for itself as well but thankfully with a boat on the way I managed to get in in the net. A solid fish too and one of my biggest from the canal for a while going exactly 6lbs on the scales. 

The cover is pretty sparse here but after moving to a swim where I've caught the most zander from in a single session ( 7 I think) what I didn't expect was something similar to happen. You see after missing another bite the roach went back out again where after a couple of minutes the float went under the water in almost an instant. None of this messing around nonsense that Zander often do.

Anyway I tightened up in to another solid fish that went it felt the hook shot off to my right where it made one heck of a distance on the surface, wow another decent fish.

A proper battle this and after landing it I could see why, a proper angry Zander with a huge paddle for a tail. This a slightly longer fish and proper solid and went 6lb and 12 ounces on the scales. A cracking fish from the canal and not even from the 'hallowed' either but my neck of the woods.

We continued fishing where I was bitless and Si was still catching. I could have stayed longer but I decided I had my quota and vowed to come back another day where I'd spend a bit more time fishing the section.

I won't forget that session for a while and thanks to Si for letting us know that he was bagging up. Us because Nic from Avon Angling wasn't a million miles away and he was also catching Zander. I assume they are starting to group up for spawning hence the numbers.

The water needs to warm up for that, but it won't be a long way off I wouldn't have thought. The wind was pretty chilly and it also made the fishing a little difficult as it rippled up the surface, but they were certainly on it today that's for sure. 

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