Piscatorial Quagswagging

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

Tuesday 11 June 2024

Transient Towpath Trudging - Pt.117 (Canal Zander - Lost a Big'un !!!)

We all have our comfort foods don't we, for me to be honest they are few and far between but whatever roast potato I'm making, whether it be for a Sunday roast, or like I did for this evening's meal some mini rosemary and garlic ones to accompany cod, samphire in a lemon and parsley sauce, get dipping in that mint sauce (maybe I'm pregnant 😀). Weirdly I rarely have roast lamb, as I prefer lamb for curries however when I do, I rarely have it with mint sauce.

Oh and a proper doner kebab if I could get one locally, yes even sober believe it or not 😀

Now In medieval time the main export product for the English was wool and created large revenue for the English to sustain various wars that they had at that time which was probably the French, again...

...But their valued wool makers was being consumed by the locals and naturally limited their export of wool, so the law makers at that time decided to make it law that it would be illegal to consume lamb without eating it with mint sauce, which was a far cry from a taste that was acquired at that time and gave the meat a foul taste which they hoped would discourage the eating of lamb.

They did not ban the eating of lamb all together as the royals and upper class English was not prepared to give up that right just yet, another theory of the development of the lamb/mint association suggests that it is a legacy of the roast lamb and bitter herbs eaten by the eaten by the Israelites on the eve of their Exodus from Egypt.

Before I go off on a tangent, what your comfort food ?

Anyway I was back chasing Zander for an evening at an area where some big ones have been coming out recently. Now Zander love a whole roach as their comfort food, and 3-4 inches long is ideal to target these interesting fish that have been persecuted from all sides.

Oddly the first fish that came to the net though was a rare pike that took the bait on the drop I reckon as the bait didn't settle after casting out again from a missed take. I could tell it was a pike rather than a Zander straight away as they go off like a rocket once hooked.

A rather lean fish, but it gave a good fight to be fair and was probably heading towards 5lb I'm imagine as it was quite long despite the lack of stature.

A boat came through at full speed but thankfully I was fishing for Zander not silvers, I must admit despite heading towards 50 sessions since the closed season I'm glad the river season is upon us, as I'm reaching that point that I'm going through the motions rather than properly enjoying it really.

The solitude isn't like it is on the river mainly because there is too many outside influences that are beyond your control, the tipping point the dog owner the other week who couldn't careless on how his dog had reacted to me just sat there quietly fishing. A really did think I was about to be attacked and was fully expecting to defend myself with whatever I could get my hands on. 

Thankfully it never came to that but one of many reasons why the canals are a stop gap really. Still on a positive note it is a natural venue which is bonus so you never know what will turn up, and there is Zander and who doesn't like a Zander, well ok, better not ask that out loud.

Anyway once that boat had gone through there seemed a continuous tow on the water and the CRT had recently come through hacking down the greenery and most of it had ended up in the canal. So hard fishing really, the key was to use the bag to lift as much line out the water as possible.

I had a schoolie drop off at the net an hour in and then bites came after 20 / 30 minutes but they were all small fish. I managed 5 or so and also missed a few bites where I tightened up in to nothing.

That is usually when the fish has a small mouth and it's not large enough to engulf it. Anyway I was planning on leaving due to nothing big showing but then my right hand rod received a bite which was off down the canal when upon tightening up a solid lump it came up in the water where I saw its flanks.

A Hugggggggggggeee Zander !!! I mean over double figures and quite possibly the biggest I'd even seen, where after the first run it just came off 😱 Oh FFS these moments don't happen very often, and I'd just blown it. I fished until I couldn't see the floats but sadly one one schoolie and that was it.  That was going to be my last session on the canal, well for Zander anyway, but I'm tempted to have another dabble maybe. 


  1. Unlucky Mick, if it makes it any better the biggest Zander ive ever seen just let go of my lure. You should return to fish it again, are they territorial? As in stay in the same area or roam all over?

    1. I think leading up to spawning they often congregate in the same area, however once that is out the way they certainly spread out I've found. But yes I'm going back tomorrow evening hopefully :). They are rare the big'uns so it's gutting to lose them, horrible feeling isn't it.

  2. Bad luck Mick, sometimes shit happens, but "you know where he lives". Go get him.
    Comfort food ?
    Lidl chilli peanuts
    Sweet Chilli Sensation crisps
    Yes, a donar from the local
    Proper pizza from another great local restaurant

    Better stop or we'll be here all day.


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