A Pearl In The Oyster - Another Enjoyable Zander Session - 4/6/19 - 7.30pm

A reservoir evening planned...a much awaited session for tench and crucians...but fate had other ideas.  The heavens opened, the traffic gridlocked.  A rethink was in order.

Of course I could sit car-bound in the melee for hours and then fish from the confines of a brolly, but that's not for me.  I'm no martyr and would rather fish on my own terms or stay at home and save my fishing credits for more agreeable circumstances.

The rain abated, albeit at 6.30pm...an alternative plan was hatched.  A few hours at the canal.  But where to go?  The stretch James and I had stumbled upon last Friday of course.  Let's see if it could live up to all it had promised.  Zander, yes.  Bites a-plently at dusk...but more than that.  Peace and quiet,  beautiful surroundings more akin to a riverbank.  Waterfowl and their broods remaining unmolested by subaquatic vermin and anglers remaining unmolested by superaquatic joyriding geriatrics.  A little slice of heaven indeed.
The car was duly abandoned hedge-side, the gear unloaded, and a short walk undertaken.  Within minutes I was in nirvana.

I soon had the rods assembled and baits attached.  Smelt would be this evening's sole offering, so great is my confidence in this estuarine dweller for not only zander but pike too.
Very little time had passed before the first sign of action was received on the floats.  A bob, a sideways slide then a full submersion.  I wound down to familiar resistance.  No a huge fish but very welcome indeed.
What a great start.  Signs of things to come?  Only time would tell as we have been here before and had our optimism roundly smashed into the dirt.  I wasn't going to count my chickens just yet.
Forty-five minutes later my scepticism proved well founded.  Not another knock.  Time to explore further up the stretch, uncharted territory and stunning it was too.  Loads of cover and likely zander hideouts.

I finally decided on an area where a birch reached out across the water's surface, gently touching it in places.  The floats deployed as near to the foliage as I dared.  Twenty minutes later with not a ripple from either of the floats I moved on...
Another fantastic looking area caused me to break stride.  "There MUST be zander here" I convinced myself.  It had everything any Z could wish for.  Cover, quiet and an abundance of small fish if the dimpling and splashing were anything to go by.  The baits were one again flicked to the edge of the cover and I waited.  The light was starting to fade by now and this was around the time we had received bites during the previous session.  It was now or never.  I had set myself a curfew of 10pm and it was after nine already.  Where does the time go when you are angling?

Two bobs and away it slid.  The float submerging as I picked up the rod.  I wound down but nothing.  Argh!  Bait checked and positioned back in the exact same spot I hoped the fish would return.  Five minutes later it did, the float disappearing under the cover.  I recovered line and this time resistance,  but then off.  I sighed and chuckled to myself, thinking of James last Friday.  My turn I guess.

The float was deployed again but this time with much less hope.  I had felt the fish for a second.  I was sure it would be too spooked to bite again.  I consoled myself that one of his buddies may be lurking in the wings.
Further minutes passed as I cast the other rod to different positions, non of which had born fruit so far.  However, this time was different.  The float bobbed twice, three times as I approached the rod.  As I picked it up the float tore off across the canal.  I wound down and contacted the fish.  Finally...but then it was off.  I could do nothing but laugh.  It was definitely my turn....but as I smiled I caught a glimpse of the other float in the corner of my eye.  That too begin moving, but with a more sedate chug towards the cover.  I grabbed the rod and this time felt more dogged resistance.  A decent scrap ensued and I knew this was no schoolie.  This way and that it lunged until I finally had it subdued and enveloped into the waiting net.

Finally a fish on the bank and a nice one at that.

That was the last action and it was soon curfew time and I made my way back to the car.  I can't wait to get back there again.

Tight lines.

Canal Zander - Dusk Session On A New Stretch - 31/5/19 - 8pm

During late April and the whole of May things became very busy for me, both at home and at work.  So mush so that I found getting onto the bank, or should I say towpath, increasingly difficult...and often impossible.

I did manage a few short sessions, with mixed fortunes, but had no time to edit the footage I had shot for my youtube channel or even get my experiences down here in my blog.

However, over the last week or so things have calmed and I have had a little more time on my hands which equated to a few more sessions and editing time.  My latest video served as a catch-up and for those who are interested it can be found here.

For this short session, which was originally intended to be at a reservoir, things conspired against that plan so the couple of hours available were spent at dusk on the canal, once again after zander.   

I was to be joined by my friend James and we decided to try a stretch new to me and one which he had not fished since he was a nipper.
How did things go?  Well,  not too great for starters.  We covered a good half mile of canal, dropping the deadbaits into every likely looking area of cover but all to no avail.  As dusk fell we were contemplating making tracks for home when there was a bob one one of James's floats which he'd cast near an overhanging willow.  It came to nothing but a couple of minutes later it bobbed again and chugged along the surface.  The strike failed to connect so the bait was re-positioned.  I took the opportunity of casting one of my rods to the other side of the tree (with James's consent) and we awaited developments.
After only a few more minutes James's float was on the move again, this time submerging a few times before he lent into the fish...once again to be met with nothing.  The air turned blue for a few seconds as James expressed his displeasure and frustration.  As I chuckled and looked back to my float, now becoming tricky to see in the gloom, it twitched, cocked and moved sideways a foot.  I grabbed the rod and started to wind down to the fish but the float dropped flat on the surface.  Damn, they are being finicky tonight.  After a leaving it for a few moments I reeled in and put on a small section of smelt, figuring the zander were small but I'd rather catch something than nothing.

A few minutes more had elapsed when my float was on the move again, this time submerging fully and I took the opportunity of winding down to the fish (circle hooks so no striking) and I was met with decent resistance.  Great, this was no schoolie,  I could tell that straight away but how big was it?  That I couldn't tell.  No leviathan but certainly a fish I would love to bank.
After a dogged scuffle a decent zander was resting in the folds of the landing net, James doing the honours.  Fantastic.

I left James with the landing net, ensuring that the fish was recovering satisfactorily as I prepared the camera equipment.  Seconds later James shouted "my floats away!".  I ran to take the net from him so he could attend to his rod, float now completely submerged.  He grabbed his rod and struck but as he did so the float resurfaced, the fish gone.   "Argh!  No! Not again" he cried.  I felt for him.  As anglers I'm sure we have all been in this position.  Where seemingly nothing you do will connect you with your quarry.
With that the light faded and my zander was filmed and safely returned.  We fished on into darkness and even tried another perfect looking snag but to no avail.  Nothing further was forthcoming.

With this we decided enough was enough and made our way back to the cars and home, with another section now on the radar and with no sign of furry fish eaters.  That can only bode well.

Tight lines.

Canal Zander Fishing & Update...Banking & Blanking - 26/5/19 (Video 114)

After a rather busy period, both at work and home, with limited fishing time, the last couple of weeks have seen things calm down and enable me to return to the bank and have time to edit the footage I had shot.
Apologies for the protracted period since the last video.
I hope you enjoy this catch-up with highs and lows, plenty of zander and, unfortunately, some friendly otters too.
The video is available to watch by clicking the link below.