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.

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