Sunday 27 October 2013

Canal Zed's in Warkwickshire.

 Thursday just gone I joined Jeff Hatt on the Coventry canal with the intention of snaring a Zander, in my 21 years of angling I have only ever managed to catch one of 2.6 and only ever been in connection with one other which was a low double on the Thames and spat my bait 10 feet from the net, a very agonising experience but these things happen in fishing.

 This season my predator exploits restarted with a trip to the canal in Jeff's town, armed with a batch of Roach from the tackle shop and also a bag of sprats, the plan was for us both to work likely looking spots using float tactics with scaled down gear due to the tentative nature of Zander, usually I'd fish with small trebles but the single hook approach seemed to be the right approach as the results of the days fishing suggested. We both walked about 4-5 miles in search of the right spots and the first mile or so of canal was very clear and ideal Pike territory but they weren't on the agenda so we carried on until we entered coloured waters, where Jeff knew Zander reside.

 Through our time on the bank we put 2 rods out each and spread them out to try and find the fish then once the fish were located we would move all the rods in to a small area, whilst we waited for the action to begin we sat and nagged for a few hours.....then it happened, but it was Jeff's float on his inside rod that started to come to life, a small jig and then Jeff struck but the fight was almost non-existent and then a small Zander came to the surface, I had seen one and that made me feel a lot more confident that I would get one of my own, a couple of minutes later Jeff's inside rod went again and the fight that ensued was that of a bigger fish and within a couple of minutes a more substantial Zander was nestled in the net.

Mr Hatt's 2lb 10oz Zed.
 They were feeding evidentially but they weren't feeding with the gusto that Jeff ensures me that they do usually, I felt that the water temp' was too warm and the air temp was at around 16c which for late October was very unusual, so based on that I believed the conditions weren't perfect and there was plenty of sunshine, and bright conditions again aren't usually conducive to Zander feeding, overcast days are the best for these very whiley creatures and I'm learning about them all the time, how to fish for them, when to fish for them and what tackle to use. In a spot around 20 yards up I did finally get a touch and the float started to move along one of the boats which we were fishing against, so I left it around 10 seconds whilst it got a better hold of the piece of chopped Roach, I struck and nothing, my chance came and went fairly quickly.

 An hour or two had passed after Jeff's quick fire double and we had moved further up to another spot up the canal, we set out our stall in the same manner and it wasn't long before the Zander maestro had an enquiry, with the float dancing about and then heading in towards a wall on the far side which was probably where it came from, very shortly another Zander around 10oz was banked, albeit a baby, I wouldn't have minded catching it, dusk was starting to approach fairly quickly and I didn't have much time left in order to wet my net, about twenty minutes before we left for the train station Jeff's second rod started to come alive and he struck and a large displacement of water was kicked up, as a much bigger Zander charged off, with Jeff's rod bent double a big Zed headed for the bottom and after 20 seconds the tension vanished from the rod tip as the Zander let go of the bait, the one that got away and time was nearly up, it was a shame to have travelled so far and blank but again that's fishing, but I will surely be back come the early winter before the canal freezes over but gets much colder.

Jeff, I hope your not fishing there!, are you?

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