Sunday, 13 December 2015

The Enigma Code That is Zander.


 For years Zander have been a species that I just can't seem to catch and when faced with the opportunity I come unstuck spectacularly, over the last few seasons I have threatened to actually go after them, so yesterday evening I ventured out to put an end to a wretched run. I arrived at my chosen venue at a little before dark so I could set up and plumb the depth in the swim I decided to plot in.

New best fishing buddies :)

 The idea was to fish two rods, one on a half ounce lead and the other on the float, hook patterns have been a huge talking point of late and many experiments are going on in the angling world in regards to what is the best for hooking and holding these seemingly difficult species, I haven't had much of an issue myself as I've only caught four Zander in my lifetime, so it's not something I can comment on with any real clout. But that was all about to change.....

Not bad at all, I started to bag up on some of these "elusive" creatures.

 I cast out at around 3:40pm and within seconds the float laid flat on the surface and then buried itself, I hadn't even cast my second rod!, sometimes when you get a quick take like that it can feel like a false start but this certainly wasn't, proceeding's were crazy to say the least, the Zander were on the feed and ravenously too. First blood was a Zed of 3lb 5oz and was very quickly joined by a 3lb Pike, then a slightly larger Zed then came to the net, the fight's weren't great but the bigger fish put up a slightly better scrap though.

Happy that I was catching, another one around 3-4lb.

My new PB of 5lb 6oz.

 For over two hours the sport was non stop and amongst the hoards of bites and runs I managed two new personal bests, both of which fought quite well. I really got it right and maybe that proverbial monkey is well and truly off my back. As time pushed on towards 7pm the runs dropped off and went from a rate of one every 3-5minutes to maybe one every 30-40 minutes, it was clear that the fish either moved or stopped feeding as the action noticeably deteriorated.

 I aimed to leave at 9 and I think I had six takes in as many minutes as the pack moved back through the swim which resulted in two more Zed's. I had finally cracked my "Enigma Code", been a long time coming, can't wait to get back and catch that big girl that I lost at the net.

 This is how it finished up: 

 Runs: 24
 Hook-ups: 13
 Fish Banked: 10 ( 9 Zander, 1 Pike )
 Missed/Dropped runs: 11
 Lost Fish: 3

7 comments:

  1. You and Brian are certainly getting the mental run periods at the moment. I only ever had the one certain run from a zander over two trips to that that fishery and it was a double figure fish! Interesting that you both keep a log of success/ failures too! I used to do that before I hit the right hook for the canal fish which was the Mustad Ultimate bass hook. After that I stopped because I'd cracked 80-90%. No point. You are at least getting successes at around 37% of bites. But I really don't know how you'd improve that score very much confined to a maximum size 4 hook. But on the bright side, every time you miss a run or even lose a fish it is still about and you'll likely catch it in the end because I really don't think they are put off easily when they are on the rampage.

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    1. I came to the same conclusion, when I couldn't hook them I was getting 20+ runs, when I could I only had 11 runs. Pretty sure if you pull the Hook out of their mouths they come back for a second or third go.

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    2. They don't feel anything but the odd feeling of being tethered to something, do they! I suppose it's a minor problem to them. And yes, the frequency of runs drops sharply once you do hook them and if you're hooking at very high percentage rates you tend to exhaust a swim pretty quickly.

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    3. I totally agree, my task is to try and iron out those dropped runs and connect with more, what I might also do is hop between swims to find out whether they do move around or that there are a small shoal per 30ft or something, I'm still trying to work it out and hope to change my capture rate from sub 40% to 80-90%, I have been faffing around with new rigs and patterns, just see whether I can get this landing rate up. But the log of failures more importantly will hopefully indicate whether improvement is being made and how.

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    4. Was thinking about this, if we both fish a couple of swims apart we can see if it's a shoal moving around - would be better with 3 (or more) people.

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  2. Good stuff James, now the monkey is off your back the quest for the double can begin! Later this week?

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    1. Yes mate, let's bank a shit load of these "Watery Vampires".

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