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


  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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

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

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


What A Start!

   Since the river season ended I've taken a 3 week hiatus from fishing, work as usual the excuse! Storm Kathleen however was predicted ...