As I mentioned in my last (well over due) blog post I have promised myself more big fish as a new year resolution. Well, I have set myself a few targets to work at that are not going to be easy to achieve, catching a 30lb Pike would be better than an orgy in the playboy mansion with me as the only geezer present but I'm going to need a bit of luck on that one,especially as I did not manage to pick up a single day on the Mecca that is Chew valley,I'm not saying that Chew is the only place to do it as that is far from the truth but it certainly is the best place to try so good luck to all you bastards that got days.
Anyway, a double figure Zander also sits high on my to do list,Whilst a pb Perch would also raise a smile it is the latter that I have been working on during my latest session.Zander have always fascinated me, there's something about them that really gets me going but unfortunately ( some would disagree with me on that one ) we do not have Zeds in Devon so I don't get to fish for them as much as I would like to.However a recent lure fishing outing with the region 12 PAC on the Gloucester canal Ignited my need to lay my hands on a proper Zed.
Also keen for some predator action were my good pal's Neil Zedgar an Danny Price,after agreeing to target the Gloucester canal We planned the session around bait fishing. Zander being top of our wish list but we also wanted to see what the canal offered in terms of Pike so off we set with the van loaded up with all things needed to give it a bloody good go.
Being ultra keen to make the most of our trip we were bank-side by 6 am. after a quick scan around we found a area of water that looked like it was bubbling from all the ringlets on the surface created by a large shoal of fodder fish.On a pretty much featureless canal we knew Zip about, quickly finding the food fish was a gift from the angling gods, we eagerly pubbed out a few small roach dead's into the area and then set about trying to catch some live ones.
Thankfully single maggot on a size 20 produced a decent flow of tiny Roach so we now had options,Myself and Dan each put out a sub float paternoster with a single hooked livey as the baits we had were little blips so there was no need to reach for the trebles on this particular set up.
The baits were placed along the near shelf in 16 ft of murky water,with the rods all set and some bait in the bag we sat awaiting the sun to rise and some pred's to strike.It was soon dawn,the darkness had not produced and the sun rose with power leading the path for a very chilly bright day.Hardly text book predator fishing conditions but with more than a few baits out between us surely something would spring the traps?
The tension broke as Danny,s patted livey was away, we gathered round to watch him playing what looked like a Decent fish,the rod was hooped over a goodun.After a few tense minutes Dan had landed the first predator of the session in the form of a pristine 18lb 12oz croc....A good start we all agreed,minutes later my paternoster got slammed and I was soon guiding a proper Pike of my own over the net.
Two good fish in quick succession set our spirits high,a couple more jacks were banked on the noster before I was alerted to a small stuttery bang on the bobbin of my deadbait rod.It was a bit of a gamble hitting such a minor indication but its a bloody good job I did as I was now attached to a good fish that didn't feel like old Esox.I knew what I was playing and felt very nervous but also very excited, the feeling of her thumping away in the deep water put a big smile on my face, Zander are not the best fighters but on a 1.75tc rod the ordeal was very enjoyable.
At 7lb 14 oz I had caught myself a pb Zander,needless to say I was well chuffed,After returning her I sent out a fresh dead bait and sat back basking in the winter sun hoping more Zander would arrive.A couple more double figure pike made an appearance,Again one each for me and Danny on the paternoster.I love Pike but I really wanted another Zed so I changed the paternoster over to another running ledger rig and made a long cast to the far bank.Dusk was approaching, and as we all know this is prime time for a lump.
The session had been very productive but things were about to get a whole lot better,Neil had a belter of bite and made a clean strike; the bend in the rod confirmed it was a good fish.The culprit held deep and we both half assumed he was into a big pike, given the number of them present in the area on the day.
Wrong!!! Neil had better of the fish an it was tiring,I grabbed the net as she was now plodding under the tip. A gentle lift to catch sight of what was on the end revealed a kipper of a zed,she came up without a fuss an I quickly sniped her with the landing net.I turned to Neil (whose jaw was firmly on the floor) and let out a flurry of expletives before giving him a hug and waking Danny,who was dreaming of all the pike he had hauled that day.
12lb on the button,bearing in mind this was Neil's first ever Zander, to say he had been lucky would be an understatement.To see such a big Zed in the flesh was awesome! I really really want one of my own so lets hope I can borrow a bit of luck from Neil as I know there are many Zed anglers that have been at them for years but still can only dream of landing a double,every dog has its day tho.
Danny also landed his first UK Zed; all 10 oz's of ,and Neil caught another too but again it was a fish that his first could have snorted for its breakfast.A fitting end to a great session,time to do some research and find some more Zander water's.
Til next time