Monday, 23 February 2009

Canal Zander - Lucioperca Problematica - More Zeds from the canal

Of course, after catching that little zed on a worm, I had to return to the same spot just to see if it was actually a hotspot full of fish. I had some small roach in the freezer that I'd bought a month before for a planned future trip out
after the canal zander that never materialised, and they were pressed into use. I had no suitable floats so I improvised a couple out of plastic wine bottle corks with size 4 long shank aberdeen hooks impaled into the ends, the line threaded through the hook eye, and had no small trebles, so I put two traces together, one with a single large treble, the other with a big bass hook that could be threaded through the bait.

On the way to the spot I came across the tailless bream that I had watched dying a few weeks back, now floating in the margins, long dead and rotting...

I cast the baits toward the spot but found I had to load the sliding rigs with a couple of swan shot to prevent the tow and surface wind from dragging the baits away from position. Once accomplished. I sat back to enjoy a fishless evening, for I didn't really expect much, however, after just a few minutes one of the floats began to dither, and start to wander about, but very slowly. I had no idea if it really was a bite and so struck anyway, into what turned out to be a small zander of just a pound or so. It was hooked squarely by the bass hook and so I saw no further problems.

Another little zed, this time tried for...

After this early success the runs came one after the other, unfortunately I could not hook them. Even a quick run that managed to sink the float met with nothing. This state of affairs continued for some time, and I experimented with timing the strike both early and late, until finally hooking another zander in near darkness, one that unfortunately sprang the hook at the net. It was about the same size as the previous two.

I think the baits were just too big, at 4-5 inches, and the small zander were not even getting the roach fully in. Next time I'm planning on cutting them in half and attaching them to a size 4 circle hook, because after my long experience of hook problems with bass, I know that any fish with an adequate scissor to the mouth will be hooked far more reliably with this pattern than any other. Besides, I don't like trebles very much and will avoid using them whenever I possibly can.

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