Thursday, 22 October 2009

Canal Zander - Lucioperca Problematica - Operation Zed! Night 2

I noticed in the afternoon that the starlights on the floats from the night before were still glowing enough to enable another zander trip into the night, so I got my gear together and was up the cut by three. My plan was to fish a float rod for roach and put out a sleeper rod for the zeds, then move back to the basin just up from home and fish by the moored boats and into the night for zander.

It wasn't working out at all well after an hour with no bites whatsoever, but last cast before a planned move I finally had a perch. Not a blank then! The move proved no better and despite another hour or so spent watching the floats expectantly neither moved an inch until right at the last, another perch the spit of the first appeared. Useless. I don't remember the canal being so very quiet since the end of last winter.

When I arrived at the basin I was in a debate with myself as to the point of carrying on, the sheer lack of activity so far very nearly convincing me that zander fishing would be an utter waste of my time, but I willed myself to continue as planned and set up the second zander rod. I fished the float rod for the remainder of the light and one deadbait out against a moored boat. Within just a few minutes of the float settling it was off down the hull. I waited five seconds for the fish to get the hook in and then struck into solid resistance. A short fight resulted in a zander worth weighing, my having little idea of zander weights and needing a yardstick to go by. Despite my thinking it would turn four pounds, it went just three pounds eight ounces! Like I said in the previous post, my estimation of predators is always askew. Nice fish though and actually, my personal best!

Personal best zander! Can't be too hard to beat surely?

I packed away the float rod, cast the first and then second zander rod, and before I had time to settle the first rod was off on its travels again. I struck into a lesser fish, just a tiddler of a pound and a half. I unhooked it and dropped it back, turned around and the second rod's float was nowhere to be seen. Huh! I struck blind and hit into something good, but that promptly got off the hook. All a bit frantic so far! I'd hardly had time to think...

Second zed...

The boat against which I had been fishing had been empty but then the owner turned up and turned on his engine to charge his batteries which killed sport completely. I moved along to the next boats down and cast against them, well away from the vibrations. Good decision, a float started off on the now familiar toodle along the hull, but the strike met with nothing. A recast to the same spot got a repeat performance. Hmmm...

This carried on for next hour or so, run after run and no hook ups. After such a good start with two fish in a row I was now at a lost to explain this turn of events, I'd another six more failed hookups before I finally struck into another fish! This one felt really heavy but it shook the hook near the net. Drat!

What the £^@$...!

I made all kinds of bait hooking adjustments, I was still using the bait that had had the first and the second fish and it was just a mangled mush, but it still got bites. What I think was happening was this - the hook was skating off the very tough lining of the zanders mouth and not finding a hold. I don't think they are nearly as finicky as they are made out to be, none had yet dropped a bait once it had picked it up, but just have a difficult mouth for most hooks - it will be circle hooks next time and I'll bet they work as miraculously as they do for bass.

I moved once more and missed another few before finally hooking a fish that was landed, one around the three pound mark.
Jeez, by now I was thoroughly knackered! I hadn't stopped moving, casting, striking, cursing, and playing the few fish of the many I'd had runs from, since arrival.

At nine o'clock the bites off the boats petered out and stopped. Perhaps by then the zeds had moved away from their daytime holts and were exploring the deeper water of the boat track?

I had no more time to find out. I packed up and trudged back home feeling somewhat slightly bemused...

I think a few tactical adjustments are in order!

It's a telephone line, it really is!

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