I have all but abandoned the idea that the canal can provide me, or anyone else for that matter, with the twenty one and a bit pounds of zander in the one session that it will take to gain the elusive challenge point for the species if that session is not to be a 48 hour long stay assault ~ a pleasant holiday after carp or barbel on some tranquil pond or babbling brook, perhaps ~ but a self-inflicted torture upon a busy canal, believe me...
Friday, 29 October 2010
Tuesday, 26 October 2010
Lee, author of This Angling Life came over to my manor last Friday evening for a pint at the Greyhound and then walk of a mile to some prime zander territory that I have had earmarked for some time but just haven't got round to fish because of its horrendous daytime boat traffic, very narrow towpath and the fact that it's just too remote for comfortable solo sessions in the pitch black when the fishing there would be at its easiest.
Wednesday, 20 October 2010
I've received two parcels through the post in the last week from two new friends of mine made through the power of blogging. Steve Dedrick (Steve in Colorado) kindly offered to send over a pack of Gamkatsu circle hooks in a pattern that his friend, a fanatical walleye angler, swears by and Pete (coelecanth from Fishing Magic Forum) offered to send out one of his 'bottom bouncers' for me to try.
Tuesday, 19 October 2010
For zander, the wooded stretch of the Oxford Canal outside the Elephant and Castle pub up by Tusses Bridge looks the part all right; in shade for most of the day and lined with boats but I got no bites there last time out and none this time either. I'm starting to rethink what is zander water and what is not as we've been fed the line down the years that zander like the dark more than the light but I actually think that zander like the murk between, the very conditions which give them the slight edge over the prey that they feed upon.
Friday, 15 October 2010
Last week's zander rig experiment on the Coventry and Oxford Canals produced encouraging but unreliable data. I had five pickups resulting in four banked fish and one missed on the strike. That's 80% hook and hold, which is very good but is a figure that cannot be trusted as there's simply not enough data there to draw conclusions from, is there?
Thursday, 14 October 2010
The salmon incident and sea trout capture provided a convenient full stop for the mornings events but it's an inexact division because I carried on fishing for a further hour till we actually broke for lunch. I just could not stop...
Wednesday, 13 October 2010
There are places where a British coarse angler absolutely has to cast a line at least once in a lifetime of fishing. My list is topped by Redmire Pool, even though the carp fishing there is a now a mere shadow of its record breaking heyday. The Royalty on the Hampshire Avon is a must and one day before I die I will walk its hallowed banks. I'd like to do Throop on the Dorset Stour, Startops Reservoir, Kings Weir on the Lea and other rivers stretches, lakes and ponds too numerous to mention.
Sunday, 10 October 2010
I got out this evening for a spot of ruffe fishing. Out of the four fishing challenge participants, all of whom are currently racking their brains, trawling the net, phoning a friend and generally wasting their time in pursuit of them.
Friday, 8 October 2010
Thursday, 7 October 2010
Setting back out again just after devouring a specimen of the very species I was targeting felt at once most satisfying and somehow familiar, as if I had made fundamental contact with the hunter gatherer roots of the very 'sport' I like to indulge myself in. It was odd to make such a repast not some time after close of play, but between times. I was more than half way back toward my antediluvian self by the time I arrived back upon the towpath...
I wasn't about to suffer a further blank when I made my mind up about fishing plans for the coming week, I was going to take a different tack and target species I'd not considered all year long, namely the apex predators, pike and Zander.
Friday, 1 October 2010
After drawing a blank at Stratford, my first blank of the entire year in fact, I would never have expected to follow it up with not just a second fishless session, but then a third too. It's not that I didn't get bites, I did, but for some unfathomable reason I could not hook the fish doing the biting...