Thursday, 21 February 2013

Canal Zander — I Want my Money Back!

I've got the Coventry Canal blues. Since the beginning of the year it hasn't been a matter of counting the fish caught but the bites got and I can count them on both hands without taking them out of my pockets. The number is zero. Not one bite since Christmas and that's unusual even for a canal renowned as a hard place at the best of times.

Today was no different. If you'd asked me where to go to catch your first ever zander, that's where I'd have taken you, but you'd have blanked and I'd have been embarrassed because I went out armed with dogs and dead baits at what has always been something of a banker peg for them, but nothing whatsoever happened.

At least a friend turned up to break through the frustrated anticipation. Sean of 'Off the Oche, Down the River' passing by in his car spied 'angler & springers,' put two and two together, and came up with 'must be Jeff.' We had a good long chat about this and that and whatever, but it was good to hear that he'd fared no better than me since Christmas.

I don't think anyone has to be fair. It's been the crappest winter's fishing I can remember and the only fish that seems to have obliged when anyone could actually fish rivers or still waters between cycles of flood and frost, has been the ever obliging chub.

The only thing that's been harder than the fishing is writing up blog posts about what hasn't happened. Good grief, I'm running down my stocks of fishy anecdotes to the bottom of the barrel and fast running out of things to say that haven't been said already.

Thankfully I'm chub fishing Friday evening and the river is looking good for at least the next week so perhaps we'll see a few fish on the bank between now and the end of the season?

I bloody hope so. This Winter has been rubbish and I want my money back!


  1. Hang on in there jeff, else them men in white coats will be escorting you off the cut!..
    Our beloved coventry lucky to have it 2 minutes from our doorstep....yet its like cracking the enigma code on a good day....yet 30 mins away on the grand union you can pull out big bars of silver what ever the weather!!! ...Jeff...this year im gonna crack that coventry canal to keep your torch a blazing!...iv done it on the grand union...time for a change!.....
    Tight lines ivan.

  2. I can't even manage a Chub!I've just liquidised some bread ahead of Saturday and what I hope will not be my seventh blank on the trot.

  3. At least we've got each others' blogs to reassure us that it's not just us. But you're right that it's still hard to stay motivated - I've got a rare family-free weekend coming up, and I'm seriously thinking of giving it a miss :-(

  4. Jeff, I'm always happy to share my failures with others!

    The river is now as low as I can recall it being for a good few months - and it's still dropping. No excuses this weekend, although it's likely to be a cold one. I sniff a Pike or two I think!

  5. I fish the canals around Wolverhampton and experiencing the same thing. The water is clear in most parts and there isn't a fish to be seen.

    I've had a few small roach and perch but other than that, nothing else. Not even a pike.

    A friend of mine who lives in south wales walked for miles down a canal and didn't even see any signs of life in the water, let alone fish.

    From your experience, do fish tend to hold up in certain parts of the canal or just pretty much switch off during winter? Or is it just a bad year all around?

  6. where have they all gone?The fish that is?I spent too many hours , of which I have not enough, blanking on the Lea Nav over the 12 months.In the end I went elsewhere.Disheartening after the 5th blank

  7. It hasn't been difficult in previous years with roach, zander and pike always available no matter how cold just so long as there's a gap in the ice to fish in. It was the best tjme of year for those species but not this winter.

    I've found that the zander are all over the place, the pike are all gathered in certain places and the roach you have to find the shoals. Walking along the canal from the city centre last week the water was gin clear but you don't see any fish at all. They're all in the boat track of course, out of sight. Out on the edge of town the water is coloured by mostly an influx of river water that you'd think might improve things but hasn't.