Friday, 31 December 2010

Last fish of 2010.

I said 'no chance' earlier this week but I've persevered with fishing the Sowe trying another stretch today and only a few minutes walk from the house. I entered the park alongside the river off the London road and followed the river down to the back of the Jaguar plant and the stretches I fished earlier in the week. I was shocked at the depth of the water available, next to the first footbridge there's a wheelie bin standing upright in the river with the water level only a few inches down from the lid, there's plenty of other rubbish scattered in clumps along the banks where they've been deposited by flood water, I lost count how many times I stood on plastic bottles buried in the bank side overgrowth whilst trying to sneak up on my quarry and if anyone is thinking of opening a used football shop this is the place to collect them, there's hundreds down there.

With the water starting to clear after the thaw I could just make out the bottom in some stretches but at points this just seemed to drop away into holes and I did pop a bait into most of them. I found loads of swims that are going to have to see some serious angling attention next June and I'm looking forward to doing some fish spotting along here during the close season. I did manage to find this good size Chub on my travels which came as a shock as I wasn't expecting one quite this big where I was fishing.

I'm looking forward to my traditional fishing trip tomorrow, first one of the year and see if I can get something on the board.

Happy new year everyone.

Thursday, 30 December 2010

Good old St Nick!

Thursday, Barry picked me up for a session on the Avon at St Nicholas Park,Warwick. It was a very misty start, very mild and the river level was up with plenty of colour. I went armed with both Avon rods, quiver tip and feeder on one and standard tip with a deadbait on the other, Barry was angling for a Pike with two rods. The only rod to see action all day was my feeder rod, I was using maggot and liquidised bread in the feeder and maggot on the hook and had to use a thirty gram feeder to hold station in the strong flow. 

The first fish to hang itself was a Bream with a lovely drop back bite.

This was followed by a series of 'tappy' bites from a couple of Roach.

I then had a gudgeon which I never knew was on quickly followed by a Chublet.

This was all in the first couple of hours but I did have another three Roach before we finished at three. All the deadbait rods remained 'dead' all day.

I've never fished the Avon from the St Nicholas bank before but after today I will be doing it again. I also heard a few tales of big Carp from a few passers by.

There's always a chance - even a small one!

Sharon was back at work today (Wednesday) so I was left to my own devises. I didn't fancy plonking myself in front of the TV watching the same nothing that's been on for the past few weeks, the weather wasn't looking too bad so I prescribed myself a few hours on the bank. I didn't fancy the Avon, I want to give the place a rest ready for the first session of the new year, only a few days away, so I opted for a few hours on the Sowe. After seeing the extra water on the Avon yesterday I thought I'd see if the first corner by the bridge was free of ice and it was. I had both maggots and bread with me and alternated between them casting to various features to try and tempt a bite.

The swims down here look so promising

The only pull of the day came from a cast tight to an overhanging bush, the micro helicopter rig was flicked in as close as I could get it and just out of the main flow with three maggots squeezed onto a size sixteen hook. It had been there for about five minutes when I had a rattle on the tip which caught me by surprise so I waited a bit longer but nothing happened, when I pulled the line in to check I felt a vibration in the rod and I couldn't believe that I'd hooked something that small, a Minnow.

Greedy bugger!

I would love to find a pocket of Roach along this stretch but with all the natural angling pressure that I've witnessed so far I'm not sure that there will be any.

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Not a chance!

After a large dinner on Christmas day I went for a walk to check out another stretch of river near my new home, the river Sowe. I've heard from a reliable sources that this stretch contains Roach, Perch and small Pike as well as plenty of Crayfish so I thought it would be worth a look. I walked the one and a half miles from my house, down the A45 to Sowe Bridge, the stretch runs from this bridge to the back of the Old Mill Hotel at Bagington. It isn't a long a stretch but there are plenty of good looking spots and seeing as I had a half box of maggots left over from Friday, I thought it would be worth giving it a go on Boxing day.

Some nice looking spots, shame about the wildlife!

On arrival the first thing I disturbed was a Cormorant, 'not good' I thought but I proceeded to the first spot, I crept up to this swim but still managed to disturb two Heron's, ok, I'll try the next swim. Things went fine for a couple of spots but no fish, I headed down to a corner swim that I really liked the look of the day before and disturbed two more Cormorant's, now this wasn't looking good at all. I tried the swim anyway, the flow came in at one corner into a deep pool this shelved up to a gravel and sand bar on the far side, there was a clump of dead reeds at the head of the pool, lovely. I trotted through a couple of times then saw something floating down with the flow, I turned only to see an Otter swim into my pool, I kept as still as I could but it caught a glimpse of me and stopped by the old reed bed it then swam right up in front of me before realising I was a human and made a bolt downstream. 

The Otter swim.

Three Cormorant's, two Heron's and an Otter, no chance of catching anything in that stretch, I did try a couple of other spots just in case but I blanked.

After the Boxing day blank I headed down to the Avon today with a fresh batch of maggots. It was good to see an extra six to eight inches of water flowing through complete with chunks of ice and other debris, I concentrated on a couple of swims using a feeder to get the germs to the bottom quickly. Things were slow and bites didn't start till late in the afternoon, when they did start I kept missing and loosing fish but did eventually bank a nice Chub at around four thirty just as it got dark.

It didn't seem that dark.
With the orange glow from the estate behind it didn't seem to be as dark as it was, might have to look into this one.

Friday, 24 December 2010

Trotting germs!

Down the Avon again, this time with half a pint of germs to have a go at trotting through some of the swims I found last weekend. The water level has dropped again, a good few inches down from when I was last here and I'm not sure if this was putting the Chub off, It's probably just the cold, any maggot's that had fallen out of the box into my bait bag were rigid within a few minutes. 
I eventually found a couple of small Chublets but after the couple of trots through it took to catch them, all went quiet in that swim. 

Nicely hooked

I continued around the meadow trying a few other spots but I had no more takes, I might have to wait till it warms up a tad.

Have a good Christmas everyone.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

An old friend - Part 1

My favourite float rod was bought whilst at University in Liverpool, it was found on a stall at Kensington Market on Prescot Road, I used to have a poke around this stall every weekend looking for a bargain, it was mostly second hand coarse fishing gear but at one end of the stall there was a box of rod blanks, they were mostly the old 'Fibatube' blanks as thick as a broom stick, one day whilst digging around in the box I found a plastic bag containing a three piece carbon float rod blank, I think I only paid twelve quid for it at the time, being a student with no money and new to course fishing, the thought of having a twelve foot carbon rod to target the local parks with was great.
Before building this rod I was using an old ten foot float rod that I used to use for mullet back home, I think it originally came from Woolworth's, this was teamed up with a centre pin reel that I'd bought from the same market stall only a few months before for eight quid (Another bargain), this set up was used to target Newsham, Sefton and Princes park lakes around Liverpool (Now you know why I have no fear fishing the canal in Cov city centre) the quarry was mostly Tench, Rudd and Roach with the odd Carp thrown in.

The old rings
I furnished the new blank with a full duplon handle and sliding winch fittings, I couldn't afford cork at the time and the duplon was a quick fix, chrome plated stand off float rings were the easiest to get hold of and I made sure the butt and tip rings were lined, they were whipped on in black and when finished it looked the business and at a fraction of the cost of a similar rod off the shelf. It saw plenty of action around Liverpool with loads of hard fighting Tench with a few Carp testing the blank, after a move to Birmingham, Crucians and Bream were targeted at Kingshurst lake (That was in 1993, I wonder how big the Crucians are now?) as well as Chub from the river Blythe at Coleshill and then the Avon at Cov before my obsession with the Carp at Ryton shelved that style of fishing.

Changing my style of fishing and having Carp and Avon rods with plenty of backbone meant that my old friend has seen little use over the past few years, I started to refurbish the rod a couple of seasons back replacing the full duplon handle with a split version similar to a Carp rod, not happy with the look I changed it again last year to a full cork with a Fuji reel seat, much nicer. 

The old Trudex should see lots of action soon

At the time I couldn't decide on how to ring the rod so shelved the whole thing as an ongoing project till something suitable could be found. I've settled for a set of Fuji float rings and even though they are only taped into place they look good.

Monday, 20 December 2010

Chubbi'n eck - it's cold!

It's not the right time of year to buy a ticket for a stretch of river and with the current weather we're having it's not really the best time to be on the bank fishing that stretch of river. I was Chubbing again on Sunday but this time on a stretch of the Avon I've been wanting to fish for ages, I spoke to someone on the bank last week about the fishing in this area and casually asked about the opposite bank and who ran the section, he gave me a contact name for someone who could help me out and within 48 hours I had the ticket for that bank.

After a short fifteen minute walk from the house I arrived at the river, there was a good couple of inches of virgin snow on the bank and the water was still liquid although there was some ice in the slack water on a few of the bends. The first pool looked too good not to have a go and it only took a couple of chucks with a lump of flake to get a Chub interested in paying a visit to my landing net.

Maybe I should wear white in all the snow!

This new bank I was fishing gave me a much better angle on some of the swims  I normally fish and it's much more comfortable not having to negotiate the barbed wire fences that run along the opposite bank. Some stretches I'd not seen before because of the dense reed beds that usually block my view, they looked good and I was getting plenty of knocks and rattles from something so I'm going to have to try trotting germs and worms through some of these swims to see if these bites and knocks were Roach or Dace.

Talking of trotting, I'm resurrecting an old friend for next year, my favourite float rod, but this is another story.

I was a bit disappointed when I got to a swim at the end of one of the meadows, I'd caught a Chub there, must be nine years ago now, it weighed 5lb 3ozs, sadly, the tree it lived under was long gone along with all it's friends and this section now looks completely different, however, there were a few knocks from something so might be worth a trot.
On my way back, I found another one of those swims that looked too good not to have a go, I did and caught another two small Chublets that were in absolutely mint condition.

Looking forward to getting down there again, I finish work on Tuesday for a two week break, now where did I put that bivvy when we moved?

Monday, 13 December 2010


I had my parents down from Anglesey for the weekend so couldn't get on the bank till Sunday afternoon.
Everywhere is still iced over so I popped down the Avon again, despite my efforts I only managed the one Chub of 3lb 10ozs but this got me thinking about next years challenge and the quickest way of working out a percentage. Now, I wasn't top of the class at maths but got the grasp of enough to get me an 'O' level and this is how I'm working it out.

Fish Record weight: (Chub) 9lb 5ozs
Record weight in ounces: 149ozs
Divide this by 100 gives you 1% of the record weight = 1.49 ounces

Today's Chub weighed 3lb 10ozs
Weight in ounces: 58ozs
Divide this by 1.49 (1% of Chub record weight)

This Chub would be 38.9% of the record weight.

I tried this formula out with a few other species on our list and it seems to work fine so I made a version in Excel ready for the new year.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Birthday Bonanza

Is there a collective noun for a gathering of Bloggers?

I woke up fairly fresh after last nights 'drinking and shouting' as Sharon put it, It was good to catch up on angling exploits and meet a few faces behind the blogs, I even put my name down for next years challenge but how I'm going to get a chance to do any fishing after the baby arrives, I don't know.

After a nice relaxed breakfast I headed off down the Avon for a couple of hours Chubbing. Travelling light, rod, net, loaf of bread and a small rucksack I headed off across the fields towards Bubbenhall, the spots I like to fish are a bit of a trek but I think it's worth the effort. It was nice to feel the warmth of the Sun after all the freezing weather we'd had and I was hoping that this break in the weather might stir the fish, however, I was concerned that the bit of rain we had on Saturday might have washed the salt off the roads and into the rivers putting the fish off feeding.

I tried a few spots without any luck but kept on the move till I eventually found the fish.

After catching a Chub of around two to three pounds I tried my luck and cast out to the same spot again to see if there were any other fish still in the area and was quickly rewarded with a second, slightly smaller fish.

I tried another cast to the same spot and couldn't believe my luck, within seconds of the flake touching bottom a third Chub picked up the bait, this fish felt much better and stayed deep trying to get into any snag it could find but it soon found it's way into my landing net, a nice fish of around three and a half maybe touching four pounds.

There was a lull of around half an hour and I thought I'd pushed things too far and started to gather my stuff ready for a move to another swim, I changed my mind when out of the corner of my eye I saw the rod tip lurch forward as a fourth fish took the flake.

Normally, I would have moved from this spot after the first fish but they just kept coming, "One more cast" I thought and I was soon rewarded with the fifth Chub of the day.

I lost a fish after this one and that finally switched the fish off,  instead of moving to another spot I decided to pack up and head for home, I'd had a good birthday session with five Chub on the bank all from the same swim.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Waiting for paint to dry.

An early start on Sunday saw the second coat of paint start to dry on the hallway walls, I was now free to do a short session down the canal. I headed to one of my favourite stretches where you don't have to move because of the depth, the fish tend to move in and out of this hole. All I wanted to do today was catch a fish as I hadn't set foot on the bank since the beginning of October. The usual dead baits went out, one on the near bank as tight to a feature as I could get, the second on the far shelf. After the second boat had passed through I had the first take on the far shelf bait and it wasn't long till I had a Zed on the bank.

Not big but at least I wasn't blanking.

And it beats watching paint dry!

I moved a few metres to the other side of the feature on my bank and tried a bait this side, it's a bit shallower but after getting the zed on the shelf earlier maybe that's where they were hunting. There were still boat going through and there was a constant flow as water was released from the gates further upstream, it was during this flow that I spotted an unusual twitch to one of the bobbins, I was a bit too quick and picked the rod up and struck to feel a very good pull, a head broke the surface and shook violently and I saw my bait come flying out of it's mouth, it looked a good fish.
After an hour, I moved back to my original swim and tried baits into the same spots again and it wasn't too long before I had another take but again the hook pulled free.
I'm not sure If I was giving the fish enough time to take the bait deeper into their mouths hence the hook pulls, I'll have to be a bit more patient on the next trip.

Sunday, 31 October 2010

A new home for the gear!

The move to the new house went smoothly and at last the broadband has been re-connected. All the fishing gear, and I can't believe how much there was, is now in it's new room at the top of the house but it's yet to be sorted through.

Organised fishing chaos!
The attic space was claimed as my den just after we viewed the house and there's plenty of room for all the gear to be stored, I'm looking forward to slapping a bit of olive green paint on the wall's and getting the rod rack up and organised. The bait is the only thing that will have to be stored elsewhere, which is something that Sharon has banned from her new kitchen, the boilie making, so I'm looking for a suitable garden shed to convert into a bait shack!
I have wanted to venture onto the bank over the past couple of weeks but I've either had walls to paint, paper to hang or furniture to build and there's still loads to do. It's the second bout of man flu in as many weeks keeps me from venturing out today.

Friday, 1 October 2010

A Couple of Quick Ones!

Last week was pretty quiet and I only ventured onto the bank a couple of times for some quick short sessions.
The first was last Friday evening for a few hours on the canal near the Blue Lias, bites were scarce until the lights switched off and then I only had the one take. It didn't half pull back and  when I switched on the headlamp I was most impressed to see a Zed slide over the cord and into the net.

The next session was near Tusses on Saturday afternoon/evening, I fished into darkness again but  the only fish of the session came on the second cast having missed a take on the first cast only a few seconds before. It was a perfect evening, still, calm, with a big bright moon lighting everything up, it was very comfortable to fish, the only thing lacking was a few more bites.

Things might be a bit quiet with this blog over the next few weeks as I've just got the keys for the new house and I have a new rod room/tackle den to decorate and move into.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

In The Scissors.

Saturday and Sunday of last weekend was spent on the Coventry canal between Hawksbury and Bedworth. On the Saturday afternoon, I'd walked up to the first bridge at Bedworth, having a good look for Zandery looking spots on my way there before fishing my way back, there's loads of good spots along this stretch and lucky for me the first spot brought a bite on the first cast but it took a second cast to hook the fish.

I've had the same problem that Lee Fletcher's (This Angling Life) been having with bobbins not hanging correctly when resting on the uneven bankside vegetation so brought one extra item of hardware on this trip, a bank stick with twin glow in the dark rod rest heads on a short buzzbar.It came in useful for keeping the line out of the near bank greenery and it allowed me the choice of where to place the bobbins depending on how thick the vegetation was. The two choices being either in front of the rod rest or between the rest and reel.

The second fish of the session came from a spot near a large overhanging willow tree, the dark shadow cast by the tree looked really good for a take but it was a cast away from the tree that found the fish, another smallish Zed of around a couple of pounds.

As the evening grew darker I noticed some surface movement just down from the spot I was fishing and kept one eye on things, there was something definitely being chased. I made a move a bit closer and put both baits in the area. Half an hour passed before I got a good positive lift on the bobbin and struck but there was nothing there, I quickly recast to the same area but nothing else developed.

On Sunday afternoon I started the session at the Navigation Bridge in Bedworth heading back to Coventry. Along this stretch, just where the gardens that back onto the canal finish, there's a very dark enclosed section with tall overhanging tree's and high banks on both sides, the first fish of the day came from here but I only noticed the slightest of movement on the bobbin, it dropped back about half an inch and then didn't move until I had to reel in for a passing boat, as soon as I lifted the rod and tightened up I felt the distinctive head shake vibrate up the line letting me know a fish was on.

I continued along this stretch until I ended up where I'd started on Saturday, I tried the same swim that proved lucky for my first cast on Saturday and would you believe it, the fish was still there.

One thing I did notice about all the fish caught at the weekend, they were all hooked either in the top jaw or right in the scissors, I'm liking the single hook traces!

Saturday, 18 September 2010

An Urban Zedventure - Part 2

Filling in the gaps. Friday's evening session was more of an exploration of a stretch I'd not fished yet, I'd fished down the canal as far as Stoney Stanton Road, the bridge nearest the city, but no closer to the canal basin than this. I started this session where the towpath starts just up from the canal basin and was greeted by a few comments from a group of pot smoking  NED's, I immediately felt uncomfortable about fishing this first stretch even though there were a few large overhanging bushes that screamed Zander within the first hundred yards, I continued round the first bend before putting a couple of baits next to some features on the far wall. Nothing developed along this first stretch so I moved up passed the Yuppie flats, today's buy to rent brigade choose their tenant's well, I was bombed by something large being thrown from one of the flats into the canal and that destroyed any chance of catching anything along this bit so continued towards Cashes Lane bridge and tried another dark overhanging bush, I wasn't going to stop but it was one of those 'to good not to try' spots.

A small group of NED's walked passed and had a good look at my gear as they did, then a few minutes later they came back and had another look, 'that's enough' I thought and brought in the baits and carried on up the canal.
The long bend before Foleshill Road was full of topping fish and I'm sure it would attract a predator or two, but the other side of the bridge was much darker and enclosed and felt more Zandery and I tried my baits in a couple of spots and had a slow lift on one of the bobbins which resulted in a fish of the plastic bag variety being banked.

The Rat's were out, I've not seen any along the other parts I've fished but what those stretches lacked in rodents this stretch more than made up for, they were everywhere.
Just the other side of the Stoney Stanton Road bridge I fished another overhanging bush that looked good, I first fished it last year during daylight and was hoping things would be different this time as it was nearly dark. When I say dark, the amount of ambient lighting from street and factory security lighting makes the fishing along this section fairly comfortable as you can see a fair bit without the use of a torch or headlamp. 

I still haven't caught any Zander closer to the city than the A444 bridge near the Gallagher Retail Park and was thinking that maybe the Zander don't come down the canal this far because of all of this night time light, anyone have any thoughts on this one?

I made it to the pick up point on Swan Lane and said to Sharon that I didn't think I'd be fishing that stretch again.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Dancing lessons - part 2

Finding some isotopes bright enough proved a little harder than I thought, I had a couple of colours spare that came with my Solar alarms but they proved to be a bit to small and dim to see clearly, I've settled on the ones I usually use on the tips of my Avon's, their by Drennan are are very bright.

The bobbin's clipped onto the line are working well during daylight and are definitely the best form of indication I've tried for Zed's, just need to fish a night session now to really test them out.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

In the reeds.

The stretch of canal near Stockton was the venue for my Sunday afternoon/evening's session, I walked to a section that saw a few fish on the bank for me when the ground was solid and covered in a light coating of the white stuff at the beginning of the year. The reeds are fully grown now so some of the gaps that were there last winter weren'tfishable but one particular slot looked too good not to try and a couple of baits went in front of the reeds on each side of my swim. This section seems to be quite deep compared to other sections of the same canal so could explain why the zed's were here during the colder months. 
It didn't take long to get the first bite, the bobbin pulling up smoothly before I bumped the hook home. The way the fish pulled I thought I'd hooked a Pike but as soon as it hit the top and started to head shake I knew exactly what it was and after seeing it's size I started to smile, I had a family of onlookers who were just passing and they stopped to watch as I put the fish on the scales, 5lb 10ozs, a lovely start.

I put one of the onlookers to good use and got them to photograph me with my prize.

I was trying single hooks again today and was confident enough to use them on both rods but I think that's the reason why I missed the next three takes, I saw one of the fish, it was a small Zander and I don't think they were taking the half roach fully into their mouths for the single point to catch, I could have used a smaller slice of Roach and caught them but I'm greedy, big bait, big fish!

A fish with a mouth big enough to engulf the bait and hook itself did eventually show up and was about three to four pounds, you can just see a scar down it's side in the picture above but it didn't look like a pike scar, could it have been a Cormorant?

Both fish were hooked cleanly in the top Jaw and hooks were easily removed.

Sunday, 12 September 2010

An Urban Zedventure - Part 1

Friday's short evening session was on the canal in Coventry along a stretch I fished a lot last year and boy does it look different, the last time I was down here the factory on the opposite bank was still standing, even though it was in the process of being demolished it still cast a dark shadow over this stretch of water, it's now one big open site and makes this section of canal look completely different. I began the session a bit further up under some tall tree's, I caught a few smaller fish here last year so I was curious to see if they were still in the area.

I gave the spot half an hour but the resident tackle monster grabbed and ate a couple of traces so the snags the zed's used hide amongst are still there. It was time for a move and I headed back towards the city to try a few overhanging bushes I'd seen on my way up the canal and after trying a couple of spots without any takes I arrived at one swim that provided me with a few runs last year but no fish so I had to give it a go.
I positioned two baits either side of the large bush then began to watch the bobbins, after a while the left rods bobbin dropped to the water then slowly rose up to the rod, I hit it and had the first Zed of the day shaking it's head in a bid for freedom. I was using a single size two hook on this rod, another experiment to see if the unhooking would be easier as I'm finding deep hooked Zander very difficult to work on when removing trebles, the single came out without any problems and after a quick pic it was back in with it's mates.

A fresh bait was recast to the same spot and I brought in the second rod to check the bait and reposition, I glanced down to keep an eye on the first rod and noticed that the bobbin was in the water with quite a bit of slack line, I'd only just put this rod out so put it down to the line settling and proceeded to cast out the second bait, it's a good job I was keeping one eye on this rod as the bobbin rose up rapidly and slapped against the blank forcing the baitrunner to give a little line but by the time I'd reacted, got to the rod and struck the fish had dropped the bait and was long gone.
Both rods were repositioned and I settled back into the rhythm of keeping one eye on the bobbins and the other watching for NED's, a boat passed which forced another bait reposition but I never think this is a bad thing as I think Zander like it when the waters been stirred up and it was only moments after the boat had passed through that I had another take, the bobbin again dropped to the water before being pulled up, no messing this time, I was on it and struck into what felt like a much better fish, it put a good bend in the Avon and went all over the place before sliding into the net.
The single hook had done a great job sticking into the top jaw so no tool kit for this one, I was interested to see how big it was but was rather disappointed when it only pulled the scales round to three and a half pound, the fish posed nicely for the camera before being returned.

It seemed to be getting dark a bit earlier than usual because of all the cloud but the orange glow off the city lights meant I could try another cast or two but I'd had all the fish for that session and when the drizzle started I headed home.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Dancing lessons - part 1

I've taken a leaf from Barry's book with regards to bite indication for Zander. Anyone who's met Barry will know that he uses the old fairy washing up bottle tops as bite indicators for most of his fishing and having seen them at work, they do a dam fine job. 
I tried all manner of indication last year including alarms with and without bobbins, bobbins on their own, quiver tips and just a slack line, I've yet to find something I'm comfortable with. Slack lines offer no resistance to a taking Zander so is probably the best until it gets dark and I've had loads of dropped takes when using alarms or just bobbins on their own.
Having seen Barry's bobbins at work I've just started to use the nearest alternative to a bottle top that I could find in my boxes of fishy bits and bobs.

I've used a couple of old Solar line clips, the black plastic type and some old bobbin bodies and that's it. The clips have been screwed up tight and once clipped onto the line they won't fall off, they can still be removed for casting although it is possible to cast with them attached. The bobbin bodies are a very light weight plastic so offer very little in the way of resistance.

The next stage is to make them visible at night with some isotopes.

Dancing to the rhythm of the Zander!

After a disaster of an afternoon/evening session at Long Itchington on Saturday where I'd spent a fishless few hours wandering the canal from Bascote bridge to the Two Boats pub, I decided to try for the toothy little critters a bit closer to home along the stretch near Tusses. There were a fair few boats moored up along the stretch I fancied but I carried on beyond these before I cast the first baits. Floats were dispensed with as casting very close to the brambles and features on the far bank can become a tad costly after a few over casts, I just used a single treble on a trace and a sliding lead on the main line to cut down on friction when a fish takes and I borrowed an idea from Barry with the bite indication but I'll talk more about this again as I'm still experimenting.
The plan was to walk the stetch casting to every fishy looking hole and feature and giving the baits a good fifteen minutes, or as long as I got between boats, before moving along the bank a few yards. After the second move I had the first fish pull the line up tight and after a short thrash around it was netted, processed and released.

It took a good few hours to connect with the next fish, the bobbin lifted a couple of times before before the line drew it up tight to the rod and I struck into a good heavy weight, at first I thought I was stuck fast in the tree roots the way the Avon was hooped round but then I felt the head shakes from a good fish. Netting was a bit tricky because of the overgrowth along my bank but it was in on the second attempt and a nice fish of around four pounds lay in the mesh.

The light levels started to drop so I headed back and tried a couple of zeddy looking spots I'd tried earlier to see if the change of light might stir some feeding activity, at one spot I cast the first rod hard up against a damson bush, set the rod down and attached the bobbin, I only turned away for a couple of seconds to get a fresh bait for the second rod and the bobbin had already pulled up tight to the blank, whatever was there had dropped the bait further into the snags beneath the bush and I had to pull for a break.
After a brief piscatorial chat with one of the boat owners I tried another spot beneath an overhanging tree, it looked too good to just walk past and not try. Within a few minutes the bobbin was dancing to the rhythm of a Zander take and a few moments later I had the final fish of the day on the bank.

A very enjoyable session.

Monday, 6 September 2010

Titchy Itchy Zed's.

I fancied having a go for a Zander or two this weekend and headed off to Long Itchington on Friday afternoon for a session on the canal near the Blue Lias. I fished this spot at the beginning of the year and had a few fish from the deeper water in front of the lock gates but with the boat activity being a  lot heavier than in the winter and I struggled to keep the bait still for more than ten minutes with all the coming and going of the barges through the locks. It was during a slightly longer lull in the activity and after the water flow had settled that I had the first nibble on the float, it bobbed a few times before moving off at which point I struck and felt a satisfying head shake on the end which was soon followed by my first Zed of the day in the bottom of the net.

The second Zander, well more of a Zedlette actually, came on half a Sandeel. I had a couple of frozen packs of Sandeel left over after the Devon trip and thought I'd give them a go as a small Zander bait and they do exactly as I thought, they catch small Zander.

This is a small Zander!

I was hoping that things would pick up as it got darker but everything remained quiet and I remained bite less.