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.