Saturday was bright, sunny and fairly mild for February, my original plan was a spot of Piking at Ryton but the bright light and lack of shelter could put the Pike off feeding and that put me off so rather than sit all day for a blank I opted for a session on the canal. The spot I was fishing had full sun on the south facing towpath but the tree's along the far bank cast a lovely dark shadow over the swims I'd chosen to fish for Zander. The fine weather had brought out the boat owners who chugged up and down all day but there weren't as many as in the summer so it was bearable and after the first cast things were looking good, I had a take within minutes of the bait settling but when I failed to connect I though I was in for a repeat of last week.
I had a few dropped takes before the hook point found it's target on a slow gentle run, I struck half expecting to feel the bait being dropped but felt a very satisfying resistance and as soon as the fish hit the surface and gave a headshake I could see it was a very good Zed. It made several attempts to bury itself in the reeds but I managed to steer it away and when it was in clear water in front of me I reached for the landing net at which point everything went slack, at first I thought the Zed had thrown the hook but as I looked up at a now straight rod all I could do was watch in disbelief as line spilled through the rings and coiled on the floor in front of me, the line had parted somewhere between me and the fish. I was a tad pissed off but felt worse about letting a good sized Zander swim around with a trace still in it's mouth, being barbless it should fall out.
I checked the line for rough spots and it was a clean break, so I threaded the line back through the rings ready to have another go and that's when I noticed the tip ring was minus it's lining, the probable cause of the line break and the lost fish?
I gave the broken ring a polish with a hook sharpener and checked to see if line would break before I carried on fishing. The rod with the damaged ring was cast out to the quieter far margin and the other in front of the reeds, typically the far margin rod received the next bit of attention. After another gentle take I lifted into a headshake then gingerly steered the fish towards the net and soon had a small Zed of 1lb 11oz on the bank.
Although a few ounces bigger than the fish I had last week I kept thinking about the one I'd hooked and lost earlier, that would have put some proper percentage on the board.
I carried on between boats and continued to receive dropped takes throughout the afternoon, I eventually connected with another Zed which instantly felt better than the previous fish as it tried to reach sanctuary in the reed bed, I steered it clear and and after a lot of head thrashing it slid into the waiting net.
|Still looking a tad pissed off!|
A lovely pose from a 2lb 9oz (12%) Zander.