Saturday, 10 October 2015

The Zander theme continues!

What's this? Another post within a month of the last one? I'd better steady on a bit, don't want to push myself too hard!

Ok firstly, following on from my last entry, I'll just give a quick run down of my Rutland antics towards the end of last month. The first trip I had on there since the Zandermasters was one of our Facebook socials and it proved to be a tough day fishingwise but very enjoyable with loads of banter and mickey-taking. The actual write up of the day can be found on my good friend Phils blog which is well worth adding to anybodies reading list, .

Myself and boat partner Nate managed a fair few bites but the choppy conditions is what made it hard work and we were forced to find some slightly more sheltered water in order to fish effectively. Trouble is the fish were out in the wild stuff but despite this we still managed a nice mixed bag of around 20 Zander and Perch between us and, as I always say, whether you catch or not, there's no such thing as a bad day afloat!


Talk about greedy!

My next trip to Rutland was a bit of a birthday treat to myself and I was joined by my old mucker and regular fishing partner Phil K. on this occasion. Conditions couldn't have been more different for this session than the last one, bright sunshine and flat calm, I wasn't sure how the fish would react as I'd not fished there in such conditions before.

Out we went straight to our favourite spot in the south arm which was between 50-60ft deep and usually pretty reliable. There really was hardly any wind and when we deployed the drogue in an attempt to keep the boat from spinning around it jus sank straight down! The water was too deep to anchor in so we just sat there dead in the water for a bit.

Never a bad day afloat!

Phil struck first blood with a Zander but bites were hard to come by as we weren't moving much. I fined everything right down and eventually managed a Perch at which point a gentle breeze started up, it wasn't much but it was enough to get a slow drift and we could finally start exploring the area.
We soon started hitting fish, lots of them too! The finer tackle made a real difference with bite indication and we had a few double hookups between us. There seemed to be a gully on the bottom stacked up with fish and our drift was taking us along it perfectly.
The wind gathered strength as the day progressed and our drifts were covering a lot of water. despite having to uprate the tackle to account for the conditions we managed to stay in contact with the fish. We had a dalliance in the north arm for a couple of hours and we did catch but the south arm certainly seemed more prolific so we resolved to spend the rest of the day there.


By the end of the day we had amassed over 50 fish between us and my shoulder was actually aching from so much hauling! Red letter days like that are always welcome and are one of the reasons that's keeps most of us doing what we do.

The obligatory sunset shot......

Tiling the bathroom and other DIY jobs around the house took precedence over the following weekend although I did manage a bit of 'wasping' on the Trent one evening and was pleased to record 28 fish in just 2hours fishing, the practice is paying off!


I decided to leave the lure gear at home for my latest trip as I had been meaning to try a certain canal with deadbaits for ages in a bid to find some bigger Zander. I'd never used deadbaits there before so I was going in completely unsure of what to expect.

I started fishing float paternosters but the tow brought on by the nearby locks was akin to the flow on the Trent so I switched both rods to straight leger. I backleaded to avoid the boats and it seemed to work fine although there was a lot of debris being pushed around on the bottom by the tow and boatwash which meant I had to recast fairly regularly.

A good take early on had me striking into thin air but certainly filled my confidence reserves. As the afternoon became evening the boats died right off and my next bite was soon forthcoming. I struck a very stuttery take and was surprised to land a 2lb+ Perch.


That was followed around 30mins later by it's brother! Maybe I was onto something here and deadbaits could be the way forward with these better canal fish?


Darkness began to close in and I could hear some hefty splashes out in the darkness, sounded like the resident carp were on the move anyway! A very late boat came past which forced me to check the rigs and recast but shortly afterwards my right hand rod was nearly pulled in! After a typically poor fight I soon had a shiny Zander on the bank of 3lb-odd and was most chuffed to have finally got off the mark.


I only had one roach left and was in two minds whether to bother casting back out but I thought another half hour wouldn't hurt so out it went. I was just contemplating packing up when I had a couple of bleeps on my right hander once again. I hovered over the rod and 10seconds later the tip properly buckled around and I was in, These bites were mental!

This one definately felt heavier than the last although once again the battle was pretty one sided. When it came up for netting I could see it was much more thick set and I hurriedly slipped the net under it pleased to get a proper one on my first trip.

Canal PB :-)
At 6.4 it was easily my best canal Zander and it left me cursing myself that I'd not brought more bait to stay on for a bit longer! It was certainly an interesting trip and I have a feeling I will be back down for more of the same very shortly!