Thursday, 16 April 2009

Zander Success

Thursday 16th April
This week I headed for the Coventry Canal to fish for Zander, my session starting at about 5:30 pm. After researching all I could on the subject, and creating the right rigs for the task, I was rewarded for my hard work and effort in landing my first Zander at 3lb 7oz.
Funnily enough it was on the same stretch of canal that I'd previously tried a half hearted attempt at fishing for them last winter, using jigged rubber shads lures and spinners but that failed dismally. After this successfull capture I now have a new species to my list and another PB to beat !

Terminal tackle was a simple float set up with a roach head, lip hooked on a size 4 ESP Raptor hook to about 12" of 12lb hooklength laid on bottom on the far shelf.
This was connected by a small swivel to 12lb mainline and a pellet waggler float held in place with float stops and beads. I used a sliding 4 gram olivette as weight.

At the start of the session I tried to catch some live baits on my margin pole, but only managed one solitary perch of about 1/2 lb, a nice fat solid fish he was though which gave me some encouragement at least.

The first Zander rod was cast to the far shelf near a large overhanging tree with a section of roach as bait laid well on the bottom.

Eventually, I had to give up on the livebait fishing so I could concentrate on the task at hand. I packed the pole away & cast out the other Zander rod, set up identically to the first one. After a little period of inactivity I decided that I should start the " leapfrogging " method, whereby you move the rods one over the other casting along the canal back toward the bridge where my Car was parked.

At a snag 20 feet further along I had already cast one rod to the left of a part sunken tangle of branches and went to fetch my other rod, I cast this one in 15 feet further along the canal, near to another bush that overhung the water. While I was settling the float of the second rod, I glanced back to check the other but couldn't see it and after several double takes, my eyes scanning the water, the float was still gone. By this point I had picked up the rod in my hand and was winding down to feel for a fish. I met with a firm resistance and so struck to set the hook. I now started winding the reel and quickly realised I was definatly connected to a fish!

My initial though was a Jack Pike, and I think I saw a flash of greeny yellow under the surface which re-affirmed this to me. With the fish now practically under the rod tip, I eased it to the surface changing my mind for a second as it now looked like a massive Perch. I saw a large spikey dorsal fin and cavernous mouth erupting through the surface layers towards me.

Then the fish turned onto its side showing me its flank and full length, and I now knew I was into my first ever Zander.
Fantastic ! there was a just little hairy moment when the fish tried to bury itself into the steel piling at the canal's edge but I quickly slipped the net under her and she was mine. I even said "Get in" ! out loud, well there was no one about to hear me after all.

After weighing and taking the photo's, she was returned safely to her watery home and I was as pleased as punch to have caught my first Zed by design. I fished on until darkness set in, moving pegs a couple more times leapfrog fashion, but had no more takes - not that I was too bothered, another fantastic session from what's been a great 12 months fishing for me so far. I can't wait to get another Zander under my belt now, hopefully a bigger one. It's not a massive PB target to beat I know, but we will see what events unfold in the coming weeks. As I will soon be onto my Bream and Tench campaign again before venturing back out to the rivers come the middle of June. The year is already flying by quickly !

No comments:

Post a Comment