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.
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 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.