This week I fished the Coventry Canal again to try and catch some more Zander.
I used the same float set up as last week, except I replaced the hook lengths for wire trace and used size 8 & 10 trebles with either Roach or Herring chunks as bait. I had walked a little further down the canal this time near to where some boats were permanently moored. After a few casts to get the floats working correctly, I found I was experiencing a bit of drift on the right hand rod. I managed to correct this by altering the depth however.
I leapfrogged the rods a couple of times and then missed a take on the left hand rod, I felt the fish on for a second and even saw a greeny yellow flank flash in the water as I took up the slack to set the hook. On feeling me tighten up the fish must have ejected the section of Roach I had on, the hook not finding it's target ! This may be because of the hard mouth that Zander have, the fish seemed like a smallish zander to me ( but you can't be sure).
A dog walker stopped to chat for a while. He told me that the marina was worth a go for Zander and pike, and that there were some big fish down there including a lot of carp. He also said that the nearby pool behind the canal had been taken over by the national trust or the local council and that it would be a syndicate type set up with only 30 members from now on. This is a shame if it's closed off to local anglers as I was planning another go on that pool after the Tench this year.
Later as I was fishing in front of the entrance track to the pool, I used the first piece of herring and cast it out to a nice overhanging bush, the float soon showed signs of a take but when I wound down to strike the fish had already dropped the bait. The next action came later on when I was chatting to a Polish guy who was working a spinner up and down the canal. We had been chatting for a while about local fishing spots when my float started moving off to the left, we both saw it move and I picked up the rod and wound into the fish. The fish was hooked, it stayed deep but came straight across the canal to me with no problems. The Polish guy suggested Zander ? but as it surfaced we both saw a Jack loom out of the murky water. Polish guy quickly picked up the net and I steered the pike in.
At 6lb 3oz it's my biggest Pike (pathetic I know!) caught on methods intended for predators at least. Poor in terms of Pike size maybe, but not bad considering I haven't even started targeting them yet, not since I was a youngster freelining minnows in the weir at Blythe Mill anyway. The fish looked like it had been recently attacked and I initially thought a cormorant could be responsible, but looking at the photo now I wonder if it could be wounds from spawning injuries?
As we were about to photograph the fish a family came along and stopped to watch so the young lad with them could see his first pike. After it was returned we all talked for a bit and the Father revealed that he had only recently started targeting predators too using large lures. On his first session on this canal he caught a 26lb Pike. He showed me the photo on his camera and it looked more like a crocodile across his knee ! After they had all left I tried to carry on fishing but the light was now almost completely gone meaning I could no longer see my floats well enough. I wound in the rods and headed home.