Crude but effective
I figured there would be enough daylight left to get the rods positioned before it was fully dark, although my first swim choice was a little more challenging than I'd hoped. I wasn't happy with the way the rods were positioned lying on flattened reeds and my new home made bobbins wouldn't hang correctly.
After about 20 mins and no takes, I decided enough was enough so moved back up the canal to the next area I had in mind where the rods could be laid on open tow path. Here there were some reeds and overhanging bushes on the far bank. I leapfrogged the rods along the first section of reeds until I had a rod positioned under a small tree with a roach head on one single hook.
It's hanging off a rod - honest !
It was the rod left in front of the reeds that was the first to see some action. As is usually the case, I was looking at the wrong rod when the take happened and only just looked over in time to see the bobbin gliding up to hit the rod blank. I lifted it quickly and felt a resistance on the end, the fish moving quickly across the canal towards me. Just as I was making a grab for the net handle the fish spat the bait out and was gone, Bugger ! The bobbin method worked very well I was pleased to see.
I quickly replaced the whole roach, this one was on two single hooks and cast it back to the same position. I don't think it was too long before it was away again. This time if felt quite a solid fish and I hoped my Zander PB would finally be beaten. I quickly realised that if this was a Zander it would be a very good one. As it surfaced my heart was in my mouth but as it glided over the net cord realisation struck. I hadn't broken my Zander PB but I'd just thrashed my Pike one.
While the Pike was waiting in the net I noticed the bobbin on the other rod rattling against the blank, I quickly reeled in the first of the nights Zander. I took a quick snap for the blog before it was returned so the Pike could be dealt with.
With the help from some nearby anglers who had heard the commotion I must have made landing the Pike, she was unhooked and weighed. I was a bit nervous about removing the hooks as I've only ever dealt with small jacks before and the end hook was quite far down. One of the lads held her by the gill cover to open her mouth so I could get in with some long forceps to remove my pair of single size 2 hooks. All went well and she was eased into the sling going exactly 11lb on the scales. After weighing she was quickly photographed and returned, swimming off nicely with a strong powerfull flick of her tail (thanks for the help lads).
With the adrenalin still running high, I carried on fishing the same spots to see if there would be any more action. Sure enough no sooner had the rod been cast back out to the reed swim, that it was away again with another small Zedlet of about a pound. The rod positioned under the small tree was quiet for the rest of the session, it was the rod in front of the reeds that produced the bulk of the action adding one final Zander, the best of the bunch at about 2 lb or so.