I headed to my left up the canal towpath this time but soon turned back around when a couple of boats decided to moor up causing too much disturbance and noise for my liking. The beauty of lure fishing is great mobility of course, so I just headed back the other way.
Down by some reed beds again and after several casts around there was nothing doing. I headed further along trying all the little gaps in between the reeds. Eventually I decided time was up but had to have one last go back where I started at the head of the reeds, where I caught last weeks zed from. Second cast and literally my last cast of the evening over the hot spot and another zander grabbed the lure hard and proceeded to go mental thrashing about and headshaking wildly. Luckily the stinger I had put on since losing the big pike at the weekend did the business and another zed was in the net, upping my lure caught PB to 4lb 10oz
After successfully removing the stinger from the back of its mouth cavity, proving the fish really wanted that lure, then weighing it and taking some mat shots, I was just letting it recover in the net when a couple walking their dog came by. I soon had the chap on photography duties to take a trophy shot of me holding the fish, but looking at the photo I should have asked his wife to take it !
To be fair the light levels were not good and with just the phone camera again I had to hope for the best. Unfortunately it doesn't take brilliant shots in low light, (that can't explain my daft expression though - Doh!)
My biggest zander from this stretch of canal prior to last week was 3lb 5oz and the average on the stretch was approx 2lb 4oz all caught on coarse deadbaits. The lure caught average is 4lb 2oz so far and OK, I know the numbers of separate units are less, but the bait caught averge is only spread over 6 units, whereas the lure caught ave is over just two units to date. You can see what I'm getting at though. The other factor to consider is whether the fish are getting bigger naturally? All the bait caught fish are over the last two years results - which would give enough time for some average size increase in the population anyway I would guess. The only way to really test this theory is to bait fish on the stretch and see what size of fish are caught. If they are still of smaller average size, then lure fishing could be the way forward in sorting out the bigger fish ? It's an interesting theory and I'll explore it further in time I'm sure. It makes me wonder what the maximum size potential is along here ?