I'd been itching to get out on the bank all week and while trapped at work sitting in the office seeing the lighter nights slowly but surely creep out later and later as each day passes, I just had to have a quick go on the cut on the way home from work on Friday. The time when I can fit in some proper evening sessions after work is not too far away now, but in the mean time the weekends are my only real chance of any serious lure fishing. Despite this fact, a couple of casts of a lure in the dark is often enough to snare a nocturnal Zander, after all their eyes are designed for hunting in dark or very low light and by nerve cells in their lateral line they can easily sense signals of an injured prey fish passing close by in the dark. You do need to cast in the right spot though to give yourself any chance of success, and prior knowledge of these fish holding spots is the key to this. This knowledge was borne out again when I hooked a lively little zed first cast after just a few turns of the handle. He'd absolutely mullered the soft 4play lure engulfing the whole 13cm of it into his mouth cavity. I had a job getting the main treble and stinger free and had to go in through the gills to free them, which did cause a bit of bleeding. It was only superficial damage though and despite me leaving it in the net for a while to drown, the fish managed to swim off strongly back to its home in front of the dead reed bed !! I just can't seem to get the hang of this no return bye law for zander.
|Another bleeding survivor|
A hour or two on the river on Saturday morning saw me fishing the same lure in the hope of a pike or two. The recent flood water having subsided enough I was on the bank just at first light. The first two swims produced nothing, and when one of the bailiffs came past letting me know I'd just moved from the swim where the big pike live, I thought well at least I'm in the right area.
Next swim along and the lure was slammed at my feet by a nice looking double on the first cast. I saw the fish surge from the bottom towards the lure but as it hit it the hooks didn't take hold and the fish disappeared again, bugger! I tried a few more casts to see if it would strike again but as is usual in my experience the fish was not gonna fall for that so easily again for a little while anyway.
Further downstream there was evidence of the recent storms creating a nice fish holding area for the future if the club and EA decide to leave it be ? I suspect it will be gone by spring though.
I tried a few more swims up to the end of the first meadow before head back on myself on the way back. Back at the start of the stretch is a sluice gate where the water flows into a small pool, "here be monsters" according to the bailiff.
So never one to look a gift horse in the mouth, I had a few last casts with the soft 4 play to finish off the session with the hope of a monster in my thoughts. Shortly the 4play lure was snagged on something solid and unmovable on the bottom and despite my best efforts to retrieve it the trace wire snapped before the hooks straightened ! I think a slight kink that I noticed had formed might have been the weak spot, but of course I never changed it thinking it would be OK for the rest of session !
I tied a new trace on and slipped on a Kopyto size 4 in bright orange with an enticing yellow tail to waggle behind it. After losing the pike earlier and then my favourite lure I felt I deserved a fish. The new lure bounced nicely along the bottom of the river then weaved it's magic as the rod hooped over and a pike pulled back. The fish took some line although I had the clutch set very loose to allow a take to be free to run easily. No monster fish this it was soon in the net saving me from the another blank. I'm looking forward to the fishing the river when it clears a bit more as there seems be a good head of pike here. I'm not sure if there's anything really massive in this stretch of river but one or two high doubles might be on the cards I hope. I have a few more weeks to find out !