Lure fishing for canal zander has taken up most of my fishing time since Christmas and It's been quite enjoyable, catching plenty of zander and the odd perch. I've even started to dabble with drop shotting finally but I'm not convinced yet. It does work well that's true but not sure it's anymore effective than jigs or lures not in my limited experience of it so far. It's all subjective though and you need to fish how you enjoy doing it and not by what current the trend is.
Not many pike to report this winter and as the days tick by I grow more and more consious of the fact that my winter river pike fishing will soon run out of time. I will of course continue to fish for the zander on quick after work sessions especially as there is enough light left now to fish the witching hour properly(light into dark).
I managed to get on the river today for an hour or two and while the result was a resounding blank it wasn't a complete waste of time. You see after sitting for the first hour with no action. I thought about how I could get my bait to a beter spot. I soon discovered a new technique for those hard to reach spots downstream you can't quite cast to, namely trotting ! Yes nothing new there and no doubt it's a standard tactic for most pike anglers, but this was the first time I've thought about using it myself for pike. I suppose the swim I was fishing lent itself perfectly to technique, indeed it is a very good roach and grayling trotting run.
The slack area on the near margin is mouthwatering for pike but is unreachable by cast alone due to the overhanging trailing branches of the first tree, but trot a sardine down the swirling current to the desired distance then tighten up the line to swing the float and its cargo in towards the margin and straight into the mouth of a waiting pike. Well that was the theory. First attempt and the float glided into position in the slack water. It stayed in position for a while then 'bob bob' stop. "Better check that" I thought, As I wound down the slack line pulling up tight to the rig, the rod hooped round to a heavy weight then the pulse of a large fish kicked back up the line. I had to get it away from the branches quick so tried to bully it out into open water. The fish started to move and was just clear of the branches, I was now ready to fight her in the strong flow of the pool when that sickening shift in pressure from heavy to light suddenly occured as she let go ! Arhh ##@** she hadn't turned the bait yet and the hooks had not stuck. Ahh well at least the theory had worked and a good fish was hooked all be it only briefly, but I think i'll be back before the close.