Sunday 4th October, 07:00 - 09:00. The Avon at Stratford.
The inbuilt angling alarm clock in my head woke me for the third time at six a.m. I was on the bank just before sunrise and had to use my head torch to put the rods together, both of which I'd made up last night and just needed a lead, hook and bait adding.
By the time I was ready to cast out I didn't need my torch anymore and Warwickshire was looking damn fine in the golden morning light.
The photo doesn't really do it justice.
I had my first bite within twenty minutes. It was the most positive bite I've had from a Zander so far - the tip properly lunging over. Learning from last Fridays session I bowed the rod top slightly to allow the fish five seconds slack then struck. A lip hooked Zander of 4lbs 6ozs.
I think this one's OK don't you?
After another twenty minutes I'd had nothing more so moved down one peg. After about twenty minutes the tip started bouncing again. This time when I struck I felt a split second of resistance then slack. Inspection of the terminal gear revealed the fish had opened out the snap swivel on the end of my trace onto which my hook was attached. It was a semi barbless. Not wanting a repeat of this I replaced the snap swivel with small split ring (?) [ like you get on a keyring] and put on a new hook.
I connected with one further bite which was a Zander weighing about 2lbs.
What a great way to start a day. I'd connected with two thirds of the bites so that's an improvement too.
I'm cutting my teeth on this type of fishing here but still need a 5lb+ Zander for the competition. Perhaps a return to Coombe is needed?