Tuesday 27th October, 16:00 – 22:00. Coventry and Oxford Canal
I met up with Jeff at his house at half past three. This was another canal based instalment of my attempt to catch a five pound Zander.
Danny was going to join us later and so was Kevin, Jeff’s mate.
I’d made up a pair of floats according to Jeff’s Guinness widget design from last week as I didn’t fancy using quiver tips again. Mine looked more agricultural than his. I understand this design is now classified as a national secret and intellectually protected to criminal standards.
When I arrived at Jeff’s house I saw something truly shocking. Through a gap in the front door I could clearly see dozens of small children being forced to make up floats of this design, presumably for mass export to the lucrative Chinese fishing tackle market.
This little mite who I managed to grab a word with and eventually single-handedly liberate told me they were ‘encouraged’ to make up to twenty floats per day under pain of going to bed without either pudding or watching Hannah Montana. It’s not the hard manual labour but the volume of Guinness they were drinking that made me most jealous.
[For the avoidance of doubt – the above is a joke. Jeff now assures me he drinks the Guinness]
We walked to the canal and started fishing just up from a wide bend opposite a pub, both of us casting out deadbaits under a float. I had no weight on the line under the float and found the tow was slowly dragging my bait so put on a two swan shot weight to keep things still.
Danny arrived just in time to see Jeffs float waddle off and under. The strike brought the fish to the surface but it soon got off. Almost a carbon copy of my first loss last week. Shortly after recasting his float did the same again but this time the strike hit thin air. Rascalus Zanderi.
We fished into dusk, now with five rods in the water, but for no more bites. We clipped the starlights onto the floats and lit up the canal like Blackpool.
Dark descended and Jeff offered to go back to his house and make tea. This offer received a warm reception.
Upon his return Jeff had tea, cake, and Kev’ with him.
Kev set up whilst we drank tea, chatted and ate. Democracy decided we should move on due to lack of action.
We four tramped up the tow path to our second spot, a dark and tree lined area just west of the M6 bridge. We must have looked a real sight, headlights on and starlights glowing bright green and swinging from our rods. I admitted a slight sense of self consciousness, of the sort you hope train spotters might possess when standing in a herd on the end of a station platform.
When we cast our lines at this next spot we had no less than six rods in the water between the four of us. Away from the sodium glow of the city the canal looked unearthly bathed in a string of green along it’s far bank. Later, at least one cyclist drew to a stop when rounding a bend and coming upon this strange looking phenomenon. Four head lights were then shone in his direction to complete the abstract scene.
Apart from Kev none of us had a single touch and so we continued up the canal, stopping twice more before reaching Hawkesbury junction. Here we spread into the gaps between the moored boats and fished. I had a bite within fifteen minutes and connected and landed a Zander of about two pounds. Catching a five pounder is proving more difficult than I first imagined.
Jeff and Danny then either missed or hooked and lost fish in a late flurry of activity.
Things then died down again and we called it a day. Good cake. Good times.