Tuesday 20th October, 16:15 - 21:30. Coventry Canal with Jeff Hatt. Overcast, cool, wet at times.
Inspired by Roger Booth's success with Zander on the cut (Ryton Carp) I arranged to meet Jeff Hatt (Idlers Quest) to have a go for them. I'm finding I'm mostly fishing with people who can be parenthesised by a url nowadays. My wife says meeting people over the internet with a shared love of fishing is weird. I disagree, this is a modern world and this fishing year has been the most varied yet with new venues, new species, and new outlooks on the sport. Others might agree with her but I'm old enough to not care.
This is Jeff's manor and he's banged his head so hard against the place in the hunt for big Roach he had a good idea where we might find success with Zander.
We walked ten minutes from Jeff's house towards town when I realised I'd left my bait back at the car. Feeling a bit of a knob I high tailed it back and picked it up. I only got lost once on the way back to the canal. A great start.
We began at the tall trees just up from Courtaulds. Within ten minutes of starting I had a bite on the quiver tip. I struck and felt resistance. A fish surfaced midway across the canal and then my terminal tackle shot upwards and behind me into a tree. The hook had slipped. The fish gave a kick on the surface and was gone. It was a Zander of indeterminate size.
We gave this and each subsequent spot about thirty minutes as we moved our way back towards the M6.
As dark arrived we were at the back of Tescos.
The glow from Tescos was nothing compared to the blinding glare from Jeffs floats;
Despite quite a few bites between us we just couldn't connect with the fish. This led to all sorts of discussion and theory about how we might improve our stats. This topic is a common theme with Zander fishing, how to convert the often finicky but sometimes sail-away bites into hook ups.
In the last swim we fished we both finally connected with fish. I had a Zander of 3lb 10oz and Jeff had one nudging a couple of pounds.
I'm not certain if I've written about this on here before but two big angling surprises for me this year are how much I've enjoyed a) quiver tipping for Bream and b) Zander fishing. I didn't care for either activity this time last year, but that was because I'd not really given them a good go. I'm finding Zander fishing most enjoyable. They're obliging, feed readily and most of all when on the rivers you can use quiver tips, point your rods in the air and pretend you're Barbel fishing. And you get regular bites!