12/03/2015 - End of season zed
Had a quick after work zander session on the Soar earlier in the week. Conditions had seemed perfect - dull, overcast and mild - and my chosen swim was nicely sheltered from the wind. However, apart from a jack and the usual bother from the chub, there was nothing to write home about. Second (and last) chance for and end-of-season zander therefore came this evening when I met Tim on the River Trent. When we got to our chosen area we found a chap fishing in our first choice swim, so we both squeezed into the next one upstream. Looked a bit of a snag pit to me, but Tim assured me it would be okay.
In the snag pit
We soon had the dead bait rods out, one each to the snags to our respective left and right and the other two out into open water. We both had some interest early on, presumably from chub messing about, but the baits were either dropped or stolen without hooking up. After a bit a few small fish started topping and jumping close in, so Tim wound in temporarily and got his dropshot rod out. He'd just made a cast out into open water near my left hand bait when the rod tip knocked a couple of times and the bobbin dropped off. Picked up the rod and felt the line whizzing off between my fingers. Wound down and hit a fish that didn't put up too much fuss, allowing me to guide it straight in between the snags. Was convinced it was a chub until I caught a glimpse of it as Tim swept it into the net. Turned out to be a nice, broad, fat zander of 8lb 15oz - my biggest of the year and an ounce off my personal best.
Carried on for a bit longer but apart from a few more twitches, that was it. Doubt if I'll have time to go out over the next two days, so that's also the end of the river season for me. We'll have to see what the stillwaters can bring now.
14/03/15 - Postscript
Did my usual 40+ mile ride out into South Derbyshire on the road bike this afternoon. Aside from the biting, cold wind I was surprised when I crossed the Trent at Swarkestone Bridge and then the Derwent at Borrowash to see them both up and coloured. Respect therefore to anybody who was out on what was probably a difficult last day!