26/11/2015 - Snakes alive!
Carried on fitting sessions in for the zander where I could this month, including a couple more trips after work to the Soar and an afternoon on the Trent up at South Muskham. However, despite some perfect (and atrocious!) conditions and a new stock of bait, pickings were very slim and not entirely what I expected. After a blank on the Soar I found myself back on the River Trent in an old favourite swim - the snag pit. The river was up and coloured, but this made the swim even more attractive as it now provided the only slack area off the main flow. I was therefore pretty confident when I cast my two baits out just before dark. Unfortunately, the zander didn't seem to be in an obliging mood. It was well into full darkness and I was contemplating packing up when I saw the tip my left hand rod knocking. I'd cast this one short close to a tree to the left of the swim. Wound down and felt a fish kicking. Didn't feel that big and I assumed it was a small zed until I saw it writhing on the surface in the beam of my headtorch - yes, another eel! This one was absolutely nailed in the bottom lip by the size 6 single and went 2lb 12oz on the scales.
Managed to get a half-decent selfie before popping him back. Hung on a bit longer, but that was that. A few days later I was back, having endured another blank on the Soar in the meantime in absolutely horrible weather conditions. Tim was already in the snag pit, so I went and had an explore further upstream. Again, the river was up and coloured, which limited my choice of swims, but I eventually settled on a slack area behind a reed bed. Put lamprey sections on out on both rods because of the colour in the water and settled down to wait. Had the rod tops up high to avoid a back eddy, so I easily spotted a couple of small knocks on the downstream rod before anything even registered on the bobbin. Picked up the rod and wound down to feel something there - what exactly I couldn't tell. Wasn't until it was in the margin that I saw.....yep, it was another eel! Shorter, but a lot fatter than one I'd had before, and a decent 3lb 10oz. This one didn't play ball with the selfies, which came out looking like I was trying to tie a balloon animal with a cycle inner tube! Fortunately Tim was on hand this time.
Moved swims after this into the bay upstream of Tim. Whilst there was not much in the way of a slack, it was only a slow walking pace a few rod lengths out. Initally put both rods out into open water, but after half an hour with no indications I brought both rods in closer. The left hand rod I dropped in next to a tree. It had been in literally two minutes when the bite alarm signalled some interest. Wound down into a decent fish that thrashed about on the surface in the shallow margins before being bundled into the net. Lifted the net out of the water to find a fat, well-conditioned zander that went 8lb 9oz on the scales.
I was pretty relieved to get this one as I was heading for my sixth zander blank. So far, my "zander" campaign has yielded 10 pike, 4 zeds and now 3 eels.....the latter in November! Global warming or am I just a snig magnet??