22/09/2011 - Trent and Mersey Canal

With zander cropping up on various blogs, I thought I'd get in on the act. I haven't fished for zander since the fens in the mid-90's so, whilst I wasn't expecting the same sort of stamp of fish, just to catch one after all that time would be nice. 

A long, long time ago in Cambridgshire!

Therefore met up with my mate Tim on a nice, tree-lined section of the Trent and Mersey Canal near Burton after work. Previous intelligence gathering had indicated that there were plenty of small zander averaging 3lb in the area, but with the chance of the odd bigger one. Soon had two small, hair-rigged deadbaits cast out into likely looking gaps in the far bank vegetation. Would have preferred a longer drop on my bobbins, but had to compromise and sink the rod tip to combat the amount of leaves and general rubbish floating down the canal. Tim had done his usual job of arriving completely unprepared, but was at least able to cobble together a float rig that he dropped in the bay opposite us.

Waiting for a Zed

Tim was actually first in the action with a couple of jacks. I missed my first take, but connected with the second only to find that it was also a small pike. The next take felt a bit more like a zander, but turned out to be a perch with a liking for a roach tail section! Next take was again from a pike. Tim in the meantime had got out his whip to catch some more bait and had added a couple of ruffe. Seems we were only missing a zander for the full set. Didn't have to wait much longer. A stuttering take on the downstream rod resulted in a small, but perfectly formed canal zander that was hooked well inside the mouth by the size 6 single.

Mini Zed

The next couple of hours saw plenty of interest in the baits and at least four proper runs that I managed to miss. Finally connected with another fish just after Tim had left for the chippy, a second zander of about pound and a half. Carried on for a bit longer, missed another run, but had to give in to my own stomach in the end. An interesting session and one that re-inforced how frustrating it can be fishing for these things.

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