07/10/2103 - Trent and Mersey Canal

With the mild weather continuing, another trip to the canal had to be on the cards. Went with some new rigs this time to try and get to the bottom of those "unmissable" runs. My usual approach is a hair rig using a size 6 single. However, rummaging in the garage, I managed to find some small, but very strong and needle sharp Partridge outpoint trebles. Coupled with a supple wire trace in a sensible breaking strain I felt confident that they'd cope with any bigger fish, i.e. pike, that came along, so made up a couple of snap tackles to try on one rod. Got down to Burton shortly after 6 pm and soon had the rods out, hair rig on the right and snap tackle on the left. First run came on the right hand rod when it was still light. The manic head thumping indicated a perch. Not quite 2lb, but a good start.

Predator #1 - perch

Rather surprisingly dusk came and went without any action and it was fully dark before the left hand rod was away, resulting in a micro-zed of about a pound hooked on the bottom treble. If that had been on the hair rig I would have struck into thin air! As if to prove the point, I missed a run on the right hand rod before the left hand rod was away again, resulting in another zander not much bigger than the last. A long quiet spell followed before two better zander showed up in quick succession on the right hand rod. 

Predator #2 - zander

Packed up at about 9.30 pm having had two runs with a 100% hookup rate on the snap tackle, compared to four runs and 75% on the hair rig. Not very scientific, but at least I know what was responsible for those unhittable runs. Also, the bigger zander and the perch (and the pike last week) were all hooked firmly in the scissors by the single hook rig, so guess I'll stick with that and just put up with missing a few small fish now and then.

02/10/2013 - Trent and Mersey Canal

Mild nights had been forecast this week, so arranged to meet Tim for another crack at the zander on the canal. Got home from work early, did a few chores, then headed down the A38 and was in the swim fishing by 6 pm. The Canal and Rivers Trust had been along and kindly cut the grass on the towpath again. However, most of it had ended up in the water, so sunken rod tips were the order of the day!

Grass soup!
Tim turned up as the light was going. The bobbin on my right hand rod had been doing a Michael Flatley and jigging around all over the place just prior to his arrival, but I had failed to connect with anything. Sod's Law then that Tim should cast in and soon after land the first zander of the night!


Almost immediately after his zander I landed a pike of about 6lb and then a perch of 1lb 10oz, so we at least had the "treble" in the bag  between us. However, whilst Tim went on the catch another three zander from the right hand side of the swim, I couldn't seem to connect with any of the crafty beggars. Both of us experienced full blooded runs with line disappearing off the reel, only to strike into thin air or, as happened to me, find yourself connected to a) an old shoe or b) a sunken branch! My highlight of the night came when I struck into a heavy fish that took a bait positioned tightly (more by luck than judgment!) against the pilings on the far bank. Not a zed, but a nicely conditioned pike of 15lb that had obviously fancied a quick snack on a roach head.

Once we were in full darkness the action dried up, which seems to be the pattern here. Gave it another hour anyway, but were packed up and away by 9.30 pm.
Postscript - I checked my photos from last season and found that I'd had the 15lber on 14/10/12 at 13lb 12oz. Pattern on the anal fin was a giveaway. Shows they don't move far. Wonder if that 18lb 12oz that Tim had last year has got any bigger?!