I am not big on making excuses for not catching, but even I have to admit that the lure fishing round these parts is total rubbish at the moment. The pike I am sure have spawned by now, but both the perch and zander seem too have ended up in some kind of limbo due to the temperature first increasing and then dropping again. Literally, I have caught perch that haven't spawned and seen ribbons of eggs clinging to snags. Some zander to are being caught off nests whilst others are still bulging with spawn. I had hoped that after a week away at tropical Burnham-on-Sea I might return to post spawn predators going on the munch but that turned out to be wishful thinking as the low temps and frosty mornings have meant the limbo has persisted even further into April.
The day after returning from the seaside I was on the bank with my old mate Mick, off of Picatorial Quagswagging to check out the zander potential of a semi urban stretch we had both pondered but never fished. It was a great looking bit of canal which I am sure holds its fair share of zander but sadly we were never going to see anywhere near its potential...
For my part in this adventure I caught very little apart from several substantial branches, a few poo bags and a little zander of 45cm, which I assume was a little male as it showed no signs of spawn or having spawned. Mind Mick caught only two other smaller ones which gave both us very limited information on whether this area was worth a return visit.
I had to wait ages for my next session and when my chance came I nearly wasted it after going out for a curry with some mates and not crawling into bed until two in the morning. Lucky for me the family were receptive to me re-jigging our plans for the day and chipping off for a short evening session on a shallow water I know is rife with pike.
Two ideas came to mind re this trip; firstly I wanted to fish some surface/subsurface lures for the pike, secondly I wanted to have my first go fishing the reverse dropshot rig for the huge perch in this water. As this water is painfully shallow I was convinced both the perch and pike should have done with spawning by now and that after a few weeks with little rain the water would be gin clear and those pike couldn't fail to detect the noisy top water lures.
Sadly the wind was freezing and even after seeing the lake was gin clear I concluded to just fish a subsurface 3D Rad lure which attached by the lower split ring position runs a maximum of a foot under the surface
Casting the Rad about in the perfectly clear water turned out to be some of the most exciting fishing I've done for years. The little pike although out-sized by the lure would repeatedly charge after it as if they were about to attack, before turning off at the last minute once there realized exactly how much of a mouthful the lure was. It wasn't too long before I cracked out the drop shot rod to fish some highly buoyant worm style lures a foot and half off the weedy bottom. In doing so I quickly found a shoal of small greedy perch were hell bent on eating lures the same length as themselves and bigger.
Unfortunately the fuss caused by the writhing perch all too quickly got the attention of the hungry jack pike and after stealing a couple of captures I hooked one of the vicious attackers and on my light dropshot outfit in that shallow water, it sent my reel into meltdown. Lucky for me the hook was right in the corner of the cheeky jacks mouth and smashing up the shallows into a muddy soup I netted the hungry little fellow and grabbed myself one last hazy selfie due to my cracked phone screen.
I do hope the canals and all the other stuttering venues come back into form with the approaching warm temperatures, as I have plenty of practising to do for a couple of up and coming matches and I wouldn't mind actually catching a few of those hungry jacks off the top once their blood boils up and they grow even more savage.