Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Only minutes to catch a Zander.

Since last weeks Zander debacle I have been gagging to get out and have another crack, but work has meant that I have been unable to get out for an evening session so everything was riding on Sunday. I had been keenly watching the weather forecast and early on in the week it was saying it was going to be a wet and cloudy weekend. After reading this my thoughts turned instantly to getting back on the Avon to do my all time favourite Zander fishing method, quiver tip fishing dead baits barbel style. I roped Jeff in to come along and later Andy agreed to come too. As the week passed the forecast changed little by little until Sunday became sunny again... Not to be deterred we opted to get in as early as possible, this would have worked perfectly if my new mobile phone wasn't usless and my alarm on it didn't go off at all. By some matter of a miracle I woke naturally at 6am and charged around desperately getting ready. How the hell I got up, dressed, ate breakfast, packed the car, picked up Jeff, met up with Andy and was still on the river half way across Warwickshire by 7am I do not know, but I did.

I have seen this river a million times in my life, but every time it looks different and today it looked like special, like a  naked supermodel walking through bedroom door carring a steak tea in one hand and a four pack in other. The light was only breaking and with mist rising gently off the river and rolling onto frosted fields, the occasional roll of an early rising fish here and there was enough to get any angler hot under the collar. 

Allthough I should have spent a bit more time enjoying the scenery I was hell bent on getting some baits out as I knew time was limited to target my intended quarry. Within five minutes of arriving I had two rods out, one on a complicated sunken float paternoster down the edge and the other with a bottom fished roach tail in the boat channel on the tip rod. Though the weather made for a real winter wonder land feel my hands and feet could have been easily snapped off they were so cold so I stuffed them deep into my pockets and stared desperatley at the tip.

My first enquiry came moments later as I got two taps on the tip. I waited expectantly for the tip to hoop round as it always does with a Zed bite on the quiver, but it never happened. A little while later the same happend again only this time it did have it. My stike at first didn't seem to connect so I followed it up with a second and the satisfying thump of a hooked fish somehow registered through my frozen hands.

I half expexted to see a jack pike but as the fish neared I spotted a silver flash through the clear water. After yelling to the others that I'd hooked one Jeff turned up and get a few pictures of me landing the fish. Nice one Jeff.

A quick moment in the weigh sling and the scales went round to 3.9lb. Normally I probably wouldn't have bothered weighing this fish but somewhere in the back of my mind I dared to think that in the next thirty minutes before the sun rose high enough to put them off the feed I could bag another eighteen odd pounds for the challenge point. I know it seems a bit far fetched but this part of the Avon is more than capable of producing two doubles in two cast's...

After the initial action the sun did rise high enough to warm and illuminate the whole river. At this point a quick discussion with my companions for the day and we agreed to move down stream into the shadow caused by a dominating tree lined bluff at the tail end of the weir pool.

Sadly no more zeds or anything for that matter bothered our baits all morning and it turned into more of a blog social as we stood behind six static rods.

On the way home I chatted to Jeff about the mornings coming and goings and we both agreed the the two bites and one fish had come right at the end of the feeding spell that day. Once the sun had risen and poured it's bright light into a low and clear river our chances of connecting with any Zander were well and truly gone.

But as I write this I find myself looking out the window at the now persistent rain and next weekends Zander foray seems like it could be ultimately more productive. 

Thanks again to Jeff for all the pictures featured in this blog.


  1. Daniel
    I like the way you described the river, that woman must be a looker. How long are the rods you are using and what type reel are you using? Thanks for joining up with my group. I am signing up with your group.

  2. The Warwickshire Avon can be a real looker on the right day. She also runs hot and cold like a woman too.

    The rod I was using on that session was a 12ft shimano barbel classic. It has a very sensitive tip to registar delicate bites but enough power to land a 20lb pike, should one one happen along.
    The reel is a Okuma fixed spool baitrunner style reel loaded with 10lb gunsmoke mono.

    Only just started looking at the American blogs and I am loving them.

  3. "it looked like special, like a naked supermodel walking through bedroom door"
    Now that is how you describe a stream!

    Found your blog o OBN. Hitting the follow button right now.

    The Average Joe Fisherman

  4. Daniel
    I have used a 12 ft. jigger pole for crappie jiging so I know where you are coming from on the long rods.

  5. Here in the UK we mainly use long rods as most of our fishing is done from the bank. 90% of the rods sold in the UK are float or ledger rods between 10-14ft, though shorter lure fishing rods are starting to become more common.
    A good friend of mine brought me a 6ft lure rod back from Canada a few years ago and I have used it to fish shallow diving lures, fire tails,twin tails and poppers for perch and pike fishing on my local rivers and lakes. At first it seemed a little odd, but I soon realised that you can bang lures out with it all day long unlike some of the more common UK lure fishing rods which get the arm aching after only a few hours.