I just could not resist sneaking back to the canal for an impromptu session Thursday night. It may sound rather mental but I was intending to try and avoid the hoards of perch and try and find maybe a bigger Zander or even try for a hint of eel.
Just before leaving I dropped Andy a text informing him of my intentions. On the way my phone repeatedly rang and although I never answered it as that would be against the law (I wasn't ignoring you Andy) I knew perfectly well it was him. Back at the swim I had fished four days previously I was hurriedly setting up when I saw a figure coming towards me. It seemed Andy had the same thing on his mind and my text had only convinced him to pack the car.
First shot in both our floats went. Me with my first bream from the area and Andy with a nice perch. From the off we were getting bites on all lines. It took a while for my dead bait rod to join the fray but soon enough it went and the first Zander - all be it a tiddler - was mine, shortly followed by another lost unseen predator which felt much larger.
We made a strange discovery as the time ticked on. The perch, of which by now we had landed a couple of very nice examples, actually stopped feeding well before dark and everything went rather quiet. A little while later my now illuminated float began to stir in the dark; something was perusing the half pint of dead maggots and chopped prawn I had throw in to attract the attention of any passing eels.
It took a couple of tentative dips before the float totally disappeared. I could tell straight away this was no perch or Zander and definitely not an eel. When I caught sight of a big silver flank through the murk I really got nervous. It looked like a huge roach had scoffed my three lobs on a size 2 hook.
When I finally turned on my head lamp well away from the waters edge saw at least half a big roach in the net, it was just a pity the other half of the fish was bream. Still it made for a nice brace shot with a perch just under two and roach/bream hybrid of just over two.
I made two discoveries on this session; firstly there seems to be two distinctive shifts of fish that feed at totally different times on this stretch, and second that taking pictures in the pitch black is really effin hard!