I know the time I can spend fishing is running short with the countdown to our due date ticking steadily away, so I find myself casting lures furiously at both the river and the canals. As result of casting so much my catch rate has tracked upward as well. Maybe a more mathematically inclined angler in a moment of boredom could be able to work out some kind of equation calculating the amount of fish caught relative to casts made.
Back to the point; my transition to fishing on clear flowing water from coloured almost still water has gone well. It didn't take long to get a good grasp of where the action would lie and even given a few slight changes of conditions I am not finding it that hard to get small pike at least residing in the bottom of my net.
As a nice surprise I even managed to catch a small zander on the Hopyards the other day during a chance evening session after dropping JB off for a meal with friends in a nearby restaurant. Although it might seem a small inconsequential catch considering just how many zander I have banked so far this year, but really this zedlet is my first ever river zander caught on a lure, which to me makes it quite important.
Back on the Coventry canal a few days later the fishing was on good form and from the first cast the small zander were on the lures. Contrary to what I was told by a sponsored lure angler a few weeks ago, I find that no matter how big a lure you use even the smallest zander will have a go when it's in the mood, and this tiny fingerling was more than happy to hit a lure more than big enough to fill its mouth.
I have also found with zander that most of the time they are quite subtle attackers of lures. As a result they never really hit the lure hard and are quite often hooked right on the edge of their mouth. On this occasion even though they still weren't smacking the lure they were really getting right in their mouths.
As I had found a lure which seemed to be working I inevitably ended up losing it and my leader to some unseen snag embedded in the muddy canal bottom. After tying up a new leader I switched to my favorite clown cannibal shad to conserve the single orange koypto remaining in my bag. The change though made no difference and in quick succession I landed two bigger zander.
Half a shoal of zedlets later I hooked something that at first seemed to be holding deep and kiting across the bottom. I did feel a bit of a fool when a tin can popped up attached to my lure, but truthfully I love a comical catch and am more than happy to add this rusty can to my novelty catch list with the boot I caught on the Avon at Saxon mill and the umbrella I dragged out of the Grand union.
Not long after the can was returned unharmed to the canal for someone else to catch, the narrow boats began piling past churning up the water. At that point I went to have a look at a little spillway were a brook enters the canal. Earlier in the year when I fished this area there was always clearer water entering the canal which seemed to hold a shoal of perch. Thinking I was about to do some perch plipping I scaled down my leader, tied on a 2 gram micro jig and hooked up a one inch black curly tail. Keeping the tiny lure on a tight line and short cast I worked the small clear area of water around my own bank. The perch though didn't seem to be home and I soon discovered why when a little pike shot out from the edge of the murky water and smashed into my jig like a train, well like a model train anyway.
The little pike pulled out all the stops jumping out left right and centre. Luckily the tiny jig had caught it right on the outside of mouth well away from those sharp little teeth which would have easily severed the light leader I was now using. The scaled down monster had obviously been hanging around in the clear water as its markings were truly stunning.
It was the perfect fish to end the session on and maybe even start a bit of a break with, as from now on in I think I might be lucky to get another session in before I have to focus my attention on something we've wanted for so long.