I don't think there was any doubt in my mind that I would be going back to the newly discovered honey hole on the canal. I'd tried to hook up with Jeff but he had prior arrangements for a date with Martin on the river. This though did open up the door for me to go back and use some slightly different tactics. With so many predators in the area I really wanted to have a go on the lures, but I think this is a very disruptive method and repeatedly casting around is just not fair if someone is float fishing, so going alone was perfect.
Luckily I had a couple of mornings free and decided to use both to try and plunder the stretch. Not wanting to possibly ruin my chances, I decided to go softly softly at it and on the first day went back to fish the drop shot in conjunction with dead baits and the results were brilliant...
The previous session I figured out there were a few snags on the far bank, so kept well away from them and targeted the trench and near margin using some black and white fox micro fry Mick off of Piscatorial Quagswagging had kindly given me. The water again looked quite clear and I felt everything looked right for a few hits, and I was right for once. First cast working the tiny lure back across the trench and I got hit really hard by a average sized canal zander.
After releasing that one I began working the lure along the bottom of the near side shelf. I hadn't gone ten feet before I found myself playing a nice perch.
I am religious about taking perch well away from where I have caught them and after returning that one a really good walk away from where I was fishing, I made my way back to start again. Not knowing it at the time, something weird happened next. I had carried on working the line I'd caught the last perch on and gone quite a way before I hit a second pristine perch which fought equally as hard the first.
It wasn't until I looked at the picture on the computer that the similarities between those first two fish became clear. Then I looked closer and saw a tiny red spot just above the anal fin and it dawned on me that it was definitely the same fish and not just that, but it had fallen for the same lure on the same line probably back on its way back to its holding spot. So either my technique was pretty spot on or I had caught the dumbest perch in the Midlands.
After adding a further four more nice perch and bucket load of micro zander to my tally I finished off with a perfect finale. I was happily playing quite a big perch with my little Sonik lighttec bent double into the canal when my dormant dead bait line sprang to life. A bit of extra pressure got the perch in the net and then after grabbing the other rod I was playing a small zander. It was the perfect brace to end another brilliant session and also helped to prove that these predators were just as up for attacking lures as they were for eating worms.
The second day proved just as fruitful; only this time I went back aggressively and swapped the micro drop shot rig for a much bigger jigging rig just to see how up for it they were. In short, fishing a 7cm salt and pepper Fox zander shad did the business in the again clear water and I quickly tricked a trio of predators into my net.
Worryingly as the morning wore on the ubiquitous micro zander turned up and the better fish seemed to disappear. Once these tiny terrors switched and started nipping at the lures the fishing became quite frustrating. Moving put me back on the perch, but the ones further away from the holding area were literally a quarter of the size of the previous days fish.
To most people it might seem insane for me to say that's it for me and the honey hole spot, but that is the case! Now I have had a confirmed recapture I am beginning to suspect there could have been others and it makes me realize that even though I suspect there could be bigger fish around or even move into the spot, that there is not an infinite amount of fish in the area. Having to recapture them again and again just on a hunch to wheedle out the mother of them all would just take shine away from them in my eyes and ultimately be detrimental to them.