My Summer Zander campaign is winding now, just as other people are starting to target them, but it’s time to move onto a bit of Perch fishing with maybe a bit of Chub fishing thrown in. I didn’t want to walk far as fishing time is at a premium now the nights are drawing in so decided on a stretch of river where I could park the car close by.
I checked the river levels on the EA website and could see that the levels were dropping after the recent rain and I was hoping that there would be a bit of colour in the water. When I arrived, the river looked bang on and I decided to fish the right hand bank in an area where I have caught fish in the past. I put both rods out a quarter of the way across river and settled down with a cup of tea. Something didn’t feel right though. Normally there isn’t any flow in that particular spot but the extra water meant that there was just enough to bring bits of ranunculus down and get caught on the line making the tip and bobbins not settle. I decided to finish my cuppa and move, but then 30 seconds later promptly scrapped that idea and decided to move straight away.
10 minutes later I was in my new spot but now on the left hand bank. Baits were out and I was ready for action. Even here there were leaves catching the line but it was much more comfortable and my confidence was much higher. A couple of hours passed before the bobbin on the last hand rod went up a couple of notches before remaining static. Encouraged, I sat there and
stared at the indicator willing it to move up again. Time for a brew, you always get a bite when you’re having a brew or a sandwich. Just as I was mashing up a chap wandered past with his son with a pair of Harris Hawks. What beautiful birds. I’ve never seen one before as they are not native to the UK but they are very impressive. They were using them to hunt for rabbits and I assured him that there were plenty around that area so the birds would get a good fly out.
Anyway, sandwich, crisps and a drink later and still no more indications on the fish front so I put a fresh section of roach on and some mashed up fish in the feeder. By now it was getting dark and I was expecting a bit imminently. A blip on the right hand rod this time but still nothing of any significance materialised.
It was now just after 9pm and fully dark and as I sat there wondering where the long summer nights had gone the right hand rod screamed into action. No tentative bite this time just a rip roaring scream on the buzzer and the bobbin shot up to the rod butt. I could tell straight away it was a Zander but not a very big one. Still I wasn’t bothered as it saved a blank. This fish was a real fatty but only about 3lb. I tried to take a bit of a headshot of it on the camera just so I had a picture to post on the blog really before returning it.
Encouraged I sat there waiting for another bite as I was sure one would come along pretty quickly. Time ticked on though and it was obvious that the fish had moved on or been spooked. I checked my watch and couldn’t believe how fast time was passing. 10:07pm and a couple of blips on the left hand rod before slowly the bobbin went up and up. I struck into what felt a solid fish. I was really hoping it was a good Zander but after a while I knew something wasn’t right. It didn’t feel like an Eel either and as the fish lept close to the bank I knew it was a Pike. That’s only the second Pike I have caught this summer on small chunks of fish. I don’t really
know whether to be surprised by that fact or not in all honesty. It was only about 8lb and although the scrap was nice it wasn’t really what I wanted.
I chose not to rebait that rod and fished on until just gone 11pm with the one rod. No more bites were forthcoming and I decided to call it a night. I did expect more fish as the conditions seemed perfect and so did the spot I was fishing but maybe the extra water of the last couple of days had moved the fish into a slightly different area. Who knows, but it was a really enjoyable evening. I’ve still got a pack of deadbaits left in the freezer so i’ve probably got one more zander trip left in me. I really need to make them count though if i’m going to get that double figure fish.