Summer Zander

Waiting for the tips to pull round
Waiting for the tips to pull round

On Saturday myself and friend Kim had planned on going to Grafham for a fly fishing for Zander session.  The weather had been ridiculously hot, unbearably so for me as i’m not into hot weather, so when Kim text me early Saturday morning to ask whether he thought it was worth going I didn’t take much persuading to re-arrange for another day.  I don’t like cancelling fishing trips but it had given a cloudless sky and temperatures in the high 20’s with very little breeze and no amount of suncream would stop us being frazzled.  There’s no where to escape to when you’re on a boat in the middle of a 1500 acre ressie.

I spent the day pottering about at home but I couldn’t get disappointment of not fishing out of my system so I decided that I would go to the Trent late evening with the deadbaits and see if I could pick a Zed up from a swim that I fished a couple of times last year.  I arrived on the bank and was fishing by 7:30pm and the plan was to stop until 1am.  I used my usual tactics of fishing small sections of roach hair rigged to a size 4 barbless hook and I sat back waiting for the quivertips to be pulled round.  The surface of the river was alive with dimpling fish and this was shattered on a very regular basis by Pike and Perch hitting the fish.  On a couple of occasions a Pike struck right under my feet nearly resulting in needing a clean pair of underwear.  What was interesting is that the predators were hitting fish all over the river from one side right across to the other.  I’ve never seen that much activity before on the river.

Expectations were high and after an hour I was a little disappointed to have not had a bite.  Time ticked by and around 10pm just as it was about dark the left hand tip jagged over and then jagged over again.  I struck into thin air which is a regular occurrence when fishing for zander.  When I reeled in I noticed the section of roach had a big chunk taken out of it.  Not your usual zander bite I must admit and I was left perplexed at quite how I missed that one.  While I was threading a new bait onto the hair the right hand quivertip showed signs of some action as it started to bounce around.  Quickly throwing the first rod down I struck and again there was nothing on the end.  How bloody frustrating this zander fishing is.  Whenever people ask me about the zander fishing on the trent I always tell them that you get a chance.  At some stage of the day you will get a bite, normally multiple bites, yet hitting the bites and connecting with the fish is another matter.  I put both rods back out with fresh baits but didn’t get another positive bite for the remainder of the session.  It gave me time to reflect on the two missed opportunities and I put them down to small zander picking up the bait and then running off with them.  The bigger fish don’t tend to exhibit that behaviour in my experience and they have a big enough gob to consume both bait and hook.  I could use more crude tactics and stick a treble hook on but i’m happy with my setup so why change it.

Despite the disappointment i’ll be back there soon but i’ll try a different spot.  I have one in mind, i’m just not sure how i’m going to tackle it yet.


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