Fishing trips are short affairs at the minute so expectations aren’t too high. After a day doing menial tasks I sat down for the evening expecting to chill out but I just couldn’t settle. The time was 7:45pm and I thought sod it, i’m going on the river for a couple of hours. By the time i’d got my stuff together and got to the river it was just before 9pm. Fortunately my zander gear was ready from my previous trip so I plonked myself in a new swim and all ready to go. 20 minutes later and it didn’t feel right so I upped sticks and moved upstream a few swims. By now it was getting dark so I went to get the betalights and put them in the bobbins. DAMN IT!!!! I’d left them at home in the pocket of my other fishing trousers. This is generally what happens when I go at the last minute. I always forget something.
Not long after fishing in the first swim the bobbin on the left hand rod slowly jagged it’s way up and dropped back before having chance to strike. Typical zander bite. A short while later and the bobbin on the same rod shot up again before dropping back. I really did wonder if it was going to be one of those nights. It was nearly 10:30 by this time and it was becoming a struggle to see the bobbins even though I was sat next to the rods and for a minute I thought I saw the bobbin on the right hand rod move. I switched on the head torch to see the bobbin slowly lift up to the rod. I struck meeting with a solid resistance and a few head shakes . I really hoped I was into a good zed before it powered off downstream and I knew it wasn’t my chosen quarry. The thing was it was fighting too hard for a Pike and it was a real battle to get it in. You never know what you’re going to hook when you fish the Trent but eventually after guiding the fish away from a snag I could see in the beam of the headtorch that it was in fact a Pike and quite a decent one too. Once I got it in the net I could see that it had the length but was very thin. It was more like an eel than a pike. Out of interest I weighed it and it went 15.2 on the scales but with it’s length and the size of the head it should have been nearer 20. Using small sections of roach it’s very rare to get Pike, particularly decent sized one’s like that.
I put a fresh bait on and cast out. When I turned the head torch off I couldn’t see anything at all. The bobbins couldn’t be seen so in the end I had to turn the red light on the headtorch and I could just make the bobbins out. As time ticked on I could feel myself getting tired and I decided to shut my eyes for a minute and if i’m honest I could have fell to sleep there and then. I then heard a slight tap and when I looked at the bobbins I couldn’t make out where the left hand one was. It wasn’t hanging in it’s usual position until I noticed it tight to the rod butt. I struck and I knew this was a zander. Not a big one but welcome nontheless. This one wasn’t a finicky biter that’s for sure and it was a relief to get my first zed of the season in the net. I didn’t weigh it as it was only about 3lb and I quickly got it back into the water. They need a bit of time to recover even though they don’t scrap that much and it was nice to see it swim off into the depths, fins bristling with rage.