An angler's journal

An angler's journal

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

A new direction?

Sunday evening saw me looking to do something new: a zander trip on the lower Severn. The zander is about the only coarse species I have never managed to catch despite flirting with pike most winters. With reports of plenty of zander biting, off I went to break my duck.

Having read many opinions in addition to chatting with fellow anglers the consensus is that zander are shy biters, able to sense resistance and drop baits at will. With this in mind I decided to order some items of tackle to aid me in my quest including supple trace wire, crimping equipment, etc. However, Saturday's post failed to unite me with my ordered items, but still determined to start my quest I took my pike gear in an attempt to net my first zander. I appreciated that my set up was probably over-gunned but I thought it would be a useful experiment. Would my heavier gear put the zander off or would it make little difference to my catch rates?

My set up was a simple running ledger rig complete with a trace using two size 8 trebles. Bite indication was via an alarm and a bobbin. Bait was a headless roach, which was cast a few rod lengths out. Over the next 20 mins I experienced several single bleeps on the alarm when completely out of the blue the alarm recorded a screaming run. I struck immediately and was greeted with a firm fish. The bite was not what I expected from the shy biting zander and it put up a reasonable fight despite not being renowned for its battling qualities. The fish made a few lunges for some near bank rocks but was safely netted and unhooked. I estimated the fish at about 6lb, which I was more than pleased with. I hoped to take a photograph but a combination of a lively fish and an unfortunate incident involving my mobile phone meant that the fish was returned, its image consigned to my memory.

Zander - the start of a new challenge?
Out went another bait and again single bleeps resulted. I had another screaming run but my strike met with thin air. Another run, later on, saw a different approach. This time I felt the line for a positive reply but the bait must have been dropped. By about 9pm all the knocks and indications stopped just when the articles tell you zander start feeding. I packed up at about 10pm pleased with my first zander and with plenty of food for thought. I will definitely return with a more sensitive approach and see if I can turn some of those runs in to more fish. I had better stock up on deadbaits too.

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