Tuesday the 2nd of October
With my limited attempts at banking a trent zander so far yielding a big fat zero myself and Steve decided to have a session on the river in an area that Steve knew had reasonable form for the species.
The River Trent is a bit of a strange one for me, I've lived within easy reach of the river for all of my life yet I pay it little attention even though as a kid I fished it with my Dad and Grandad long before I set foot on the banks of the River Soar. Once I got into angling in a big way then the Soar was the nearest easily accessible venue to me, it was even reachable by pushbike and so naturally that is where I gravitated to and spent a lot of time over the next few years. We still made the occaisional visit to the Trent and had some good days sports even though in retrospect we were woefully undertackled, I had no hesitation in lobbing a 2oz blockend feeder out on a nine foot Silstar picker rod, god only knows how it survived the experience! Since my interest in river fishing was re-kindled in the mid 2000's I have been well aware that the Trent offered some very good fishing and large fish to boot but somehow the intimacy of the smaller rivers holds me firmly in its grasp and the big brother remains very much on the back burner which is a shame really but as always there's so much I would like to do and so little time.
As is often the way I manged to get my timing bang on as it started spitting with rain as I loaded the van at 3pm and by the time I hit the motorway it was peeing down. Steve had arrived just before me and after a quick chat I plumped for a swim downstream of him that looked very much the part consisting of a large willow protruding from the near bank which created a substantial slack and of course a corresponding crease.
The first job was to snatch a few bleak for bait which wasn't too much trouble, in fact the hardest thing is usually making myself stop as I do enjoy watching the float dip no matter how small the culprit however the rain soon told me that I really should retreat to the umbrella and get the zander rods sorted out. In preparation for the session I had spoken to someone very knowledgeable on big river zeds and was very grateful for his advice, in simple terms hit anything that might possibly be a bite as they don't hang around and don't neccesarily give much indication. This all seems quite alien to me to be honest and I can't claim to have been very confident but confidence comes with experience and you don't get that if you don't try so it was in for a penny and all that. Half a bleak was hooked onto a single treble on each rod, a 3oz running lead sat above the trace and that was the extent of the rig, one bait was positioned on the crease and one slightly further out into the flow. The rods were set up with the tips high, Delkims on high sensitivity and isotopes fixed to the rod tips ready to show the slightest tap.
I sat back listening to the rain pattering down on my nylon mushroom and gazed at the swim, it really did look spot on for most species, a good depth close in next to that tree screamed perch, chub on that crease, pike in the slack, zander anywhere? Steve popped down to see what was happening and reported no signs of toothy critters in his swim yet but as dusk was approaching there was plenty of hope left yet and we both setlled down to concentrate on our fishing. I had a few false alarms cause by bits of weed and debris coming down in the flow though they were just slow steady pulls that were pretty easy to interpret however an hour or so into dark the left hand rod tip started to tremble slightly, maybe only by an inch or so but it looked suspicious and I struck, though into thin air. The bait was missing and I was almost certain that it had been a genuine bite, Steve agreed that it was typical of zander and that was a start, on my other attempts after the species I haven't had a whisper, that though was that, not another sniff was had before we called it a night at around 9pm, failed again!
If you are still reading my ramblings you are probably starting to get a bit bored by now as I haven't caught anything of note for quite a while, I could of just brushed over these sessions of course but that wouldn't tell the full story, you have to take the rough with the smooth in this game but every tough session is one nearer to a result and I might just have something in store for my next blog, you never know!