Sunday, 20 November 2016

Breaking The Jack Curse

Just a short 3 hour session this week, slotted in between some taxi duties. Once again, a near empty car park at the first stretch I passed, was enough to tempt me in.

A quick scurry across the meadows and I dropped in on the lucky zander peg from the previous week. Then I spotted a deadbait float just upstream, indicating someone was in the next peg fishing a downstream rod. Even though they were out of sight, I just prefer to have more breathing space. I moved a further peg downstream.

I went for a two rod approach. One for my standard pike deadbaits (smelt, lamprey, sardine) fished on trebles. The other was a single hook rig with roach for zander. Both were fished hard on the deck on a running leger rig.

I didn't have to wait long for the first bite on the pike rod. The smelt was confidently taken and I was playing another of those jacks. As it charged around the swim I spotted it wasn't a jack after all. A zander, with a taste for a sea deadbait.

I popped it in the net and acquired an inquisitive visitor from two pegs upstream. He was on a blank (his 4th consecutive one!) and came to talk tactics. I put him to good use with the scales and the verdict was a new pb of 5lb 7oz. Just a quick unflattering photo as the fish made it clear it wasn't happy being handled.

After the early success, I moved into a period of struggle. Turning to my trusty soup flask, I set about devouring the contents and dug myself in for the afternoon. Normally i like to move a bit, but i just fancied there might be more zander around.

Regularly moving the baits around the swim and twitching them periodically, I eventually got a take on the pike rod. I'd just repositioned it in the margin and it was swiftly nailed soon after the float settled.

I struck and felt a series of violent head shakes before it powered off on its first run. This wasn't a zander. I could see it was a long fish and clearly a double. My run of single jacks was about to end I hoped.

As I coaxed the fish towards the net, my mood became a little more serious when I saw the size of its now flared jaw. A miserable netting attempt left me cursing as the fish powered off again. I knew I was now tackling a big double and I was praying the hooks would hold.

A second offering of the net did the trick, but only just. It self unhooked in the net, albeit with a set of trebles missing. As I lifted it, my estimations moved up towards the twenty mark. It was a hefty brute. After a quick bit of dentistry, the missing trebles were recovered and it was time for a weigh in.

The digital scales just wouldn't settle properly, so I pulled out my back up Avons to get a better reading. I settled for 19lb 3oz. A magnificent fish that I genuinely wasn't expecting at this stage of the season. It will no doubt be a twenty later in the season. The upstream angler had moved on, so I attempted a quick and not altogether successful self take.

I then moved up a peg, but it didn't achieve anything though. The last hour was completely barren.

The latest scores for my season's river challenge are :

Barbel (11lb 1oz - Warks Avon) - 110.63% of target - pb
Bream (8lb 2oz - Anker) - 101.36% - pb
Carp (8lb 0oz - Warks Avon) - 80% - river pb
Perch (1lb 6oz - Anker) - 45.83%
Chub (3lb 4oz - Warks Avon) - 65%
Zander (5lb 7oz  - Warks Avon) - 90.63% -pb
Pike (19lb 3oz - Warks Avon) - 95.94%
Total - 589.59 (Target 700)

The good news is that we received some much needed rain overnight and I believe more is due in the early part of the week. Prospects might be very interesting next week.


  1. Nice one mate. will be a fare bit bigger by christmas.

  2. Nice one Sean, that's a right lump. Nice to see the Zander getting bigger too.

  3. Cheers guys. The zander are proving to be a nice diversion. Gonna be interesting trying to find one of the real lumps.

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