From the water’s edge



June 2013 - Talking rubbish

I hope that you find my journal interesting and entertaining. If, having read this, you think that I am talking rubbish then at least you have stopped and thought about it long enough to come to that conclusion which is something of a result in my book. If you would like to comment on this article or anything else relating to my website, please feel free to contact me using the adjacent form. Feedback is always greatly appreciated and very helpful when it comes to improving both my site and my angling. Thank you for looking.


In all the years that Pete and I have been fishing the canals, only twice before have I ever met somebody who was less than pleasant. Never before have I met somebody who was looking for a fight, but today he turned up. We hadn’t even started fishing having decided to walk to a distant lock before fishing our way back and then this guy appeared.

“Good morning”, me - happy face.

“Huh.” him - miserable git. “Do you ever catch any zander?”

“A few, but we are after perch.”

“What do you do with them?”

“I put them back.”


“Well thanks for doing your bit to make them more common.”

“I don’t - I kill them!!”

It was a good pitch, and he had the kind of take I can only dream of and I, like the plonker that I am, took it right down - well beyond the reach of even the most skilful dentists.

“No, you kill 40% of them, mainly bigger ones and so make the average size smaller and less susceptible to electro-fishing which gives them a better chance of living to breed another day; plus you kill probably the major predator of small zander when you remove the bigger ones.”  

“B******S I kill them all - they all have to be killed (a good thing, presumably) because they kill everything (now presumably a bad thing).”

“Not very good at your job then are you seeing as how they have been here for 50 years now and are commoner than they ever have been.”

That was a paraphrased overview minus most of the bad language (much of it mine I confess) of my first conversation with a stranger on my day off. And with that God got back in his floating coffin and set off up the canal to spoil somebody else’s leisure time.

His wife was more pleasant - “ Do you eat all your pike?”

It wasn’t the best start to a difficult day, but ten minutes later I had a zander on the bank. What better response. I was just sorry he wasn’t still there so I could walk up to him and chuck back in right in front of him. After last weeks post decrying my lack of confidence in 3” baits I had decided to fish them until the boats started when I expected to go back in the edge for the perch. It was a bit breezy and I had a huge bow in the line. It always surprises me, although it shouldn’t, that one can feel a take in line no matter how big the bow. I saw it and felt it but the bow was never less than huge. Well 3” baits do still work after all, but so do the boats and the water was soon a horrible mess and I was back in the edge dibbling for perch.

It’s not just knob-rot that has it in for zander, it looks like the herons do too. How’s that for a bill wound. Not fresh and healing very well, fish are remarkably resilient aren’t they? It’s a good job for sure with the likes of the Neanderthal boater against them

So back in the side and Pete had some new baits to try out. He got them from Veal’s who were selling them for light rock fishing. A bit more than an inch but with a very narrow profile, they had to be worth a try. They are very flexible, very stretchy and quite hard-wearing which is a good thing at 9 for a fiver or so. I know that doesn’t make them all that dear each, but for goodness sake, there is nothing there. In fact there’s more rubber in a small lacky band and you buy them by the hundred for peanuts. Still, they are very effective. The top colour is supposed to be orange, but in the water it looks a very pink and earthwormy colour. A one inch Kopyto gives you some sense of scale. The perch liked them and I nicked out four small ones in pretty short order so I can see me using them a lot. At least until I lose the last one anyway. I did have tiddlers swinging on the tails a few times. I could feel them stretching the lure but not taking the hook, but even so, these will produce a lot of fish on the right day. Pete has already had a hat-full of small Zs on them.

The downside for me is that I hate finding a good lure and then not being able to get any more. Only time will tell if these stay available or were just something different that some tackle rep got on the spot market and did the rounds with down Devon way. For anybody interested, the packet calls them Ma2worms. You will just have to excuse the lack of fine detail but those were the only words on the packet that were not Japanese! My linguistic skills rarely stretch beyond, Pidgin English and Double-Dutch - oh and ‘scuse my french’ as the cheery soul who ruined the start of my day can testify.

Just to round off a strange day, a policeman turned up looking for a chap who had set off for the shops the previous evening and not returned. We spent most of the morning wondering if we would find him bobbing around in the margins, but it turned out  that he had let himself into the wrong boat in the marina and fallen asleep. Some people’s lives are clearly more interesting than mine.

artificial lite




journal 2013.



journal 2013.