Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Solo down sarf

I’ve thought about going down to Grafham to fish for Zander for the last few years, so I decided I would just do it. The forecast looked great on Saturday, the full week ahead looked doable, so much so I changed my booking to four days. Monday morning came around it looked like two days- that’s what I got.

Things didn’t get off to a great start, tired from the journey it took me a little while to suss out a problem right at the start of my first day. It was either a cracked ceramic eye on a brand new rod or the same thing on my baitcaster. I bought that a year ago, this was its first trip out. 3 rigs and a lost fish later the rod was put away in disgust. Can’t say I enjoyed day one too much. I caught about a dozen Perch, picked up some info but I wasn’t sure how much further forward I was. I dropped a little Zander at the side of the boat about mid-afternoon but that didn’t provide much encouragement on the Zed front, I’ve had larger fish suppers.  I got some decent shut eye and I was ready for day two. Having carried out some late night preparation I was more organised. Not having to drive six hours to get here was a bonus. What did work well for me was my Lowrance 5 HDI. Having stripped it out of my Outback I rigged it to  a RAM mount on top of an old tool box. This held two 12v 9ah batteries, also from my Outback. I paired this to a Lowrance suction cup mount with a coating of Vaseline to assist in providing a better seal. A quick scrub of the transom with a scouring pad to get rid of the green gunge  provided a solid solution. I'm considering upgrading to a new Lowrance with structure scan. This would have been really handy on this trip, the more information you can get when fishing a new venue is always a good thing. Structure scan would  have been a great advantage.
The famous aeration tower
Some lovely Perch in here. I was somewhere between wanting to catch them but looking elsewhere. Maybe at the this time of year the best anglers on here can do broadly both at the same time. I struggled with this.
Long story short I didn’t land any Zander, certainly fished better on day two and gave myself some chances, lost two better fish, most likely  Zeds. I caught about a dozen Perch again in the process.  I fished better on day two, thought a lot more about what I was doing. I met a number of Grafham regulars, armed with experience earned and lots of electrickery catching good numbers of Perch and some Zeds.  I just wasn’t good enough for the latter on this occasion. I’m not too bothered if I fish much for the remainder of year, maybe a trip to Skye and back here. Grafham would be good again this month, would certainly save me the hassle of putting the Lowrance back in the Outback. Not caught a Zed for a year, being down here I could do the GUC tomorrow, doesn’t really hold the same prospects for big fish as here though. Up the road and a lazy Friday for me it is.

Friday, 2 September 2016


Me -Sharkatag 2012 Cairnhead SW Scotland female Tope 9lb 4oz aboard Tickety Boo with Gordon
The same fish 20th May 2016. Caught by Neil Spellacy from the shore at  Rossbeigh beach Co Kerry Rep Ireland- 19lb 5oz
Some of these fish are much further travelled -who knows where it's actually been in the last four years though. Seems to be doing well enough.