So yesterday I went down the Oxford Canal 5 minutes away to have my first efforts at finding a zander. The weather couldn't have been worse, by 9 o'clock the sun was streaming out of a bright blue sky and I'd stripped off my 2 outer layers leaving just a T shirt on (plus trousers of course). The stretch has quite a bit of far bank vegetation below the lock and a bit of a boat yard above, so I thought it could make a reasonable mile of zander haven.
I used 2 speci rods, one my 1.5lbs barbel and a Greys 12' Carp Bagger rated at 6lbs - 10lbs line I won in a competition a couple of years ago. Both started off with very small cigar pike floats but soon I had to add small drilled bullets via a run ring as the wind was blowing directly down the canal and made controlling the float extremely difficult. This anchored the rigs just enough to hold them steady. My home-made traces were Drennan 20lbs soft strand wire around 10" long with single size 6 Korda Hybrid Wide Gape hooks.
I fished over depth firstly along the boat-free section and moved regularly as Danny suggested. After 3 hours I decided to move above the lock and try against the boats. One rod was positioned alongside a narrowboat on my side and the other cast to one opposite. Bait was a bag of sprats bought a couple of days ago at Morrisons. They were hooked through the wrist of the tail and I tried whole ones and then with the heads cut off - mmmm, smelly oozey. But not even a twitch on the float. Also their flanks were as pristine as when they were cast in, so no nibbles.
I'm probably going to the Avon at Twyford again next week so I'll try again there. Failing that, the Gloucester canal seems to be fishing well.