Monday 19 November 2012

Bury Hill Zeds

I haven't really stuck to the Wish List I proposed before the season started, I get very easily distracted. But one fish I really want to catch is a zander. So yesterday Darren and I headed to top zander venue, Bury Hill in Surrey.

Bury Hill has a single barbless hook policy, and when I was making the traces I didn't fancy them. But having used them and seen how they hold the bait with a lot of hook showing I think this might be the way forward in predator fishing. We inherited trebles from the days of catching for the pot, and there must be a better solution.

To the fishing... Well the zander didn't want to play today, only one was caught on the entire lake, but we did a lot of exploring (floating about in our boat in the sunshine), a couple of jacks provided the excitement and cooking sausage and bacon rolls from our mid-lake camp was brilliant!

Any trip that results in a pike or two, regardless of size, is a great trip in my book. Now we just have to work on smashing Darren's pike curse... And we're both very keen to return and hopefully put our first zander each on the bank!


  1. Looks like a fun day. Always exciting trying somewhere new. Bad luck not getting a Zander but nice work on a couple of nice jacks.
    I think you are going to have to experiment with hook placement in the bait. As you know from fishing over here, lip hooked baits with a circle hook was very effective. That hooking arrangement works really well for smaller thumb-sized mullet here for jacks, Blues and Red Drum. Another popular hooking place is the tail root in deads for tarpon, the deads tail is cut off with a pair of scissors first.

    1. We were a bit unlucky with the bright conditions, it had been dull all week until Sunday which the zander like. Nice weather for being out in a boat though!

      Hook placement is a bit double edged, wanted the bait to look natural (holding the fish the right way up - we were float fishing) and finding a spot where it will find purchase in the pike's mouth. A lot of the fishing here is done with chunks of fish, so it doesn't matter so much - but we wanted to keep our pike option open, I think next time it'll be zander all the way.

      Like you say, a few experiments are in order.

      Did you catch a tarpon? Saw the photo of you feeding them...

    2. I didn't catch any the size of the ones we were feeding. I did however catch three smaller (5Lb's) ones from the dock where we stayed. Light rod and 20Lb braid, to keep them out of the pilings , and free lined live shrimp. What a blast, poor fish just jump themselves to a standstill in the first 60 seconds. Lots of Jack Crevelles, Snapper, and small Barracudas too. Plus a few nice sharks and one beastly Spinner Shark. I'll get a report up soon.


    3. Look forward to the report/photos

  2. Hi,
    You might find these fishing rigs interesting:

    1. Thanks Ollie, it's always good to look at new rigs, I tend to get a bit stuck in my ways.

      We basically used scaled down pike fishing tactics, but I think next time we'll go for scaled up chub rigs.

      I had a dropped run just as the light was fading, can't help but wonder if it was a zander and too much resistance.

    2. Fishing for pike or zander with a single barbless hook sounds like quite a challenge indeed (considering the norm is two treble hooks) - i've got the feeling you're just about ready to try fly-fishing for pike ?! :)

    3. I've only ever use one treble, well I use two trebles on lamprey ('cause it's so expensive).

      I was flyfishing for pike long before it became fashionable... Haven't done it for a few years now, but now you've put it in my mind...