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  1. #1
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    Default How to fish a canal

    OK I nearly called this the licky and punch thread


    I have caught a ton of fish from my local Canal
    But mainly by luck than design

    Having just fished a commercial where the fish surrender immediately ( sort of ) I reckon between us we could create the definitive guide on canal fishing.
    There was a guy on go Fishing .co.uk called Ironfever who wrote a great piece "My way on the Canal" full of great practical advice on how to fish these type of natural waters.


    So its June , the weather is mild , we have drawn a peg with no locks nearby , its 16 M to the far bank which is full of reeds, this stretch holds tench pike , roach , skimmers , has a deep track in the middle , how should we fish it ?

  2. #2

    Default Re: How to fish a canal

    Feed a mix of hemp, pellets and small bolies to the far side reeds. Fish 2 rods each with a 2oz lead semi fixed to a 12 inch hooklink of 10lb line, size 6Drennan super specialist hook hook and a bolie on a longish hair. A flying backlead some way up the line and underarm flick the tackle to the reeds. The backlead should drop short. Tighten up then slacken off a little to allow the line behind the leads to be well sunk to the bottom. Place the rods angled down low to the water on 2 buzzers and attach a small light indicator of choice.

    Sit back, have a cup of tea and wait for the alarm to let out its delightful call.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: How to fish a canal

    Phillip is being mischievous Benny If you trawl back through the HDYGO thread you'll see there's loads of canal posts mostly from Peter Crabtree and some from me, we can fish a bit different from each other at times but are equally successful or if you like unsuccessful as that's canals for you.

    I'll leave the tips and tactics to others instead i'll offer a few observations of a few years with the pleasure of a canal on my doorstep

    Firstly the fish are more nomadic than you would think, even the chub banker swims lose their occupants at certain times of year, sometimes you could find a roach heaven one day only to find they are gone the next. Other spots can be more dependable though, come summer the fish are really spread out and I find small fish are a problem so fish mostly early spring when the river seasons finished or late autumn.

    Locks are interesting other than the ingenuity that would make Archimedes proud, always found below them better than above but not too close.

    If any rivers or streams feed the canal expect all the species to be in those feeders at certain times depending on their breeding dates even on the main canal you get the impression the fish are slowly working their way up to these outlets during the spring.

    Boats are unavoidable but I haven't hooked one yet They are still an enigma, I know anglers who both love and hate them. I like one at least to stir the colour in the water at but after 20 it can be a bit much, you often get good roach and chub when there's some flow on, better bream and perch when the bait is still.

    Rushes on the far side aren't always the best as the water can be inches deep, that's not to say there's no fish there and in a match that may be where they may find cover. I don't fish matches so nearly always fish the track to 3/4 across as it's more relaxing, steady feeding will bring anything out and close in is just as good if you are on your own

    Another thing with canals is no matter where you are you will encounter some oddballs going by, that is canal law

  4. Default Re: How to fish a canal

    I like to take three rods with me

    1: 10' or slightly shorter bomb rod - Fished light on the bottom of the far shelf. Fishing Brandling worm or corn over a very small amount of bread crumb and micro pellets with a smattering of hook bait freebies.

    I find that the above can sometimes be slow but is normally my best chance of a bigger fish.

    2: 10' or shorter light waggler rod or a short whip (I'm not really a pole fisherman, though I have often been outfished by poles.) - Fished with maggot, bread punch or paste on the drop with little and often pinkies or maggots free fed.

    I use this set up to pick up tiddlers on the near shelf out to mid way into the channel while I'm waiting for action on the bomb rod.

    3: I always like to have an 8' or shorter, light or ultra light spinning rod with me, every half an hour or so I put down the float and have a few casts to try and pick up bonus bigger perch or pike. Mepps spinners do well as do smaller jelly fish on light jig heads.
    Last edited by valetudoguy; 21-06-2019 at 11:44.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: How to fish a canal

    Quote Originally Posted by bennygesserit View Post
    There was a guy on go Fishing .co.uk called Ironfever who wrote a great piece "My way on the Canal" full of great practical advice on how to fish these type of natural waters.
    Wow Paul. Iron fever, there's a name from the past. I met him some years ago on a forum get together match at Burton Joyce, River Trent. Nice guy emigrated to France as I recall. Pete.
    Casternets

  6. #6
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    Default Re: How to fish a canal

    Quote Originally Posted by bracket View Post
    Wow Paul. Iron fever, there's a name from the past. I met him some years ago on a forum get together match at Burton Joyce, River Trent. Nice guy emigrated to France as I recall. Pete.

    Pete he sent me a PM recently he seems to be doing well - still in france , a nice guy , ex forces , seemed very knowledgeable

  7. #7
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    Default Re: How to fish a canal

    I think this covers my next approach i/e/ fishing over groundbait
    I have caught some great fish off the canal but they are , sometimes , fewer and farther between

    I think mastering a canal might be just as satisfying as catching a boat load of carp on a commie

    I fished a peg sometimes and caught a ton of roach , found out I was fishing just above a discarded jumper that was full of insects !

    I often go to the "cut" and blank ( or used to )
    and didn't really know what to do to fix it

    My main method was to fish on the drop and keep throwing casters at the float

    but there must be a better way - what is it ?

  8. #8
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    Default Re: How to fish a canal

    deleted post ( double posted the same post )

  9. #9
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    Default Re: How to fish a canal

    We have a lot of experts on here - how would they fish it ?

  10. #10

    Default Re: How to fish a canal

    A really difficult question to answer, all canals are so very different! I fish two canals, the Basingstoke Canal and the K&A Canal.

    At the western end of the Basingstoke Canal there are no locks for 14.5 miles. Therefore it is like a very long skinny lake (14.5 miles long x 11 yards wide = 58 acres!). I fish for roach, my favourite method is to floatfish overdepth using the lift method. Mainly I use flavoured punched bread, 3 bits on a size 14 B983 Kamasan hook - these hooks are quite large more like a normal size 12. If small fish are a new nuisance I use a bigger hook. Generally the water is coloured. In winter if it is cold I use flavoured dead maggots.

    The K&A Canal is very different. There are lots more boats and walkers and cyclists, etc. The K&A is generally much clearer especially between Newbury to Reading where the Kennet runs in and out. Here lots of sections are running just like a river with lots of trout and even grayling. I find the boats a real pain because the locks are opening and closing causing the water to flow backwards and forwards. When it does this you have no choice but to either quivertip of floatfish off bottom. On the flowing pounds I usually use a 17ft rod and lay-on overdepth with a small balsa float which lies flat on the surface, bites are indicated by the float twitching and then shooting under. In the winter when the water is very clear it is essential to either fish early or late for the roach, in the middle of the day I move onto the nearby kennet.

    Canal fishing is just so under rated and can be very difficult to fish but the fish are there.

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