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  1. #11

    Default Re: Water clarity vs success on canals

    Quote Originally Posted by spoonminnow View Post
    Sylvanillp suggestion is #1 in importance. Fish not present = fish not caught.

    There are thousands of soft plastic lures fish bite regardless of species and fish size. Lure design and size are extremely important !

    Design dictates lure action and how a lure is worked such as slow or medium in speed.

    Lures cast horizontal to the bottom cover the most water and in my opinion - the slower the better unless fish activity level is high.

    Finesse lures include those with tails that quiver or flap with the least angler input at the slowest retrieves. This is where I'd start:

    jig suggestions:
    1/32, 1/16, 1/24 oz unpainted ball head jigs with different size hooks - #6 and#4. Ebay the best source. Jig weight and hook size determine lure size used and lure action/speed.

    one of the best UK sites for soft plastic lures other than Ebay:
    Soft Plastic Lures

    Grubs with straight tails such as the Big Bite Bait grub shown below sometimes do better than curl tails or tubes:
    Attachment 8124

    In fact, I've cut the curl tails off grubs, rigged them on 1/32 oz jig heads and caught fish.
    Attachment 8125Attachment 8126

    mini plastic worms do very well on light jigs such as this Crazy Fish worm:
    Attachment 8127


    Thin tail grubs catch fish like crazy - especially ones that are inactive.


    If larger fish are caught or when casting an area, larger worms on light jigs catch small and large fish. Below is a Gary Yamamoto Kut Tail Worm:


    Thin diameter braid and a light action rod complements lure action and the feel of the light strike. Setting the hook is just a matter of allowing the fish to panic and set it itself as the rod is raised to take in slack after which the reel handle does so in conjunction.

    Not sure of you experience level with any of the above and apologize if too much info is presented. But for anyone with any level experience, any suggestions may be helpful.

    Good luck and catch a bunch !! Just remember cast all over the place using a slow slightly erratic retrieve at different depths.
    Thank you so much for your very informative reply. Much appreciated.

    Part of what I've gotten from this and many pieces of advice is fish the lures more slowly!



    Sent from my moto g(6) play using Tapatalk

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
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    Default Re: Water clarity vs success on canals

    I have always found it hard going in very clear water until dusk. The river I fish most often has some canalised sections and these are rarely clear when other parts of the river are so the difference between the two conditions on the same day has been quite clear to me. Also the clear water means I can sometimes see that the fish are ignoring my lures. On bright sunny days in particular I focus on sections with colour or at least shaded areas with over hanging trees.

  3. Default Re: Water clarity vs success on canals

    Krang, you mentioned some very relevant observations - something all anglers should be aware of any time they fish. I have a pond that holds fish and noticed that when fish are nearer the surface under a bright sky after a cold front, they're not apt to bite. The clearer the water, the less action on sunny days and just the opposite on cloudy days when fish are at mid depth or near the bottom.

    When the bite is tough, I've found that downsizing a lure gets a few more strikes. Yesterday I used the 1.5" grub on the right rigged on a 1/32 oz ball head jig.

    An action tail like the smaller curl tail shown can flutter at the slowest retrieve speed - another thing needed especially in cold water in winter or early spring. (Note the clear plastic I used to make the grub. It's worked just a well as ones with color - in fact better. At times I glue a very small bit of fine glitter to the grub's surface for a bit of flash .)

    This worked even better:


    The float splashes down after which the hair jig (one I tied using fur from my dog), drops down a leader length of around 3' from the float. Then I slowly drag the float a foot at a time and pause, then repeat. It seems fish couldn't stand the tyke swimming without a care in their territory. Maybe the float's surface ripple adds something to the setup's success, calling nearby fish in closer to see what's going on. Note: Jig weight is 1/32 oz with a #6 hook.

    You might think the large float scares fish, but for some reason it doesn't and within a few feet of travel the lure gets tapped making the float twitch slightly but then becoming more pronounced. Even smaller fish take it down as they try to run off with the lure.

    Yesterday after only getting one fish on the curl tail grub in the morning, I switched to the float & fly combo in the pm and caught 4 crappie, one green sunfish and a bluegill within 1/2 hour.
    Note: I can see the bottom in 4.5' of water that is less than 50 degrees due to cold night time temperatures.
    Last edited by spoonminnow; 01-04-2020 at 13:10.

  4. #14

    Default Re: Water clarity vs success on canals

    I would agree that the ultimate problem in clear water is that the fish(already pretty finicky) have learnt and recognised certain lures.

    I’ll give an example, I live in an urban area where there is one large stillwater that can be lure fishes on in the vicinity. Naturally the local angling community gravitate towards here and it receives a decent amount of angling pressure along with the influences of dog walkers and the general public... The quality of lure fishing is fairly decent, a good day producing 2-3 odd five or six lb pike, the overall stock of fish seeming relatively below standard... However electro fishing surveys seem to state otherwise, loads of decent perch and pike being stunned during the process. One day(first day of the open season last year) I got up early and headed down to the venue with a friend , the water had become less clear, I began and... Long story short by the end of a two hour session 8 of said good pike (largest being 14 odd lbs) has been procured with the friend having had another 7 and one lost. The bites were constant...

    The only sound explanation is that the regular retrieval of fox shads and savage gear replicas had given the fish a crash course in what not to eat and only after a period of rest coupled with ideal conditions had they been coaxed to bite. It seems now that using unfamiliar lures on the water (mostly U.S bass sticks and worms) also leads to greater success, affirming the point. A similar thing goes on at the local stretch of Thames, lots of perchy fun in early spring, summer and autumn with silence in winter. Worm seems the way to go.
    Hopefully later on in the year fortune shall change for you!
    Last edited by WW-Piscator; 01-04-2020 at 17:14.

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