The Grand Union Canal at Ivinghoe is full of big carp and anglers are currently enjoying themselves this summer by tackling up on the towpath to catch specimens to 20lb. What’s more you don’t need technical big carp knowledge to catch them as they are falling to simple pole and waggler tactics, similar to what you would find on any commercial complex.
Carp are not often associated with canals but this delightful stretch of waterway hidden in the Bedfordshire countryside offers fishing on par with many of the nearby commercials. Luton Angling Club, who control the stretch, have undertaken numerous stockings of the species over the years including the introduction of 3000 of them a couple of years ago. Although a lot of these fish have spread out, there are still dozens to be caught, and most average around 10lb from some of the previous stockings. The stretch by Brownlow’s Bridge is one of them. Here you can fish across to the many barges that permanently moor here as this is where the carp live. Anglers often catch as many as ten in a session on a good day and they show all-year-round. However, even without the carp you can enjoy a good days fishing catching skimmers and roach, with nets easily topping double-figures by using typical canal tactics including pinkie over groundbait or bread punch. For the carp though you need to fish fairly heavy. Black hydro elastic and 0.20 (8lb) line is the kind of tackle which will stand up to these beasts, using a hook around size 12-14. The canal is relatively under-fished around here so a simple rig with a 4x12 float should be fine, fishing in around 3ft of water. Most commercial style baits work here including pellets, corn, meat and even Pepparami. Feed some offerings at the start and place your rig over the top. It may be worth feeding more than one line across the far side and work between them until you get bites. There are also bream in here so expect to get bites from those too. For the biggest carp to 20lb-plus you can target these with chod rigs and pop-up boilies, and these provide a good days fishing if you’re a specimen angler looking for a boost in confidence.
TIP: Barges or the far bank tins are key features on this canal as big carp tend to hug them, Fish tight to these features using strong tackle.
Grand Union Canal, Invinghoe
Location: Grand Union Canal, Ivinghoe, Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire LU7 9DY
Contact: Steve Sharp Luton AC club Press Officer, 07704 462635 www.lutonanglingclub.co.uk
Prices: £5 per day on the bank £3 concessions £2 juniors, Luton AC, some sections are members only
Rules: Two rods maximum, night fishing for members only, no touching barges with poles or bait