Start Your Year At The Toten Pole Canal
With many of the nation’s rivers in flood, many anglers who enjoy fishing natural venues are turning their attention to canals and for Londoners there aren’t many better than the Grand Union just north of the city.
The Toten Pole section of the canal at Berkhamsted has always been popular with match anglers as it offers consistent sport all-year-round. This area of waterway is well known for its big perch with a huge head of fish to over 3lb being landed consistently. The boats by the Crystal Palace pub are one of the hotspots as the barges tend to hold schoals of silverfish including roach and skimmers and predators follow them to feed.
The skimmers will feed when the water is coloured especially from the 18m wide section further along at the train station. You can target them on the pole, waggler or feeder using a sweet groundbait with maggot, caster or worm on the hook. Back at the boats, you can use small baits for silverfish but chopped worm and caster is useful here for a bonus perch or chub. Feed this line down the middle of the canal with a bulk shotted rig.
If the canal runs clearer than bread punch comes into its own. Be careful not to overfeed though so start with a small ball and go from there.
TIP: Start with a big piece of punch on the hook first cast when fishing bread to see if there are any bonus fish in your peg.
Prices: £4 on the bank, London AA,
Location: Grand Union Canal, Berkhamsted, Herts, HP4 2BG
Contact: Old Town Angling Hemel Hempstead, 01442 252373
Rules: No fires, no radios