10 Street Lure Fishing Tips – Thom Hunt

There are cracking predators to be caught in town and city waterways

10 Street Lure Fishing Tips - Thom Hunt

by Angling Times |

Give urban lure fishing a go on your local canal this closed season - it’s fun!

Start small, catch the lot

Urban canals do hold big fish, but their main appeal is plenty of smaller ones and lots of bites. After a long cold winter, keep your kit light and your lures small. For perch and zander I like lures of 5cm-8cm, and for small pike 8cm-12cm baits are ideal. My favourites are the 5cm and 7.5cm Westin Stanley the Stickleback, a very realistic ‘bait fish’ shape that catches everything! Use light rods rated up to 15g and small reels.

My favourites are the 5cm and 7.5cm Westin Stanley the Stickleback
My favourites are the 5cm and 7.5cm Westin Stanley the Stickleback

Keep your kit in the car

A 6ft, two-piece lure rod, a net, and a small bag with just a few lures take up very little room and allow you to make quick decisions for short fishing trips. Lure fishing is accessible, very simple and affordable, and can fit in with a busy modern lifestyle.

The kit you need
The kit you need

Find the features

Predators love structure. The first 50m below a lock, 25m either side of a bridge or around features such as outflows or marina entrances are excellent places to target. You can waste a lot of time in ‘no man’s land’ on the straights between these features.

Try drop shotting first

When the water is at its coldest, use a drop shot lure with pin tail or ‘V’-shaped tail which will give off subtle vibrations and can be fished slowly and delicately. As the water temperature rises, fish more aggressive styles like jigs with paddle tail lures, small spinners or small crankbaits. The extra vibrations activate the fish.

Pick the right colour lure

A good rule of thumb is to select your lure colour by the clarity of water. If you have less than a foot of visibility, bright pink, white and chartreuse lures will stand out in muddy water. Black is also a great colour, as it silhouettes very well to fish attacking from below. In clearer water use ‘natural’ coloured lures, and in sunny conditions I favour something with a bit of silver in it for its shiny flash effect.

Pick the right colour lure
Pick the right colour lure

Avoid the snags

I usually favour an ‘exposed’ hookpoint, but if your venues have significant numbers of snags in – which many industrial or urban style canals do – switch to a light Cheb rig or small Texas rig with a weedless hook and you won’t lose too much kit.

Reach the fish

Some city centre or urban venues have a fair drop between the towpath and the water, or bankside railings to contend with, so a good quality extending landing net is a must. In the UK most venues will be fine with a 2m-3m handle.

I’ve fished all over Europe, and if you ever go street fishing in big cities like Amsterdam, Rotterdam, or Paris then a 4m or 6m landing net handle and sometimes a drop net can be required!

Try a ned rig

If larger predators are your quarry, particularly perch, get yourself some ‘Ned’ rigs and crayfish-style lures. Go for floating soft plastics – the trick is to drag and hop them along the bottom, then leave them dead still for a few seconds. The floating plastic leaves them standing to attention, waving tantalisingly, and makes them a nice easy meal for big stripeys!

Don’t forget your scales

There are some superb perch of 2lb, 3lb or even 4lb-plus in many canals all around the UK so although I suggest aiming for plenty of bites to begin with, don’t be surprised if you hit into a real specimen too.

There are some superb perch of 2lb, 3lb or even 4lb-plus in many canals all around the UK
There are some superb perch of 2lb, 3lb or even 4lb-plus in many canals all around the UK

Have fun!

Set yourself a multi-species challenge. In April, May, and June, when small fry hatch and there are plenty of flies and insects hatching, many species turn predatory and can be caught on lures. Use tiny 1.5ins shads or insect imitators and expect roach, rudd, bream, and even gudgeon! Enjoy your fishing.

Enjoy your fishing
Enjoy your fishing
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