Feeder fishing tactics for your local canal

Lee Kerry opts for a method that combats heavy boat traffic and the disturbance of lock gates opening and closing

Feeder fishing tactics for your local canal

by Angling Times |

When I first fished the Yorkshire canal system, a bream or skimmer was a bit of a bonus.

Today it seems all the UK’s big canals have an abundance of bream and skimmers, which have become the main target for pleasure and match anglers.

My local Aire & Calder and New Junction Canals are typical of this, seeing bream and skimmers win almost every match and making them a popular target for the angler who’s after something that pulls back a bit harder than roach.

Bream are a popular canal target
Bream are a popular canal target

However, these big waters are very different to the narrow, shallow venues we think of as typical canals. They’re often 35m-40m across and 11ft-plus deep down the middle, and subject to a lot of movement from the big boats that cruise up and down and the lock gates that regularly open and close.

This is what makes the feeder a brilliant way to approach these venues. You can achieve that perfect static bait presentation that the waggler or even the long pole can’t hope to match.

Here's six tips to help you get the most from the feeder on canals...

Feeder choices

Bottom-weighted 20g feeders allow accurate casts. A Hex Mesh Rocket gives way to a window feeder later in the day.

Feeder choices
Feeder choices

Go for braid!

I use 0.12mm Absolute Feeder Braid with a 7m shockleader of 0.26mm (8lb) Sinking Feeder Mono to deal with bigger fish.

Go for braid!
Go for braid!

Hookbait changes

If worms are a good hookbait I’ll start putting more and more chopped worm through the feeder.

Hookbait changes
Hookbait changes

Use a bit of fishmeal

My favourite F1 Dark mix with Sweet Skimmer gives the groundbait a touch of fishmeal and is a winner for bream.

Use a bit of fishmeal
Use a bit of fishmeal

Positive tackle

My rig starts with a twisted boom and 60cm of 0.14mm AccuPower to a size 14 hook, but I’ll go down if need be.

Positive tackle
Positive tackle

Read the bites

Look for big pulls on the tip, then gently pick up. Striking at false indications all the time can unsettle the peg.

Read the bites
Read the bites
Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us