How to catch big canal fish

Danny Martin reveals his cold-weather canal approach

How to catch big canal fish

by Angling Times |

To my mind, when fishing canals, there are no better baits for getting a few ‘netters’ than bread and casters. They complement each other and can be fed side by side without damaging the swim. Here's how I fish them...

Big bream will often show in the opening golden hour of a session
Big bream will often show in the opening golden hour of a session

Go for a bigger float

I like something a bit bigger. We’re still only talking 4x12, but this allows me to deck the bait firmly on the bottom. The Drennan Roach pattern I use has a long bristle.

Go for a bigger float
Go for a bigger float

Use a 5mm punch

You might think big fish mean big baits, but that’s not true with breadpunch. A big punch actually becomes too buoyant once in the water, which is why I’ll fish a 5mm punch.

Use a 5mm punch
Use a 5mm punch

Bury the hook

When it’s time to try a caster, I leave only a small amount of hookpoint showing – the rest of the hook is inside the caster itself. My caster hook is a size 18 Preston Innovations N-40.

Bury the hook
Bury the hook

Keep feeding precise

Loosefeeding casters little and often can spread the feed over a wide area. Instead, I use a little pot and tap half-a-dozen baits into a tight area. I then fish directly over them.

Keep feeding precise
Keep feeding precise

Feed ‘likky’

If I want a chance of a few skimmers, there’s nothing to beat liqudised bread. All I do is blend a cheap sliced white loaf, crusts and all, and then push it through a riddle.

Feed ‘likky’
Feed ‘likky’

Start overdepth

For roach, the rig is set to fish just off bottom, but for big fish I’ll fish 2ins overdepth until I think the chance of a skimmer has gone, then revert back to fishing off bottom.

Start overdepth
Start overdepth
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