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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.