How to fish with light lures on the canal

Hit the towpath for lots of bites and a ton of fun, says England lure ace Thom Hunt

How to fish with light lures on the canal

by Angling Times |

BRITAIN’S canals may have fallen from favour with many anglers down the years, but for lure fishing fans in search of lots of bites they’re a superb resource, and packed with potential.

Unlike many modern styles of fishing that require a mountain of tackle and expensive day tickets, light lure angling is supremely cheap and accessible.

Canals offer so much untapped angling potential
Canals offer so much untapped angling potential

Everyone has a canal within easy striking distance, and most require just a low-cost day or season permit to open up many miles of brilliant sport targeting perch, zander and pike.

Here's how I fish them...

Canals open up many miles of brilliant sport targeting perch, zander and pike
Canals open up many miles of brilliant sport targeting perch, zander and pike

Target structure

Perch are ‘structure addicts’, so target any bridges, canal boats, weedbeds or overhanging trees/bushes.

Target structure
Target structure

Travel light

You can carry everything you need on your back. Keep moving – half-a-dozen casts in each swim will be ample.

Travel light
Travel light

Take a selection

Carry different lures sizes and colours, plus jig heads. Some work better than others in certain water conditions.

Take a selection
Take a selection

Don’t ignore margins

The biggest fish can often be found directly under your feet, especially in coloured water, so always start there.

Don’t ignore margins
Don’t ignore margins

Small is best

5cm-long lures that mimic fry are great for perch and zander. With jig heads, use 1g of weight for every foot of water.

Small is best
Small is best

Use balanced tackle

A 2000-sized reel with 10lb braid matches perfectly with a 6ft-7ft lightweight rod with a casting rating of under 10g.

Use balanced tackle
Use balanced tackle
Small but perfectly formed! Zander are thriving in many canals
Small but perfectly formed! Zander are thriving in many canals
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