Not many canals in the UK can boast 30lb plus catches of tench but the extremely narrow Grantham Canal near Grantham offers just that and June is the time to target them.
Anglers who know the potential of the canal around here have been making their annual pilgrimages to the waterway over the last couple of weeks in search of the tench which always appear here every year in good numbers, fishing before the weed, which blights this barely navigable canal, later in the summer.
The canal winds its way from the centre of Grantham from which it acquired its name, to West Bridgeford in Nottinghamshire, 33 miles later, where it joins the river Trent. The whole venue is stuffed with tench and silverfish but it is the stretch at Bottesford which is one of the best and most peaceful. The tench, which go to around 5lb, lurk around the reeds, stick ups and weed beds that seemingly adorn every peg here and these can be caught by fishing the pole or waggler around 4ins over-depth to lay a bait still on the bottom. The top bait here as you’d expect for these species is chopped worm and caster and this should be feed on two lines either across the far-side or two thirds of the way over. You can also use pellets and corn and these are worth trying especially if you are being blighted by small fish. Don’t fish too light as you will struggle in the weed and snags so fish something like 0.16 straight through with strong elastic such as black hydro.
As the summer wears on the weed will become a problem and make swim selection more difficult but as we speak plans are finally coming to fruition by The Grantham Canal Society to restore the canal fully for navigation which, although means anglers will have boats to contend with, at least weed won’t be such a problem in future.
Prices: £3 a day or £20 a season on the bank, Bottesford AA
Contact: Mick Calcraft, Bottesford AA 01949 842776
Location: Grantham Canal, Woolsthorpe Lane, Bottesford, Grantham, Lincs
Rules: no bloodworm & joker