How to fish positively on canals

Reach for worms and casters for a big net on the cut, says Danny Martin

by Angling Times |

Think about canal fishing and you might conjure up images of fishing squatts and pinkies to catch roach and small perch, with skimmers, hybrids and bream seen as bonus fish that you just pick off throughout the session on a dedicated line in your swim.

While that might be the case during winter, it doesn’t apply now. At this time of year, big fish are on the feed on all our canals and, on the right peg, they can be fished for all day to produce a bumper bag. It’s about as far removed from scratching about for a few pounds of bits as it’s possible to be.

Feed worm soup

Normally, big fish require chopping worms into big bits, but I mince them into a type of soup. This means there’s nothing moving about on the bottom except my hookbait.

Use big hookbaits

For quality fish I use casters and worms on the hook. I start on a single caster, then change to half a small dendra worm once I think better fish have come into the peg.

Be accurate at 9m

On my line that’s three-quarters of the way across, I won’t loosefeed, instead dripping half-a-dozen casters in via a small pot. This keeps things accurate.

Spray for big fish

It’s different on my big fish line on top of the shelf. Boat disturbance is less, and the fish will live under any cover. I’ll loosefeed casters here to coax the fish out into the canal.

Don’t go too heavy

Rigs don’t need to be heavy. For the slightly deeper water, a 0.2g Drennan SF1 is ample, while for tight across I use a dumpy 4x10 MAP float designed for carp for stability.

Take no prisoners!

You could easily hook a big chub or perch, so use a size 16 or 14 Kamasan B611 to 0.14mm line when fishing to cover, with a 0.12mm hooklength for down the far shelf.

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