Friday 13 May 2022

Transient Towpath Trudging - Pt.29

To find carp on canals is not easy, and local knowledge is very often necessary for success. The weedy stretches will of course be the places to try but often in this neck of the woods one is confronted with miles of water all similar, and one is hard put to decide where to start. 

I received a message this week from a fellow canal fisherman 'Jon from the racecourse' who had hooked and lost a couple recently though which raised ones eyebrows. You see I'd seen carp here in the past, in-fact a decent head of them and upon locating them I actually lost two to a snag. 

So it was good to see them back in this area that can be tough for bites. You have to be on the quickly though as they disappear as quickly as they appear. 

To be fair I had earmarked this stretch for a dangle again as I heard that there was chub here as well so that almost dictated the session where I'd fish a nash bread bomb presented piece of M&S garlic naan (mediocre, so don't bother) over some feed pellets in the margin and then a simple float set-up with piece of slow sinking flake just off the cover on the far bank. 

Now although the capture of large carp had occasionally hit the headlines of the angling press since the beginning of the last century, it wasn't really until the 60's or so when carp has became a topic of conversation amongst the angling fraternity. 

Prior to that you see, the carp has been looked upon as a fish possessed of such an incredible brain, as to be able to tell whether or not the angler (who was never expected to catch one anyway) was using 2X gut or 6X. If the gentleman in question was using anything coarser than 6X, then Mr. Carp would turn up his nose in disgust that such a fellow existed, who would try and seduce such a noble fish from his home with rope. 

Owing to this sort of idea being rather general, very few carp were caught, as those who tried to catch them fished much too fine, and if they were fortunate enough to hook one except in the very rare places that carp can be caught in snag free water they were generally broken.

In the 21st century though all the superstition and mystery that surrounded the carp has been well and truly exploded. It has been shown it is well within the bounds of all of us to catch carp, and large carp at that, provided we are prepared to go to a certain amount of trouble to catch our fish. 

Carp can be caught on line that would tow a barge, provided the bait has been presented properly. Lobworms, part boiled potatoes and bread used back in the day still catch carp despite the boilie and bivi brigade now being the norm for the modern carp angler who would rarely fish canals when down the road you could catch 'One Eyed Muggy McMug Fish' who apparently now has reached the belly bulging weight of 50lb.
Jesus I'm waffling, better get the rods out !!

To be honest with the weather warm and the sun high in the sky it probably wasn't the best time to go to the canal because as expected boat traffic and footfall was more than I'd like. With both rods out what I didn't expect was a bite quite quick on the dumpy float which I missed. I cast out an again the float soon went under but this time I was premature and didn't let the bite develop.

To third time lucky ? we thankfully yes, because this time I left it go under the surface for a second or two and then struck firmly in to a fish. I knew what it was straight away and that was one of the turbocharged roach bream hybrids that reside here.

Quite a nice one as well and ok not the target species but at least not a blank. Not long after the first boat came through but the lock gate didn't quite open enough so it had to go back and forth and give it a couple of goes before asking for help.

So with a couple of passing gongoozlers with extra muscle on the lock paddles I manned the rope and eventually the boat managed to get fully in to the lock. By now the swim was as knackered as the gate so after trying a couple more chocolate coloured swims I was wasting my time and it was time for the off. 


  1. I see the ‘snagged bros’ had fished the stretch then .

    1. Seems that way, not bumped in to them mind you


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