Monday, 7 April 2014


The Grand Union canal is 137 miles long and Sunday I fished around 2 miles of it. I don't like to travel far for my fishing and today was no different, 10 minutes door to door, I'm certainly spoilt for choice where I live. The well kept banks and paths look like they are part of a pensioner’s pastime, complete contrast to the Stratford-Upon-Avon canal I’ve fished where a mountain bike is a must and so is a tetanus jab.

Having never fished it before I decided to have a rove around with just a few lures to try and catch a Zander that are known to reside within the cuts murky depths. Rod was a slightly over-gunned, a 8ft 6lb Savage Gear Bushwhacker with an Okuma RTX30 spinning reel.

Unlike many of the local Coventry bloggers I’ve never caught a Zander so a fish caught would be a bonus and a PB. The first cast I made was around a lock mouth, I felt the lure drag the bottom and then hook up on something that gave some solid resistance, not a fish but when it surfaced it was a manky shoe, not a great start. As I was unhooking the shoe a Carp launched itself clear of the water, looked a double too and at least confirmed there was some fish in the vicinity. Canals have plenty of features and that’s the areas I targeted. The method I used was to cast out, allow the lure to hit the bottom and then with the rod held at 45 degrees with the tip chattering to indicate direct contact with the lure I slowly retrieved it. Frequent jigging of the rod gives the lure more visual interest.

I tried a few lures and for a couple of hours or so I didn’t have a knock, the water clarity seem to worsen from when I started so I switched to a small lure with a firetiger pattern. That was the change that was needed because after a few grabs of the lure after a few retrieves a fish grabbed it. It was a small Zander too, only 10oz’s or so but not having caught one before it was a PB. I was off the mark.

The canal was teeming with wildlife, kingfishers, swans, moorhen, coots and mallards, it’s a nice environment. The canals pounds look interesting and I might give them a go in the future, a couple of them look the size of Meriden village pond. After a two mile walk and only one Zander caught I proceeded to return to where I started. About a mile in to the walk back the canal appeared darker, the boarding mature trees helped but the sky was noticeably duller. Again casting in to the lock mouth I felt a couple of knocks, it didn’t feel like catching bottom and a second cast a fish hit the lure and the line was being dragged around all over the shop. It certainly felt like a decent Fish but when it broke surface it was smaller than I thought. However at 1lb 15oz and only the second Zander I have ever caught the schoolie was still a PB.

As a reccy session it went pretty well but I think when I fish for them again I might try some of the small Roach deadbaits I have in the freezer and fish in to dusk. I might badger a mate to join me as even though it’s not known as a dodgy area I don’t like the idea of fishing the canal towpath in the dark. It’s not a busy stretch of canal either, that’s a bonus. I was the only one fishing too, maybe there is a reason for that, only bank time will tell. 


  1. Well done on the zander. 2 PB's in 1 trip!

  2. Well done Mick, first of many if your like the rest of us. Extra bonus for being on a lure too! ;)

  3. Strange you mention that Lee, I'll be back Saturday morning with a change of tactics.


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