Wednesday 31 May 2023

Transient Towpath Trudging - Pt.74

Some human beings like to live in a town, some in the country, some on high ground, some in the valleys. So do fish. Some fish like to live in shoals, or schools a sort of town life. Others live a quiet or 'country' life which is rather lonely. Then there are fish which prefer to live and feed near, or on, the surface of the water, which is much the same as people living on high ground. Fish which live on the bottom of the river are as the humans who like living in valleys.

Now fish are one of life's loafers, and in the human world there seems to be an ever increasing work shy layabouts and those happy to live of me and thee's handouts, maybe if I'm reincarnated I'd like to come back as a fish, not a stupid gluttonous carp mind you, maybe an eel, or a chub maybe, just to see what it is like. 

Suppose I asked you if you would like a nice plate of curry for breakfast on a boiling summer day? You would say, 'Not likely, thank you.' I should be offering you the wrong 'bait'. On the other hand, if I suggested some cold chicken and salad for lunch on the same day, or a dish of Irish Stew on a cold winter day, you would say, 'Yes, please.' I should be offering you the right 'bait'. So when you go fishing you must put the right 'meal' on the hook and that is often governed by the weather.

Then again people have ideas about food. Some folk are vegetarians, others much prefer plenty of meat. Fish are the same. Roach, for instance, aren't all that keen on meat. They have a fancy for bread paste. But it wouldn't be much use offering a perch a bread paste bait. The perch is the boy for meat, especially a nice red wriggling worm.


I am sure that among the people you know, some are strong, some are bold and rather reckless, some careful, clever, even a little bit artful, and others shy. And fish are just the same. Some have all these characteristics. Just you wait until you are playing a big carp, then you will know what I mean. Not until your carp actually lying in the landing net and a good way from the waterside will you be able to say truthfully, 'Got him!'

The recent canal carp capture almost played out in slow motion, very surreal because usually my calamity traits often get in the way. Sam fancied in on this after seeing the carp and with the gear still out from the 'recent hallowed' sortie it was to the local canal forthwith.


The surface was littered with crud from the boarding trees so for something different and the fact it worked well on the last session, so a scaled down helicopter rig with a groundbait feeder with worm / maggot as bait. The bread bomb rod if we spotted any carp and a float out for any Zander in the area. 

Sam always says he brings bad luck when we fish the canal and 2 hours in to the session without a bite he repeated the sentence. "Daddy, you know what I say when we fish the canals, well...." 


....plenty of things to keep Sam occupied though within the tackle bag.

A slingshot to practice his aiming, a pair of scissors to dig out a big stone out of the ground and some bread to feed the ducklings. Wild garlic to pick and dock leaves to float down the canal. 

3 swims fished and not even a nibble on maggots or worms and the deadbait rod was untouched. No sign of the carp either in these overcast conditions. !!

Still plenty of father and son time away from the house and that's why I like these sessions !!!

Verbal diarrhoea it may be, however....

"can we nuke China because they eat dogs, we need to save all the dogs"

"A gun magazine in America takes 30 bullets because that's the average school class size" "apparently you can own a gun as long as you can walk, 2 or something"

"Tell me about slavery, we are learning about it in school"  

Monday 29 May 2023

Canal Zander - The Hallowed II Chronicles Pt.10 (Tench hopefully)

The red-eyed Doctor Fish! This is the tench. And he's worth angling for. He is as tricky as the carp, and when you have hooked a good one you will know all about it. I've not come close to a Tench down here yet but others have managed them but they show often when you least expect it and often well in to dark for those that enjoy that sort of thing. 

Why are they called the Doctor Fish? It was supposed that sick or wounded fish rubbed themselves against the tench's slimy flanks and were promptly made well. There seems to be some truth in this claim. Many year ago apparently an angler living in Monmouthshire suffered from a skin disease caused by his work he was is a steel-worker. The doctor's treatment didn't work. All the ointments and lotions weren't a bit of good. 

Now this man caught a tench. In returning it to the water, some of the tench's slime stuck to his hands. When he went home he suddenly realized that his hands were more comfortable. He'd heard the story of the Doctor Fish so he began to wonder. 

He caught two or three more tench, took them home and kept them in a pond in his garden. Daily he took one out with a net, wiped his hands on the fish's flanks, put it back... and now his hands are as free from disease as mine are.

What does the tench look like? He is bronze-green in colour and has enormous fins and red eyes. 

He has two small barbs, one each side of his mouth, and he is extraordinarily smooth to the touch. How big? I have read that the record tench weighed 15lb and 3 ounces, but a fish of 6 lb was rare in the 70's when I was born. 

However, the tench is a strong fish his build tells you that and a two or three pounder's strength is quite surprising. 

With modern high protein baits from the boilie brigade over the years the tench year on year have been getting bigger and bigger much like the population. 

Now it has been recorded that tench bury themselves in the mud of ponds dried up in a drought; then they go to sleep and wait for the rain to fill the pond up again. 

Tench can hang on to life with precious little air to keep them alive. You can catch one, put it in wet moss, weeds or whatever is handy and suitable, and you can cart him miles to new water and he won't be a scrap the worse for the journey. The tench, of course, is a summer fish. In the winter don't waste any time trying to catch him. 


He is down in the mud and weeds at the bottom of the pond having a winter sleep. Sometimes on a warm winter day a tench might take an interest in an offered bait, but it is so rare that it is not worth wasting time in trying for one. You will find a few tench in the rivers, as you will bream, but still water is the home of the tench and in that still water there must be weeds plenty of them.

There is a belief that tench are, in a way, governed by the breathing of the plants. You know, of course, that in the day time plants breathe in carbon dioxide and give off oxygen. When the sun has set the same plants take in oxygen and give off carbon dioxide. 


The tench need oxygen all the time so they hang around the water weeds while they are giving off oxygen and get away from them while they are giving off carbon dioxide. And I'm sure that this is correct. So when fishing for tench in daylight keep near the weeds, but very early morning or evening fish away from the weeds. Don't forget this, will you?

Anyway this is the 'Hallowed' after all so the problem is working out how to fish it as there is so much to go at. I was fishing as accurate as Jon Arthur after a massive bender last time I was here, so this time I'd try a helicopter feeder approach out where clipping up and a far bank maker would hopefully concentrate the bait in a smaller area. 


A feeder stuffed with groundbait and chopped worm and a worm and maggot cocktail on the hook. I'd also have some sweetcorn for the hook to mix it up a bit. Oh and being the hallowed, a deadbait out on a running rig and bobbin that I could leave do it's own thing rather than try and watch a tip AND a float which to be honest would have been a pain in the proverbials !!

Anyway better get fishing hasn't I !!!

What I didn't expect was right from the off was just how many fish were straight out in front of me. The rudd and perch were queuing up to get the bait. The maggots and worms were getting up even when the feeder was on the drop.

I retained a few in the landing net to show the stamp of the fish. The bigger ones were over a pound I[m sure. Now I'm using crude tackle for the Tench, so a size 10 hook and 5lb fluro carbon hook-link and they didn't seem to have a care in the world !!!

After a boat went through around 8.00pm I thought that was that, but no within 15 minutes the perch started biting again and then the rudd followed soon after.

So for the last part of the session I decided to switch to sweetcorn on the hook. I'd run out of groundbait by this point because, well I didn't think I'd be on the fish to quick and how many bites I was getting.

I missed loads as well, I'm sure it was because often the helicopter hook-link stops were not as grippy on the line as I'd like. So that bolt-rig effect wasn't as effective in nailing the fish. A change that I need to do next time. I bet fishing a float with the maggots falling slowly through the water column would have been the best way to fish the swim. The air temperature had dropped dramatically by this point and it started to feel nippy. Out of the blue a proper unmissable bite and something decent was pulling back. 

Not a tench sadly but a hard fighting hybrid maybe a couple of pound. As dusk came and went it was fingers and toes crossed for a tinca, but oddly the bites were hard to come by. Eventually a drop back bite a fish was hugging bottom and bouncing around. 

A bootlace eel had picked up the bait and decided to make a complete mess of the rig in the process. So that called the end to my session. I couldn't be bothered to set-up again and with the deadbait rod biteless in over 4 hours I headed back home. An enjoyable frantic session, you can see why the predators get big here, there are plenty of fish to feed on.  

Friday 26 May 2023

Transient Towpath Trudging - Pt.73 (Carp Success)

They keep having laffs at the Department for Work and Pensions over the howlers on the do-it-yourself sick notes. Conditions which have laid people low include 'flue virus', 'bleeding noise', 'jangles', 'pain in the angle', 'blown-up arm', 'desperation' and a 'fluid stomach'. One old woman said she was 'sick and tired due to the doctor's tablets'. A Coventry man announced that he was 'mentally unstable' and was 'staying in bed until a psychiatrist comes'.

I hope someone at the DWP is keeping an eye open for anglers' sick notes. There are bound to be a few ailments so far unknown to medical science: cowpat poisoning, congestion of the gills, lumbago of the lateral line, not to mention outbreaks of basket bum, nightfisher's nose and reservoir ears.


You can see some of the notes already:
'I left my cap off when I went fishing and got chilled to the bone.'

'I put my hand in a conger's mouth to see how many teeth it had. It closed its mouth to see how many fingers I had.'

'Strained myself in pub illustrating the size of the fish' 



'Suffering from short sight. Dropped lucky rabbit's foot in road on way to match. Went back to collect it. Didn't see bus.'

There must still be plenty of questions that need answering when the claimants are called in for interviews:

DWP Person: 'You said on your form that you had the day off for an appointment with your doctor. Yet you were seen on the river bank, fishing with a little fat man in spectacles.'
Angler: "That's right. The little fat man in spectacles is my doctor.'



DWP Person: 'You state here that a shark bit your leg off. Which one?"
Angler: 'How should I know? They all look the same to me.'

DWP Person: 'Your injuries were caused apparently because your wife beat you black and blue after a six-day fishing festival. Why was that?'
Angler: 'She found out I didn't go.'

DWP Person: 'You say your wife struck you with a flat iron after you gave her a set of floats for her birthday. Why on earth was that?'
Angler: 'She was expecting a fur coat.'



DWP Person: 'You say you suffered severe lacerations of the nether regions owing to lapse of memory. Could you elaborate?'
Angler: 'I got up in the morning and jumped straight into the 'bath. I forgot I'd put a 25 lb pike in there the night before.'

DWP Person: 'You suffered a severe headache after sitting on a rod rest? How come it was your head that hurt?' 
Angler: 'I was fishing under a low bridge.'
 
DWP Person: 'You claim severe depression because your wife ran off with your best friend. 

How exactly does it affect you?'
Angler: 'Now I've got to go fishing without him.' And there's always one in every club:

DWP Person: 'You say you are depressed because you can't seem to get on with the fellow members of your angling club. 

Why do you think you can't get on with them?'
Angler: 'How the hell should I know, you four-eyed, bald- headed old tw@t!'

Anyway better get fishing before I section myself !!

Now I could have spent the afternoon walking around digging holes, looking for water.
Well boring.

So with sun high in the sky and clear blue skies I thought a mid afternoon trip to the canal was in order. Might as well as I had a few hours to kill before the rabble turned up. Bait bread, two rods, one a bread bomb carp set-up and the other an over depth tiny pellet waggler to be able to fish tight to the reeds. To be honest I wasn't expecting much but it was nice to get out in the fresh air and forgot about works ever present pandemonium. 


Anyway after catching a bream tight to some reeds on the peller waggler rod I went on the rove to try and find a carp. 'Carp Corner' Buffalo Si was a 15 minute walk away so I headed there. And it didn't take long to spot a carp in the spindly reeds.

The problem was it wasn't interested in the bread at all in-fact it didn't really budge from the far bank that was difficult to cast to. Only one fish there but it looked a nice one and the fact I've hooked two carp and lost two I really needed to make this session pay.



The key to get the 'carpy shot' was to retrace my steps and cross over to the other side of the canal where there was a much better vantage point. What I didn't expect that the pint and pork scratchings to reward myself came far sooner than I expected because after dropping the bait on its nose literally by my feet it sucked the bread in and within a couple of seconds I was in to an epic battle. 

A Nash Dwarf Rod and 12lb line straight through to the bread bomb was the step up in tackle I needed and after giving a cracking account for itself it was teased in to the inadequate landing net. 11lb 2oz and the prize was mine. Ok not a massive carp, but I was well happy with this as it's taken lots of my time recently. Happy Days !!!

Thursday 25 May 2023

Transient Towpath Trudging - Pt.72 (Carp , Sorry Eel's)

Now our adopted local recently was the winner of the Pub of The Year 2023 competition for the “Heart of Warwickshire” region awarded by the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA). The Heart of Warwickshire region comprises 150 pubs which are judged on categories such as quality of beer and cider, furnishings, cleanliness, service, welcome, offering and atmosphere.

It was Warwickshire’s first community-owned pub and has a strong community focus, well it is local pub after all, but then try and tell that to the pretenders. 


My wife still works in the village school where Sam went as a toddler as a lunchtime supervisor and we've been propping up the bar ever since. 

Ben feels at home there as well and his issues embraced for those that also frequent this proper pub. We and many others just feel at home there, and that's a good thing because many establishments cannot replicate that from my experience. 

A positive being owned by the village is not having the overheads and also because it's not tied to any brewery it means Danny the landlord can cherry-pick beers and ciders from whatever brewery he wants to. 

There isn't many pubs I can go to locally that offer a minimum of 6 cask ales and often random ciders, as well as the standard pub fair. Oh and proper home food what's not to like.

Take last Sunday, after popping in for a pint in the sun, Danny was outside speaking to some Sunday drivers out for a run out in their classic cars and he greeted us before entering the pub. 

"Hey Blue Monkey Infinity Plus 1, got to try this" "oh, and check out this rhubarb and apple cider we've got in, just make sure Sarah is driving back" It ain't 4% I can tell you that !!

Then before I knew it I was harvesting some Rhubarb behind the recently constructed village / pub shop. "Take a look at this fill your boots, take as much as you want". 
 
Who doesn't like Rhubarb !!!

Rhubarb’s medicinal uses began at least 5000 years ago, to when Chinese used dried roots as a laxative. The first documented uses in western civilization are 2100 years ago when rhubarb roots were an ingredient in numerous Greek and Roman medicines. Dried rhubarb roots are also astringent.

Rhubarb did not enjoy widespread consumption as food until the 19th century. 

Indeed, the modern market for culinary rhubarb was created virtually from scratch in 1824 by Joseph Myatt, a South London nurseryman with some rhubarb plants, a recipe for tarts, and enough gumption to convince others that the otherwise bitter plant could taste good when combined with something sweet. 

The timing was perfect. Sugar was becoming available and affordable and the rhubarb stalks were otherwise going to waste. 

There was nothing to lose! Adding to rhubarb’s popularity was the fact that it is generally ready for harvest well before most other vegetables. With forcing it can be made available even earlier. It was a welcome, fresh food after a long winter of preserves and meat. With such an explosion in popularity there were many other preservation techniques developed for rhubarb. These included drying, canning and, most recently, freezing.


Anyway bringing it up to date, there was easily enough for a diabetic emergency with 2 rhubarb and apple crumbles concocted with the harvest which will be had with clotted cream naturally, and there was also enough left over to make a large jar of rhubarb jam too. And !!! it gets better this weekend they have my favourite Blue Monkey Brewery offering and that is 99 Red Baboons

If you're a fan on McEwan's Champion you'd love this. A proper dark, fruity and malty ale that the current crop of wild and wacky beers are quickly forgotten about, a proper traditional ale for an old'uns like me. Anyway back to the fishing !!! With the pandemonium at work ever present and being welded to a computer with the nice weather I fancied a nice walk if anything, the fishing secondary. 



So I headed to 'Carp Corner' to see if I could spot any in the warm weather. Bread bomb rig in hand, a landing net and a sling bag, that will do !!!. Oh and a whip and a few maggots to keep me occupied. After losing one of the carp last time I'd beefed up tackle to hopefully avoid being punched in the kidney's like the last time I hooked one. 

I started at the spindly reeds first where you often see the vertical stems move from side to side. On closer inspection sometimes if you're lucky you can see the back of a carp break the surface especially when the sun is illuminating it correctly.



Slow sinking and also fished on the top for a couple of hours it was clear there wasn't any fish in the whole length of the reeds. Not unexpected to be honest but there was also lack of fish topping because the temperature of the water was well over 17 degrees.

The 2nd half of the session in to dusk I'd feed some freebies pellets, bream mash and a few maggots in to a swim tight to the reeds and fish the bread bomb on the bottom as well as a whip with maggots to keep me from getting bored because of the lack of action.


What I didn't expect after a tiller twiddling tit nearly took me out because of a lack of control that when the water was bouncing between the locks that 3 eels came within the next hour all taken on the whip and maggot.

Quite good fun on the light whip but after I lost the 4th I decided to sack that off and go all out for carp. When I was here at dusk last time the fish movement was ridiculous when the light faded but not this evening. Not one bream rolled and there was on the the odd tiny bait fish top. Hard going indeed and half an hour past dusk I decided to call the session to a close because I knew what the outcome would be.  

Sunday 21 May 2023

Transient Towpath Trudging - Pt.71 (Bream, Roach Bream Hybrid)

I wondered when you would want to know how to go about catching bream. These fish can be as aggravating as the carp in its most tantalizing mood. When fishing for bream you can expect first class sport or absolute disappointment. They either feed all out or go on a hunger strike.

There are two kinds of bream - silver and bronze. You will catch silver bream but I should say you would be angling for bronze. There are no big silver bream!

To what weight does the bream grow? The biggest ever recorded in the UK was one weighing 22 lb. 11 oz. If you catch a four pounder you can be pleased with yourself, though six pounders aren't all that rare. Of course there are the occasional eight or ten pounders, and if you take one of them it will be an opportunity for the glass case and gold lettering. I'm still waiting!

The bream is a tricky chap. When I have had a blank day fishing for bream I often think of the picture of the monks who haven't had a good day's fishing. Very doleful they look! The picture is Tomorrow will be Friday and we've caught no fish today.


Carp and bream were the monks' fish on Friday which was, as you know, a meatless day. I used to think to myself that they must have had a few hungry Fridays. And so they would, if they'd had to depend upon a good catch of bream or carp every Thursday! But the monks were as artful as the fish. 

They were always fishing and kept the fish alive in special small ponds stew ponds - from which they could net them when needed. And they stuffed them with herbs, baked them in butter and wine. I wonder if they had bilious attacks?


I'll begin telling you about bream with a piece of sound advice.

If there is any wind from the east in the air, angle for some other fish. I have never caught any bream when there has been an east wind in evidence. Further, I have found that winter fishing for bream is useless. Bream don't like the cold, and I can't say I blame them. 

Spring and summer is the time for bream, but I will qualify that by telling you that they dislike hot sun. Before the sun gets too high in the sky and when it begins to drop in the west those are your times. Mark you, when on a summer day there is a soft south or west wind ruffling the water, and a little cloud in the sky that is very different!!


Now what is very different than the average canal angler is that I fish crude, very crude indeed. Take the set-up for this morning's attack up Tramp Alley. A small Guru foam pellet waggler and a 2SSG shot tied directly to the 5lb main line with a size 10 hook.

A large chunk of bread for bait, no messing around here. Go big or go home. But there is a good reason though and that is because the fish that swim in these waterways tend to be a decent stamp of fish. Scale down to a 22 hook no doubt you'd get more bites but these fish see little pressure, so you need not worry about fishing too heavy. 

I wanted a buoyant float though because chub are here in small numbers and it's nice to get the float to do it's thing in the oxygenated swims to try and temp a wary chub.

It didn't take long to get a bite either in the first swim. The sun was heading up having arrived before 6.00am and I knew it would be tougher later on especially when the day was going to be >20 degrees and the pub garden called. Anyway I missed two sail away bites but after hooking up at the next dip of the float the culprit was a small bream and not a chub I was hoping for. 


For a small bream it put up a decent fight and when returned I thought I'd be on for a few more bites. Oddly though that was it so it was time to get on the rove.

More my fishing style this where in the 4 hours I fished I managed 11,500 steps moving from swim to swim looking for signs of fish and also underarming the rig to fish tight to the reeds. Reeds always hold fish because the sanctuary they seek and 2 more bream caught using the same large bread tactics considering the conditions weren't brilliant for fishing I thought I was doing rather well. 


Nothing big showed though maybe the cold overnight temperature put them off. Anyway one of the sail away bites was from this lovely roach bream hybrid that nailed the bread flake within minutes of being out. 

A hard fighting one too, aren't they all. I won't tire of catching these, so much character and shows that for a small fish they can give a good account for themselves. Anyway, that was my lot !! with the towpath now like the M25 is was time for the off when the rest of the world has woken up. 

Saturday 20 May 2023

Transient Towpath Trudging - Pt.70

Now there are apparently 13 million dogs in the British Isles. Which makes its thirteen to each angler. There must be something about me when I fish the canal (probably my socks or the recently eaten roast pork) because I seem to get more than my share. The average is about 4.5 dogs per trip, reaching a regular summer peak of 10.7 on the Grand Union. Fond as I am of all God's creatures, I would wish to see dogs barred from the bank. Dogs and fishing just don't mix.

I've lost count of the butties and balls of cheesepaste nicked by wandering tripehounds. And the bags of dry groundbait dampened beyond redemption and with their fish-appeal definitely impaired. I've lost count, too, of the number of bites I've missed by having a great slobbering tongue stuck in my ear just as the float dipped.

Have you ever had a dog stick its nose in your tin of maggots, take a hearty sniff of ammonia-scented sawdust and then sneeze? Maggots all over the bank, all over the dog, all over you and not a one left in the tin. I was once pulled off my chair by a thing like an economy-size grizzly. 

It sank its teeth into my sleeve and was playfully dragging me along the bank (slightly overexaggerated) when the lady owner turned up.

'Could you ask this thing to put me down, Missis?' I croaked from my recumbent posture. 'And could I suggest you try feeding it?'

'Nonsense,' she said. 'He's only showing he likes you.' 'What does he do if he hates you? Take your leg off?' Come here, Tuppence,' she said. 'Put the man down. You never know where he's been.'

Tuppence! The size of the flaming thing. Thank God she didn't have another one called Fourpence. So these days, I'm afraid, I am not at all encouraging to Man's Best Friend.

But how do you dissuade them? It's no use just ingoring them in the hope that they'll go away. They're out to play and they're determined that you're not going to miss any of the fun. 

All that thundering around your pitch, too, tends to leave your gear in a hell of a mess. chairs, rods, tins, groundbait and butties get smashed, trampled and strewn all over. The line tangles around them all, around you, and often around the dog. Meanwhile, every fish within earshot is heading for the hills.

Inevitably, just as you are raising the old power-packed welly to do the nasty, the dog's owner turns up. There are two kinds of owner: an intimidating matron with a voice like a klaxon and a lethal technique with a brolly, or a seven-foot gentleman with outsize muscles and an inclination to use them. 

You could try a touch of animal psychology. Give the dog something to keep it occupied. Teach it to swim, perhaps. And make sure the brick is tied firmly round its neck. (Only kidding, Dog Lover of Dudley. Ha ha.)

The best means of dissuasion, I've found, is the landing net handle, applied smartly to the doggie-pog's bonce. It has to be applied immediately the dog appears, before it can beguile you with its soulful eyes, wagging tail and engaging ways. And before the owner appears. This ensures that there is no emotional involvement with the dog. And no physical involvement with the owner.

In the old days, admittedly, the application of a steel or stout ash handle could prove a touch on the fatal side. But landing net handles these days are almost always of a light alloy, and do not really hurt the animal. They bounce off with a reverberating boi-oi-oi-oinggg... which is quite pleasant to the ear, and which leaves the dog with nothing worse than a syncopating skull.

Still, I suppose nowadays we can count ourselves lucky. Discounting cows and horses, pigs and sheep, and perhaps the odd goat, we've nothing bigger than dogs to worry about on the bank. I've just been reading about the Thames in between Ice Ages, when the banks were swarming with mammoths and woolly rhinoceroses and things.

Imagine it:

'Hey, Missis! Have you got a licence for that mammoth?' 'What's it got to do with you?'

'It's just sat on my mate's umbrella, that's what.' 'Why don't you let your mate speak for himself?" 'He can't. He's under the umbrella...

Anyway to the canal forthwith before the boats turn up. After the reccy session the other day I fancied a chilled few hours in the morning to see what was swimming around in these forgotten waters. With a fridge full of maggots they would be my main stay and I'd fish bread from time to time as well to try and winkle out a better fish. 

I'd have a method feeder as well because well the bream seem to like being tight to the reeds usually on the far bank.

Sweetcorn as bait on the quick stop hair rig. I balled in some supercrush green mixed with some micro pellets and get about fishing. A lovely morning indeed but the only action in two hours was a small fish that dropped off just before I went to lift it, damn !!! There was plenty of bubbles and I was expecting some bream to turn up, but no, they were suspicious in their absence. 

In the end I decided enough was enough and headed up to an area I spotted when I was here last, and with some tow on the water I fished the whip close in and within ten minutes had the first fish.

It was a nice roach that buried the float almost hooking itself with the ferocity of the bite. With another sprinkling of maggots with each bite I manged 5 in the end all from the same spot. Sods law though because a boat turned up and that was that.

A lovely stamp of fish though all, probably shy of a 1lb but a welcome sight because the fishing wasn't exactly memorable.

Once the sun came up and illuminated the canal I managed one more bite which I missed in another spot and that was my lot. 4 hours in total and 5 fish, still that is canal fishing for you. Locating the fish is the hardest part. On the way back to the car I fed some floating bread in a couple of swims with cover to see if I could spot any carp but once another boat came through I decided enough was enough and I headed back home.

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