Piscatorial Quagswagging

...the diary of a specialist angler in around the Warwickshire Avon and its tributaries.

Saturday 25 May 2024

Transient Towpath Trudging - Pt.112 (Maggots and Bread)

I must admit the closed season is getting to me now. There is something about fishing rivers isn't there that the canals and stillwaters cannot match. Just having to trudge another canal towpath to try and get a few bites and get that fishing fix is starting to grind a little I must admit.

It didn't get off to a good start when a dog walker thought it was ok that his out of control dog wasn't doing anything wrong when it decided to leg it up to me with hackles showing and barking like something possessed whilst frothing at the mouth in biting distance from me. Let's just say he got a piece of my mind, however if Ben was with me who has an irrational fear of dogs my actions might have been different. 

I arrived at around 6.30am and the canal looked a lovely colour for a bite or two. I decided to fish a two rod approach with maggot under a sensitive float the main attack with a crude pellet waggler set-up as a back-up which I'd fish from time to time.

The swim was primed with a couple of tennis ball sized groundbait balls laced with some hemp and also some small micro pellets to try and draw in a few fish.
The session started off like it usually does with a good wait till the first bite, which in this case was probably about half an hour.

If I'd not experienced this before I'd have probably moved swims but I knew one's fortunes would change once that float rose for the first time.

I was using the lift method on the sensitive set-up and it seemed to work quite well for most of the bites with the odd one going under instead.

The smaller fish arrived first but then they started to get bigger when I started to introduce a little more maggots in to the swim.  

Not the biggest of fish admittedly but hybrids pull back rather nicely and a decent slab is always a novelty to catch just because how ungainly they are.

I didn't lose any fish this session which has been causing me a nightmare of late because I've lost quite a few fish not taking my time basically and bullying the fish rather than letting the rod do the work.

The bread rod had not interest whatsoever it was maggots all the way.

The first boat came through at 8.30am and that basically killed the swim, so much so I decided to head to another canal altogether where I'd rove around with the bread rod tight to the reeds to see if I could find any decent roach. This is more my thing really rather than being nailed to the spot.

 I decided to head up just past the knackered lock which is out of action till the 17th of June (apparently). That has meant limited movement on the canal for around 3 miles where there is a winding hole above and below. It has already been closed for a few weeks so in desperation those boats that found themselves stranded on this length of canal facing the wrong way have had to reverse the whole way if they needed a pump out / fuel and water etc.

For the angler though it has meant the stretch has been rather quiet indeed which is perfect when you are doing some float fishing at 10.00am because usually it would be a boat every 10 minutes or so.

Anyway Jon Arthur look away now, no size 22 hooks with 3mm bread punch, this is my overdepth reed rig I used to catch the larger fish on the canal. An SSG anchors the size 12 hook on the bottom and the very sensitive foam pellet wagglers amplifies every bite.

The fact that the shot is so tight to the reeds means you can also fish tight to them and it didn't take long to get a bite when I fished the first swim. I baited with some bread slop and the bite came after 10 minutes where the float all of a sudden woke up and was carting to my left down the canal where it eventually disappeared from view. 

The fish had already hooked itself so I only had to lift the rod and the fish was already on. I thought it was a nice bream initially but then the fight kicked up a notch and it was taking me all over the canal. Yup a hybrid most likely because they fight really well as this one was and sure enough when it surfaces an unmistakable hybrid. My biggest from the canal is 4lb on the nose and after netting it this one went 2lb and 12 ounces on the scales, so a very nice fish indeed, it's just a shame it wasn't a roach 😀

So after the dog incident spoiling matters at the start of the session this made up for it thankfully. I fished a couple more swims but that was it. An enjoyable trip out though and plenty of walking that often is only what is needed really, catching a fish or three is a bonus. 


  1. I've been reading your blog over the last eighteen months or so and it's been a joy to follow you on your trips, keep up the good work mate.

    1. Cheers !! always nice to hear some positive feedback. You should comment more often !!

  2. "Don't worry, he won't bite you".
    If ye can't control your dog, keep the fecker on a lead.

    1. That was his reply, no apology whatsoever. I literally thought he was going to bite me...

  3. I tend to take my dogs with me when fishing canals (derbyshire trent /mersey) so a lot tend to put em on a lead before me terriers have anything to say, it's nice to see there's folk that like the champion ale as well as me, I float between champion and Henry westons cider depending on how bad a day I've had...some people say it's all tramp juice but to me it's an acquired taste plus its got a "bang for your buck" factor.

    1. Well Champion isn't a session beer that's for sure :), but it has stood the test of time for good reason when these modern IPA's and the like have been and gone.

    2. Champion and Westons a great choice. Love 'em.

  4. There's a henry westons clone at aldi called orchard, brewed by Henry westons at a fraction of the price.


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