Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Only minutes to catch a Zander.

Since last weeks Zander debacle I have been gagging to get out and have another crack, but work has meant that I have been unable to get out for an evening session so everything was riding on Sunday. I had been keenly watching the weather forecast and early on in the week it was saying it was going to be a wet and cloudy weekend. After reading this my thoughts turned instantly to getting back on the Avon to do my all time favourite Zander fishing method, quiver tip fishing dead baits barbel style. I roped Jeff in to come along and later Andy agreed to come too. As the week passed the forecast changed little by little until Sunday became sunny again... Not to be deterred we opted to get in as early as possible, this would have worked perfectly if my new mobile phone wasn't usless and my alarm on it didn't go off at all. By some matter of a miracle I woke naturally at 6am and charged around desperately getting ready. How the hell I got up, dressed, ate breakfast, packed the car, picked up Jeff, met up with Andy and was still on the river half way across Warwickshire by 7am I do not know, but I did.

I have seen this river a million times in my life, but every time it looks different and today it looked like special, like a  naked supermodel walking through bedroom door carring a steak tea in one hand and a four pack in other. The light was only breaking and with mist rising gently off the river and rolling onto frosted fields, the occasional roll of an early rising fish here and there was enough to get any angler hot under the collar. 

Allthough I should have spent a bit more time enjoying the scenery I was hell bent on getting some baits out as I knew time was limited to target my intended quarry. Within five minutes of arriving I had two rods out, one on a complicated sunken float paternoster down the edge and the other with a bottom fished roach tail in the boat channel on the tip rod. Though the weather made for a real winter wonder land feel my hands and feet could have been easily snapped off they were so cold so I stuffed them deep into my pockets and stared desperatley at the tip.

My first enquiry came moments later as I got two taps on the tip. I waited expectantly for the tip to hoop round as it always does with a Zed bite on the quiver, but it never happened. A little while later the same happend again only this time it did have it. My stike at first didn't seem to connect so I followed it up with a second and the satisfying thump of a hooked fish somehow registered through my frozen hands.

I half expexted to see a jack pike but as the fish neared I spotted a silver flash through the clear water. After yelling to the others that I'd hooked one Jeff turned up and get a few pictures of me landing the fish. Nice one Jeff.

A quick moment in the weigh sling and the scales went round to 3.9lb. Normally I probably wouldn't have bothered weighing this fish but somewhere in the back of my mind I dared to think that in the next thirty minutes before the sun rose high enough to put them off the feed I could bag another eighteen odd pounds for the challenge point. I know it seems a bit far fetched but this part of the Avon is more than capable of producing two doubles in two cast's...

After the initial action the sun did rise high enough to warm and illuminate the whole river. At this point a quick discussion with my companions for the day and we agreed to move down stream into the shadow caused by a dominating tree lined bluff at the tail end of the weir pool.

Sadly no more zeds or anything for that matter bothered our baits all morning and it turned into more of a blog social as we stood behind six static rods.

On the way home I chatted to Jeff about the mornings coming and goings and we both agreed the the two bites and one fish had come right at the end of the feeding spell that day. Once the sun had risen and poured it's bright light into a low and clear river our chances of connecting with any Zander were well and truly gone.

But as I write this I find myself looking out the window at the now persistent rain and next weekends Zander foray seems like it could be ultimately more productive. 

Thanks again to Jeff for all the pictures featured in this blog.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Don't believe everything you hear on the bank

After such a unbelievable experience fishing the river Itchen earlier in the week I was at a bit of a loss what to do for a session this weekend. This was largely to do with my fear that anything I was going to do would pale in comparison to such a dream session that had preceded it. Not wanting to go out and commit a load of money to bait as I was feeling this way I thought a Zander fishing trip to my secret squirrel spot out in the warks wilderness using some of the bulk pack of deads I have languishing in the bottom of the freezer hidden under a towel out of Jacky's sight would seem a good compromise.

Knowing full well that we were due a sunny day I opted to drag my arse out of bed at an unearthly time in order to get a bit in before first light then fish till the boats started. Jesus H Christ if I didn't have to scrape the car widow screen for the first time this year. Not a good start!

I love Zed fishing and this year with my single mindedness towards the challenge I have neglected to really do any at all, but the twang of cold we have experienced the last week or so I think can be a real stimulator to predators feeding. It's the old winters coming syndrome stock the larder.
Over the years I have done so much Zed fishing it is unbelievable. In fact three years ago I dedicated an entire year to this single species. In doing so I discovered a few really great locations which I consider are real banker swims for the old zeppos and Sunday morning I was heading directly to one...

I had cast out in the freezing cold two rods one popped up ledgered bait and another on a float rig which I like to roam around a bit to search out the swim. Now I thought my banker swim would offer an instant response as it always had in the past, but after three hours I had only had one single tentative run which never went anywhere and by now I was scratching my head. Normally I would have moved on but this swim can produce a surprising amount of fish and big uns to, so I held on.

After a while a chap who lives on a boat down the canal came walking by with his dog on there early morning jaunt. Now I have spoken to this chap loads of times and he seems a decent sort. Upon getting near by he asks me "what you after today?" and I replied " well my good man I am after the mighty Zander" His response was that of a plumber with the smell of money in his nostrils "fssssss ooh erm well you might not do that well here. They electro fished it last month and removed tons of em. They were shoveling them onto the bank up to 14lb" Straight away I was incensed at hearing this. He went on to tell me that they had gone from one lock all the way to the next which is miles away, and all this was in order to stock a few thousand roach.

I felt like a right

After hearing this bit of bank side gossip I could not concentrate due to thinking well if they have done that what am I doing freezing my sack off here fishing for something that aint here. In the end I chipped off muttering all my way to the car.

I was going to go on a real tirade in this blog about this supposed situation until I texted the bad news to Rob who also fishes this section of canal. The ever calm Rod simply said that I should check this info out before writing anything. So Monday morning I got straight on the phone to the EA who were very helpful and put me through to a fisheries worker for this area, who told me that the EA do not conduct electro fishing to cull Zander any more largely due to it being a waste of money and time. He also suggested I contact British Waterways to check with them, as if anyone does want to electro fish the canals it would have to be them that does it or they would have to give their permission to whoever does.

Again I was on the phone and within minutes I was through  someone who had actually been there for the cull. A cull which had taken place not last month but in March. A cull which had yielded only 85lb of Zander all which were under four pounds not the rumoured tons of Zander up to double figures. I did ask the chap a few questions about the reasons for this cull and to be honest at the time it made a bit of sense why they did it; BA had a quantity of small roach they wanted to stock into the canal and in order to give these fish the best chance of survival it was decided to try and reduce the zander numbers.

I learnt a lesson here. Don't believe everything you here on the bank as quite often humans have a real habit of over exaggerating.

BUT! here is were my tirade comes in. They confirmed only little zeds were culled but I know for a fact that this canal contains much much bigger fish than that and that they only did one section of canal on a massive stretch, so when a nice helpful boat owner opens the locks at ether end which they do constantly all year on this canal, more zander will find their way in again. The cull probably didn't get all of them, they never do. So BA have just put a few thousand snack size roach into a canal where hardly anybody goes fishing apart from Zander anglers, after killing a load of zander for no reason at all and wasting a crap load of money which there gonna need once the conservative government slashes any funding they get next year.

It is about time the people in charge of our waterways really got with picture regarding Zander. Though they are still considered a non native fish they have now been our waters some fifty years, in which time with very little help from humans they have populated just about the entire Midlands canal network and any rivers that connect with them. The problem is way beyond resolving by trying to cull them. In fact it may be considered cruel to kill large amount of apex predators just to stock a few flipping roach. They would be far better off letting the fish populations in these now forgotten waterways find there ecological levels, as the fish that are born in waters were Zander are present are far more likely to know how to react to zander hunting methods than fish that have been raised in a predator free environment. And stop wasting money on such frivolous endeavours and instead spend some money on trying to stop or a least get control of the thousands of migrant workers who seem to think that our canals, rivers and lakes that most fishing clubs have worked on tirelessly over the years are there to be used as their personal larders.

One final thing I will ask of any readers of this blog, please please leave a comment if you have a opinion on this matter, which ever way you lean. I would love to hear other peoples opinions on this subject as it is something I have been interested in for years.
After such a great response and fantastic comments I feel that I should share what a ignored canal can hold and what effects a thriving Zander population can have on such a water.

So I have added a few pictures of captures that I have had from the canal in question over the last few years...

Please excuse the hats, beards, hair cuts, and face that I am sporting in most of them.

I know that most of the pictures are of larger fish but I can assure you that there were captures of hundreds of other smaller fish that I never bothered to get a snap of.

Does this canal look like it really needed any kind of intervention regarding it's fish populations.
Personally I think not.

Friday, 15 October 2010

An Itchen adventure

When asked a few months ago if I wanted to join Keith and Jeff on trip to fish the river Itchen in Hampshire it probably took me all of a millisecond to answer yes and ever since I had a kid like case of pant pissing on the go as I became more and more excited as the day approached.

After what seemed like a short journey southwards in which there was only one single topic of conversion we finally set eyes on the river. We weren't due to fish until the following day and the first stop was the pub that sits beside the river below the stretch we were due to fish. After spending two pints of time with all three of us staring into the gin clear river gawping and trying to second guess what the group of three chub would do next, none of us could stand it any longer. Hastily all of us set up a rod each and under the guise of getting to know how the river moved, we all wet a line.

Amongst the trillion minnows that attacked my bait every run through I did manage to land two small roach and a little chub of ten or so ounces. But although I never admitted this to my companions at the time I was feeling a little trepidation about this river after a mediocre performance, even though we could obviously see how hammered the river gets on this free stretch by local anglers.

My worries were more than dismayed when upon arrival I clapped eyes on what was a completely different river to the one we had cast into the night before. Muddy well worn pegs in the bushes next to main roads were replaced with manicured grass along side a pacey stream with fronds of streaming weed wafting under its sparkling surface.

Trotting I had been informed was the order of the trip and although I own a vintage centrepin reel I had borrowed a far superior J W Young pursuit II from Richard, Jacky's dad, to do the river some justice. Even just setting up the rig and plopping the float into the water to check the shotting got the line peeling from the pin. This river and this reel were meant to be together. After a few runs down I was beginning to feel like I was the gooseberry caught in a romantic moment between reel and river. But my part was soon to come. 

There is always that feeling when beginning to fish on a new bit of water. The one were for  the first few seconds you think 'is this gonna happen?' This feeling was soon kicked off into the undergrowth as my first run through in a deep swim on a bend, the float disappeared and an instant strike was met with an unfamiliar swirling fight. In my first real swim on my first real run through I'd hooked my first Itchen Grayling.

At first I couldn't believe it. But after nine more casts and nine more Grayling, this rivers mighty reputation seemed rather well founded. My first trout encounter of the day came shortly after my tenth fish when after the float buried once again my now blasé strike was met by some proper force and a brown trout of around 2-3lb came hurtling out of the water. Unable to apply any force due to a light link and standing helplessly watching a gymnastic show worthy of any circus,I was soon snapped off!

The next spot was another deep sweeping bend that turned out to be mainly populated with Grayling. Casting tight to the outside of the bend above the platform on which I was standing I could first back trot, reeling in line as the float approached, then follow the course of the float with the rod as the float passed by, then let off line once the flow off the water pulled tension back into the line, whilst all the time making minute adjustments to steer the float and line within millimeters of any over hanging branches. Every run through would get some kind of reaction from something hiding in the deep bend.

Even if I let the float run right through the swim and glide of down stream into the shallower water I could hold back hard and raise the bait up in the water just off the bottom. Doing this brought a stream of what I thought at first to be tiny brown trout, but were in fact confirmed later to be salmon parr.

Finally after realising that I had spent far to long in one place I forced myself to move and wandered off down stream investigating any interesting looking swims as I went. There were bites to be had in even the shallowest swims that seemed devoid of fish. At every stop at least one or two grayling could be taken at some part of the swim and after awhile my rough tally of how many and how much they weighed was soon forgotten.

If the first bend I had fished wasn't attractive enough the next one was a minter and turned out to be just as rammed with even more Grayling. After a further hour repeatedly running the float through I had amassed another twenty plus fish of between 2oz - 12oz. Again I had to force myself on to the next swim.

After this I wandered of down stream and became a little more discerning about the swims I trotted. This was largely due to me covering only a tiny section of river in the first third of the day. I was the only angler on the whole bottom section and wandering alone in pure heaven I peered into every deep hole and off every bridge. In one deep still eddy I thought it looked just the place were a carp or two might patrol and I duly deposited a pint of maggots and some corn tight to a reed bed under a collection of flotsum with the intention of returning later to see if any thing was around, though I never did as the fishing overload took hold of me.

Walking back up stream for our half time tea and discussion I met up with Jeff who was still trotting corn and bagging a very nice stamp of Grayling and learnt that he had lost one huge salmon and landed another. 
Whilst Jeff did the honours with the Kelly kettle and tea bags I located Keith sitting school boy style with his feeder rod in hand on the platform I had fished earlier. Sitting next too him chatting as he deftly flicked a feeder full of maggots deep into the bend I watched as the tip sprang back and forth as the contents of the feeder attracted a steady run of Grayling and trout. Ten minutes of watching and I was about to utter the words "giz a go mate" but was cut off before I started with the offer of a go. Watching the tip constantly moving confirmed the huge mass of fish in the deeper water and also confirmed that after lunch my feeder rod was coming out for a bit of fun on the deep bottom stretch.

After a break discussing the goings on of the morning for all of us it was decided that we would drop the whole operation down into the slower deeper bottom section and hunker down for the afternoon as we had all absolutely mullered our Grayling points for the challenge, and now it was time for even more self indulgence. After walking the very bottom of the entire stretch I decided to fish a swim in probably the least romantic area of the entire fishery just above the motorway bridge. With two pints of maggots left over and after seeing the effectiveness the maggot feeder had had upstream I cadged a feeder off Jeff and set up the crudest of paternosters. Filling the feeder to the brim with maggots and regularly swinging it onto the far bank, then letting it swing in brought instant results, with a nice brown trout of around two pounds first cast.

My crude coarse tactics absolutely ripped this pristine game river to bits. My next decent fish came after a slew of Grayling by way of my best lady of the stream to date. Sadly I never got a chance to weigh as I had become paranoid about these beautiful fish going belly up, which they seem to do so easily. But I am sure it was getting close to a pound in weight.

Another hour of swinging a feeder stuffed full of magoos into the river every five minutes I had amassed even more Grayling but the next bite was by far the most ferocious of the entire day. To say the tip went round was an understatement, as the tip, top section and middle section of my light feeder rod bent double! At first the fish didn't move but when it did it made straight for the closest weed bed. My suspicions were confirmed that a chub had taken my bait when I spotted those big white lips poking from under a large amount of weed it had collected during the fight. It didn't look to big in the net but when on the bank and with the weed off of it the length of this lean fast water fish revealed. On the scales it went 4.6lb though later in the year with a bit more weight it will be five pounds every day of the week.

After the chub all went quite for a while and I changed onto the bread feeder as my maggots were almost gone. Straight away on a tiny flake of bread I got a repeat performance from another chub which found it's freedom in the exact same weed bed the last one made for. After snapping off the feeder in the weed I again set up again and to my surprise the first taker of my bread flake was another nice trout.

I carried on all the way into dark with the bread flake in the hope that this swim might produce a nice roach that I had been informed frequent it by some of the other anglers who passed by. After landing one more trout  the light began to fade and all too soon the day was over. I have to say that this really was a truly wonderful experience that I hope won't be too long in coming round again. Fishing with a large group of anglers who had all been booked together gave the whole day a real sense of camaraderie and any help or knowledge needed was freely given.

Thanks to Keith for inviting me along and giving me all the advice I needed before the trip and also to Sash if he reads this for organizing the fishing.

Monday, 11 October 2010

A quicky down the cut.

I had a day off with Jacky midweek and she had made the declaration that she would like to have a little bit of a lie in as she had worked all weekend. Upon hearing this I began to feel the stirrings of an idea for an early morning session before she awoke. After promising to be back for ten thirty I got all my kit ready to race out before first light for a quick Ruffe foray on the nearest bit of cut.

I pulled up at hawksbury just before it was light which gave me enough time to get ready to cast out as soon as I could see the float. I had returned to the stretch of canal where I had fished a week before and suspected stood a good chance of containing  at least one Ruffe, maybe!

I won't go into the details as I fished exactly the same as I have the last two times apart from the addition of a long line albeit with the same rig and baits.

I caught constantly for the whole three hours. In fact I was very surprised when I realized that I was getting one a chuck.

Not a Ruffe

Every time I caught one of these little perch my excitement rose until it arrived in hand and another perch was confirmed.

Loads of these fell to the long line.

A surprise Rudd.

Every five casts or so turned up a bigger Sargent.

Near the end of the session the Roach began to get bigger too.


The bigger perch stuck around all day and the last chuck produced yet another decent sarge. In a little over three hours I had caught well over five pounds of canal fish of just about most of the species that inhabit this canal.

But still no

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Back to back fishing

I was lucky enough to get two full days both Saturday and Sunday this week due to Jacky's work commitments, so after dropping her off Saturday I headed down to Welford upon Avon to meet up with my mate Rob to have ago on the deep wide slow moving river above the weir. Rob had tipped me off that he had been pestered by eels when fishing meat for barbel and chub so I couldn't resist giving the eel point another go before the weather gets to bad and they shut up shop for winter.

After trying one fruitless swim up river we eventually found ourselves facing the lock that takes boat traffic around the weir, with a huge amount of seriously deep water in front of us. Why this bit of the Avon is so deep is beyond me, but right under our feet was between twelve and fourteen feet of water straight away. Though I was after eels I fished one rod with worms on and the other was cast out with a monstrous feeder full of halibut method mix and pellets to tenderly seek out any possible beards or chavin snooping around.

Of course my my first bite came from none of my intended species but instead from... Yes you've guessed it my old friend Mr Bream. I had already verbally predicated my first fish would be a bream to Rob moments before this just browning fish took my worm bait.

Not impressed!

It was all in all a slow day even though the river looked in good condition from the previous days rains. When the cloud came over the smaller fish started plopping around and my tip once again trembled. After ages of waiting the tip finally went and a definite eel was hooked. Though it wasn't a monster and only weighed a pound I foolishly decided to record my capture of my first Avon eel this year with a photo and handed rob the camera to do the honours.

For your amusement Daniel Everitt will now try and hold a fresh caught Avon eel for a photo. Enjoy!

After three attempts and getting covered in slime the little bugger slipped out my hand and sulked back to the depths. No more eels turned up but a while later a similar sized bream to the first took my bait.
I was getting no real action to the feeder line that I was casting upstream of my eel rod so giving up on the pellet attack I swapped the hook link to a smaller lighter one to fish with maggots In the hope of doubling my chances for eels. After only five minutes in the water the bait runner sang its merry tune as something very serious charged of across the river with more force than I have felt this year at all. There was no stopping this fish in any way. The clutch on the reel was not set anywhere near well enough and I had no choice but to quickly flip the bait runner back on and try and brake the fast disappearing line myself. After surging unstoppably towards the snag filled area under the buoys that stop boats going over the weir I had no choice but to try and stem this daunting run. Applying the slightest resistance caused the line to fall slack... I had been turned over, around and royally spanked by whatever it was. The only thing missing was the fish jumping out the water a razzing me before diving back in. As I turned to Rob his face said it all, that was definitely the biggest most powerful fish I have encountered on the Avon to date. 

Settling back down with my heart still thumping the discussion began to the possible identity of the culprit. The two top suspects were a big barbel or a big carp. Rob has had a few good barbel from this deep water stretch and confirmed that they tend to hang in the water for a moment before slowly powering off. The instant reaction to being hooked to me seemed like the shock a dozy carp gets when its munching down and suddenly finds a hook in its mouth. Ether way it was big, very big and it is my belief that it had probably been on the bait for a while. If it had taken the pellet on a stronger link I may of landed it but the introduction of a bunch of maggots on a light hook link more than likely fell under its radar.

These are the sort of things that make us anglers come back again and again for more punishment in the hope that one day we land that unseen line stripping monster.


Like Keith I to had seen the sacred word Ruffe in Andy's blog last week and after a text message to confirm the exact location of his capture I took the second shift fishing in the pissing rain at the canal off cathiron lane.

I wasn't sure I was going to get there at first as after pulling into a petrol station the fill up the car I had heard the metallic scraping of something hanging off the car. A detour to national tyre who had just changed the exhaust a few weeks ago confirmed that the heat shield between  above the aforementioned exhaust and the car floor had snapped off it brackets and was now only inches off the floor and it was something that would need to be sorted on Monday elsewhere. This was not going to stop me getting out so I set off at the speed of a half blind pensioner driving home after Sunday lunch. 

Finally I arrived after an unusual journey in which I never broke the speed limit once to a soaking car park.
I headed into the area Andy had pointed out and set up my stall. 

Somewhere deep inside me is a match fisherman wearing some really gaudy clothing that I keep locked up in a secret place. Every so often when the need should arise for me to do some pole fishing I let him out. 
So for the second time in two weeks it was a pole fishing session on the canal so I let him out. Unlike last week this time I had brought along half a kilo of dedrobinas and a a couple of pots of lob worms. Upon arriving I had collected a  fresh mole hill or two to add to the chopped worm.

I focused on only one line on the edge of the shelf, away from the boat traffic which is horrendous on this bit of canal and cupped out a small pot of the chopped up mix. The float never even cocked before a small roach nabbed my single red maggot.

It wasn't long before the perch showed up and the first of many was landed which weighed 11oz.

Even though it was one of the worst days for weather I have fished on in ages the bites kept coming one after another for the next five hours as a string of good sized canal perch and a few other fish fell to ether a maggot or worm hook bait.

After only an hour I knew I was well on course for the perch point as just about every perch I landed was over 10oz, it only took eleven fish including a deep chunky monster of 1.9lb to make 6.3lb and secure the perch point.

After my second canal session in two weeks I have to say that I am astonished at how well the canals seem to be fishing for small fish. In my youth my local bit of canal would have loads of anglers racked up on its banks desperately trying to scratch a few fish out. But now they deserted by most anglers who prefer to spend there free time bagging grossly deformed carp at seven quid a day in one of the huge number of local commercials that litter the countryside. Sadly I find this a real shame as now more than ever the canals have so much to offer and hardly anyone is interested in this long forgotten part of our fishing heritage.

Monday, 4 October 2010

A contrasting session

After my last fishing session I could not have chosen a more contrasting place to fish than my local canal. Like another of my fellow challenge competitors I have a severe case of Ruffe obsession on the go right now that an early morning foray Sunday morning should have helped with, but... my first night back in my beloved bed after six nights in what can only be termed as the worst bed in England meant I overslept! So I left it alone until Monday morning which I conveniently had off too.

Before I go into the details of this trip I feel I should explain something. If there is one type of fishing I was meant to do in this wondrous life it is canal fishing. I was born in a hospital next to a canal, every school holiday from 11-18 years old were spent on the Coventry canal, many a fair Bedworth maiden was wooed by me along those mingin banks, I have swam, fell into and even rode a motor bike full tilt into one.
So with the genetic code of a born and bred cut dipper running through my veins I felt sure I could get into a few fish and hopefully at least one Ruffe.

Most of my recent fishing on canals has been after the larger fish that do inhabit them but today I was going old school with a bit of pole fishing on the cards. One thing I know from experience about this type of fishing is that if you want to catch small fish, or any fish, from a canal is that you don't need much bait at all and fish as fine as you dare.

Once I had located the sort of sandy area I was looking for I began my gentle attack by first cupping in a pot full of riddled mole hill with a little ground bait on to one line down the edge and a second down the middle in the trench. I would have gone for a lone line but couldn't be arsed to drag all the kit needed for long pole fishing along with me.

Giving my ground bait a while to stew I pulled out my top kits and plumbed up a couple of rigs both consisting of a light  drennan pinkie floats on 3lb main line with 1lb hooks links and size 22 kamsan hooks.

Now set up and ready with everything within reaching distance I swung out my first drop in. A top tip I will share with any would be canal fisherman is, when fishing on the marginal shelf swing your rig out into the middle and let it swing back onto the shelf, as any fish looming just off the shelf that know there is food up there but do not have the confidence to come onto it, will nearly always shoot out and grab the slowly sinking bait.
After only moments the float dipped slightly enough for my to hit into a small 1oz roach. Second cast again produced another bite from a 3oz skimmer.

After putting out a pinch of pinkies and rested the margin line whilst I had a look on the middle line. The bait never even got to the bottom before the float shot under as my first nice perch nobbled my slowly sinking double pinkie.

The perch had arrived and know were dominating the proceedings  and by rotating between the two lines I kept a constant steam of perch coming every cast. By now I was regretting not bringing a keepnet with me as I was having to scribble down the weight of each fish as the perch point was on the cards. Every so often my number 6 elastic would shot out of the pole as a bigger perch pulled away. The two best perch of the session went 11 & 13oz each.

I did lose one good perch of over a pound as I shook my head in amazement as two coppers took their early morning stroll along the canal. By the end of the morning I had put together over four pounds of perch in about 30+ fish - who says the canals don't fish! Though I didn't get any Ruffe I am sure if there were any around they would of had no problems getting in on the action with the perch and if this canal can produce those sorts of catches with just two or three cups of ground bait and a few pinkies just think what a chopped worm could do. I did really enjoy getting back to my roots and doing some old school canal fishing and now I have just received some info off Andy about the exact location of a recent Ruffe capture I am sure I will back on another canal very soon.