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.