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I hope that you find my journal interesting and entertaining. If, having read this, you think that I am talking rubbish then at least you have stopped and thought about it long enough to come to that conclusion which is something of a result in my book. If you would like to comment on this article or anything else relating to my website, please feel free to contact me using the adjacent form. Feedback is always greatly appreciated and very helpful when it comes to improving both my site and my angling. Thank you for looking. If this form will not work for you, please e-mail me at editor@ericweight.co.uk
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And so it begins

This not the story of a trip out or a single session. I start this strand of my reminiscence with a summary of the few attempts that I have made to date. All have been successful beyond my wildest expectations, although one or two less than the rest. Before I even begin, I have to thank George Burton once again for steering me in the right direction and be assured that I haven’t come up with any of this myself at least at the time of writing this page.

I didn’t want to start another style of fishing that would involve me in any more effort than going lure fishing would, so to begin with I have used nothing but bread for bait. I have always caught well on it, it’s cheap and as I have been shown recently, it is very productive on canals.

All my canal sessions so far have been restricted to the hours between dawn and 9am, more often 8-8.30. The boats have started early, six o clock once or twice, but it is usually around 8 when the fishing dies a death. I am hoping that in the winter this will extend a bit longer, but who knows.

I have been floatfishing using the lift method. A small driftbeater or antennae float is locked between rubber stops and a bulk shotting, approximately 18” - 2’ off bottom sets the float upright with as much antenna as possible showing. With the mini driftbeater, that is all of it. 3” from the hook, a single BB anchors the bait to the bottom, and being uncompressed breadflake, it fishes pop-up style above the hook. With the rod in the rests, I can tighten the float down until just the tip shows. Any fish lifting that BB up will cause the float to loom up out of the water.

It works and it works pretty well. Feeding a liquidised, large sliced loaf over the course of my four hours fishing seems to choke off any real tiddlers while drawing the bream’s attention. So far the hybrids have come out up to 3-8, and the bronze bream to around three pounds. No roach, just hybrids, which makes the CRT’s zander cull “to preserve the roach” seem like a sick joke, given that they are so heavily hybridised. Maybe they should remove the bream instead if roach are that critical a measure of success. I hope they wouldn’t but equally I would rather they just left it all alone because the fishery doesn’t need their ‘help’.

A regular pattern is establishing itself already. Bites within the first 15 minutes - always, followed by an ever more frantic hour’s fishing with takes on the drop and even on one occasion, right in the side where the rig landed after missing a bite. Action then steadily settles down until it stops altogether. Twice bites have restarted just as I was leaving at 8am, but Sod’s law has decreed that on the occasions that I don’t have to leave so early, they haven’t.

Five fish is my worst result, fifteen plus, the best. The hybrids include many over 2 lbs and I have never yet caught a fish I could swing in. It makes me laugh when I see the match results on this canal. Usually a couple of pounds wins the day, and often that will include a single better fish. I can’t help feeling that if you fish for tiddlers, you catch tiddlers, but I can see why any angler fishing a match from 10 til 2 thinks that the canal is fishless. Fish when they are feeding and don’t expect them to fit around your schedule would seem to be a good idea.

So, with this early success under my belt Pete and I turned our attentions to a small club reservoir. In four trips we have scraped out a few tench to  4lbs plus, perch, roach and rudd to over a pound and a pound and a half crucian. I don’t see many others doing any better and plenty worse. One regular even explained to me that bread used to be a good bait there when I told him how many tench had taken on it that day. Used to be?

I’ve never taken much notice when I have been lure fishing, probably because we are never near any other anglers for long enough, but it is noticeable to me that the anglers that never catch, never use any feed at all. They seem to turn up with a pint or two of maggots and use about seven of them. Those that do throw a bit in never seem to have any plan, seemingly chucking a bit in when they remember. I am no great baiting genius, but I have watched many good and some great, match anglers and without exception, feeding is the key to their success. Most anglers I come across are more interested in their rods, reels and rigs.

It’s the same attitude that so many lure anglers seem to have in that to these people, the tackle is key, what the fish might like is considered irrelevant if it is considered at all. Their loss as always.