From the water’s edge

Artificial

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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.

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Why it should be so, I will never understand, but this canal has never been kind to me. It is a source of great frustration, running as it does, little more than a mile away from my house and being just about the only predator water within walking distance. It is not just any predator water either, having reputedly given up zander around double-figures and a thirty pound pike to the electric fishermen of the waterways Board, scarcely five miles away.

I tell myself that it is a venue ill-suited to the method, given that lures rely predominantly on being seen by the quarry and this canal being so heavily coloured the whole year round. It is shallow, dirty, snaggy and the water barely moves from one month to the next. It is the longest contour canal in the country and has not a single lock within its twenty two mile length. The boats merely cleave their way through the muck and it closes back in behind them. Even in the depths of the winter, suspended solids reduce visibility to less than six inches, unless that is you do what we did today and head for the upper reaches.

This canal was never completed, having been started in an attempt to join Coventry to the river Trent before failing to secure the necessary finance to build locks that were required beyond Moira. Instead, it ends at the quiet village of Snarestone. There is another short stretch further on in the old mining areas around Moira and plans are in hand to join them up soon.

Most boats seem to turn around at Shackerstone rather than go through the tunnel at Snarestone just to turn back so the last few miles are a little clearer than the rest. So it proved today; undreamt of water clarity suggested that perch at least would be easy enough to catch. Who am I kidding? The weather man had promised snow and it came in style. For thirty minutes, a howling gale drove the blizzard horizontally across the cut and visibility was so reduced that the far bank disappeared from view completely.

 

 

Then as quickly as it had started, it stopped and the sun came out allowing our freezing fingers a little respite, but the fish weren’t really going to help us much. Sharkey had the only take, a pike of around three pounds which took some kind of soft swimbait right under his feet.

It was not a catch to set the world alight, however much our fingers and toes wished it would, but it was stunningly beautiful in the winter sun with flakes of frost forming on its back as he unhooked it. A totally average day with the lures, but one whose pictures will bring back memories for a long time.

December 2009 - The Ashby Canal

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