Having run out of takes altogether we decided to make a long trek to a spot that Pete has always been hankering to re-visit. A mile and a half up the bank - way out in the sticks - Pete once caught his personal best perch. He felt it was time he went back to try the area again. He was right, it was time; he caught that fish ten years ago. No hurry then! Pete set out to repeat his epic achievement casting to the right of the magic gorse bush (still there). I stood to his left, flicked out a 2” yellow kopyto and bingo. Instant take, tiny Z, maybe a pound but how does that happen? We fished our way back, picking our spots admittedly and all we managed was another little perch, dibbling by the inflow from a land drain. To have walked that far and dropped straight onto a fish of any description when more careful fishing of the returning mile and a half should prove fruitless is remarkable really but not in our experience all that unique.

Time and again we have noticed that areas that produce fish remain holding spots for amazing lengths of time. We routinely catch in areas that were noted match winning pegs thirty, forty or even fifty years ago when the old boy was no’but a lad. Something, I know not what, makes an area attractive to fish and whatever it might be is probably geographical or environmental. We have tried to analyse it but with no success. We have considered orientation (geographical not sexual), depth, shelter, proximity of bends, prevailing wind direction and many others, but there are no consistent factors that we can see. We just know that if it was a good roach stretch in the sixties, chances are it will produce zander and perch now, so presumably the roach are still there also.

As a matter of interest, this piece of water seemed to clear quickly and contained many of the features that suggest that this is worth further effort. It had hard banks, concrete, steel and rocks, so wash doesn’t muddy the waters as much, it was at the top of a hill so water flows in both directions always carrying sediment away, at least until they need to pump canal water back up anyway.

I was pretty fortunate with that Z by the looks of it. I had caught a rock on the previous cast and had to pull quite hard to get the lure back. I checked the hook, but I should have checked the clip too; looks like I was lucky not to lose the lure on the cast.

From the water’s edge

Artificial

 Lite

May 2013 - Back then

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.

artificial lite

Something absolutely shocking happened today - the sun came out - and for the first time in living memory I find myself able to moan about the heat rather than the cold.

We have had a couple of hard trips of late. Boat traffic has increased markedly and the fishing has not got any easier. No more blanks, but nothing to write home about either and scratching a fish or two has been the order of the day.

We made a promising start first thing. Second cast the tip dragged round and I thought I had snagged up until the rod started kicking and the line went slack. Not a monster but that would have been the blank-saver under my belt and was not the ideal way to begin. Then I had an endless string of taps and knocks that never turned into takes. Scaling down to 1” simply avoided any interest whatsoever. Pete quickly had a 2lb Z in the side but that kicked off too before he could get the net under it. It was close enough to count but far enough away to add to the frustration.

By now it was already getting busy and we were forced along the bank by the arrival of boats wishing to use the moorings. We always, always give way to boats. Invariably the people on board are polite and would rather put themselves out than interfere with us but we know who the canals belong to and as guests we give no reasonable person, reason to be annoyed by our presence. If you think canals are for fishermen, you should watch this http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01173hf/The_Golden_Age_of_Canals/ and ask yourself how much canal fishing you might have access to if it wasn’t for boaters. Pete slotted into a tightly congested spot further along and caught this 4-8 beauty much to the interest and enjoyment of the guy on the adjacent boat who was also a fisherman, albeit one more interested in c**p than any of the more interesting species.

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