From the water’s edge

June 2015 - Baker’s dozen

My results using the pole to fish lures must have made a bigger impression than I thought, because Pete turned out armed with one as well this week. He must have been regretting it after an hour or so though, neither of us had managed any interest at all. True, we had done a silly thing and gone back to the unreliable stretch. Why would anybody do that? Well, it has its days, it is very out of the way, and extremely pleasant place to fish, so we thought we would give it a go. Nine times out of ten, it is very sheltered because of the tree lined banks and with a windy heatwave confidently predicted by some smart university educated people on the telly, we figured the shade and the shelter would work in out favour. Wrong, as ever, on all counts. The wind was howling along its length, the trees turning it into a wind tunnel, it was absolutely freezing and the sun was on holiday. It was dull and miserable all morning.

This week, I had an extra section on the pole giving me a reach of around 5 metres I’d say. It was comfortable and easy to handle but that’s it. Any more and it would be too awkward for roving the towpath and shipping sections to net fish. As it is, I can just play the fish out, break it in half and net them. Easy as kiss my hand. I had dug out a much finer tip which made it much more pleasant to use, but I was nervous that the finer elastic, (I’d dropped from an eight to a six) might make it harder to pull the hook in. Not really so. Right up until the last two minutes, I hooked every bite I had, but then blotted the copybook by losing one. Even so, it seemed fine to me. At this stage however, I am still using lures mounted on size 6 or less.

I did find that personally I need at least two grams on the jighead to enhance feel of the lure. I did use 1gm a lot and it was ok, I caught on it, but the bait was much harder to stay in contact with in deeper water and stronger winds. Changing up to a 2.5 gm transformed the  job for me and shouldn’t really make a lot of difference to the way that the lure fishes. The lures are hanging off the tip so I carry the weight, and I can control the drop directly. The fish shouldn’t really notice any difference other than perhaps the appearance of a marginally larger head at the front of the lure. We did some experiments and Pete seemed to do fine with 1 gm, maybe his braid was older, thinner and more supple, showing up slack line more easily. Or maybe he is not as clumsy as I am. Either way there seems little point in straining to detect the bottom when for the sake of another gram on the  hook its presence becomes immediately obvious



In all the years we have been lure fishing together, neither of us had ever caught a ruffe on a lure. Then last season, Pete had one from the local river. Last week he had one from the canal;, this week he caught two! In the last fortnight two other people have told me they have just caught their first. Maybe a trend is starting... RISE OF THE KILLER POPES! Remember, you heard it here first. I don’t know what drugs Pete is on but having just put his first ruffe back, he then caught a bream. Throw in a small perch, and he had caught his three species without a zander, chub or pike ever gracing his net. A bizarre day indeed.

We fished maybe half a mile of canal, through all the most likely areas with just these few oddities to show for it and decided to walk back to the bridge and off in the other direction if only to warm up.

At the bridge, I broke my blank and had a very nice perch, maybe a bit over a pound, and from then on, we both tricked a few out. Pete had the most as usual. I am tempted to say that I was after better things and my fish were bigger, but then as he pointed out, I couldn’t catch a ruffe to save my life, could I?

More advantages of the technique showed themselves today. I can fish the lure away from the bank rather than always retrieving in a straight line towards it. Tiny baits can be fished further out without having to pull them away before they have attracted any interest and the fish do seem to hang on well.

Most of the far bank is still out of reach however although using the extra section does allow me to fish hard against and along the far wall of the many tatty old farm bridges that exist in these parts. In fact today that method hooked me my two best fish.

I’m really enjoying myself messing about with the pole now. I spent the last week tiffling about , planning and refining the gear and couldn’t wait for Wednesday to arrive. Then in a flash it was gone and I really didn’t want to pack up today. The fishing was hard, and aside from the little Veals and nano minnows, nothing seemed to work at all. I am going to stick with it now for a while. I want a decent zander and some better perch on the method., I want a day when the fish are really having it so I can see what the potential really is. I love watching the elastic zoom out when a better fish is hooked. I need slightly heavier jigheads with some slightly smaller fine wire hooks. I still think that sticking the hook in a bony old Zs mouth might be a problem for the elastic but we shall see.

The weather was against all morning but we still tricked a bakers dozen of small to moderate fish. Not as good as last week, but pretty fair all the same.

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

artificial lite



journal 2015.


journal 2015.