From the water’s edge

November 2015 - Clear winner

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To begin with at least, today was everything that Wednesday wasn’t. It was calm, warm and comfortable. A pleasure to be out fishing again, and with those benign conditions catching fish was a whole heap easier; for me it was, to start with anyway. The water was very clear when we arrived and stayed that way until the only boat of the morning came through just as we were packing away.

I was in the mood to start with 2 and 3” baits for a change and in fact put on a 2” tan pearl kopyto to kick off with. I opted for a long line as the wind was so slight and the canal fairly wide. A gentle underarm lob put the bait out to the limits of my line and I watched the line draw tight as the bait fell through the water before falling slack as the it hit bottom. Nothing. I gentle lifted the lure eighteen inches or so at 45 degrees, just far enough and fast enough for the tail to work. I watched the line fall slack. Tick, I lifted into my first fish of the day. In the first gloomy half an hour of dawn, I had four perch and four zander. No monsters but all big enough to warrant the net. After that my total edged up to a round dozen, while Pete’s laboured in the low ones, but the writing was on the wall and sport was slowing dramatically.

Every one of mine came either on the drop or while the bait was on the bottom. We always share anything that will help the other catch fish and Pete was quickly emulating my retrieve as best he could with a short rod. Short lifts with a high rod tip and a slow fall, but they wouldn’t have it. The pole was definitely giving me finer control, and a slower fall, and crucially plenty of chances. We both carry the same baits so the difference wasn’t there. I had fish on three inch shads as well,, but as the light levels rose, the bites fell away and my last fish from this area was this nice three pounder which took a little 2” blue/red tripple tail.

Pete had given up by now and formulated a plan of his own. He was off round the corner to dibble some action from beneath the road bridge. It worked as well and those confidence-boosting fish made all the difference. The next time we bumped into each other he was only one behind having nicked ten little perch from around the crumbling masonry. Thank God for clumsy boaters knocking great chunks off the infrastructure to make more perch swims.


By ten o clock, the fishing was moribund. Neither of us could buy a bite and we decided to move on. At the next alleged hotspot, I had one small perch on a 2” kopyto, but had so many small ones follow it in that I scaled down to a 1” fox mini fry. On went a short line as well because the wind was now strong and cold and the perch threw themselves at the bait in their droves and I doubled my score in no time. I lost more than I landed because they were all so small and even a 1” bait was leaving them enough room to take without getting hold of the hook. It wasn’t half fun though, coaxing and teasing and goading them onto the hook. Pete was catching equally as well but in the end as the bites died away, we were left with just enough time to have a dabble by the bridge before setting off for our lunch.

I had hoped to get my score up to thirty, but with one more nice perch coming out on that brilliant little fox lure, it died on us again and I was just short. Forty four fish between us though, Perch to a pound and Zander to three, a couple of dozen on and off, a couple of which were nice fish, and we had nothing to complain about. Yet again, and despite persistent effort, the biggest fish of the day came on the smallest baits. It doesn’t feel as though it should be like that but it’s surprising how often it is. What a difference a day and a lack of wind makes ?

artificial lite



journal 2015.


journal 2015.