From the water’s edge



January 2013 - men at work

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.

Actually that should really read ‘men not at work’ seeing that Wadey had shut up shop especially to come up for the day. Taking guests to our local spots is fraught with difficulty, not because we don’t want them to know where those places are but because there is always the fear that we are going to look like a right pair of Billy Liars when having told them how good the fishing is, we all blank. It was starting to look like it might be one of those days from the start. We set off at 8 am and it was getting on for three hours before we found any fish to speak of. Old Pete had sneaked out a nice perch early on followed by a jack of about 4 pounds. I had a perch of just under a pound, about the same size as Pete’s, so our reputations for blanking were quickly laid to rest; but that is not really the point of having guests. You always want them to catch plenty and we were starting to feel bad all over again as the very few takes we had got dried up completely. It was a tense couple of hours before Steve Polley struck oil first. He nicked out a few small fish on little kopytos but it was Pete again that made hay while the sun shone. Wadey had this nice fish to show us all up, creeping his little grubs around on the bottom and the day was saved and going very nicely by now, although Pete doesn’t look too convinced.

There are a lot of perch on this stretch of canal and they are really nice fish, but they can be hard to locate. I mentioned in my last post that location is key and it was again today. You can see in the top picture how close together we were  fishing once we had found them and that raised a couple of interesting points. Pete and I often invade each others spots once a fish is caught, just because finding feeding fish is everything and often the only thing that you need to do. When one of us finds feeding fish then the other moves in quickly and we find that can be a good way to maximise catches. Today it was a cause for banter as we took it in turns to stand in Pete’s footsteps while he was unhooking fish and that benefited us all. It seems too, at least to me, that the more apparent ‘baitfish activity’ that you can create by pulling lots of lures frequently through a swim, the more interested and excited the predators become.

Certainly we caught quite a few fish from a very tight area. The catch rate increased to start with and was then  prolonged by chopping and changing lures to offer them something different before they could be spooked off any one colour or pattern. I noticed that even our retrieves varied considerably, each of us using a preferred technique. Steve, was using a steady retrieve with some jiggling of the rod tip, Pete uses a steady retrieve and varies that very little. I like to drop the lure on the bottom every few feet seeking takes on the drop and Wadey was just creeping the bait through the mud. They were all effective. This variety of offerings seemed to work and the first really successful spot must have produced more than a dozen fish between us ranging from a couple of ounces to a pound and a half before results dried up. It was also interesting that smaller lures  of one to one and a half inches were as successful as the more usual two and three inch ones, even for the better fish.

Wadey and Pete take the piss out of each other remorselessly but the pair of them caught enough fish in between the insults to make the day a good one however you look at it. Steve and I were not so fortunate but we had our share.

I mentioned last time that the locks were due to be repaired and this is now under way, meaning that boat traffic is non-existent and the clarity of the water has improved dramatically as a result. This combined with much reduced water levels seemed to have driven the fish away from the edge and most takes came mid way across the canal.

None of us are getting any younger and I am sure that like Pete and myself, most lure anglers end up with back trouble. We don’t usually fish for more than five hours any more and I know that Steve often just does an hour or two, so by one o clock, we felt it was time to exercise the drinking arms in order to prevent the onset of any kind of muscle wastage, so we went for lunch and a jar or two. When I first started this game I would fish from dawn to dusk as though my life depended on it , but these days I catch far more in a few hours, probably because it is easier to concentrate and fish properly for a short time. Even if the fish are hammering the lures, it pays to be bothered if you are casting into the right place and retrieving in the most effective way. If I fish too hard for too long I find myself just chucking out and winding in with little real thought about what I am doing and that is seldom very profitable.

By the time we packed up any worries we had about lack of fish were well and truly laid to rest. We had getting on for thirty perch today up to around a pound and three quarters which is fun by anyone’s standards I would have thought. We finished with more evidence of how important location was with all those fish coming from small areas, one of them less than about fifteen feet wide; proof too that pinching Pete’s swim improves your catches which is always nice to know and confirmation that whatever the fishing is like you can’t beat spending time on the bank with good friends and letting them buy you beer to show how much it all means to you.

artificial lite




journal 2013.



journal 2013.