Sunday, 6 December 2015

The Risks of Canal Angling Prevail

The risk in canal angling comes when conditions dictate that an unusual approach is required and this weekend's strong gales brought about that very situation

Firstly we are lucky in that our local canal bends round the east end of town and there is always somewhere one can hide from the wind, be that fall-out from either sag aloo or storm Desmond

Saturday, dawn:
Severe prevailing winds usually mean that the traditionally best pegs on the cut are perfect and in my case I tend to use such circumstances as an excuse to visit

(My) conventional tactics of lift bite bread rig and lobworm on the tip poured a touch under ten pounds of multicoloured offerings into the mythical net. Hybrids to 1.5.8, Roach to 0.15.12, Perch to 1.10.8 and a solitary zander of 1.2.10 made up the two-rod catch

Most memorable moment was kneeling to disgorge the best roach and finding the tip pulling gently round, so netting the zander with the roach already in there. The trials of fishing two rods when both lines are active!

Part of the evening was spent contemplating how to take full advantage of a good few hours spare the next day. This was where the risk came in.

The Boy Wonder was keen to try to get some angling action having been out of it for much of the season thus far with various injuries and illnesses, but after a number of late nights wasn't keen to get up early, so we decided I'd go early and then come back to fetch him for a short session, midday

Sunday, dawn:
The map indicated that a good few miles of canal I'd rarely, if ever, fished before would be safe from me either being blown in or over, and there I headed. First peg on a turning bay had cables over and they looked quite close so, although it was still dark and I could see no signs, I decided life would be the deciding factor as Parps wouldn't get his trip out later if I was charcoal and moved-on.

Five minutes later I pulled-up in a silent, yet remarkably full, pub car park and set off to fish between boats. Boy was it shallow, even in the track, 18" or so less than much of the rest of the canal, but I tried three swims and came back with less than pound of fish to show for it but 'enjoyed' a good number of crayfish pulls and nudges. A lesson learnt

Sunday, midday:
In an attempt to get The Boy on some fish in the middle of the day, with the gale raging and boats likely, we went back to the banker swims of the previous day. There was a peg where willow roots enter the canal on the nearside and we could fish either side of it feeding the one central spot, close-in, and feed it we did...but the fish really did not.

At one point I struck in frustration at a crayfish bite only to find my float stayed where it was until I realised I had been watching a tiny bobbing stick for around 5 minutes. The real float was by now behind me on the bank of course

TBW however managed to outwit the odd one, in his usual Lloyd Honeyghan-esque 'take no prisoners' style. Heaving a good perch and his first zander of the season aboard the good ship Towpath.

Perch 1.4.6, Zander 10cm.
At last he could trouble the bloggers challenge scoreboard again! Mission accomplished in trying conditions and the risks had been worth it

For my part? Just the one chubby little striped footballer, a sort of Sammy Lee of the Water, but there's always next week.

Incidental bird list;
Moorhen, mallard, mute swan, black-headed gull, starling, mistle thrush, redwing, blackbird, robin, dunnock, wren, blue tit, long-tailed tit, magpie, jackdaw, woodpigeon, carrion crow, great spotted woodpecker.


  1. Hi George, I bloody love your blog. Really like the composition of Harvey's catch shot as well. Good to see he kept you away from his rod yesterday as well. I did tell him he'll need to nip that in the bud after your underhand tactics at Jeff's birthday bash! I didn't fish yesterday but did see a playful otter just a short trot away from the town centre bridge over the Tone in Taunton. Chub city there so he no doubt enjoyed himself!

  2. Thanks Russell.
    So it's you that's been coaching him!...I knew something was afoot.