FL02 PDF (212pp) - Page 74



The Town Stretch
demands and filled with carp that
have been reared on pellets and are
then fed boilies on a daily basis! The
canal carp travel up down the canal
like wandering nomads, stopping at
areas to graze on mussels, weed,
snails etc. In certain areas they will
often find discarded bread that has
sunk to the bottom after getting past
the hungry ducks and swans and
seagulls.
Now being employed full time and
having a family means that fishing
the canal has to fit in, so almost all of
my fishing takes the form of early
mornings or evenings. Sometimes,
when possible, I do a couple of hours
during the day, but mainly I use the
daytimes to walk and observe and to
make notes.
My present job is shift based; one
week I work evenings and finish
around 2am, and this shift is followed
by a week of days that commences at
10am and ends at 6pm, so typically
week one, I fish early mornings after I
finish my shift, 2:30am until 6-ish and
then late evenings 9pm until midnight.
I have created a system to fish the
canal effectively and it is one
of Organised Carping Diligence or
OCD. This approach sees me preparing for my session during my hour
break at work, which is either my
lunch or dinner break depending on
the shift pattern. The chaps in
the office have learnt so much about
rigs, leaders and different baits over
the last 18 months that I am surprised
(Top) My first 20lb canal carp.
(Right) The 20lb common.
74 FREE LINE
that they have not taken up carp fishing themselves! Mind you, they seem
to complain about some of the smells
that come from my plastic pop-up
tubs, which may have a somewhat
negative effect on them taking up the
pursuit.
The kit I use is complete but compact. I take very little to the swim; in
fact I often just carry a 3ft rod case
that holds my three 9ft CQs along
with my three Delks on sticks, my
bait, leaders and baited rigs, landing
net, headlamp, in fact everything I
need to use. I then take my battered
bedchair and unhooking mat. My
tackle bag and other items would stay
out of sight in the boot of my car.
So as I am only angling for just a
few hours maximum, everything I do
has to be quick and effective. The
design of the rods I use means that
they break down into three 3ft sections. Now this is great for storage
and mobility, but you cannot leave
them set up, so every time I fish I have
to thread the line through the rods’
eyes and then set up my end tackle.
Now this might sound quite laborious, but in truth the way I fish this is
in fact a very quick and simple operation even in the dark. I will cover this
at the end, but what got me interested
in the canal I hear you ask, to want
fish the canal in the first place? Well I
had heard rumours and mumblings
about a 30lb common being caught
from the canal, and this grabbed my
attention as 30lb canal commons are
by no means common at all, which
sounds a little mixed up.
Anyway I was soon walking the
town stretch on a regular basis looking for likely areas to target. My preferred method of carp fishing sees me
targeting mainly marginal areas on
the various waters that I have fished,
as I get no enjoyment from casting to
the horizon. The laying of close-in
traps with simple but reliable rigs is
much more me, and despite my rather
large size, I love this intimate and
stealth-induced style of fishing.
After much walking and investigation I settled on an area that allowed
me different spots to focus on. I had
discovered by casting around that

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