FL02 PDF (212pp) - Page 80



Urban Legends…
and produces sport all winter long!
Most of my canal fishing now takes
part in the winter when every other
water has shut up shop. But if you can
find areas like these and ones that still
see regular boat traffic or boats that
are lived on, you may just have a winter to remember.
Spring – In spring I always look for
tree cover and shallower water in
close proximity to the winter holding
spots. These will be the first spots to
be visited after the long harsh winter,
as the carp seek out the warm rays of
the spring sunshine, but they will prefer some sort of cover to feel confident. I know of an area that lies about
200yds up from a marina that has a
large overhanging tree and is 3ft shallower than the rest of that stretch, and
it is here where I will visit in the
spring to catch a canal monster or
two! In fact I have taken several 20s
from this spot!
Summer – Look for the dead arms /
quiet areas, as the carp will pack into
these areas to rest up and get out the
way of the busy boat traffic. I have
found up to 30 carp in an arm no more
than 10yds wide and 30yds long. Here
the water will be still and perfect for a
bit of floater fishing.
Overhanging trees are also another
favourite haunt of the carp in summer,
A perfect winter spot.
80 FREE LINE
and a bait placed close to these
stands a good chance of being taken.
Especially look for stretches that have
large areas of no cover or features and
has only one tree on its length. There
will be carp here!
Inlets are another prime area to
look for, as the extra oxygen will have
the carp lining up in the heat of the
summer. Remember a carp’s prime
instinct is survival, and oxygen plays
a major role obviously… a much bigger role than people realise. Oxygen
aids digestion and helps make the
fish feels more comfortable, therefore
it is more likely to feed harder in these
areas and a lot more likely to make a
mistake with a hookbait!
Turning points, basins… the list is
endless! My biggest is advice is to get
yourself a bike and a good pair of
polaroids. Start prowling the canal
towpaths in the summer, as this is a
great time to assess carp stocks in the
stretches of canal and from here you
can formulate a plan. Another good
tip is to try and be at the canal when
spawning takes place, as this will
allow you to see the size of the carp in
the stretch.
Preparation Is The Key To Success!
Once your location is sorted, the
next step to consider is your bait and
its application. It’s not simply a case
of throwing in a load of boilies and
then hauling them out. They may not
even know what these wonderful
smelling round balls are… Before you
throw any bait in I suggest you follow
the next bit of advice. I first pick out
five spots along a stretch of canal. I
will then take my marker rod with just
a lead attached and donk the spots to
assess the level of silt, debris, snags
etc. A useful tip is to attach a bit of
white string to the lead and smell this
upon your retrieve. The string will tell
you if the bottom is foul or presentable. Once you have found some
decent spots, the next stage that I do
is clear the area of any major debris
that may foul presentation. I do this
by clipping on a Thinking Anglers
weed rake and have a few casts
around the spot. This will clear the
main debris of twigs and litter like
carrier bags from the spot, leaving a
lovely area to present a bait.
What I do next is drag the lead the
length of the canal. The lead is
attached to a 3lb weak link in case it
snags so you can break free easily.
This will identify any snags that may
be present that you need to be aware
of when you hook a fish. There’s nothing worse than hooking a canal carp,
only for it to do you in a Tesco shopping trolley or an old stolen rusty

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