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Urban Legends…
monstrous carp! Oh and that big mirror is still there!
Safety First
One thing I must express is the
importance of keeping yourself safe
on the canal. Canals are not the safest
of places, and you will find many
unsavoury characters using them for
all sorts of things. I have witnessed
many things on the canal, from people casing local factories in preparation of a burglary and then later being
visited by the police to see if I had
seen something suspicious, to being
visited by many a drunk, usually
friendly but full of babble. I have seen
glue sniffers under the bridges, frisky
couples getting hot on the towpath,
fights opposite at the closing time of a
local pub, motorbikes speeding along
the towpath… It’s definitely not a
place for the faint hearted, so please
follow my safety guide to try and limit
the amount of danger you may
unknowingly put yourself in:
• Buy yourself some cheap rods and
reels – leave the Basias and Techniums at home. Less is definitely
more on the canal, and you are a lot
less likely to get robbed!
• Leave a deterrent on show, so people will think twice about robbing
• Don’t fish near to pubs or towns on
the weekend when there is a much
more likely chance of there being
drunks using the towpaths at these
• Carry a mobile phone with a reliable contact on speed dial.
• Put the app “Find My iPhone” on
your mobile if possible, as you
never know when you may need
• Let someone know where you’re
going and likely time to return.
• Get your tackle security marked in
case the worst happens.
• Never fish alone! Always fish in
pairs or more.
• Always fish with the brolly facing
the rods in close proximity.
If people seem to be hanging about,
start having a conversation with your
mate, so that they can hear, along the
lines of, “Yeah the boys are coming
down in a bit.” This will make them
think twice.
If it looks dodgy then move on… No
carp is worth putting yourself in danger.
Here are a couple more tips and
tricks for you all on the canal that I
hope will help you land a monster of
your own… Fish with a white hookbait. I don’t know why, but white
seems to catch a hell of a lot of
marauding canal carp. Maybe it’s
because of the amount of bread that
people throw to the ducks or off the
boats? Who knows? But it is more
than a coincidence! Next is to fish
through the night… Yes, I know this
can seem dangerous, but if you follow
the safety tips described it will reduce
the danger considerably! I have found
on canals, especially some of the
more pressured ones, that the carp
have switched to feeding at night.
They may have learnt that there is
danger in the day, but when night
falls it’s safe to go on the munch… or
so they thought!
Avoid chods – I have found that the
tow on the canals can be considerable, and chods are just not the one! If
you have cleared your spots, a simple
KD rig is much, much more effective!
Think about this for a second. You’re
fishing slack lines on the chods, but
the tow is tightening your line, potentially lifting these off the bottom. At
the very best they will be waving
around unnaturally!
Use a baiting pole to fish under
trees or next to boats. This will avoid
conflict with boat owners, as they
don’t take kindly to a 2oz lead being
thrown at their pride and joy, plus it’s
perfect bait placement every time!
Strong smelling baits seem to work
better on the canals.
Avoid pellets when fishing unless
you love bream!
Place a white bucket, a couple of
yards up, either side of your rods. This
prevents the bikers crashing into your
setup. I have even glued reflectors on
Use back leads to avoid the boat
traffic – a must in the height of summer!
Do not set up next to water stops
for the boats on the canals, as I nearly
got into a right old fight as a boat
nearly crashed into my rods.
Put your rods horizontal to the towpath to avoid walkers and bikers.
Keep a small stalking setup and
some floaters in the van/car as in the
summer when taking the missus and
kids a walk along the canal, you never
know when an opportunity might
present itself!
Don’t tell anyone anything, as you
will be surprised at just how many
sheep love the canal!
Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed this
article and have taken away some
tips that will help you to catch one of
those urban legends… and remember
they are catchable in the canal in any
Until next time, slack lines and
screaming buzzers! Daddy Mac n


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