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Canal Technical Canal Carping
needed a good meal, but she was the
only female I landed in that session. I
had six other fish, but they were all
immature males ranging from low
doubles to mid twenties.
Once you have completed your
research I would then start looking at
locating the carp on the canal. What
you will read in the next few pages is
what I’ve found on my local canal.
You might find it different on your
local, but as a whole this information
should put you on the right spots.
Locating carp on canals has always
puzzled me, but once you’ve been
walking along the canal for a few
miles you always see them, especially
in the warmer months. A good place
to start is to just go for a walk. I’d
think nothing of walking the canal
footpaths for the afternoon racking up
over eight miles. For the older generation I suggest riding a bike. This is
the quickest way, but I think you can
miss a lot, and you can spook the fish!
The far side of the canal is always
where you will spot the carp under
the overhanging trees. Failing this, I’d
suggest looking around the turning
bays. The fish will most likely be
cruising the opposite bank. I believe
they do this to get away from all the
noise a vibrations on the footpath
side, but be aware that turning bays
can end up being a prime spot for fly
tipping, so you may have a lot of work
to do before you start, and as the
name suggest narrow boats can be a
nightmare in the summer months
turning in these bays!
Now, the flashes on the canals can
be amazing places in the winter if
your canal is shallow. With a deep
flash you can be sure most of the fish
will be in this area. The Ash Vale flash
near Aldershot is a prime example of
this. I wouldn’t suggest casting to the
far side of the flash, as the carp will be
used to the fact that people feed the
ducks on the footpath, creating an
ideal prebaited area for anglers, but
the downside to this would be the
fact the ducks know this, and you will
more than likely end up hooking a
duck or two. This can be a big problem, as in the past I’ve noticed that
once there’s been a bit of commotion
in the swim the carp will move off,
and you might as well go home. I’d
suggest having one rod half way and
your other rod 20 yards out!
I’ve always looked under bridges,
thinking the carp must like it under
there, but on the whole of my local
canal I can only think of one bridge
that produces carp, but this bridge is
unused. Once again I think this is
more because the carp spook off from
the noise and vibrations. I mean who
wants to eat below a bridge with cars
going over your head? The other issue
fishing under bridges is that things
often get chucked off them, so you
never know what you’re fishing over!
When it comes to narrowboats, some
carp will associate these boats with
food, as scraps of food get chucked
over the side! Unfortunately some
canal authorities’ rules restricted you
from fishing in the areas the boats are
moored. If this is the case I’d suggest
fishing as close to the area as you can
and baiting a line from the boats to
your spot. Another good way I’ve
found fishing near narrowboats it to
float bread on the top. But before I do
that I would cast out two over-depth
zigs with fake bread downwind from
the carp. As long as the wind’s pushing the right direction you can lure
the carp away from the boats into the
area your zigs are. Be warned though,
doing this can result in multiple
takes! On my local canals there are a
few lakes which branch off from the
canal. These lakes are fenced off and
used as fisheries or private grounds.
You will find that the fences never go
all the way down, normally leaving
about two to three foot allowing fish
to move in and out of the canal. These
areas are where the monsters live,
and every now and then they move
into the canal and get caught.
Now once you’ve found the areas
you are planning on fishing it’s well
worthwhile looking at the gear you’re
going to need to take with you. Fishing with everything including the
kitchen sink is definitely not the way
forward; you need to be as light as
you can, as in canals and small narrow dark areas, having a 12ft rod can
be a nightmare. Ideally you need a 9ft
3lb rod. This may seem overkill, but
(Top) Ash Vale Flash in Aldershot.
(Right) Tackle and equipment –
Colnmere baiting spoon.
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