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Canal Carping Canal Technical
Set up ready for action.
(Bottom) The float will drop or move
when a fish is on your area.
don’t underestimate the power of
carp in a small canal, as they have
nowhere to go. I have a set of Wychwood Extractors; these small, tough
rods are the only ones for me. They
come in a 6ft version too, and this is
ideal for under bridges! When it
comes to reel choice, the Shimano ST
Baitrunners are the ones for me. There
is absolutely no need for a big pit on
the canal; they’re too bulky and will
get in the way. Being a tackle tart on
the canal will just end up with disaster. The amount of times I have cyclist
running over my rods and dogs chewing my cork handle, and yes this really
does happen! I’ve had rods go for
swims during the night when a barge
has decided to come past and ignore
the fact that my Delkims are screaming! This is why I always use back
leads. This eliminates any problems
with boats. When I decide to spend
the night down the canal I use a little
60-inch brolly system, as there’s not a
lot of room on the public footpaths,
and to be honest spending more than
24 hours at the canal is extremely
hard, as the only thing you’re looking
at is 15 yards of water. For the anglers
moving on from big gravel pits this
can be a challenge in itself.
Weed rakes can be really handy on
canals, not so much clearing weed
but cleaning the bottom of debris. The
one pictured has a 30ft rope attached,
so it easily drags back most items
including the odd bike or trolley!
Once I’ve cleared the area with the
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rake, I’ll put my waders on and check
the area myself to make sure I know
what I’m fishing over! I wouldn’t suggest doing this on your own though –
always have a friend with you and
take a prodding stick to check your
next step, and never go in the water if
there’s boat traffic of any kind! ! This
is an advantage in a lot of different
ways: not only can you tell what the
bottom is made up of, but you can
also see depths and the colour of the
bottom. Another good tip is to trim a
little hole in the overhanging trees as
long as it’s not an SSSI area. (Site of
Special Scientific Interest).
Now I’ve known people to make
their own gravel spots after they’ve
done this. I’m not saying go buy tons
of gravel and fill it in, but a 25kg sack
of pea shingle should be more than
enough to make a decent hard area
for you to fish over! Just make sure
you give the shingle a good clean
before you chuck it into the canal. If
the canal authority has a problem
with this, you can always use Sensas
gravel, which match anglers use to
make their groundbait sink faster. It’s
basically gravel, but as it’s designed
to be used with bait they shouldn’t
have a problem with it. When it
comes to baiting up or putting your
rig over your area, the Colnemere
Developments bait pole is the only
way forward. This will allow you to
bait up and place your rig easily and
quietly in the day or night. It comes
with a standard reach of 12 meters,
which is more than enough for most
canals, but you can buy extra 1.8m
infinite extensions, allowing you to
reach those spots next to the boats in
the turning bays or the moorings, not
to mention getting under those overhanging trees on the far bank where
carp always seem to be. I also use the
pole when prebaiting; it’s a fast way
to get a lot of bait out, as the spoon
can hold well over a kilo of mixed
feed, making it the stealthiest form of
prebaiting you can do.
Another piece of tackle that is
extremely handy is a pole rig. My idea
behind this is to place the pole rig
over my baited area permanently
fixed to the canal bed. This will stay
out there until I have finished my session. This will help you see if there are
any fish over your spot. The pole float
will move when a carp swims underneath it, giving you a heads up when
the fish are over your spot!
Canal fish, like all carp, eat anything and everything, but I’ve found
some carp do have their favorite
snacks! If you look close enough
whilst you walk down the canal you
will find loads of natural food that the
carp love! At the right time of year
blackberries have got to be one of the
best; they have a sweet, sharp taste
that the carp seem to love! This has to
be one of my favorite baits; not only is

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