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Canal Technical Canal Carping
My trusty Waterwolf. It’s amazing
what’s on the market these days.
(Bottom) The dark 22lb mirror.
If you don’t have the camera,
spending an evening watching the
water may not be as effective, but will
still give you an idea if the fish are
feeding. Depending on what you find
you may wish to fish the swim, but
don’t rush into it. The more time the
fish feed in one area the more chance
you have of seeing new carp in the
swim, as canal carp tend to stick
together in pairs or small shoals. Once
you have a few fish in your area, I
wouldn’t think twice about starting to
add boilies to the mix. The size of the
fish and amount of fish will determine
how much you decide to put in. When
I was fishing for Split Tail from the
Basingstoke, I was using anything
from 1kg to 5kg of boilies a week, and
when the fish were feeding hard I was
feeding them 5kg of mixed chops a
day along with a tin of corn. What
most people forget is that the canals
are full of pest fish, and I’ve seen little
roach and rudd on the underwater
camera, smashing into the boilies, so
how many pest fish you have will also
determine the amount of smaller baits
you decide to use.
As a rule I would leave the swim for
at least two weeks before I start to
fish. This allows the carp to feed
freely, and in return for your efforts
you should have a fish on your first
session. Another way I’ve found very
effective on the canal is to tie PVA
bags full of little goodies to chuck in
whilst on my walks. I would spend
my spare time in the evenings tying
these up ready for the next day. I’d
make up anything up to 50 bags a
night, and as I was at home I even got
the missus involved! Prebaiting can
be very expensive, so if you’re on a
budget I’d look at cooking up your
own particles, sticking with mainly
hemp and maize, but be sensible and
prepare it properly. Also you can use
the blackberries I mentioned earlier;
you can find tons of these on canals,
and they won’t cost you a thing!
Mashing them up and mixing them
with liquidised bread will create a
nice bed of bait that the carp will be
more than happy to feed over.
Now when I think about what rigs I
would use on canals, the first thing
that comes to mind is all the rubbish
on the bottom, the silt and the crayfish, so straight away all my hook
links are at least ten inches long. Then
I start looking at what hook link material I use. I normally fish with 12lb fluorocarbon; in my opinion the clear
material is bombproof, but with all
these obstacles I still increase that to
15lb fluoro, and in extreme cases I will
use a 30lb coated braid. Now this may
make you laugh or make you think
twice about carp fishing, but I always
use the biggest hooks I can get my
hands on. I take this approach in all
my angling, but it’s even more effective on the canal, as the carp tend to
have really tough mouths from eating
all the crayfish. The Krank in size 2 is
my preferred hook pattern, but I have
used Continental Muggers in the
same size. You may tie the rig of your
choice with the hooks and think to
yourself it looks silly and it’s overkill,
but over the last few years it’s all I’ve
used, and yes, in my option it has
increased my catch rate massively.
It’s also reducing the amount of hook
pulls; I would say 99% of the fish I
have hooked I have landed, and I put
this all down to the size of the hooks.
The main question I get asked is
what about the smaller carp? Surely
they will notice the hook when taking
the bait. This brings me onto the next
part of all my rigs – critically balanced
hookbaits. If used in the right way
these little gems will act natural in the
water, and fish will fed confidently
around the bait, and you will nail the
first fish that picks it up. An 18mm
Cell wafter will be critically balanced
on a size two Krank. There’s no need
for putty – one less thing to worry
about. The same can be said for the
Evolution corn stacks, these deadly
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