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Canal Carping Canal Technical
it free, but when the berries get
knocked off by the birds it naturally
prebaits the swim! The blackberries
can also be great for adding to a stick
mix or to coat boilies with. Once in
the water it gives off a nice halo of
attractions. Be aware though, some of
the berries can float, so it’s worth
sticking them into a bucket of water
first and using the floaters as an extra
in your stick mix.
Sweetcorn is another effective bait,
as match and pleasure anglers use
this frequently so it forms part of their
diet all year round. The downside of
sweetcorn is that because of the
colour you may find unwelcome
attention from the ducks or a swim
full of bream, but don’t let this put you
off, as most of the carp I have caught
from the canal have been using the
Evo corn stacks as a hook bait.
Another free bait you can collect and
use on the canal are crayfish. The
carp love these. I tend to crush them
up and add them to my boilie mix or
cook them and use the meat in a stick
mix. I believe this will give you an
edge any time of year, but please
remember to only use the crayfish on
the area of the canal you caught
them, as you can end up spreading
crayfish eggs on parts of the canal
that haven’t got a large number of
crayfish in.
When it comes to selecting a boilie
anything works, but using fishmeals
or bright boilies can be tricky, as
almost straight away the crayfish will
be tucking into your bait. I use a dark
milk protein boilie or a good quality
bloodworm based boilie. I don’t think
the size of boilies matter at all at the
canal, but if you do have a lot of
bream in your swim I’d suggest
20mm. The smaller fish will still have
a go at the boilies, as I’ve seen on my
underwater cameras. I’ve seen roach
lift 18mm boilies clean off the deck!
Now we all see bloodworm in today’s
baits, but how much bloodworm is
actually used in creating the bait?
Apart from a few top brands there’s
not as much as you might think, and
most of the bloodworm that get
added is in powder form, not fresh. I
buy the 1kg Marine Nutrition 100%
Bloodworm, and as this is same price
as a kilo of boilies it’s great value for
the money. The carp will feed over
this all year round, and I’ve found it to
be the best bait to keep all the pests
away on the canal.
They also do 1kg bags of Mysis.
This tiny freshwater shrimp has a
very high nutritional profile, and the
carp simply can’t get enough of the
stuff. The only downside to these
baits is that it can tend to go off on
the bank in the warmer months. You
can stop this by adding salt and
water. By doing this in the right levels
you can drain the excess water away
in a sieve, and you have PVA-friendly
100% pure bloodworm Mysis. These
little bags are ideal for stalking; when
I’ve used this method in the past I’ve
found that tipping the Evolution corn
stacks with a maggot cluster blends
into the bloodworm providing a
stealthy hookbait. Liquid additive is a
funny one really; personally I don’t
add anything apart from hemp oil or
Betalin to my baits or hookbaits. I
think you can end up making the bait
too obvious to the carp. I aim for a
nice balance but long-lasting additives.
Once you’ve found the carp on the
canal it’s always worthwhile starting
to prebait. I would start by baiting up
with sweetcorn, as this is probably
the most introduced bait. A tin each
day for a week would be a good start.
This will help you out later on matching your plastic sweetcorn hookbait.
This will also keep the crays away for
longer. After the first week I would
check my spot for activity and
remaining bait! How is this possible
without disturbing the fish, you might
ask? The Waterwolf underwater camera is the way forward. This cheap little camera will drop to the bottom
showing any bait left in the swim, and
with its massive four-and-a-half hour
recording time, on day seven it’s
worth leaving the camera out to
check which fish are coming into
your swim! A few days after the capture of Split Tail, I decided to drop the
camera in to see how much of the bait
had gone. I left it out here for a few
hours just in case I got footage of any
carp feeding, and when I plugged it
into the laptop that’s exactly what I
saw. This was enough for me to get
my rods out of the car and fish for a
few hours, and sure enough an hour
after placing my rig out I had this
beautiful 22lb dark mirror!
(Top) The blackberries blend in
nicely with the hemp.
(Left) Bloodworms in the purest form
fished with bloodworm boilies – a
lethal mix!


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