Session 74 – Canal And Pool Luring

Monday, 29th December 2014,I arrived on the banks of the Shropshire Union Canal at around 0930.

A beautiful morning albeit cool – the car’s thermometer registering temperatures of 0C to -2.5C on the trip across – with the sun rising on the frosty canal banks.

IMAG0063 IMAG0062

The nearside half of the canal was virtually ‘clear’ water, free of ice – ‘clear’ indicating that although ice free there was a lot of floating debris – mainly dead leaves – and it was also evident after spinning for a while with a 19g silver bladed spinner that the sub-surface also had a lot of the debris down there too… which, of course, meant picking it up on the lure. And, as is common knowledge, although lures may be made of metal, plastic, rubber, wool and catch fish, you only need to get the tiniest scrap of vegetation caught on that lure to ensure that until it is removed you could fish until the apocalypse and you’d not get a single take – and can almost hear the fish laughing their heads off as the lures passes by. And so, after an hour, even with the ice breaking up as the sun rose, I gave it up as a bad job as even more debris was released from that thawing ice and decided to head to the pool.

Again, glorious and picturesque,…. and ice free…


And so I had another couple of hours here with the spinner and with 19cm/52g Savage Gear Soft 4Play bodied lures in scull lips… result not a touch… but lost 3 Savage Gears and the spinner on trees and snags… Savage Gears now replenished via eBay for £20.

Anyway, got home eventually albeit with a frozen soggy bottom  – a result of having to sit on the frosted grass to drink my cuppas of coffee and re-tackle when the the lures were lost as no suitable seating was available.… I must get Liz to sort my extension straps for my ‘ruckbag with seat’…. Perfect size bag for my lure roving sessions with a fold-out stool attached but only problem is that the shoulder straps would be tight on a bare chested 3 year old never mind a 46+” chested male wearing several thermal layers under a combat jacket and fishing waistcoat! But easily resolved as Liz is going to make me some straps that with fit between the fasteners of originals and effectively lengthen.

I’ve ordered – and they are in transit so hopefully arrive tomorrow – the Water Wolf HD underwater camera and its full accessory pack that I was saving for – and, at £150, it was £10 cheaper than expected.  See: Also ordered a 32GB SDHD card for it – will give 8 hours continous recording in HD – although battery only lasts 4 hours so I’ll need to take a battery pack/charger to top it up. Will have to learn to cast too – too many snag ups yesterday and don’t want to lose it at that price!! 😀

Anyway, hoping to get out Friday – changing from my usual piking for a bit although I’ll take the spinning rod in case I get a pike in the swim – and will be float fishing for roach, etc with worm, dead maggot and intending to bake some soda bread on Thursday to take too… and I need to locate a recipe for that now 🙂

Session 73 – Pike…Less

Saturday 20th December 2014 and as the heading says … another blank pike session on the pool.

One legered rod with a joey mackerel and one floatfished smelt… fished 0930-1430 .. and not one hint of interest … even from the chub.

Anyway, it was a nice day to be out with mainly blue skies and sunshine… but no-one else seemed to think so as I was the sole angler all day long.

And to add to it I’ve just deleted irreversibly my hourly voice notes from my phone… not that there was a lot of action to report but the hourly temp readings were on there… but can remember the water temps were consistent at 8.9C all session and air temps started at around 7C, rose to just over 10C and dropped back to 8.6C. So enough to do my temperature bits… 🙂


Time               Air                  Water

0930                7.0                    8.9
1030                                          8.9
1130                                          8.9
1230                10.0                  8.9
1330                                         8.9
1430                8.6                    8.9


ScreenHunter_31 Dec. 22 18.02

Session 72 – Canal Anguish

On the Staffs-Worcs Canal this morning in the Wombourne area with the blade spinners and 6.5cm Savage Gear Soft 4Play lures.

3 locations visited – Botterham Lock, Bumblehole Lock to Bratch Lock and Awbridge Lock although I did not even wet a line at the latter because I was so incensed that I may have thrown someone in but it really wouldn’t have been his fault so I turned away and came home.

Anyway, not one touch or follow anywhere at all…

Reason for getting uptight?

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Sitting there on my arrival – vandal alert!

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The vandalism!!

Yet again, on the banks, the seemingly extremely over-financed corporation of vandals known as ‘The Canal And River’ Trust’ who seem to have nothing better to do than to spend, in my reckoning, £1million pounds per week on grass cutting. I’m not going to repeat a rant – but here’s the one I have made earlier…

Back at the canal today – and it was nice to see that the Canal & River Trust Angling has money to throw away – today they must have spent spent near on £1000 on a 1 mile stretch of canal needlessly cutting and generally vandalising. So magnify that by the miles of canal in the country and we’re easily talking £1,000,000 a week!!!

Cause for this feeling – fished 3 sections of the Staffs-Worcs Canal all within 1 mile of each other and at each section there were teams of grass cutters armed with mowers and strimmers and intent on making the canal banks look like a golf club green… this is mid-December, when the vegetation is dying back anyway and longest piece of veg. was probably 6″ long before mowing…. And who mows in December anyway??? My own lawns are NEVER cut after Sept 30th nor until the end of May. And estimated costs 8 hour day at £10 (min) per hour = £80 per person x 10 C&RT staff = £800 PLUS cost of petrol for mowers/strimmers/wear& tear/etc.

In my view the only ‘trimming’ required AT ANY TIME OF THE YEAR on a canal is within 12″ of the sides of hardcore/gravel path – not several yards into the hedgerow… and not within 2 metres of the canal bank itself, the boating fraternity are well capable of trampling down a passage from boat to path which will regenerate quickly once the boat moves on. 

To me, it would be far far better to leave as undisturbed as possible for the use of the wildlife (flora and fauna) – and no costs involved!! And to me, the £1,000,000 a week spent on this corporate vandalism would be far better being given to our cash starved NHS and education systems!!! Thus the environment wins, the wildlife wins and the NHS/education get improved!!

I’m going now – try to get my thoughts focused elsewhere as I’m just getting angrier second by second thinking of this.

Session 71 – No Pike Fishing (Or Fishing But No Pike)

I was out there 0900-1430 but to no avail.

Two rods – legered smelt and legered sardine in a ruby-dubby fed area elicited not a single flicker of the line even due to an interested chub, never mind a beep of the alarm. Even injecting the sardine with lamprey oil and perforating its stomach with a baiting needle and adding a pop-up ball to the smelt to raise it 12” from the bottom halfway through the session had any effects whatsoever.

But it was a pleasant day to be out – a few strange 1-2 minute light showers from small passing grey clouds were the only interruption to an otherwise calm, bright and relatively warm day with blue skies and light white whispy clouds.

I did think of getting the lure rod for a short session at the end but decided against as I’m intending to do a lure session over the weekend on a canal anyway and thought I’d save myself for that.

2014-12-16 Thermometer At 0945 2014-12-16 01


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Time               Air                  Water

0930                 4.9                      7.0
1030                 7.3                      7.1
1130                 7.6                      7.1
1230                 6.8                      7.0
1330                 7.1                      7.1
1430                 6.4                      6.9


ScreenHunter_29 Dec. 16 19.02


So I’m back to getting out there with a pike trip planned for tomorrow…

The tackle is all sorted and ready to load into the car on Liz’s return from work….

My rubby-dubby mash is thawing out ready for taking a chunk off the block…

Flask and butties will be prepared later…and baits taken, still frozen, from the freezer in the morning before leaving the house.

My destination will be to my usual pike pool…

So fingers crossed that the current uptrend in temperatures will have old Esox actively feeding 🙂

Anyway, tomorrow may, or may not, be my only session of the week … as, although I’ll not be able to get out again during the week itself, I may get a few hours at the weekend which, if it happens, will probably be a canal trip. A few ideas in my head as to which canal to visit and which methods to use are being juggled and assessed…also whether to go Saturday or Sunday…

 Current leading contenders are:

  •  A couple of stretches of the Staffs-Worcs that I’ve not visited before – in which case the lures will be out in action as that way I can cover a length of bank and investigate for the future.
  • A selection from previously visited stretches of the Staffs-Worcs, bait fishing with the quiver-tip/bobbin rod or a couple of those stretches with the lures.
  • Or my club’s stretch of the Shropshire Union which may be with the lures or with the bait rod. A good lure stretch BUT I’ve not tried bait fishing there apart from a couple of sessions when I match fished with the club for 12 months – and that is NOT the section that I would bait fish anyway.


no fishing 1 no fishing 2 no fishing 3

Says it all really … not been out over the past week due to Christmas preparations and the Annual Works Departmental Christmas Beer Tour which took place last night in Gornal and Sedgley, and which I have organised for the past 10+ years – and that despite having retired nearly 5 years ago – but no more as I’ve tendered my resignation now so its up to someone else to take up the reins for Christmas 2015 and onwards J

Anyway, I’m hoping to get out on Tuesday with rod and line – not sure where yet – canal lure or canal bait or pool pike…. but top at the moment is the latter of the three options. Tomorrow is booked for kitchen wallpapering which should be the end of the big jobs for pre-Christmas and I can get back to the things that  really matter… like pike!! 😀

In the interim I’ve gained a few extra fishing bits and pieces:

A rucksack with seat attached for my canal luring. I’ve been using an Adidas type sports shoulder bag but it slips and slides around the shoulders and so is hard to keep centrally balanced on the back – which I think is the reason for more back ache than necessary when roving with the lures. Also the seat will be useful for ‘coffee breaks’ and lure switches – no more sitting/kneeling on wet cold grass and getting the ‘soggy bottom’ effect.

A few small ‘trout  spinners’ from Go Outdoors today – a pack of 4 for £3.50’ish.

Some bicycle rear red LED lights – for the planned night fishing sessions next spring. White light is far too bright and tends to kill ‘night vision’ so I’ve bought 5 red LED lights at £1.60 each.

Some Korum Quick Change Swivels in mini- and micro-size. It appears that Korum have stopped doing them now, why I don’t know as they are superlative and are also used in the Guru Quick Change bead system…


Korum do quick change beads but the ‘hook’ of these are plastic mouldings and consequently much thicker…


… and so I find these types of beads (Korum/Drennan/etc) far fiddlier than the swivel type due to the thicker ‘hook’ over which you pass the loop of the line to be attached as I use a Preston Loop Tyer to create small, tidy,  loops.

However, it does seem that Gardner do similar items to the swivel type, albeit with a longer hook shank, so I may need to look into those at some time but my current re-stock of the Korum version should see me OK for a while.


Oh well, until next week then…..