Session 5 (2015) – Canal Bait Fishing

Tuesday, 17th February 2015, and it’s a trip to a local stretch of the Staff-Worcs Canal setting out at around 0815 after a very frosty night which required the car windows to be sprayed with anti-freeze and a good half hour’s blast with the hot air blower. Useful device is this blower… a standalone device that plugs into the cigarette lighter socket – which means that the car windows can be pre-heated whilst having breakfast, etc and in such a way that the car can be locked up while unattended… recently several cars on our estate, inc a Porsche, went walkabout when people used their car’s own heating system to defrost windows requiring the keys to be in the ignition and the engine on but they then left the car unattended and….  bye bye car!! :(

Anyway, overnight temps were obviously sub-zero…. and as I drove across to the venue the car’s thermometer was registering 1C. However, I was unable to record any temps over the day, air or water, as I had forgotten to pack my thermometer. SO… the overnight drop was not going to be good for results.

Technique for the day – quiver tipping with dendrobaena worm(s) on the size 12 hook and light free feeding of maggots. Also at times small balls of groundbait (breadcrumb, gravy granules and blitzed Vitalin) were also wrapped around the 7g gram leger weight.

 I was in my first chosen swim of the day – and eventually fished three swims altogether – at 0855 with bait in the water. This swim had moored boats on the far bank with a boatlength gap and overhanging brambles – in fact probably the most ‘fishy’ looking swim in the length I fished.

2015-02-17 Swim 1 03 2015-02-17 Swim 1 02

2015-02-17 Swim 1 01

However, after an hour or so without a single indication of any attention to my baits and with someone now working on the coal barge – loading/unloading sacks – to my left, I decided to try my luck elsewhere and wandered down to the extreme end of the stretch which is below a set of lock gates. When fishing the canal in this area this is my usual swim and is usually quite good.

2015-02-17 Swim 2 02 2015-02-17 Swim 2 01

2015-02-17 Swim 2 03

On arrival at the swim at 1010, the first of two boats to pass me was just entering the lock from above and as I was setting up my station it passed by. The swim in general is usually quite nice with water being pumped in just below the lock gates creating an eddy sort of effect at which the swim is at the bottom end of, with water moving away from the lock on near and far banks and returning up the centre channel but, probably due to the low boat traffic, the pumping and hence the eddy effect was only operating intermittently. Anyway, as per the ‘plan’ small amounts of loose fed maggot were fired to the far bank slightly to my right towards the lock gates (the line was the reflection of the double tree that can be seen in the photo above) and fished over with worm bait and occasional lead bound groundbait ball. And, I had the first inklings of possible success within the first 15 minutes with tweaks of the quiver tip noted. However, this was short lived and after about 40 minutes of intermittent knocks these stopped for a while and when the second boat of the day passed through coming down from the lock at around 1120 I decided to change the hook down from a size 12 to a size 16 but still no further action was attained and at around 1315 I decided to wander back towards the car and have an hour or so in another swim somewhere on the way along.

And so I arrived at the third swim of the day around 1330…

2015-02-17 Swim 3 02 2015-02-17 Swim 3 01

2015-02-17 Swim 3 03

As can be seen, a few overhanging albeit denuded bushes on the far bank plus some overhanging grasses/reeds made this look an acceptable place to try… and again as per the second swim I had intermittent tweaks seen on the tip but nothing of substance… but I persevered until 1500 when I packed up and headed home.

So… blanked BUT at least I had some sort of fishy stuff going on – the first of 2015, in fact, the previous four outings eliciting not even a nod of interest by the quarry.

Oh well…. outing 6 is due on Friday 20th!! Probably with Liz but destination has not yet been discussed :)

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