Thursday October 27th I set off for my club’s 1.2 mile stretch of the Shropshire Union Canal in search of pike using float legered sardine arriving at around 0800.
Its a nice stretch of canal but I’ve not fished it for a couple of years due to my health problems, and when I did I was usually wandering the banks with spinners, lures and wobbled sprats so this outing was a change to that routine as less energy was going to be involved. Even in my prime two hours of spinning, etc were about the limit to my efforts due to an aching back … and even obtaining a back brace only added about thirty minutes to that … and nowadays I’d realistically say thirty minutes would be approaching my maximum back brace or not.
So the plan for the day was to fish an area for 30/40 minutes and then wander up to the next appealing spot (overhanging trees, bays or other features) and repeat the process of..
- Cast across on a 30 degree angle to far bank left for 5 minutes or so…. and then after a few minutes pull the bait in about one turn of the reel handle (ca one yard) … repeat until bait retrieved..
- Re-cast straight in front and repeat one handle turn retrievals..
- Repeat again casting 30 degrees to the right.
… and I more or less followed that plan of action.
The canal far bank had changed somewhat since my last visit as the first area I intended (and did) fish used to be lined with bushes and brambles overhanging to about one yard out … but it seems the landowner, or just as likely, the C&RT had cut them back severely .. the C&RT are notorious for that but also the owner of the bank has private houseboat moorings just previous and may be looking to extend them… not good if so!
I was kitted out quite light with rod and landing net (with mat, sling and 2 rod rests in its folds) carried loose in my hands and a rucksack which carried my spare bits of tackle, my baits and my flask and sandwiches pulled along on my trolley.
As for tackle I used my Ron Thompson 11’ 3lb TC Bass Rod, TFGear 5000 series reel loaded with 40lb Spectra braid and a standard twin size 6 treble snap tackle on 30lb wire. The float was a thin 9” pencil float weighted with a 15g Grey’s Prowla Quick Change weight supplanted by 3 x 3SSG split shot, enough to overload the float but fished overdepth to allow the float to be half cocked by tightening the line.
The boat traffic was OK … three boats passed in the 2 hours or so I was there and did a good job of muddying up the water a bit which is helpful when legering deadbaits as it distributes the aromas and also makes a scenario whereby the pike’s scent finding comes to the fore.
I fished a few further areas along …
… without joy and with leaves on the surface being towed along by a breeze catching my line and causing problems, albeit very slight, I decided to pop to my usual pike fishing water which I would pass close by on my way home…
I arrived at said pool around 1130, finding only other angler there who was away from my desired swim and who I think was carp fishing anyway … so I was quite happy… :) One other chap arrived a bit later who I think was also pike fishing but further round the pool.
So I fished on – same tackle as for the canal and, in fact, re-used the bait I’d last used on the canal… but during the session I did also try 2 capelin (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capelin, members of the smelt family, similarly sized but silver in colour rather that orangey), lip hooking one on one point of each of the two treble hooks – a sort of a subset of what I call a ‘Christmas Tree’ in which I hook, usually sprats, on each point of the trebles, some lip hooked, some tail hooked and some body hooked, so as to appear to be a mini-shoal. The mini-Xmas didn’t work this outing but at one point I did get three quick ‘bobs’ of the float on a sardine at around 1230 but nothing further ensued … and I left for home at 1430 in order to get back and cleaned up ready to pick Liz up from work.
I’ve a nurse appointment on Monday and Liz has a dental one on Tuesday … also I need a tackle re-organise … so next outing, I hope, on Thursday 3rd November. Not sure of the where’s or how’s at the moment though.
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