Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Innit Cold!

Two days out last week in the coldest, strongest east wind I've experienced in years. I followed up on some information I picked up in the tackle shop and fished the Shropshire Union canal for the big perch it's reputed to hold and while I didn't get any perch, one or two interesting things did happen. The canal, it has to be said, is dirty. the water is a muddy brown and not really very nice to fish but it's a place where fish seem to thrive and I did catch quite a few.

The strong East wind combined with the general direction of flow on the canal to make fishing difficult on both float and leger. I baited up a nice feature I had on the far side of the canal with red maggots and fished a legered worm across to it. That didn't last long though. The flow/drift was sending masses of weed along the canal and within minutes I found that the bobbin was creeping up all the time. After three or four casts, removing several weed stalks from the line each time, I decided to abandon that idea and fish the worm rod short in the middle of the canal.

It wasn't long before the bobbin went up in a much more decisive fashion and I struck into a strong fish. Unfortunately it was an eel of a little over a pound and as eels often do, it had swallowed the hook. What made things worse, as I wrestled with the creature, trying to extract the hook the eel bit through the line so that was the end of that. I dropped it back in, somewhat relieved but covered from head to foot in slime.

A little later I hooked another sizeable fish, this time on the float rod. This turned out to be a four pound bream - quite a nice fish for a canal I thought. Then I hooked a fish which ran me all over the place. I really hoped that this was the big perch I wanted but it proved to be something much rarer. A beautiful brown trout of a pound and a half came to the net - I couldn't believe it!
I finished the day with some skimmers and roach and a hatful of gudgeon. Perhaps I'll try there again some time, there are certainly plenty of fish.

Next day it was back to the commercial. The wind was much worse this time, again from the east, cold and very strong it was blowing directly onto the swim where I had had a catch of perch the last time. I could see that the fishing there would be very difficult and I opted to fish directly opposite that bank and cast across towards it. It was a good call. Another angler, an elderly scouser who I know, tried to fish that spot but gave up after only an hour of being blown around but I was able to fish a full day from my comfortable position.

With the weather dealt with you might think I would have ahd a good day but something else spoiled the party. The c*rp found my bait very quickly and simply wouldn't leave me alone. How on earth people get enjoyment from catching pasties all day long is a mystery to me. I managed to shake a few off so I didn't have to dirty my net on them but inevitably most had to be landed and unhooked. I did manage one nice perch - a fish of 2lbs 3oz which took a lobworm but it looks very much like the c*rp have really woken up on there now . Time to move on I think.

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