Canal carp – chasing leads and climbing trees

Yesterday evening I actually had a rod and a few bits in the car. But I chose not to fish. I didn’t feel quite ready. I know I would have simply been chancing it had I fished. Instead I looked around, climbed up and down steep banks and trees and crept into quiet corners in an effort to find what I’m looking for.

Such visits are never wasted. So much to see and learn. The burning issue as I see it at the moment is access. The canal is very overgrown and wild and even finding a spot in which to position a rod on the bank and a bait in the water is going to be a challenge. And the two areas I like the look of both have major causes for concern. One, a wider marina area has, as is to be expected, lots of boats and buoys. They present a real issue in terms of actually hooking a carp. A bream I can cope with in the confined spaces, but an angry carp hooked at close quarters really can only go one of two ways – up or down, and that will present a problem! The second area is narrow and really very weedy. But with a few holes in which I think I could effectively present a bait. But I think I’ll have to employ some seriously tough tackle in a bid to get them out.

At the moment I think I need to begin a pre-baiting campaign of sorts. Nothing complex, but some bait introduced into a couple of spots over a few evenings.

And what of the fish? A few small roach and one tiny pike spotted; a few swirls from bigger fish out towards the middle of the marina; and, in the last swim I visited, one big, vortex of water complete with audible ‘clop’ created by an unidentified, yet clearly weighty fish as I peered over the edge…

The canal


Rob’s canal carp quest

My old mate Rob has become a bit obsessed by a big, dark mirror carp that he’s found living in a stretch of the Grand Union canal near to his home.

He’s had a few short sessions in an effort to tempt it but no joy yet. These big, urban carp are no commercial fishery pushovers that’s for sure!

I’m heading over to Rob’s for a couple of days fishing soon and while we’ve discussed various waters to target, I’m hoping we can at least squeeze in an early morning or late evening on the canal in search of carp. I really fancy having a serious go at some wild old canal carp and I have a couple of waters much closer to home that I feel could be worth targeting – a feral 20 pounder really would be something.

So I asked Rob how big he thinks this fish is. ‘Yeah, it’s big’ – is as much as I can get out of him. I hope you get her soon mate!

Canal carp
Rob’s big canal carp