The Grand Union Canal is always a venue that I love fishing and today I’m at The Globe Public House stretch controlled by Luton Angling Club. In the past I’ve had some really big bags of specimen bream fishing right across against the far bank features, however today with the bright conditions I’m going to target the silvers down the track.

Natural fall

I’m targeting these using what I consider the best all-round pole on the market, the Sphere Zero-G PT+ and have set up two top kits teamed up with Xitan 1.3mm Microbore elastic, both almost identical with 4×14 pole floats but with contrasting shotting patterns. The first has a strung out bulk of no9 with two no10 droppers on a four-inch hook length. This rig is really designed to get the bait down when the locks are open and the canal has some tow on it. The other rig has the shot strung out giving a much more natural fall of the bait, great for the bigger silvers and used when there is little or no movement through the swim. Both rigs have been created using Cenex 0.10mm and 0.08mm Classic Mono line along with Sphere Match size 18 hooks.

Heavier than maggots

Hook bait for today is predominantly maggots, reds and Fluoro pinkies, yet I also have some worms just in case it’s slow going on the silvers and I feel that there may be a big bream or two on the far bank. Groundbait consists of a 50/50 mix of Champion’s Feeder Black Roach and Quick Skimmer, mixed with a groundbait whisk and then passed through a fine riddle a couple of times to create a very fine fluffy mix. I’ve also got some hemp with me and have added a small amount to the groundbait, along with a few pinkies, and used to lose feed over the top every put-in. Feeding is very important and the hemp really comes into use when the locks open and the canal starts to flow as its heavier than maggots and gets down to the bottom quicker. This is a time when it’s not good to feed maggot as these simply head off out of your swim in the flow and potentially take the fish with them, so the rule of thumb here is to feed both maggots and hemp when the canal is still and just hemp when it starts to flow. Being heavier hemp also stays in your swim after a boat has gone through, so it gives me confidence that there is always some loose feed down on the deck in every situation.

Microbore green – A great elastic for the canal. 

Use a strung out shotting pattern.

Hemp is a great roach attractor.

Kick start the swim with groundbait.

"with a double figure bag of silvers by lunchtime I’m going to be heading home a happy man. "

Creating a cloud

Having plumed up and found the depth, which is around 4ft, it’s time to kick start the swim and to do this I cup in three hard balls of groundbait plus one soft ball. The hard balls (simply compressed more) get down to the bottom before breaking up, however the soft ball breaks up as it falls through the swim, creating a cloud and getting fish into the swim quickly. I will also introduce another hard ball if bites don’t continue after a boat has passed through. 

Double figure bag

The session is going to plan with plenty of small roach, perch, gudgeon and odd better skimmer showing from the start but as the morning progresses and with the canal becoming busier with Narrowboat activity I have had to switch from the strung out shot rig to the bulk. At first this hasn’t effected the fishing but as the morning progresses, the sun gets up and this activity increasing understandably so the fishing has become somewhat tougher and I’m having to work harder and harder to keep the fish coming, however with a double figure bag of silvers by lunchtime I’m going to be heading home a happy man. 

Alec Roberts

Sphere Match hooks, great for canal silvers.

Black Roach and Quick Skimmer mixed 50/50.

The best all-round pole on the market. 

Alec’s Tackle

Sphere Zero-G PT+ Pole

Xitan Microbore 1.3mm Green Pole Elastic

Cenex 0.10mm & 0.08mm Classic Mono Line

Sphere size 18 Match Hook

4×14 Pole Float   

Alec’s Bait

Champion’s Feeder Black Roach & Quick Skimmer Groundbait



Red Maggots 

Fluoro Pinkies

What a great morning’s fishing.