Originally published in English.


We all have different approaches when it comes to the tactics we adopt and feel comfortable with when approaching a match or practice session on our chosen venue. Some are happy to build a weight of silvers and constantly feed a number of different lines, some are quite happy to target a certain species and some are happy to look for fewer but bigger fish. 

Faith and Patience

I have to admit that I’m one of those anglers that like to target fewer but bigger fish and if there is a bait on the canals that will sort these out it has to be worm, a bait that very few species will ignore. Fortunately eels count in our friendly matches and are somewhat partial to a worm and with bream and perch on the cards as well, rarely will a few bonus fish grace my net and I’m happy to play the waiting game, be patient and have faith that although I may only be looking for three or four decent fish, if they are the ones I’m after then there’s a very good chance I will be looking at framing, if not winning.

One of my local venues is The Wey Navigation Canal and over the years this approach has served me well here. Today I’ve decided to steer clear of the noted big fish swims, the reason being is that I feel I learn so much more simply dropping into a swim that I haven’t fished before and then having faith that my tried-and-tested approach will deliver any sizable fish within.

Worm and caster, a winning combination.

Baiting up with a dropper for pin point accuracy.

I’ll take a couple of these any day.

"Worms will often produce bigger bonus fish"

Rotating the two

The swim is certainly a feature swim being directly under a road bridge, definitely an area to look at as the winter sets in and quite often a hotspot for perch, however I don’t think that even the shade will have any effect on the fishing today as the canal is unusually coloured. I’m going to approach today’s practice session in my normal manner and feed to spots, both on the same line at two thirds of the way across which is around nine metres. The first line is slightly upstream of straight out; 11am lets say and the other at 1pm, slightly downstream. To kick start each spot I’m going to introduce one Bait dropper full of chopped worm and casters. The reason for a bait dropper is it gives me pin-point accuracy every time, especially when I line the pole up to a far bank marker. Each spot will be rotated and topped up at regular intervals throughout the sessions with a further half a dropper of worm and casters, even if they are showing no signs of fish. Another key time to top up is if a couple of fish are caught or bites missed before going quiet. Hookbait will mostly be half a worm and a caster cocktail, but every now and again will try a small piece of worm or caster on their own, even a couple of maggots, but never will I introduce maggots to the swim in the bait dropper as this attracts too many small fish.

A real all-rounder

I’m using a Sphere Zero-G Power Partner, a real all-rounder with Pink 1.9mm Microbore elastic through the top kit which is more than adequate even if a sizeable eel gets hooked. My rig consists of Cenex 0.18mm Hybrid Power mono onto which I attach a 1.25g rugby ball shaped wire stem float for stability, which will be over shotted and held back in position. The float is shotted with a bulk of fifteen no9 fifteen inches from the hook which is a size 16 barbed Sphere Match attached to 0.15mm Cenex Fluoro Carbon hook length. Two additional number nine shot are added to the hook length along with a tiny number twelve swivel that sits on the deck and also makes changing hook lengths easier. 

Today’s three hour session has gone to plan in that I have put together around 8lb of fish, however with the added colour in the canal I would have put money on it, that eels would have played a major part in my catch but amazingly not one has shown. Instead my weight has been made up of three decent bream, plus a few small perch, roach and gudgeon, more than enough to frame in one of our matches. 

John Brownlie

Fluoro Carbon hooklink, a massive edge.

1.9mm Microbore, will handle anything hooked today. 

Not what I expected but I’ll take a catch like this any day.

John’s Tackle 

Sphere Zero-G Power Partner

Size 16 Sphere Match Hooks

Cenex 0.18mm Hybrid Mono

Cenex 0.15mm Fluoro Carbon Hook Line

1.25g Float

Xitan Microbore Pink 01.9mm Pole Elastic

Sphere Match hooks, sharp and reliable.