Originally Published in English.

I guess we all get drawn into the trap of spending most of our time fishing to either near or far bank features on canals. Yet, below the surface, the fish aren’t always influenced by what is happening above the surface, with the contours of the canal playing much more of a role in their location. This can be especially true when the temperature drops in winter. Now, the fish will often be found in the deeper central channel of water, where they feel more comfortable. This especially applies to fish like bream, big perch and better stamp roach – fish that can be a massive bonus to your match weight, but which can also be a bit of a gamble to target. 

Today I am fishing a peg on the Worcester canal that contains a real mixture of fish. There are a lot of small roach here, but also some much better fish, including decent bream, big perch and even some carp. I have set my stall out fishing the centre of a turning bay, which is a noted bream area. The banks on both sides are lined with stone, so there isn’t a lot of feature above the surface. The canal is also quite busy today with boats, so it will something of a challenge to catch some better fish. 

Plumbing up I find that the bottom flattens out around six metres from the bank, so my plan is to fish at around 8 metres; a nice flat area at about maximum depth. This is where I think the bigger fish will feel comfortable feeding. This is also a nice comfortable distance to fish when you are not expecting too many bites. Fish long and you will find that your mind wanders and your presentation will suffer. There is no point in making life difficult for yourself so fish as short and as comfortably as possible.

My main approach will be with chopped worm and caster to attract the bigger fish.

Just a tiny pinch of casters is enough.

Pick a comfortable distance where the canal bed is level.

To attract them, I have introduced some roughly chopped worm and caster to begin with and will then feed 5-6 casters over the top every so often to hold the fish. Feeding can be an issue with this approach because every so often the canal flows hard when a lock is opened. I don’t want to overfeed, but if I feel that the bait has been washed away then it is a good idea to introduce a little more feed with a tiny bait dropper. 

I will vary the hookbait between caster and a piece of worm. I am not looking for lots of bites, but these baits will help me single-out the better fish. Maggot or pinkie will catch more fish, but they won’t be as big. 

My rigs are very simple. It pays to not fish too light. A decent perch can put up a decent fight, bream less so, but they are not particularly tackle-shy. I use a 0.09mm Cenex Classic hooklength to a size 18 hook. The float is a nice 4×14 with the bulk of the weight down to aid stability and to keep the bait static on the bottom. I will also fish about 4-inches over-depth to help keep the bait still and hard on the bottom.

This style of fishing can be a bit of a waiting game. You have to be confident that the fish will turn up, which normally they do. A couple of nice roach early on lift the spirits and these are followed by some quality perch and a decent bream. Unfortunately, there has been a lot of boat traffic today and the canal has been flowing hard at times, which I am sure has reduced my chances, but that is canal fishing for you. 

At the end of a few hours fishing I am really happy with a nice catch of quality fish, proving just how good the fishing can be on many of our canals. 

Dave Ward

"Expect quality rather than quantity when fishing like this."

My faithful Xitan pole is perfect for this style of fishing.

Take your time and let the elastic do its job when you hook a decent fish.

Most of the fish today were ’netters‘.

Dave’s Tackle

Xitan Z12 Revolution Pole

Cenex Classic Mono 0.10mm Rig Line

Cenex Classic Mono 0.009mm hooklength

Size 18 hook

4×14 float

Dave’s Bait

0.25kg Dendrabena worms

Pint of casters

Pint of maggots

Pint of pinkies

A brilliant mornings fishing.