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Hi All, 

When would be a good time to start a Canal Pre Bait? 

I have a spot about 4 minute drive from my home. Circled is the spot down the canal. 

Screenshot_20210128_201855.thumb.jpg.dd4fb019c61735e4e8825ad12321fd03.jpg

Down the canal and goes into a basin like hole, I will need to take a rod and feel around, but also leading upto this is a walled far side bank with overhanging trees. 

Screenshot_20210128_201950.thumb.jpg.56a00df2038fa9c39e8fd9a494b44169.jpg

The hole... 

Screenshot_20210128_202524_com.google.android_apps_maps.thumb.jpg.50cf62bd127e26b699b6cd30be3f1e83.jpg

Edited by Highy
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I love getting on the canals, always approaching them with the same basic game plan mate. 

firstly, location is the most obvious thing, however it's surprising how often it is skipped over. Often, canal carp are not as pressured as their lake brethren, so can be easier to see and pin down. I would start with a prebaiting campaign. But with the current weather, I would probably lay off for a few weeks until the milder weather comes around. Although canal carp are more active and feed in colder temperatures than lake carp in my experience, they will still slow down and feed a lot less in the winter. My start would be with hemp/particle/corn/pellet with a few boilies added. Keep it going in initially to attract all species. As much as I want to stop other species in their tracks, I won't go straight for boilies until I know carp are visiting regularly. Flowing water carp (river/canal) tend to be very nomadic, especially in stretches where there are little in the way of cover or features to hold them, this is where I would attempt to create a reason for them to visit a chosen spot time and again  using bait. Once I was happy I knew carp were hitting the spot regularly, I would do away with pellet and corn etc and wean them into boilies to deter the nuisance species and target the carp better. 

Although flowing water carp are less pressured, they can be spooky - catching one carp off a prebaited spot can spook the others and they often drift away, so I try get as many spots going as possible. Then I can leapfrog the carp on the move and be set up waiting as they reach my next spot. Good thing about most canals is you can follow the carp along the bank. 

More of my successes come from sections with lots of features and bushes etc, boats and marinas are good places to try. Get a mountain bike and some polaroids and go searching. Carp are always gonna drift from one section to another, unless something holds them. Lock gates, weir pools etc. I find once i am on fish, they're catchable, the trick is to find them first. Find them,  feed them, catch them...

Rigs wise, I tend not to get too riggy anyway, I believe location and quality bait is key anywhere, especially on a canal or river. Long casting is generally not an issue, so I tend to go for strong and simple gear. My main line is .35mm Shimano technium, (got 20lb b/s on testing it myself) with leadclips or inlines as a lead arrangement. Hooklinks are often just mono or a tough coated braid. Simple knotless knot to a strong size 4 hook. I'm an avid leadcore user, (although if I use leadcore, then I use helicopter rigs as I think they’re safer)  although I'll also use rigtube as happily. I want something tough and abrasion resistant, not all techy and complicated. If bottom debris and crayfish are an issue, then pop ups would be my choice, if I can present a bottom bait without any problems, then I'd go for that first. 

Backleading to prevent boats/kayakers etc catching my lines is important as well as keeping my gear on the path clear so walkers/cyclists don't run it down! I like to keep light and mobile so I can keep moving onto fish if my present spot isn't producing, before finding a night spot in a quiet stretch to do an overnighter. - this I bait regularly to keep the carp interested. Somewhere a little less snaggy and more open for fish safety reasons after dark. It's ok fishing locked up in the weedy/snaggy bits in the day where you can be on it and in control quickly but at night, I want it a bit more risk free where a run off a clutch won't cause issues. The carp will leave the snags and explore more at night anyway, so you make the best of both worlds. 

Finally, if you can rake the swims of crud and bait them, then try it - if all you do is clear a load of litter off the canal bed, then it's a good thing! I'd try get as much out as possible, anglers are guardians of our environment, rubbish is an eyesore and anglers tend to get blamed - more flak we could all do without, even if we are blameless. Clear the spots of the rubbish and  hope the carp gods will smile on you. 

Canals and rivers are tricky venues, but I love them. They fish through the winter too usually, I've got a little canal lined up for the winter months. Just wish I could get there this winter! 
 

oh and check out “canal carping” book by rob maylin and friends, i just picked up a copy for under a tenner online. 

 

Good luck mate. 

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38 minutes ago, ouchthathurt said:

 

I love getting on the canals, always approaching them with the same basic game plan mate. 

firstly, location is the most obvious thing, however it's surprising how often it is skipped over. Often, canal carp are not as pressured as their lake brethren, so can be easier to see and pin down. I would start with a prebaiting campaign. But with the current weather, I would probably lay off for a few weeks until the milder weather comes around. Although canal carp are more active and feed in colder temperatures than lake carp in my experience, they will still slow down and feed a lot less in the winter. My start would be with hemp/particle/corn/pellet with a few boilies added. Keep it going in initially to attract all species. As much as I want to stop other species in their tracks, I won't go straight for boilies until I know carp are visiting regularly. Flowing water carp (river/canal) tend to be very nomadic, especially in stretches where there are little in the way of cover or features to hold them, this is where I would attempt to create a reason for them to visit a chosen spot time and again  using bait. Once I was happy I knew carp were hitting the spot regularly, I would do away with pellet and corn etc and wean them into boilies to deter the nuisance species and target the carp better. 

Although flowing water carp are less pressured, they can be spooky - catching one carp off a prebaited spot can spook the others and they often drift away, so I try get as many spots going as possible. Then I can leapfrog the carp on the move and be set up waiting as they reach my next spot. Good thing about most canals is you can follow the carp along the bank. 

More of my successes come from sections with lots of features and bushes etc, boats and marinas are good places to try. Get a mountain bike and some polaroids and go searching. Carp are always gonna drift from one section to another, unless something holds them. Lock gates, weir pools etc. I find once i am on fish, they're catchable, the trick is to find them first. Find them,  feed them, catch them...

Rigs wise, I tend not to get too riggy anyway, I believe location and quality bait is key anywhere, especially on a canal or river. Long casting is generally not an issue, so I tend to go for strong and simple gear. My main line is .35mm Shimano technium, (got 20lb b/s on testing it myself) with leadclips or inlines as a lead arrangement. Hooklinks are often just mono or a tough coated braid. Simple knotless knot to a strong size 4 hook. I'm an avid leadcore user,  although I'll also use rigtube as happily. I want something tough and abrasion resistant, not all techy and complicated. If bottom debris and crayfish are an issue, then pop ups would be my choice, if I can present a bottom bait without any problems, then I'd go for that first. 

Backleading to prevent boats/kayakers etc catching my lines is important as well as keeping my gear on the path clear so walkers/cyclists don't run it down! I like to keep light and mobile so I can keep moving onto fish if my present spot isn't producing, before finding a night spot in a quiet stretch to do an overnighter. - this I bait regularly to keep the carp interested. Somewhere a little less snaggy and more open for fish safety reasons after dark. It's ok fishing locked up in the weedy/snaggy bits in the day where you can be on it and in control quickly but at night, I want it a bit more risk free where a run off a clutch won't cause issues. The carp will leave the snags and explore more at night anyway, so you make the best of both worlds. 

Finally, if you can rake the swims of crud and bait them, then try it - if all you do is clear a load of litter off the canal bed, then it's a good thing! I'd try get as much out as possible, anglers are guardians of our environment, rubbish is an eyesore and anglers tend to get blamed - more flak we could all do without, even if we are blameless. Clear the spots of the rubbish and  hope the carp gods will smile on you. 

Canals and rivers are tricky venues, but I love them. They fish through the winter too usually, I've got a little canal lined up for the winter months. Just wish I could get there this winter! 
 

oh and check out “canal carping” book by rob maylin and friends, i just picked up a copy for under a tenner online. 

 

Good luck mate. 

This is all awesome, I want to start off clearing a spot, it's all under arm down there... Thinking starting off with like Sweetcorn, Crumb, Pellets 1st, then add some like chick peas and tigers, then a few Boilies. 

In the time I've been alive and walked down there, I have never seen an angler down there, not even canal matches. 

I've got all the necessitys, bike, Polaroids. 

When would be best to start, as I can start gathering bait to put in, may even travel down next week and have a lead about. 

39 minutes ago, Big Bass said:

Looks fishy...when you do if there’s no paths try not to leave any evidence you been there  😉

I've always fancied this spot, that's a good idea. 👍

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Might want to get to now peak boat traffic times that area in the canal is a boat turning point it's where narrow boats can do a three point turn might not get used much but when it does the bottom really does churn up lots of high revving in shallow water, should be a good channel in the centre though. 

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Never too early to start doing the groundwork mate, knowledge is power! Good recon is never wasted. Do you know of any catches from this stretch in the past? If you get down there and can find carp that are active and moving, then it won’t harm to trickle in a bit of bait, just don’t kick the ring piece out of it, a handful here, a few handfuls there, other canal species will clear it up if the carp don’t. In your case, I’d start with the Polaroids and start fish spotting and learning the stock of the stretch. Then I’d lead and rake about to build up a picture of the canal bed and any features. Canal carp love cover over their heads and any occupied canal boats are worth a look, they provide heat and warmth. Just try not to drill a 3oz lead into the side of them, it tends to displease the owners somewhat... baiting spoons are always useful. It’s homework time mate, are there carp there? Can you find them/see them? Has the stretch got form or a history of producing carp in the past? Then swim mapping and baiting spots you see carp on, especially if they are spots you can observe from the bank, if you see a carp in one spot, you can bait one spot, move  on and investigate another spot, and another etc then go back and recheck any spots you’ve baited to see if the carp have got on them. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 28/01/2021 at 20:23, Highy said:

Hi All, 

When would be a good time to start a Canal Pre Bait? 

I have a spot about 4 minute drive from my home. Circled is the spot down the canal. 

Screenshot_20210128_201855.thumb.jpg.dd4fb019c61735e4e8825ad12321fd03.jpg

Down the canal and goes into a basin like hole, I will need to take a rod and feel around, but also leading upto this is a walled far side bank with overhanging trees. 

Screenshot_20210128_201950.thumb.jpg.56a00df2038fa9c39e8fd9a494b44169.jpg

The hole... 

Screenshot_20210128_202524_com.google.android_apps_maps.thumb.jpg.50cf62bd127e26b699b6cd30be3f1e83.jpg

That looks like a good spot!

I would fish it a few times to see if there are carp about, just a single bait or with a small stringer. If the fish are there then prebait to give them a reason to stop and stay. 

Other areas, again fish first, near boats, bridges and marinas. 

Once again when you find them keep trickling bait in. 

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2 minutes ago, salokcinnodrog said:

That looks like a good spot!

I would fish it a few times to see if there are carp about, just a single bait or with a small stringer. If the fish are there then prebait to give them a reason to stop and stay. 

Other areas, again fish first, near boats, bridges and marinas. 

Once again when you find them keep trickling bait in. 

There's this spot, then about 5miles down a marina... 

When all jobs done, I be hitting hard... 

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The marina is definitely worth checking out mate, they are like little havens for carp. The boats, being out of the flow, food, cover, what’s not to like? One thing with marinas though is that they can be no fishing zones, but you can get around that by baiting the entrance and fishing over into the entrance from the opposite bank, provided you can fish from that bank and boating traffic allows. You need to keep the boaties onside in situations like this though, be polite to them, be prepared to reel in if need be, it can be beneficial to recast after a boat passes anyway, they can kick up debris as well as your rig that can muck up the presentation. It will be an adventure, the thrill of the chase, not knowing what you could catch next! I envy you, having that canal so close! 

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On 07/02/2021 at 20:00, Highy said:

There's this spot, then about 5miles down a marina... 

When all jobs done, I be hitting hard... 

Oh, another good spot can be inflows. A number of canals have top-up reservoirs, which allow water lost through locks to be topped up, or even incoming streams. These provide oxygen as well as offering food spots. 

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On 09/02/2021 at 16:54, salokcinnodrog said:

Oh, another good spot can be inflows. A number of canals have top-up reservoirs, which allow water lost through locks to be topped up, or even incoming streams. These provide oxygen as well as offering food spots. 

You are spot on about inflows giving oxygen and also stirring the bottom, my last house was a two minute walk from our canal ( which I fished for twenty odd years for carp ) there was one part with a high bank and field on the opposite side, the farmer used to pump water out of the canal in late evenings, the water was pumped up the steep bank into a tanker and when the tanker was full the overflow would come down a return pipe back in the canal causing a powerful wash which stirred up the bottom and at the same time put lots of needed oxygen back into the water... I used to regularly bait and fish areas 25 yards either side of the pump.. superb fishing.. I really miss that canal now I have moved.

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