How To Fish The Cape Cod Canal

Hooklength and Final Shot

The final shot on our rig are of crucial importance. There are usually two smaller shot which could be down to a size 10 or 12. The very last shot is known as the ‘tell tale’ because it is this one that will move first when a fish takes the bait, telling us we have a bite. A common cause of missing bites is having this final shot too far from the hook. 3-4in (7-10cm) is sensible to start with, but if bites are really cagey, you could put this final tiny shot as close as 2in (4cm) to the hook.

It is also commonplace to use a hooklength of line for the final few inches to the hook, attached loop to loop. Modern low diameter lines are ideal for this. Flowever, for larger species such as tench and carp, many anglers prefer to fish ‘straight through’ with just one length of line for the whole rig to avoid the potential weak point of a knot.

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It’s always good to have some spare hooklengths tied up. If you make a supply all the same length you can instantly switch, safe in the knowledge you are still at the exact same depth.

Pole Floats

For pure sensitivity, nothing beats a fine-bristled pole float for canal fishing. Various designs exist and all have their specific purposes.

Pole floats generally have three parts: a tip or ‘bristle’, a body and a stem They are fixed in place by passing the line through a little wire eye and then two or three pieces of fine rubber tubing (sometimes called ‘float sleeves’ or ‘float rubbers’), which should fit snugly to trap the line against the stem but not so tight that the float cannot be moved up or down with a little effort. It’s best to have the final sleeve slightly overlapping the base of the stem, which helps prevent tangles.

If possible, it is best to have the float tip or ‘bristle’ set so that as little as possible is showing, although you may need some leeway for larger baits or dicey conditions.

The lower ‘stem’ of pole floats is made of either wire or carbon. Wire stems settle more quickly, but carbon versions seem kinder to your line and cause less kinking when you alter the depth.

Dibbers and shorter floats (first and second from left) are aimed for fishing close to the bank or features. They feature thicker tips that are ideal for bigger baits like worms or corn. Their small size make them unobtrusive in shallow swims. These are just the job for dropping a bait on the near or far bank of the canal, where quality fish might fancy a good mouthful.

Slim-Bodied pole floats (middle two) are delicate weapons for when you want a slow, even fall of your bait. These are spot on for presenting baits such as bread punch or pinkies, which roach will often take on the way down. They tend to feature a fine bristle and a light carbon stem The slender body will settle a little at a time as a series of small shots register. Bites on the drop are often signalled by the float tilting or stopping as this happens.

Pear-shaped/sturdy pole floats (last two on the right, previous page) are for fishing on or near the bottom These offer decent stability and are great all-rounders that help to keep your bait still on the deck. Those with chunkier bodies offer maximum steadiness, and the heaviest, long stemmed versions are perfect for deep water and ugly conditions.

Winders and Rig Storage

Pole rigs can be neatly stored on winders, which fit in purpose-made boxes. In this manner you can tie up a good selection for convenient storage. These can then be labelled with a permanent marker or sticker to denote line strength, rig type and hook size.

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