Pike Fishing Canals

Match Tactics

With the huge popularity of ‘commercial’ carping, it’s perhaps inevitable that angling clubs seek to stock canals with smaller carp to boost both pleasure and match fishing results. Furthermore, I have no desire to present canal carping as a narrow field: as well as the specimen approach, the species lends itself well to modern match fishing techniques.

Taking aim on the towpath.

Carp rigs needn’t be fussy. Popped-up baits avoid debris and are easy for carp to inhale.

Pole fishing is an excellent way to get amongst hard fighting fish where stock levels are high. Presenting rigs to far bank features is exciting stuff, but should also come with a warning: typical canals are more snaggy and cramped than the average commercial. This aspect, along with the very real prospect of a double figure fish snaffling the bait, calls for tough tackle and strong arm playing. Heavy elastics are ideal, and I much prefer modern hollow types. I would also opt to avoid lighter hook links and go for at least 6-8lb line fished direct. Strong, smash-proof floats which can be rigged directly through the body are ideal for the job.

Pike Fishing Canals Photo Gallery



A battling fish is brought to the net after snatching a pop-up boilie.

Baits for this style of fishing are similar to commercial fisheries. Corn and pellets are a great choice in the warmer months, while worm and casters work year round. A common tactic is to feed fairly generously, but let the fish get their heads down confidently for an hour or two before dropping in for a bite. Carp can crop up anywhere, but will venture into shallower water than the likes of bream wherever you find cover.

On wider sections of canal, other methods also come into play. The waggler can work, but perhaps the deadliest match-style method of all for bays and turning basins is the method feeder. This is certainly true for wider venues such as the Bude Canal near me.

Is carp-hauling from a canal strictly cricket? Traditionalists might shake their heads. But admittedly, it can be a lot of fun and also switch more weekend anglers away from the usual muddy pools and give them a taste of canal fishing.

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