Point Pleasant Canal Fishing Reports

Presentation is Key

Perhaps the main disadvantage of waggler fishing compared to the pole is accuracy. If you can loose feed and cast to a tight area time and again, you will catch more fish. Picking a marker on the far bank to aim at is one solution, but practice makes perfect.

The waggler really comes into its own on shallow narrowboat canals; once the depth exceeds several feet it becomes less and less practical. The same could be said when conditions become blustery or the canal starts to flow harder. Presentation then becomes trickier. Sometimes you’ll still catch ‘on the drop’ with baits such as bread or pinkies falling through the water.

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But to get the bigger fish you must often alter things to keep your bait on the bottom. When it’s hard to keep the bait still, you may need to set the float ‘overdepth’ – in other words, somewhat deeper than the swim Removing a shot or two can help stop the float from dragging under. As with pole fishing, it is always a good idea to mark the depth carefully against the rod (usually with Tippex or by sticking the hook in the rod handle and counting the rings to the float).

Achieving control takes some practice, but the waggler can be a fun and highly skilful method. It certainly pays to be methodical and adapt to conditions: for example you might begin a session by catching fish at mid-depth, before trying overdepth for a better one.

Lots of small factors come into play. The splash of a float landing, for example, can be a curse or a blessing. Occasionally it might attract hungry fish; most of the time however, it’s sensible to overcast slightly and draw the float gently into position to where you’ve been feeding.

Another good practice is to establish a rhythm of feeding and casting. If you regularly loose feed and then cast over it, you can trick the fish into thinking your bait is just another free offering. Bites can come at any time and the best waggler anglers hardly use a rest, preferring to hold the rod at all times.

You might not be able to lift and drop the bait like a pole angler, but little pulls and regular recasts earn extra bites, as does tinkering with the depth or casting just off the baited area to see if a bigger fish or two is keeping a slight distance. In essence, waggler fishing can be as active or as lazy as you make it.

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