The slightly better news as far as canal carping goes is that you can put your confidence in very simple rigs and presentations. In the warmer months, an excellent way to start fishing is with a free-lined bait in likely areas. Bread and dog biscuits are two cheap, effective offerings and it is simplicity itself to roam the banks with a single rod looking for cruising carp. Even if you see nothing in a good-looking spot, it is worth introducing a few biscuits or pieces of floating bread to see if any fish will come up. It is well worth seeing if you can get the carp taking confidently before casting out – and this can be the difference between getting one chance and possibly catching several fish.
Types Of Fish In Cape Coral Canals Photo Gallery
On ship canals especially, carping can be a waiting game.
On the typical narrow canals, you will easily be able to hit the far bank with a single piece of bread crust. A light specimen or barbel rod is ideal, as are the shorter ‘Stalker’ style carp rods and I would fish a low diameter 10lb line direct to a size 6-8 hook for this operation. Around boats especially, the fish can be bold takers that require prompt action on the strike to keep them from tangling with snags and obstructions.
Two common problems are ducks and ‘no fishing’ zones. The latter can be frustrating, but confrontations with boat owners should be avoided at all costs on these shared waters.
One way to deal with the issue is to fish just outside prohibited areas: quite often, with regular loose feeding, it is possible to draw carp into legitimate water. My angling friend Dan Sales is a master at this art, as well as a smooth negotiator when it comes to boat owners!
Ducks and other waterfowl are another common problem, and perhaps this problem is exacerbated by the fact that carp love to frequent areas where ducks are regularly fed. One solution is to take plenty of bait and effectively feed two areas, one for the carp and a separate area to keep water birds well clear of your bait.
Another dodge is to anchor or ‘zig rig’ a buoyant bait a few inches beneath the surface where the ducks won’t find it so easily but your offering is still available to a cruising carp. A good chunk of crust is perfect for this approach, although where hordes of roach demolish bread, a pop-up boilie is usually the answer.
A tight swim on the Grand Union; note the short rods and minimal amount of gear.
Above all, do be vigilant when it comes to birds, boats and people. An amenable, considerate angler is a friend to all but the most bloody-minded of canal users; an unreasonable one sets a poor example for all of us.
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