For any style of canal fishing, getting an accurate feel for depths is important. They might look uniform, but many canals are greatly varied in this respect. Neglected areas can be deceptively shallow, for example, while average depths can sharply increase around locks, bridges and moorings. Time spent plumbing and making mental notes is never wasted.
Uk Canal Network Map Photo Gallery
A weighted lure or lead can be useful, but a float is the most accurate way to test the depth. Some canals have thick silt, in which case an extra-light plummet or split shot (or even a ‘snow shoe’ style version with some mesh glued to the base to lie flat and avoid digging in) will give a more accurate reading. For shy biting fish there is no substitute for accuracy.
We’ve already mentioned the ‘shelf on each side of the canal, and these should be investigated thoroughly. On some venues you will find a pronounced slope; on others, especially those that are well silted, you’ll find a much more gentle gradient more like the sides of a shallow bowl.
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