Going into the unknown – Part 1

The club I belong to has been offered a stretch of newly refurbished disused canal. No information is available other than the owner thinks there are fish in it as a heron is often seen on the water! We have been invited to do a test fish in a couple of days time and I thought this may be an opportunity to look at how a new unknown water can be approached.

We had previously walked the length with the owner and in most parts it is between 10 and 13m wide with some colour in the water. The water has been in existence for 18 years but it is only recently that work has taken place to dig out the reeds that covered it and create a depth of approximately 4 and a half feet down the channel. No sign of fish when we walked the length but it was a cold February day when we did so.

My experience of similar waters has led me to adopt a different approach to the rest of the members who will turn up for the test fish – I am guessing they will turn up with their usual match gear and fish a pole or whip. On these unfished waters the disturbance on the bank plus having a pole over their heads can send any fish away to find shelter. So my plan is to take my trusty haversack seat, a few essentials in a plastic tub, a net bag, bucket with small box of maggots and one of pinkies and a little groundbait, oh and a few slices of bread; this will be teamed up with an 11ft Silstar Ian Heaps canal rod and landing net. I will let the others go first and then decide whether to walk to the far end of the stretch or stay at the near end where there is a wider section and the canal is blocked off. The groundbait will only be used as a last resort with loose feeding pinkies being my main line of attack.

We will see in a couple of days if the plan works! (or if there are any fish in there!)

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