A Captive Audience?
Finding concentrations of fish is one of the primary objectives of the canal angler in what could be miles of similar-looking water. This can take some investigation, but certain scenarios do crop up time and again.
As well as long, unbroken sections of water, many canals have shorter areas enclosed by lock gates. Because they are self-contained waters in effect, these are often consistent places to find fish. Clubs will also often stock areas like this, knowing full well that the fish will not wander miles. The Newport, Sankey, Grand Union and Dudley Number One are just four examples of canals with such ‘pounds’.
Map Of Uk Canals Network Photo Gallery
It doesn’t get much more urban than central London, but there are still fish to be caught.
In other areas a similar situation arises where the local Cut has been drastically closed off or shortened to just a few hundred yards of water. Such waters are also ripe for stocking and often contain fish such as carp, crucians and even ide. Not strictly traditional, you might say, but fishing tends to be consistent and baits such as pellets and sweetcorn will often work as well as maggots and casters.
Another factor that helps concentrate fish is the influence of local anglers. Where regular matches are held or pleasure anglers congregate, the frequent introduction of bait will keep fish in the area. Predators will also follow, and the opportunist pike angler can cash in by fishing just after a match ends while the pike pick off slightly dazed fish released after the weigh-in.
Winter fishing can also be rewarding, although fish tend to cluster, favouring deeper water.