Crawleys Bridge, Bonus Fish

Written By
Adam Bowen.

Canal, this very word conjurers up fishing for small bits, cold bite-less winter leauges, dog walkers, canal barges, featureless miles of very non-fishy looking banks and miles of walking. However the pegs and parking at Crawleys Bridge was non of the above, there was the odd boat and walker, but all in all a great section of canal, easy parking, plenty of features and very fishy looking indeed. This section of canal is on the Lymm card and as Lymm do a separate card just for the canals, it is more than worth the money for such great fishing. I followed Carl McCormack from the team today for a lesson on how to take a canal apart, with Carl having great experience of fishing these areas of canal, I had high hopes for a few fish.

While walking the bank it was very obvious there was a few areas with some fish holding features, but looking at the whole stretch there were a great deal of signs the fish were on the feed and we looked forward to a good day. Now the pegs chosen gave us two options, one to fish across to features, and the other for open water and a good waggler chuck to bar bank to the left of a willow tree. So with Carl wanting to use his waggler he went on the open water peg and I fished the features peg.

My set up was the usual light pole set up, I set up a light simple rig with a preston double elastic D6 for a possible bonus fish, I was thinking a bonus fish being Skimmers and larger Roach maybe a good Perch, however I was very mistaken, after shipping out to the far margin and popping three balls of ground bait mixed with caster and pinkie I walked over to Carl to see what he was up to while it broke down and settled. I shipped over to the far side with my single caster expecting plenty of fish to be sat over it. The float dipped I struck and the double white elastic streamed out and did not look like it was going to stop, until my hook length snapped. Myself and Carl could not believe it, and thought I might have foul hooked a Carp, so re-rigged added a further two ball of ground bait, popped my single caster back over and got smashed instantly again.

Holding my head in my hands, thoughts were going through my head of what should I do next, so out came carp dibber floats, 0.17 line strait through to a size 14, with a power top two usually used for dragging carp out of margins in commercials, I baited heavy let it settle and shipped back over, float dipped and the heavy hydro elastic shot out, after playing this fish into the middle of the canal, the battle continued and a big tail pattern appeared in front of myself, and I got a little over excited as it was going to be my first ever canal carp, or was it, as the fish surfaced for the second time there was no mistaking those teddy bear eyes and big paint brush tail, so my first ever canal Tench was on the cards, and at 5lb, I was chuffed to bits, and Carl could not believe it.

I was hooked, so over went with more ground bait, and the next fish came, this time a 4lb bream, so excited was not the word, I carried on fishing had two more tench around 3 and 4lb, and from there the smaller fish moved in and missed bites started, as the heavy gear i was using was no good for the fish that had moved in. So the special fish that were there happened to be either a small amount or spooked by the earlier action, however talking to Carl he thinks I was fishing for those fish only, and mocked me for being to used stocked commercials, where one fish is waiting to take the place of the caught one, but targeting the small group of specimen fish is hard to do on a canal, as there is plenty of places for them to hide. So it turned out that the peg choice was critical to catching these rare fish, and does this small band of 3 to 5lb fish mean more to me than a 100lb of carp caught on a commercial fishery, but has the time spent catching quality fish on commercials given me the necessary skills and tackle to snare these fish on the canal.

Carl's day, was a great deal more action packed with a very impressive bag of silvers from down the center track of the water, a great mixture of Roach, Rudd, Skimmers, Hybrids and Perch, all caught over ground bait on single caster and single white maggot, the ground bait had a mixture of pinkie and caster. Fishing a light rig with light elastic, Carl had a very busy day indeed, catching a mixture of 2-8oz fish one after another. We fished from about ten am till half four, and had a fun filled action packed day. The middle track Carl was fishing was around six foot deep and Carl was using on 0.6 float, light lines 0.11 down to 0,09 hooklength to a size 18 hook.

If you really fancy some thing different, trying new things, and maybe catching some personal bests for the canal, please have a look getting a Lymm card for the canal and pop down to this stretch. Big thanks to Lymm Anglers and Warrington Tackle and Guns for supporting the day, and look forward to experiancing more fishing the Bridge water canal has to offer.