Crawleys bridge Runcorn.


Lymm control this length of canal, stretching from Waterloo bridge in the old town (where the canal runs off into the mersey) through to Crawleys bridge just before Preston brook marina. The canal has a huge head of roach, skimmer bream, hybrids, perch, and a good head of specimen carp and pike. The old town stretch offers good parking close to the canal (some areas you can park right behind your peg) and the lengths running through windmill hill offer close parking to the canal also. 

The area I have chosen to fish today is the very end of the Lymm stretch at Crawleys bridge, its wide toe-paths make for a comfortable days fishing and the canal is full of fish holding features. My bait choice for today couldn't be simpler,
1 pint of squats
1/2 pint of mixed pinkies
50/50 mix of supercup and super match groundbait.

Rigs are mounted on a .11 diameter main line with .08 hook lengths with either a 20 or 22 hook (its still warm, but I would scale down when the weather gets cooler), and elastics are a single No4 through a full top kit. The floats I use are the frenzee FS3 in .2grm for across and a .4grm for the near side. I choose this patter because if the canal runs I have the body to hold back, and the carbon stem aids the slow fall if the fish are feeding on the drop. 

Plumbing the depth revealed nearly five feet of water just down the near shelf at five meters, and three and a half feet at eleven meters giving me two ideal areas to fish. Opening feed was one ball of groundbait containing a few squats at five meters, and three balls containing squats and a few pinkies at eleven meters. Starting short on a single pinkie the work was about to begin. Throwing around twenty squats over the short line the rig was lay'd in and allowed to travel with the tow of the canal. All the time I  regularly catapulted squats across looking to build this peg for later. It didn't take long for my float to slide out of view, and the resulting strike was met with a 2oz hybrid. This pattern continued and by constantly adjusting the depth and shotting I managed to keep them coming for around forty minutes.

Eventually this line slowed down, so the time had come to pick up the rig for the eleven meter line. Feeding this swim for best part of an hour without fishing it, had the fish feeding ultra confident. So when I lay the rig in on the very first cast my float disappeared! With the fish coming thick and fast it was becoming a text book squat session, feed, lay the rig in and hook a fish. Being a little greedy I fancied my chances for a bigger fish, so picking up the heavier float and adjusting the depth slightly, I mounted three pinkies on the hook and shipped the float out. Settling quicker so as to avoid the smaller fish in the upper layers (it was black out there!) and holding the rig back against the flow it took a couple of minutes for my first bite, but judging by the amount of number four elastic exiting the pole its was the hoped for bigger fish! Using the puller bung in my pole I soon had a stunning 6oz roach in the landing net, re-baiting with the same again, I was ecstatic to find myself connected to another roach around the same size! With around fifteen minutes remaining of my short session I thought I might as well sit it out for the bigger fish, and it was definitely the right choice. Firstly a small hybrid, then a couple of 8oz skimmers brought a very rewarding day to an end. Lifting the net out of the water I was very happy with my catch, three hours fishing and around 6lbs of prime canal fish. What a great afternoons fishing, just goes to prove that you don't have to go to a commercial for a great days fishing!

By Carl McCormack.


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