Not long ago a small package arrived containing some Berkley pulse minnows and along with it plans to use these with a small selection of other lures was born, the idea being to spend a few hours fishing the canal in hope of the odd perch latching on to them, with the recent snow freezing the canal and sadly an ill pet to look after, those plans had to be shelved.
It was nice to finally get down the canal and helped somewhat to lift that oppressive feeling that comes with being told you may soon have to decide if your pet has to be put to sleep or not. The day was cool but sunny and had almost a touch of spring to it, the canal glistening with a light scattering of sheet ice in the more open sections, but with plenty of clearer areas to run a lure through. This waterway is absolutely bursting with character, heavily forested sections with marginal mangroves, tank traps complimented by the remnants of old bridges, most spots have a feature or two that make an angler say to himself "just one more cast".
One such spot had a lovely looking tree trunk and tangled roots, the perfect looking skulking area for a perch or two, alas nine casts later and my lure was lost forever. Now I am never happy losing fishing tackle, but losing lures is something I really hate and it was with some chagrin that I replaced the lost one, I also feel Berkley could perhaps be a little less stingy and include more weighted jig heads in the pack.
carrying on downstream my mind set on an area where the towpath narrows before widening into a woody opening, the lure making a calming splosh as it repeatedly entered the water. I was giving each spot about 15 casts before moving on, further downstream I met another lure angler who was seeking the same quarry, we chatted briefly, leaving me with whispers of perch, I made my way further afield, trying each and every bit of the canal, in hope that I might get the odd perch that I was dearly searching for.
I will say this now, I have never seen time fly by so fast as when lure fishing, before I knew it the time was 2pm and by now I had managed no follows and a new personal best in the shape of an enviroment agency crayfish trap, replete with perhaps ten or twelve of the critters, one of which looked like it was doing a fairly good job at imitating a lobster for size and attitude.
I decided to have a rest every so often, eventually stopping to have a snack before slowly luring my way back to the car. Although I did briefly switch to a mepps style spinner, the majority of the trip was spent using the pulse minnows.
Cast, twitch, vary retrieve and so it went, by 3pm the battery on my headcam had packed in and I had covered quite a few areas when I spotted a lot of bubbles going from one side of the canal to the other and to all intents and purposes it looked like something had been on the chase, looking along the opposite bank, I made out the shape of a perch of perhaps 1lb, moving briskly upstream, I decided to chance my luck and see if I might tempt a follow or more, ten casts later I convinced myself that it was not going to be happening and that it was time to head home, like a lot of waterways this place does seem to sometimes switch on later in the day, so I was not suprised to see a tench that looked all of 6lb swim past me, even in the slightly coloured water and fading light you could see its dark olive back and creamy orange belly, yet more food for thought! Never enough time..
It had been an enjoyable blank and I don't say that for the sake of having not caught, I don't do to much lure fishing and this had been a thoroughly enjoyable trip. My only worry is that I should imagine purchasing lures could if I'm not careful become be a bit too addictive.