Clint Walker Blog


I've had a bit of a change of scene this week; no day of preparation beforehand, no barrow, no boilies, no big fish, just me, a net and a light lure rod. My local canal has a chequered history having burst its banks and deposited most of the resident stock into adjacent fields a couple of years ago, so it has taken some time to regain any semblance of former glories, but I fancied a wander...just to see...and I'm glad I did.
I know of several spots which hold fish; likely hides and holes that regularly used to produce perch of some quality, but would they these days after the previous tenants had long since passed in muddy fields? There are boats and bridges too, bushes and reed beds, all of which have the potential to provide cover for hungry predators, and it's spots like these which I usually try first, so I shut the van up and wandered off. I'm not at all keen on 'featureless' areas of waterway which just look desolate, but after rigging an Ecogear soft lure, I wanted to check it was working as intended; a flick into the middle of the canal saw a very slow retrieve with a few gentle twitches of the rod tip as the Grass Minnow lure skipped over the bottom. As I watched the lure move through the water and tried to replicate the movements of a prey fish, I was more than happy to see a dark shadow detach from the piling under my feet and attack the bait! Result!



Not a big fish, perhaps around 5oz, but I was only checking the lure! A second cast gave almost exactly the same result, with another small stripey following the lure to the edge before swooping to attack. For about five minutes, I had a shoal of perch fighting to be first to hook themselves before they finally got wise and drifted off, but at least I knew the lure action was correct, so I moved off to one of my favourite spots further upstream.

This particular  position has a boat moored against a jetty on the far side, an inflow/overflow from a nearby river which undercuts the far bank, some twisted tree roots and plenty of reeds; in short, it's perch heaven and I've had them to almost 3lbs previously. Dropping double maggot on the bomb then flicking odd ones over the top is a sure fire way to catch them usually, but I only had a lure rod and selection of Ecogear lures, so lobbed my rig against the tree roots and slowly jigged it back; nothing! I tried four or five casts, each time expecting the jagged pull of a perch, but never got it. A quick change to an Ecogear Paramax (in pink since you ask) saw me lose a small perch, and after another ten minutes of fruitless pursuit, I changed back to the bigger, brighter Grass Minnow which I thought would be easier to spot in the cloudy water. A quick cast downstream before tightening the braid and before I'd even started to turn the reel handle, a fish was on!



Fair enough, it wasn't a monster, just a small  pike of 2-3lbs which gave a good account of itself on light clobber and the icing on the cake of a short two hour session which saw me catch a string of small perch and a couple of tiny pike, but I can tell you that I enjoyed the freedom to walk up the towpath, flick a tiny lure into likely spots and move on without being encumbered by mountains of kit. If you haven't tried 'dropshotting' yet, perhaps now is the time to pick up a light rod, a tupperware box of plastics and a few hooks, and go for a slow bimble along the towpath to see what you can find...It's not too technical, you don't need much equipment and I know you will enjoy it!

Clint Walker


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