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Grand Union Canal – Knowle

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  • Grand Union Canal – Knowle

    Having stopped the weekend at my mam’s in Leicester, it fell to my old captain, team mate and fellow drinker Kev to ferry me back brumside, with the promise of a decent days fishing on the cut at Knowle. Thanks to the TA boys who pointed me towards it!

    One big arse about face detour at the M6 (oops, sorry Kev, forgot to mention the roadworks when we set off!) and we made it to my gaff for a brew before heading off on a caster mission to Longbridge (someone forgot to order them at the weekend didn’t they. Naming no names. Kevin.) A trip to a newsagents to boost the business of Mr Ginster. An easy drive down to the 42 soon saw us heading off towards Knowle.

    Winding our way through a pokey lane and over a tiny bridge, we parked up and went for the customary walk along the cut with a fag to see what we could see. My info was that the further you went towards the next bridge with the trees in the water the better. So that’s what we did. A fairly sedate walk later and the box was soon set up in a very fishy looking peg for the first thermos action of the day.

    About 13m wide, with tree branches out to 11m and a fair amount of colour and I was itching to get among them. Plumbing up revealed about 3 feet of water sloping down to 4 foot, before shallowing up to just over a foot of water tight over. After much dabbling around with a plummet I decided on 3 lines.

    1: Squatt line – 6 metres, 4 foot of water. Just in the deepest water as it started to shallow up. With a high amount of boat traffic on this stretch of canal I would expect this to be a place where food would accumulate, along the crease, along with debris. By fishing just an inch or two up the slope gives a clean area to fish on, with roach preferring to feed at an angle in my opinion. This slope was of a shallow enough angle that my bait would settle on it ok. 0.10 mainline, 0.08 trace, both Silstar Matchteam. Size 22 B511. 4x12 Drennan roach carbon. A lovely slim canal pattern. Fairly sensitive, but a little buoyancy in the nylon tip enables you to hold back a little if it tows, which this canal looked like doing a lot! On identical line and hook sat a Mick Bassett pattern in 4x12. A fantastic cut angler Mick handmakes excellent floats, and this body up, wire stemmed, fibre bristled float is ideal for holding back when it is running hard. Both rigs matched up to Middy Hi-viz 3-4 elastic.

    2: Squatt line – 9 metres, 2’6” of water. Angled off to the left slightly having found the magic 2 foot 6 of water for loosefed squatt, with a fairly flat bottom. This was angled to the left to avoid bringing any fish through my closer squatt line. 0.10 to 0.08 and a size 22 B511 and again a Drennan roach carbon, this time in size 4x10. Again with Middy 3-4. Some would think the line and hook choice a little heavy, however in a coloured summer canal I would expect this to be fine. I also like to start heavy and scale down, so a surprise early bonus won’t catch you out!

    3: Pig line. 11 metres, 24” of water, poked right into some jungle. Fairly flat area of 2 or 3 feet square. I dragged plummet to ensure the swim was snag free due to the amount of foliage! Rig comprised 0.12 to 0.10 Matchteam with a size 18 B611. Made up with a 4x10 Drennan choppa. Set up on Middy Hi-viz 6-8 elastic.

    Feeding. The first, 6 metre, squatt line was fed with simply Van den Eynde Supercup, sieved quite fine. 3 satsumas went in, one squeezed solidly, one firmly and one loosely to kickstart the swim. These were cupped in along with an eggcup of squatt.

    The second squatt line was fed with only squatt, and was to be topped up via polecup until it started producing, at which point I would expect loosefeed would take over.

    The far bank line was fed with 2 balls of 50% Supercup and 50% Secret. Mixed quite sticky and fed with a good dollop of caster.

    Following another fag and a cuppa the pound bet was made with Kev, and we dropped in.

    10 minutes into the session and one tiny nudge later I managed to start getting tiny indications after pushing the rig slightly further up the shelf (a matter of inches) into shallower water (1”). Converting these indications soon resulted in a tiny gonk, a blade skimmer and two roach, all on pinkie. The indications on squatt led me to believe my presentation was not right, so a quick change to 0.06 bottom and a size 24 soon changed things. A few tiny roach found their way to the net, followed by two 4oz skimmers at around the hour mark.
    At this point the cut started moving a lot. I thought I was on the Trent! Quickly swapping to the holding back pattern (again with scaled down trace) resulted in the typical few finger sized perch. This told me that either my presentation wasn’t right holding back, or the tow had pushed the fish out of the swim. Moving the bulk down enabled me to hold back with steadier presentation, yet no bites were forthcoming. Once the canal stopped I refed a small ball of Supercup, and put a few more bits in the net before the canal started towing, taking the fish with it once more.
    Moving over to the far squatt line produced no real sport, so I fed with groundbait to consolidate the fish and bait in the area.
    I decided to have a look on the far bank animal line, and slipped a brandling on the hook. Once the float settled it immediately started dibbing about. Assuming these were small fish trying to cram the worm in their cakeholes or liners I waited it out. Presently after a few minutes the tip slowly slid away to the left, and I raised the tip firmly into the bite. Six feet of elastic appeared, then immediately shot back into the topkit. Bastid! Rebaiting and another 5 minute wait and a carbon copy of the bite resulted in another 6 feet of elastic, this time heading for the middle of the canal as opposed to the big tree in the water! A couple of minutes later and a big scabby 4lb slab was looking at me from the landing net. “I say Kevin, I do believe I am beating you” were the civilised and mature words from my mouth. Roughly.
    I decided to rest the far bank swim after cupping in a few casters and looked at my squatt lines, which only produced a few skerrits. Deciding that being about 5lbs in front of Kevin that squatt fish were largely pointless I focussed on the bream line. No more interest followed, so I refed quite heavily and sat it out as we were only going to be there an hour or so more. Sadly I lost the only other fish I hooked to the tree. I hate that tree. I would have changed up a grade or two of elastic, but in 18 inches of water I though it wasn’t worth the risk. The lost fish put an end to the sport, and I tipped back around 7lb, taking Kevs quid by 5lb or so.

    All in all, a cracking day.
    [FONT="Arial Black"][SIZE="4"][I][COLOR="pink"]Team Teepot Match Group[/COLOR][/I][/SIZE][/FONT]

  • #2
    Excellent read Dave.
    Really captured the feel of the day.
    [COLOR=blue][B][FONT=Comic Sans MS][IMG][/IMG] "Minxed" to the max.[IMG][/IMG] [/FONT][/B][/COLOR]
    [URL=""][FONT=Comic Sans MS][COLOR=blue]Click this link to read "My Fishing Diaries"[/COLOR][/FONT][/URL]


    • #3
      Nice read David
      [COLOR="Red"]GOT Baits you know it makes sense[/COLOR]




      • #4
        You should have stayed on the far side wth no 8 elastic,full size maggot on 18 hook!! The bream on that stretch don't give in easily. See the Birmingham Civil Service match result 20 August. I lost as many as I landed when they hared off like carp!!
        John - Kingfisher
        Talk Angling Senior Member
        Club Record Holder on Grand Union Canal Knowle:D


        • #5
          The trick with them bream is not to lose any at all.... I know that sounds like a daft statement but you lose one and you screw your peg up for ages, if not for the rest of the match - if you want to do a proper big weight of bream on a canal match dont lose any - fish as heavy as you can get away with - I hear what you are saying with your 18 and number 8 elastic, try a 16 three red maggots and doubled up number 5 just though the top section then let me know how you get on next time.
          Simon Young
          Talk Angling UK fishing chat and tackle
          web design Doncaster - Limitless Digital


          • #6
            What about when they jump out of your landing net!!? They're acrobats!!
            John - Kingfisher
            Talk Angling Senior Member
            Club Record Holder on Grand Union Canal Knowle:D


            • #7
              If you can try to keep the pole tip below the water straight after striking. This will ''hopefully'' stop the bream getting into the tree. Try striking sideways and not upwards.


              • #8
                wow i use them elastics for carping i only have one s and twos in my canal tops............
                In darkness we do what we can
                In daylight we're oblivion


                • #9
                  That's what I used to use at Knowle, but no longer!!
                  John - Kingfisher
                  Talk Angling Senior Member
                  Club Record Holder on Grand Union Canal Knowle:D