We love and care for your canals and rivers, because everyone deserves a place to escape.

Adam Jagger, Todmorden, Rochdale Canal

My favourite peg is located on a section of the Rochdale canal just outside of Todmorden known as the summit pound. The section is about as high up above sea level as you can get.

A bag of Bream, Adam Jagger

Name:  Adam Jagger

Team:  Ted Carter Preston

Age when started fishing:  Around 6 years old

First canal I fished:  Rochdale Canal at Castleton

Favourite species:  Roach

Favourite bait:  Bread punch

Greatest angling achievement:  Represent Wales in the Youth World Championship in Holland where we won a bronze medal

Biggest remaining ambition: I would love it if one or both of my sons took up match fishing

All time angling hero: For this I’m going to be greedy and name three:

  1. My dad who was massively influential in my fishing and without him I would not be fishing now
  2. The late Leon Green, he was without a doubt the best narrow canal angler I have ever known and taught me so much
  3. The late England international Alan McAtee, who along with Leon are both northern canal legends and were simply awesome anglers.

The locks at either end of the length are the highest broad beam locks in the country. The scenery on this length is breath taking and there is no better place to be on a fine summer day for which Todmorden is famous.

Rochdale Canal from the air at Todmorden

Big canal match weights

Fishing wise, the summit is renowned for its potential for big match weights. Winning weights regularly surpass 20lb. The main target species are bream and the resident head of big carp, although the roach have been making a comeback in recent years and now 5 – 10lb nets of winter roach are not that unusual.

The summit pound is a fairly long length of canal with hundreds of available pegs. It is a very fair section with plenty of fish to be caught in most of the pegs, but if I had to pick my favourite one it would be permanent peg 444.

The horse manure peg

Compared to many of the pegs on this length, peg 444 looks totally unappealing with a bare wall opposite and a large pile of horse manure directly in front of you. If you don’t believe me, check out the photo.

Peg 444 on the Rochdale CanalMost anglers would almost certainly just walk past it to fish a more scenic peg. It would be a mistake to be deterred by this large mound of horse manure as the peg this holds plenty of the summit pound’s resident bream. At an average of 3-4lbs each, you don’t need to land many to build a big match weight.

Tactics

The canal here is around 18-19 metres wide and a small feeder across tight to the blank wall will normally snare you a carp. The top baits on this length are bread punch or caster for the roach and ground bait feeder and sweetcorn for the carp.

As far as rigs go it’s very simple. For the bread punch I use a 4x16 float with an olivette and 0.09 mainline to 0.08 hook length. For chopped worm, I use a 4x18 float with an olivette and 0.14 mainline to 0.12 hook length. I would normally approach all the pegs throughout the summit length in the same way; a bread line in the deepest water and two chopped worm and caster lines, one at 10 to and one at 10 past, just as the far shelf starts to go up, normally at or around the 12 metre pole line. Finally, I set up a small method or cage feeder for fishing for the carp tight across.

I always attack my peg on this length as it holds large numbers of big fish. To make the best of the day you need to hold these big fish in your peg for as long as you can so I always start off by feeding a big pot of liquidised bread down the middle of the canal as well as feeding a big pot of chopped worm and caster on each line across and go from there.

Todmorden Angling Society

The Rochdale Canal between Callis Bridge lock 13 near Hebden Bridge, through to Castleton Lock 51 is controlled by Todmorden Angling Society. Day tickets are available in advance at local tackle shops as is a full club membership card. This gives you access to the clubs numerous other waters as well as the canal.

There are two access points to the summit fishery, one at the Summit Inn and the other is halfway down the length across for the Waterfall Tea Room and Gifts. Todmorden are again hosting a qualifying heat of the Canal Pairs championships in 2018 on it waters. With a little good fortune, I am hoping to be lining up in October’s final on the Staffordshire & Worcestershre Canal.