Conor Duffy talks about fishing his favourite stretch of canal, the Regent's Canal between Hackney and Haggerston.
"Running 14km between Paddington and Limehouse, the Regent's Canal is the perfect urban playground for angling. Each kilometre differs."Conor Duffy
The relaxing stroll through Regent's Park with overhanging trees, deep banks and a cheeky view of London Zoo is a world away from the hustle and bustle of Camden Lock, with its trip boats and tourists taking pictures of 'the mad man with a fishing rod'.
If you don't want to be constantly plagued by questions like, "Are there actually fish in there?" head on down towards Hackney and Haggerston and show the hipsters why they should be tying blood knots, not top knots.
The Regent's Canal holds a special place in my heart. It was the first stretch of canal I fished when I started to expand my knowledge of lures.
The unending amounts of micro lures to choose from, different rigging options and patterns could wreck the head of anyone starting out in this sport. I like to stick to jig heads up to 7g, depending on the wind conditions and how fast I want my lure to sink. I then have the problem of choosing from the hundreds of different small plastic lures and I always find myself bringing a worm pattern, a fish pattern and then something completely odd just to see if it catches.
A large number of fish that get caught on the lure come from along the towpath edge of the canal. However, never be afraid to cast straight into the middle and allow the lure to sink into the cruising channel.
Getting to the canal is easy on the London Underground, just be ready for some funny looks.
Always look for fish around locks, near overflows and under bridges. Be mindful of others on the towpath, especially cyclists who can whizz by without warning. Running through the centre of a massive city like London, the canal holds many surprises.
Rubbish such as plastic bags and cans can be encountered frequently, but every now and then you might pull out something more surprising like a kids' scooter or a walkie talkie.
My top tip if you have time is to do a reccy of the canal on a 'Boris Bike' (hireable bikes that can be collected and deposited at pavement locations all over London). Find some likely looking spots and then go straight to those with your fishing rod. It will save a lot of time walking past long lines of moored boats.
Oh and don't forget the Hertford Union Canal that shoots off the Regent's at Victoria Park. Good luck!
Last date edited: 23 December 2020