Everyone gets a nice little break over Easter, but if you can squeeze in a trip to go fishing between eating the mountains of chocolate and seeing relatives to inevitably receive more chocolate, here are my top ten tips to make sure you get the most out of your session.
1. Make sure you have all the tackle you need including a landing mat and net. There’s nothing worse than getting to your spot and realising you’ve forgotten something.
2. Have a range of baits including ones for smaller and bigger fish. Fish can be more wary of certain baits if you’re using them a lot and a change can improve your catch rate.
3. Don’t pick the first spot just because it’s the closest, if most people come to the canal that way the footfall can make the fish more nervous.
4. Look for cover- looking for places fish like to hide can make a big difference on how many you catch, or the size of them! Look for features where fish may hide in or by; overhanging bushes and trees or reeds at the far bank are all likely places.
5. Keep your eyes open for signs of fish - if you can’t find any cover, look for fish coming up to the surface, mud being stirred up from the bottom or bubbles as these are all signs of fish.
6. Always check the depth of your swim. Put a big weight or a plummet near your hook and set the depth so the float sinks. Then increase the depth a little at a time until the float just sits at the level it is without the big weight. You can check different parts of your swim to look for slightly deeper bits, which is often a sign of places where fish feed.
7. Feed little and often – feeding can keep the fish in your swim, try to feed little and often to keep the fish looking for food.
8. If you aren’t getting bites change something – lots of people will keep fishing with the same tactics even when there is nothing happening. If you haven’t had any bites after an hour or half an hour, when fishing for little fish change bait, or depth. If that still doesn’t work, try using a smaller hook or finer line. The same goes for if you are missing a lot of bites. The bait or hook may be too big or too obvious so they aren’t feeding confidently.
9. Keep your fishing gear tidy - if you keep it all close to you and within reach it’s easier to fish, plus you don’t have to worry about other people on the towpath breaking it.
10. Go with a friend if you can. If you catch a big one they can help you take photos and land it, plus it’s safer in case one of you slips. If not, let someone know where you’re fishing.
Jake joined the Trust in July 2015 as part of the Marketing & Communications team. He first went fishing aged 11 and has been hooked ever since. Jake will be telling you some stories from the bank as well as some helpful hints to hopefully pass on some of what he has learned over the years.See more blogs from Jake Kitchen