Mixed Bag On The Staffs/Worcs Canal (776)

One of the things about fishing a lot is that you need local waters. Unless you’re in a position where you can cast a line whenever you want, with no other responsibilities in life at all, then short sessions are the order of the day.

Hence for me, that’s why the Staffs/Worcs Canal features heavily in my blog entries. Although not on my doorstep – living on the spine of the English watershed, nothing is – nevertheless it’s only a few minutes by car. In addition, as is the case in this entry, my Poachers Pocket set-up means I’m ready to go with the minimal amount of gear.

What started out as a means to getting more sessions in – and it still is – has become an approach that I actually like and do in its own right. That’s the beauty of angling, it can be to each of us whatever we want it to be. Live and let live, get on with your own life and don’t concern yourself with other people.

You see pleasure anglers attacking carp fishermen and carpers mocking match anglers on the internet and so on and so forth. My guideline is that unless someone is breaking rules, having a detrimental effect on fish or interfering with other anglers then leave them alone.

If they want to stay out all week in a bivvy after one fish, why should that bother you? Someone wants to sit on a heavily stocked commercial pulling out 4lb carp one after the other on a pole, so what? Like life itself, just get on with what you want to do and don’t worry about what others get up to.

With winter still refusing to let go, the water temperature is still behind what you’d expect for the middle of March. Looking back over recent years I’m often well into my early bream and tench fishing by now and although the temperature is usually at the lower end, nevertheless I’ve had some really good fish in March.

For now though, the canal is still dominating my angling sessions. Fishing with a single red maggot on a size 16 Drennan Super Specialist hook with a 1/3 of an ounce free-running lead, the rig was very simple. The reel was spooled with 4lb line and the hooklength, created by a loop to loop knot, was 2lb 6oz fluorocarbon.

My mixed bag, referring to the headline, consisted of bream, gudgeon, perch and roach. That’s the thing about fishing with maggot, you broaden your horizon as far as species are concerned. Other baits will narrow things down but the humble maggot is a catch-all bait. It’s why I always recommend it to beginners.

I loved my sessions on the canal, it’s still possible to fish in the daytime at the moment without boats being an issue. That will change soon, of course, as the holiday season draws near. It won’t affect my angling though, I’ll just go early mornings and late evenings, which during summer are the best times anyway.

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