When Angling You’re Always At The Mercy Of The Elements And Drinking A Maggot

It was a cold start to the day this morning, and a reminder that although the weather has been great recently, we are still in February.

I fished with a 9’ John Wilson Masterline Debut rod and a Shimano 3500 reel, loaded with 4lb Maxima Chameleon. 

The lead was a 1/4 ounce bomb, with a size 6 shot and 5mm bead. The hook was a Drennan Super Specialist size 16.

I fished the boat channel, with two maggots over mixed maggots and brown crumb.


  1. Do you not think you are a little over gunned for canal fishing with the line and hooks. I use those hooks for barbel fishing. Finer hooks and thinner line would defo get you more bites as would float fishing.

    1. Not at all, it’s not about the venue but the species targeted.
      Also, targeting bigger fish isn’t just about quantity of bites but quality of fish.
      I’ve had several chub to over 6lb plus perch 2-3 lb from the canal.
      I also use much bigger hooks than size 16 for barbel.

      1. Totally agree…
        My standard line for canal fishing (and float fishing or ledgering and same in all stillwaters) is 6lb fished straight through effectively and, although I do use 6″ hooklengths attached via quick change adapters, those hooklengths are of same breaking strain – done purely so I can use a baiting needle to add meat or thread worms (in tail, out head) which (a) stops worms wriggling off hook and (b) is more efficient in hooking as I believe fish take worms head first.

        I do VERY occasionally use 4lb line (and matching hooklength) on the canal but that setup is really reserved for catching livebaits for piking whereby anything over 4oz is too big to be of use.

        In fact, for all my fishing with the exception of pike fishing, I use only 3 breaking strains of line…
        4lb lines (livebait catching and occasional canal),
        6lb all float fishing,
        and 8lb for general ledgering – ok for large carp or if water is extremely snaggy.

        Pike fishing is 30lb or 40lb braid….

        At the end of the day I’m not interested in net fulls (keepnets should be banned outright IMHO) or 2oz roach, etc and, indeed, I’d rather NOT have bites at all in 100 sessions than to lose one decent fish due to tackle being not able to cope.

        But that’s me…. and I’m extremely happy doing what I do… :)

        1. Hello, Steve. I think your last sentence is the essence of angling. You’re extremely happy and that’s the important thing.

        2. Steve and Stewart

          To start where Steve finished, in a recent post (the one that went on too long) I wittered on about fishing is a hobby, not work, so its meant to be fun. It follows that, so long as it is responsible, we should fish in the style that we enjoy. Hence my obsession with float fishing in the margins, my almost total neglect of pellets etc. Whether I’d quite take Steve’s 100 to 1 ratio is a moot point, but I know I fish heavier at my home water than most of the regulars. On the flip side there are a handful of 20lb plus carp in the lake and I guess were I to hook one, the chances of landing it are slight, but I think I’m giving myself a chance with my likely targets.

          Correlation isn’t cause and effect but Stewart I’ve noticed switching to the float has coincided with an upturn. The trouble is (something else I’ve wittered on about lately) there inst really a control test to prove this is the float (rather than say an uptick in temperature). Who knows, you may have done either better if you had stuck with the ledger! As a float fan, I’d argue a float makes it easier to explore different levels, but then I would, wouldn’t I.

          It’d be a dull old world if we all went about things in the same way.


          1. Indeed, Clive, it can’t be measured as to whether switching to float has produced more fish simply as a result of that.
            I would say though that the canal has definitely become more active with fish topping etc compared to previously.
            In addition, I was fishing towards a moored boat which, unless I was pole fishing, did make it much easier to present a bait.
            I’m certainly enjoying canal float fishing now though.

  2. Ha ha!!!
    Not as bad as Jim Gibbinson (or maybe it was Rod Hutchison) who told in an article in the old ‘Coarse Fisherman’ mag back in the early 80’s about a night fishing experience…

    He poured a cup/mug of tea from his flask and a few seconds later his alarm burst into life … so placed cup on the ground and landed the fish, re-baited and recast out. Retuning to his seat he sat down, picked up his cuppa and started to drink… and thought ‘Oooh, this is really nice. Thick and cream, almost soup like!’ …. yeah you’ve probably already realised what had happened … he got to the bottom of the cup/mug only to discover that a slug had crept in….

    And even to this day I’ve always been wary of placing drinks on the ground ever since- be it day or night!