Sunday, 11 July 2010

Trent & Mersey Canal

This morning I managed to prise my son out of bed and avoid any handily placed Nintendo DS, PSP, laptops, tellys, etc and we set forth for an hour or so on the canal. I have been trying to get him out for a while and hopefully we would get a few small fish to keep Sam interested on the cut. I know the boats are now unbearable at the weekend and it has changed so much since I was a schoolboy and I suppose it shows as a society how much more affluent we are with the amount of part time Captain Pugwashes'. The canal can provide some good fishing and I would guess that a lot of anglers circa my vintage learnt a good deal of their craft on these waterways. Just to put some scale to the amount of boats their are now Marinas at Shardlow, Mercia (Findern), Stenson, and Barton. 30 years ago the only one was Shardlow and that was just taking off.
Back to the fishing and second cast Sam had a small bream which made him pleased as punch. He followed this up with a perch and then a gudgeon all taken in about an hour.
I managed one bream and this was no surprise as the kids always outscore me on these trips. I've worked out there are two reasons for this. Firstly, my role is mostly as ghillie in charge of un-tangling and baiting up the hook. After getting Sam going I set up another rod and then also fish the near shelf so I can keep an eye on his float as well. I am convinced the second and most relevant is that the kids fish with an old 6' solid glass rod and consequently end up tight against the near bank. I fish with a 12' rod and am further out. Fishing right under your feet seems to yield more fish.
The picture below shows the perch Sam (quite robustly) landed, it looked quite shocked after being hoiked onto the bank for the crime of trying to procure two bright red maggots.
To get the best of the sport on the canal I would recommend either the first or last two hours of daylight and avoid weekends to give yourself the best chance of avoiding the boats. There are some fish to be had there but the boats do drive me potty.


  1. Is that Baden Powell on the bank? He looks a bit dodgy to me.

  2. Fatjack, I just couldn't believe it. There you go on a Sunday morning to get some serious angling done only to find some silly owd tw3t in your swim using a 70's rod with a 50's reel and sitting on a basket. Clueless!!

  3. Dave,

    I too recently took my lad out recently for a few hours on the Trent & Mersey Canal at Weston-on-Trent.

    He caught the biggest Perch I have ever seen with my own eyes - it was all of 2lb and he was almost as chuffed with it as his dad was.


  4. Roger, that is great news. I'm glad to heat there are a few big stripeys in there. Were you near the lock?
    I've been chatting to one of my neighbours tonight who showed me some pics of Zander he had caught on lures at both Stenson and Swarkestone on the canal.

  5. Hi Dave,

    Yes it was just above the lock. He had one pushing half a pound too.

    Nice little spot for a couple of hours.