Zuid Willemsvaart - Weert
03 November 2018
Today I went and fished a local venue for me, the Zuid Willemsvaart Canal in Weert. I haven't seen that many anglers fishing here, and I don't understand why because it is full of fish.
I like this canal, as there are not that many boats and there's a constant flow to the right - making it a bit like a canalised river.
I fished just above the lock on an extremely comfortable bank. The Octbox makes any bank comfortable to fish from, but the bank here is excellent - with the car right by your side.
Just two rigs today - a 1 g Preston Inter Carbon with an olivette and 3 No. 9 droppers, and a Preston Chianti 4x16 with a bulk of 7 No. 9's and a string of 5 No. 11 shot. I use this rig for a lot of my fishing and it catches me fish when other anglers are really struggling.
The 1 g rig had a Reflo Power 0.09 mm bottom and a size 16 Kamasan B611 hook, and the Chianti rig had a Reflo Power 0.08 mm bottom and a Kamasan B512 size 16 hook. The hook was quite big, but the fish were taking it no problem - and if the fish are OK with it, so am I. You can always fine down your hook size and line diameter if you are struggling to get bites.
Today I used a bag of Secret and a bag of Supercrack Roach. I normally use Zammataro Kanal with the Turbo Cloud Roach & Skimmers Natur, but I do use Secret and Expo from VDE quite a lot as well. Expo is especially good for Tench and Skimmers. Those are the 4 bags of groundbait I go to for most of my fishing.
The mix was separated to give me 5 balls that I mixed in some joker and caster. The rest went into the bowl to feed as the day went along. VDE Secret is a really good groundbait. At the start I cupped-in 5 balls and started to fish.
Hookbait was Bloodworm, but I also had some maggots, pinkies, casters and worms with me. I left my hemp at home accidentally. The Bloodworm were really big - fantastic bait again from Bert Nullens in Belgium.
I started on the 1 g rig and had a Perch after about 10 minutes. It didn't feel right so I changed over to the 4x16 (0,5 g) Chianti rig and I started catching Perch and Roach much quicker.
Mostly I was catching Perch but every now and again I would catch a good Roach - the best was just over a pound.
The Preston Innovations Response M70e is my pole of choice and I was fishing at 11.5 m using the rigs on a top 3, which is 4 m long. The swim was about 3 m deep (10 feet) and the rigs sizes were working really well in this depth. I was slowing the float down to about half the pace of the flow and the bites were very positive. This depth of water is great to fish in, and the top 3 of the M70e just work so well here - the rig length is just 10 cm shorter than the pole length giving a nice distance between the pole tip and the float.
On the Chianti rig, I used a No. 5 Slip elastic through the No. 1 section and on the 1 g rig I used a Slip No. 6 elastic also through 1 section. The No. 5 elastic was really smooth coming out of the pole. I lubricated with the Preston Slip spray, and then just pulled the elastic out under water now and again.
A barge went through after about an hour, and that slowed things down, but after cupping in two more balls the fish soon found the bait again. Cupping in balls after a boat has gone past usually gets the fish going again. Hold the pole cup 1 metre up off the water to make a bigger noise as the ball hits the surface. I'm sure this helps let the fish know where the food is.
After 5 hours I was think of packing in when I hooked a bigger fish. I was surprised when I slid the net under a 6 lb Ide.
To catch 26 1/2 lbs of fish is always great, and I have to say it have been a really enjoyable days fishing. Catching fish on the pole is my favourite angling method, and I am lucky to have venues like this to fish on.
What a lovely fish to end a great day's fishing on. Can't wait to come back here for some more great fishing - maybe Roger can come down here and fish for a change. We'll see.