Simply Pole Fishing

 Twente Canal, Lonnekerbrug - 2 May 

I’ve driven up to Enschede to fish the Twente Canal at Lonnekerbrug. There’s a strong wind forecast, but here it should be off my back – much easier to fish with the long pole.

Apart from plenty of fish, this part of the canal has a good bank and you park your car directly behind you.

This part of the canal can fish very well, and was the venue for the last three years for the Stippevent. Unfortunately, we have the Stippevent too late in the season for this venue, and so the results have always been poor. If we are allowed to hold the Stippevent this year, it will be on Sectors B, C and D west of Lochem.

My peg for today. Wind directly behind me and no rain. Good start.

There are Roach, Rudd, Perch and Bream here and all these fish are partial to a bit of worm, so today I’m planning on chopped worm being one of my methods. Fishmeal pellets will be used today as well.

The selection of baits I have today - all options covered.

Although I do not use fishmeal groundbait, I know how valuable pellets are when fishing for Bream. When I was Carp fishing years ago, putting a bed of pellets down always attracted masses of Bream. Seems like the logical bait to use now on the pole. When I have had really big catches of Bream, pellets and worms have always been essential baits.

Roger getting his groundbait ready for the start. He cupped-in as well but only 3 or 4 balls.

You can also use a bait dropper when fishing the chopped worm method to get a concentration of “loose feed” near the hook. Although bait droppers are not permitted in CIPS matches, hardly any matches I fish are to CIPS rules.

Mick is fishing the feeder today. He was having trouble with a muscle bed at 18m so had to go out to 25m later on.
My groundbait for the initial feed - all cupped-in at 11m

For chopped worm, I use mixed-sizes of Dendrobena worms. You need to clean all the earth off the worms so they are just neat worms. Take enough for the hook and put them back into some soil. The rest of the cleaned worms need to go into a chopper.

I use one from Tupperware that chops the worms really well. The cutter will clog up if you put earth in with the worms. Don’t overfill the chopper with worms or they will be harder to cut – about 100g at a time is fine. Chop up the worms fairly fine and tip them into a bait container. Add a few casters and maggots and they are ready for feeding through the bait dropper, or inside a ball of groundbait.

The four rigs I used today.

Apart from the worms, I have casters, white pinkies, white maggots, sweetcorn and 6mm soft fishmeal hook pellets to use as a change hook-baits. I have mixed up Michael Zammataro's Kanal Mix Black, Roach and Skimmers Natur and Sensas damp leam Terre de Somme.

I've also added a bit of VDE Roach additive (rich in coriander) for some extra attractant.  If you squeeze the balls together lightly, they will break up quickly on the bottom. If you squeeze the balls tightly, they will break down much slower on the bottom. I'm only cupping in the balls to be more accurate.

I’m going to use four rigs today and I will have them on top 3's at 4.56m. The canal here is about 2.8m deep at the tins and at about 3.5m from the bank there is a drop down to 3.4m. From there, it is a gentle slope out to about 3.6m deep at 13m. It is only 3.7-3.9m deep in the middle of the canal. There are no noticeable shelves past 4m to find, although you can find the odd indentation here and there if you look carefully.

I use one of the new Preston 20g plumments to check the depth. The heavier 30g version is great for venues where there is a bit more flow.

Rig 1 is for the inside line and is a 1g Drennan AS5, 0.7g olivette, three No. 9 Stotz as droppers, 0.13mm Reflo Power main line, 0.11mm Accu Power hook-link and a size 16 B611 hook. It'll use pieces of worm on this rig.

Rig 2 is a 2g DH13, 1.75g olivette, three № 8 droppers, 0.14mm Accu Power main line, 0.12mm Accu Power hook-link to a size 13 B711 hook. On this rig I can use worm, sweetcorn or soft hook pellets.

Rig 3 is a 1.25g Preston Innovations Inter Carbon, 1.25g olivette, three No. 9 droppers, 0.13mm main line, 0.09mm Accu Power hook-link to a size 16 B512 hook.

Rig 4 is a 4x16 (0.5g) Preston Innovations Chianti, a bulk of six No. 8 Stotz, seven No.11 Stotz strung out below, 0.11mm Reflo Power main line, 0.08mm Accu Power hook-link to a size 20 B611 hook. A single caster, maggot or double pinkie on this rig.

When fishing against 'white water' I use a black-tipped float, and in 'dark water' it's hard to beat a yellow-tipped float.

I am using Preston Original Slip Elastic in sizes 5 (Rig 3 & 4), 6 (Rig 1) and 8 (Rig 2) - through 1 section only (1.55m) - which is about 1.4m of elastic. I have used this elastic for decades, and can't see myself changing to something else. Confidence is the key.

I changed the Chianti rig to the Inter Carbon rig when it wasn't working - so I only had 3 kits made up - I have the big VISpas :-)

I will fish at 11-11.5m in 3.6m of water - never feed at exactly 11.5m as then you can't fish passed it. Feed at 11m to give yourself some options.

This was the groundbait to feed close in - a small nugget every few minutes.

I mixed up the groundbait last night and just wetted it a little more today. Added some casters, hemp, and few grains of corn and feed pellets, and mix evenly into the groundbait.  In the middle of hard balls I put in some chopped worm. These balls will take longer to break down.

To start, I fed 7 balls with the pole cup at 11m containing some hemp, casters, sweetcorn and pellets. I also added half a cup of hemp at 11m. After this I started on the inside with the AS5 rig, feeding a small nugget of groundbait with a few pinkies every few minutes to make some noise on the water.

Roger is to my left fishing the pole and Mick is to my right fishing the feeder.

I started catching Gobies straight away, and also had some really small Perch. I fished the inside for 45 minutes while the 11m line was settling down. I just fed small nuggets of groundbait with a few pinkies mixed in.

This 5lb Bream has seen better days. He must be an old fish.

After 45 minutes I went out on the 2g rig with some worm on the hook. No indications apart from Gobies. A change to the Chianti rig brought no bites, so I changed to the Inter Carbon rig and double pinkie. Again, all I got was Gobies.

I fed a soft ball of Groundbait full of Pinkies and went back on the inside at 4m. More Gobies - the canal is full of them.

I persevered for a while then went out to 11m and put a bait-dropper full of chopped worm in. Back out with 2 large worm halves on the 2g rig and the float dipped slightly then popped up - strike, and into a Bream. The No.8 elastic got the fish out pretty quickly and I had a 5lb Bream on the bank.

I switched between the 2g rig and the Inter carbon but could only catch Gobies at 11m. Back on the 4m line I managed to get 2 nice Perch before I decided to pack up as the wind was getting much stronger and rain was on the far horizon.

A 5lb Bream, 2 nice Perch and 40 Gobies and small Perch.

Not what I was expecting, but better than being at work. Roger could only get a few Gobies, and Mick had a nice Perch and a shed-full of Gobies on the feeder. None of us caught a Roach which was surprising. Hopefully, we'll have a better day here on our next visit later in the year.

Cheers, Steve