First match of new year on Grantham Canal not helped by overnight rain
By Dave Coster
Competitors in the first Bottesford and District Angling Association competition of the new year, held on the Grantham Canal at Woolsthorpe, found the water well-coloured after heavy rain the previous night.
The downpour caused problems, with several cars getting bogged down on the grass track behind, resulting in the start of the match having to be delayed by 15 minutes.
Brian Barnes got off to a cracking start, landing a couple of big roach on end peg 33, while Dave Foster, back towards the Dirty Duck pub, also had a couple of big roach early on, the best one around the one pound mark.
But after that, brighter conditions set in, combined with a tricky south-westerly wind. It became a case of struggling for small roach, perch and rudd, also trying to avoid hungry pike stealing fish on the way in.
Barnes ran out a clear winner in the end with a low weight of 2lb 14oz, followed by Foster with 2lb. Third place went to Michael Corker with 1lb 14oz.
Journal angling correspondent Dave Coster, who finished fifth, said: "Everybody pole fished because the Half Mile stretch, as it is known, is not very wide, probably 10 metres at most.
"Best tactic for quality silver fish at the current time is to present light tackle at around eight metres, down the far shelf with baits like worm, maggots or casters. Pinkies or squatts are smaller maggots that can help to encourage bites from bonus fish when conditions turn harder.
"Interestingly, a couple of the small skimmer bream that were stocked two years ago were caught, which shows some of these fish have survived. The weather was too cold for any of the tench the canal is noted for, although a couple of good fish were lost by competitors."
Due to the state of the muddy track at Woolsthorpe, the 8.45am draw for the next Bottesford Open competition on January 30 will be held at the Twin Bridges car park, further up the canal.
+ You can see more of Dave Coster’s angling adventures on fishingmagic.com