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Roach put in an appearance on Grantham Canal

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Despite recent cold weather, Bottesford and District Angling Association's Half Mile section of the Grantham Canal, which runs north of the Dirty Duck pub at Woolsthorpe, has continued to provide interesting fishing.

Before winter set in, tench were showing well but are less likely to be caught now.

This has given the chance for a species that had been largely missing during the warmer months to put in an appearance, namely roach.

Match fishing on the Bottesford stretch of Grantham Canal. (53521488)
Match fishing on the Bottesford stretch of Grantham Canal. (53521488)

Journal angling correspondent Dave Coster said: "There are a lot of small ones about, which is a great sign for the future, but also some decent fish around the 8oz to 12oz mark. The latter tend to show during the last hour of daylight, when they feel safer from predators.

"Best baits are small pellets of punched bread or pinkies [small maggots]. It’s best to use dark groundbait because light coloured recipes stand out on the bottom in the clear water, attracting pike, of which there are many in the 3lb to 5lb bracket."

Apart from roach, there are plenty of perch, mainly on the small side, along with rudd.

Fishing down the middle of the canal with light pole tackle is the best way to get bites, also having slightly stronger rigs to explore the edges of the dying weed beds close in, and across to the far side rushes.

On milder days there is still the chance of connecting with an odd tench, also the bigger perch that tend to hug any cover they can find. Worms or casters are best for these fish, with tench to 4lb and perch to 1.5lb recorded this year.

Dave said: "Another good option for our local canal in winter is to take the roving approach, casting small rubber lures for the pike and perch. One Bottesford member catches as many as 20 fish in a session taking this more active route, which is also a good way of keeping warm."

Bottesford and DAA will be running a winter series of matches on the canal on January 2 and 30, February 13 and 27, and finishing on March 20. Check their website for further details.

+ You can see more of Dave Coster’s fishing exploits at fishingmagic.com

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