Aarle-Rixtel - Canal Junction - 17 June 2022
Today I'm fishing in Aarle-Rixtel on the canal junction where the canals cross - just north of Helmond. The car is parked right next to the peg and the bank is flat - perfect for my poor old back.
I set up the pole and checked the depth coming back from 13 metres. All the way back to 6 metres it was the same depth - 2.8 m - so I opted to fish the easy length of 10 m (6 sections and the strong extension) and just this one line. No need for a short line on this pleasure session - I just want to catch a few fish. I will have a proper 'match practice' session here later in the year.
My top 2 is 3 m long so I had to set up top 3's to cope with the depth. This meant I would be fishing with 4.5 m top kits so I shortened the line on the two rigs I chose to use - about 30 cm shorter rig length than the top 3 length.
I also had a visit from the local police. A quick chat and check to see if I had my license and that I had the 3-rod sticker (although I was only using 2 top kits today) and he was gone. He reported some rubbish on the bank to the council, and two hours later they were there clearing it up - Dutch efficiency!
Rig 1 today is a Preston 4x16 Chianti and I've blacked out the tip to see it easier against the 'white' water. The rig has a small bulk about 80 cm from the hook and then a string of No. 11 Stotz about 12 cm apart. The rig is finished off with a size 16 B511 hook to 0.10 mm Accu Power line.
Rig 2 is a Preston 1 g Inter Carbon again with a blacked-out tip. Here I'm using an olivette and three No. 9 droppers. Hook is a size 16 N20 and it's one of the ready made hook-lengths from Preston.
Initially, Rig 1 was dead-depth and rig 2 was about 3-5 cm over-depth. I did a bit of tweaking, but mainly the fish wanted it on the bottom.
Groundbait mix for today was a bag of So Natural Black Roach and Zammataro Rotaugen. This is a lovely mix and the Roach love it - and today so did the Skimmers and Bream!
A few casters, hemp and maggots were added to 7 balls and cupped in at the start. Over the course of the 5 hours that I fished I cupped in 2 balls three more times at about hourly intervals - usually after a boat went past.
I started on the Chianti rig and had a small fish after about 15 minutes - this was the smallest fish of the day. The fish took about 2 hours to settle onto the groundbait - I think the constant feeding of hemp and casters over the top with the throwing stick helped get the fish interested.
Bait was hemp, casters, maggots and pinkies - and I had a few worms just in case. I have found over the years that in very hot weather the fish are not keen on taking worms - great bait in the colder months though.
I had a good run of fish but a was having boat trouble - topping up with a couple of balls of groundbait each time the line was disturbed. Most of the fish came to caster or a caster and maggot cocktail. Bites were very positive. I didn't catch on red maggots - the water was nicely coloured and the red maggots just did not work.
I had Preston Original Slip No. 6 yellow through the monoblock tip (1.55 m) of my pole and this was perfect for all of the fish on the Inter Carbon rig. I had the No.5 blue elastic on the Chianti rig, but only had about 5 fish on that rig.
I caught mainly Skimmers with the odd Roach - I even dropped a 500 g Roach back in the water - missed the net as it wriggled in my hand :-(
One large fish pulled the hook - perhaps a Carp, as they were all over the canal spawning. I'm really happy with how the Preston N20 hook is performing as well.
This part of the canal seems to hold a good head of quality fish and I will be back to try again when the weather has cooled down a bit. And being only an hour from home, it is easy to get to. The canal here certainly has potential.