Simply Pole Fishing

 Beek en Donk - 10th March 

This is a new section for me to fish today, but as usual the car is directly behind me.

I usually get to park behind my peg, and today was no exception

I will be fishing the pole today, and with the light winds I would normally be using the lightweight and stiff Preston Euro Competition 3000, but as I'm only fishing at 10 m I'm using the XS Carp 1000. 

I checked the depth with the Sonar ball on a previous visit to the canal. At 10 m we have about 2.5 m and a fairly flat bottom, so I opted to have a comfortable day fishing at 10 metres.

The Deeper Sonar Ball is a godsend when it comes to checking out new waters. I instantly know how log the top kits have to be and what the bottom is like. You can sometimes also see the fish - then it's full of them.

I only need the top 2 sections of my pole for the rigs today. The top 2 is 3 m long, with the number one section 150 cm long. In this Monoblock section I have the Preston Dura Slip elastic is sizes 3 (yellow) and 5 (purple). 

Parked right next to the swim. Ideal if you have a dodgy back, or are just a bit older and lazy.

This elastic is very hard wearing and the No. 3 is perfect for Roach, Skimmers, smaller Perch and small Bream - fish up to about 750 grams.

All set up ready for the start. Easterly wind is a bit cold, but fairly light so OK.

Above that I use the No. 5 elastic - this will get the Bream and bigger Perch out with ease. If Tench are on the cards, then I would have a rig on the No. 7 (blue) Dura Slip elastic. Dura Slip is the only elastic that I use now. 

My friend Dave is fishing with me today. He is a newcomer to pole fishing, but is really enjoying catching fish on the pole. Let's hope we have a good year.

I am using just two rigs today. The first rig is a Preston 4x16 (0.5 g) Chianti with a blacked-out tip against the white water. This rig has a bulk of No. 9 Stotz and a string of six No. 11 Stotz strung out below. Main line is Preston Accu Power in 0.14 mm and I'm using a ready-tied N10 size 18 hook.

It's easy to see the black float tip in the white water. Here you can see the 0.5 g Chianti.

The second rig is a Preston 4x18 (0.75 g) Inter Carbon, also with a blacked-out tip. I have an olivette with three No. 10  droppers below. The droppers are about 15 cm apart. Main line is again the Preston Accu Power in 0.14 mm, but this time I am using the wider gape on the ready-tied Preston N20 size 18 hook. 

I use my Preston platform for most of my fishing now. It gives me a very stable base for my box - and I don't have to carry it far.

I am using the ready-tied hooks for all of my fishing now. Much less hassle, quick to replace and very reasonably priced.

Dave with a nice Roach. This was his first trip out this year and no blank!

I've mixed up a 900 g bag of Sonubaits So Natural Black River with a 900 g bag of So Natural Black Roach. About 250 g of crushed grilled hemp is added as well. I've mixed the groundbait on the dry side, and split it between myself and my angling companion for today.

Ok, it's too much bait for a winters day, but you never know how good the fishing is going to be...

Bait-wise, I have live and dead maggots and pinkies (all white of course), half a pint of casters and a tin of ready cooked Sensas giant hemp. A few mixed worms are available as well.

At the start, which was at about 11 o'clock, we both cupped-in three balls of groundbait about 30 cm short of 10 m. There were a few dead pinkies, caster and grains of hemp in mine. I then started to loose feed hemp over the top every few minutes. I use a throwing stick, because catapults for fishing are still banned at the moment, and you can get a very distasteful fine if you are caught using one. 

Now that is a really nice Roach. Caught this one on the Inter Carbon rig, size 18 N20 hook, with a caster and live pinkie.

It took about 30 minutes to get the first bite, a Roach about 50 g - at least there are fish here. I then had another 3 Roach and the Dave caught his first Roach.

My effort for today was 12 Roach. I enjoyed the fishing.

We fed another small ball each and we were still getting a few bites. The wind was changing direction a lot and increasing and decreasing in strength - at times it made the fishing a bit awkward.

I caught some fish running through very slowly and some blocked completely - there wasn't much flow really. I had 9 fish on the Chianti rig and 3 fish - including a big Roach, on the Inter Carbon rig. 

We persevered and I was rewarded with a large Roach - what a lovely fish. We carried on and we were catching the odd Roach now and again.

Dave was happy with catching a few fish on the pole.

At 13:45, a large boat came through the lock to our right and it completely wiped-out the swims as it went through. After feeding again, we tried for about 20 minutes, but it was game over.

Now it's time to head home and watch my team, Liverpool, take on Dave's team, Man City, it what should be a good game.

The Zuid-Willemsvaart canal in Beek en Donk is well worth a visit. There are Roach, Bream and Perch to be caught, but especially here there is a good head of Roach to be caught. 

Have fun and Tight Lines,