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Canalside cover shelters lots of big fish
SURROUNDED by acres of woodland, rolling hills and flower-rich meadows, the Shropshire Union Canal at Goldstone offers an angling environment few other man-made venues can match.
With the countryside still in its summer glory, this peaceful stretch of the ‘ Shroppy’ is an enchanting place at this time of year, and with some of the best fishing to be found anywhere on the canal network the venue is well worth a look.
Despite a prolific head of big perch, chub, roach, carp, gudgeon, roach, pike and bream, you’ll be surprised to hear that few pleasure anglers come to fish this stretch, so a peaceful day’s sport is guaranteed.
One of the better areas to head to is the section off bridge 53, which is run by Hodnet Angling Club. The group offers day-ticket anglers no fewer than 120 pegs for the price of a pint of beer, and holds regular open matches on the cut.
You can access the canal by parking at the bridge, so there is no need to worry about walking too far to your peg, as can be the case on some UK canal stretches.
One angler who loves to
visit this waterway is Preston Innovations match star Scott Geens. He reckons it has bags of potential: “I used to fish a lot of matches around this area but the competitive scene seems to have died off a little, so now pleasure anglers have it all to themselves,” he said.
“There are some cracking fish to be had along here – everywhere you visit on this canal just seems to scream fish.”
The ‘cut’ is quite overgrown, but the overhanging branches only serve to provide cover for the fish, and inadvertently also create a feature for the angler to target. With a 14m pole or light waggler rod these areas can be
Alternatively, a good day can be had by fishing light rigs on a short pole or whip with typical canal baits such as worms, maggots, casters or bread for a good net of small fish.
However, Scott says that it’s well worth going for bigger specimens when you visit: “You could probably just sit here all day and catch 7lb-8lb of little fish fairly easily but it’s worth fishing a couple of worm lines down the central track and across into the cover for the chance of catching some of the bigger ones,” he added.
With some cracking fishing, a pleasant environment and
an inexpensive ticket price, the Shroppy at Goldstone is well worth considering when choosing a venue this weekend.
PRICES: Public day ticket (bridges 51-55 only) £3 if bought at least one day in advance from the membership/ match secretary, or £4 (in advance or on the day) from the Wharf Tavern in Goldstone CONTACT: 07970 181824, www.hodnetanglingclub.co.uk LOCATION: Shropshire Union Canal, Westcott Lane, Soudley, Market Drayton, Shropshire TF9 2ED RULES: No livebaiting, no night fishing, no fish over 3lb to be retained in keepnets, no boating
Quality perch and skimmers for Scott Geens. Worm and caster in dark groundbait. Don’t fish too fine on this stretch.