AREAS TO TARGET 2 SLOPES
1 INSIDE LINE
This area of the swim may be shallow, but the cover provided by the wall of the towpath makes it darker, giving fish the confidence to feed.
If you are visiting first thing in the morning or at last light then make this your first port of call. During daylight hours, when footfall is heavier on the towpath, the perch are unlikely to sit so tight to the bank because of the commotion.
Look for signs of any fry close to the bank and once you find these shoals of tiny fish drop a lure nearby. There is every chance a big fish will snap it up in no time at all.
A lot of bait that is thrown in by match anglers at the end of a match comes to rest here and that, in turn, draws in the shoals of silverfish.
Remember, wherever there are silverfish, predatory perch won’t be far away!
The slightly deeper water also means that the perch will happily patrol this route at all times, so it is well worth running a lure up and down the slope for a few casts, regardless of what time you get on the bank.
3 BOAT CHANNEL
This is bound to be the deepest part of the swim and will be particularly effective on cold days, when boat traffic is either light or completely absent.
If you anticipate that barges will be on the canal that day, try and get out first thing in the morning – big perch could linger in the channel before the hubbub begins.
The added depth could reduce visibility in the water so it’s best to use a bright lure that can be easily spotted by an eagle-eyed predator. Spraying your lures with pungent additives is another underrated yet deadly way of making your lure stand out to your target species.
4 FAR BANK
As on the inside line, there is bound to be shallow water on the far bank. The fact that it is rare for anyone to walk on this side of the canal means the fish are never bothered and will therefore sit comfortably in this depth of water throughout the day.
There’s also a good chance that you’ll find a few features associated with the far bank, and these will undoubtedly be a magnet for big perch.
Any inlets where water flows into the canal are likely to be feast or famine. If it is cold water running in then these areas are best avoided, but if the water is warm from a factory or is pushing a food source into the canal you could have almost every big perch in the stretch close to the inlet!