After having failed on two previous occasions to catch some Roach from the Wessem-Nederweert Canal, today I was there to try again.
This time I set up near the 13.5 km post, an area I have not fished before.
There are a few anglers (about 12) Carp fishing, but nobody else is fishing for silvers. I caught a few Carp from the canal back in 2001 - only up to 13 lb, but very nice Commons.
There are a few people out on the bank today - the canal is a nice place to get some fresh air. Plenty of cyclists and motorbikes going past behind me.
I set up my new Octbox pole roost system - it is much better than messing around with tripods, and you can angle it up as well. It can carry rods and top kits up to the top 5.
After plumbing up I had 3.2 metres depth on the 10 metre line and I had pretty much a flat bottom. This depth is good for my top 4 which is 4 metres long. I am only going to fish this one line today.
I set up two pole rigs.
The first was a 1.5 gram Drennan G-Tip 2 on 0.13 mm Reflo Power to a 0.09 mm bottom and B560 size 20 hook. I use this rig when the canal is stood still or flowing very slowly. This is used with Preston No. 6 Slip elastic through a power top 2 kit.
The second rig was a 4 gram Dave Harrell DH13 on 0.13 mm Reflo Power to a 0.10 mm bottom and B560 size 18 hook. This rig is for when the canal is flowing. The power top 2 kit is fitted with Slip No. 8 elastic.
I am really happy with the B560 hooks, a pattern I have not used in the past. I like the wide gape, and they are very sharp.
I have hemp, casters, pinkies and maggots today - and a few worms as well.
Groundbait for today is a bag of Super Crack Roach and a bag of Canal. I have had some good results with this groundbait combo, so I know the mix is good.
I was ready by 11 and started off by feeding 4 balls of groundbait with a few casters and some hemp via the pole cup. Every 5 minutes I fed a few grains of hemp with the throwing stick over the top - not risking a fine for fishing with a catapult.
As always, the first fish was a Goby. At least they give you bites when there are no other fish to catch.
It was two hours before I had my first Roach - and it was a cold as ice. The water has not started to warm up yet - we need another couple of weeks.
The canal had been flowing and had just slowed down but I was still on the 4 gram rig. I changed to the 1.5 gram rig, but could only catch the Roach on the heavy rig - even though the canal was still. The extra stability the heavy rig gave the bait must have been helping get the bites.
Sundays are without doubt the best days for fishing on the canal because there are far fewer boats. Just two boats came through today, which disturb the fish much less - and top-ups are not required as often.
One thing happened that doesn't happen a lot, was when a Dutch guy stopped and asked for some maggots - thought it was only kids that did that! I hope he caught some fish with them.
I called it a day after four hours, but was pleased to have had some Roach today. The weather was good too - the temperature broke 20°C/
Four Roach and two Gobies is not a lot, but it is a start. Now I know that the Roach are there, and when the weather warms up I think I will be having a few out. I will go back and fish the same swim and keep the feed going into this area of the canal.
Next Saturday I am fishing the first De Karper match (of 7) on the Twente Canal in Enschede. Hopefully there will be a few Roach to catch up there.