A simple guide to canal fishing

A simple guide to canal fishing

Canal fishing offers a unique experience no matter whether you’re an experienced professional or an angling beginner. However, we see that many of those who lack the knowledge and experience look at canal fishing as some kind of phenomenon that only few can master.

However, that’s simply not true. This type of fishing is certainly welcoming for newbies, providing a unique opportunity to get a nice catch as well as enjoy the peace and calmness of the surrounding nature.

Even if you don’t catch anything on your first canal angling trip, it's safe to say you’ll definitely have a fun time immersing yourself in the hobby you love.

Today, we will talk about the very basics that you should know about canal fishing.

Equipment you’ll need for canal fishing

Before you head out canal fishing, we highly recommend visiting your local tackle shop and making sure that you have the following items for your angling trip:

  • Appropriate bait - there’s no need to experiment here, a simple bread bait or maggots will work just fine in your attempts in catching the typical canal fish.
  • Hooks, weights and lines - unless you already know what you’re going for, ask for a rig that’s designed specifically for canal fishing.
  • Rod and reel - this will naturally be your fishing equipment. Again, if you’re not sure which one exactly to go with, ask for some advice from your local shop.
  • Landing net - this is a typical piece of equipment for those looking to catch carp. Modern variants often include telescopic pole handles for better reach.
  • Stool/chair - since you’ll probably be there for a while, you might as well make sure you have a comfortable place to sit on while angling.

Why canals are popular among anglers

In the British Isles, canals and rivers are plentiful, making it the go-to choice to fish in, even for those who haven’t thought about that before.

This is because the water environment of a canal is often the perfect place of habitat for many schools of fish, coming in all shapes and sizes. Even though most of them are pretty shallow, they still offer plenty of feeding and shelter opportunities.

What types of fish can I catch in canals?

The typical British canal can be a home to about 30 species of fish coming in various shapes and sizes, some even being rare and protected. If you’re a beginner, your best bet would be to keep your fishing trip simple and just go for anything that’s active that day.

Anyway, here’s the typical fish you might encounter in a canal:

  • Roach - arguably the most common canal fish to be found. Their distinctive features include a slick silver body with fins found in an orange-red or grey-brown colour.
  • Bream - another fairly common type of fish found in a canal. You can recognize them due to their dark grey, dark brownish colour as well as flat sides.
  • Perch - one of the predatory fish found in canals, they have a very distinctive look due to their sharp red fins and vertical strips.
  • Gudgeon - a very small, bluish colored fish that can fit right into the palm of your hand.
  • Carp - one of the most challenging and smartest fish out there, carps are common in canals, however, they do require more experience to successfully angle.

All in all

Today we’ve briefly talked about the basics of canal fishing. They can be the ideal spot for both professional anglers and those just starting. All you need is the right equipment and patience and you should be guaranteed a fun and unique fishing experience. 

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