As the winter approaches it's time to try something a bit different, and it's always this time of year when Shaun likes to go back to his roots to fish the Shropshire Canals. This year we have a new plan of attack and are trying some of the new LRF methods that have appeared over the summe - these are ones that have been very sucessfull in the sea for us, so why not try them here?
The last two days off we've taken couldn't have been so different, one mild and very miserable and the other freezing cold but beautifully sunny. It would appear this doesn't seem to make any difference to the fish on the canal - probably as most of it is quite overgrown with vegatation and tree cover so it stays shaded for most of the day anyway. It might be that the more open stretches wouldn't fish so well on brighter days, but we'll let you know if we get to test that theory. The first day Shaun spent fishing with his Dad, this is always great to see and amuses me to watch the complete role reversal, as it seems now more often that not it's Shaun showing his Dad a thing or two, whereas I'm sure not so long ago it was the other way around! They started the day off setting up with wire traces and larger lures to try for a Pike and it wasn't long before Shaun had one on one of his favourite rapala pike lures, not a huge fish but a nice size average for the canal and a good scrap on his lightweight LRF set up (listed below). After seeing so many smaller Perch following his lure but not grabbing it, and deciding that the Pike were not there in any numbers, Shaun decided to try a bit of something new and set up with the drop shot. This went down a treat catching him Perch after Perch, even a Pike had a go at it, needless to say this wasn't landed as it bit through his light line. This method allows you to fish very small, but still deep if required, as you can adjust where your lure sits in relation to the weight at the bottom of the line. It's fantastic for vertical jigging inbetween the reeds and overhangs in places like this and teamed with a superlight quiver tip style rod makes for a super sensitive outfit you wouldn't want to be without. Just proving the point of how important it is to down-size your tackle when targeting these smaller species was brought to light on this days fishing. By the end of the day Shaun had tallied up 3 Pike and 13 Perch, where as his poor Dad had caught just the 2 Perch on his older 10' spinning rod and 50 sized reel - probably had not much sport using that set up!. The very next day he was in our shop part-exchanging this rod and reel for the same lightweight outfit Shaun had been using, he also picked up a few smaller rubber lures while he was at it ready for our next venture out.
I joined them yesterday on the next outing eager to try this dropshotting method, and let me tell you I was not dissapointed...downsizing really can be fun, especailly when you are fishing clearer margins and can see the fish attacking your lure. I think I was caught on more than one occasion by members of the public out for their Sunday strole shouting and laughing at these cheeky little Perch! It did take me a while to get used to casting such a lightweight outfit, but once you've got the hang of it you can pretty much put the lure anywhere you want. Most of the time there's no need to cast, just drop your leader into the water and jiggle it about a little, you'll be suprised at what comes from nowhere to attack it. I did give it a go with small jig heads and rubber lures and caught this nice little fish pictured here, but most of time with this method I was hooking the bottom and just coming back with leaves, so the drop shot was reverted to again, certainly one of my favourite ways of fishng now. The day ended with a total of 2 Pike and about 40 Perch between the 3 of us, nothing huge only the grins on our faces as we walked back to the car after a great day out!
This just goes to show that at the end of the day it's not the size of the fish that counts, it's having the right tackle to make it fun.
See our video of how to set up with a drop shot rig (coming shortly) on our info/educational blog section.
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