21st November 2019

Gareth Fareham and his good friend Marcus Howarth enjoyed a return leg to the intimate canal they dabbled on earlier in the year, banking a few of the old, dark gems that reside within.

Gareth told us: “Back in May Marcus and I spent two nights on a beautiful, secluded and blissfully quiet old canal over in Europe, we had caught a couple before heading off north and had vowed to return at some point for another go. With a trip booked in July and scorching hot temperatures forecast throughout southern Europe in the regions we had planned to go, we decided instead to return to the canal for a few nights to escape the weather.

Gareth Fareham and his good friend Marcus Howarth enjoyed a return leg to the intimate canal they dabbled on earlier in the year!

“With a van full of water and non-perishable food supplies, we headed off, expectant and hopeful as ever. We arrived to find the weed had grown massively since our last trip, and the levels had also dropped a few feet, so conditions weren’t ideal. it was late and we decided to do a night or two and see how it panned out before heading off if it wasn’t right. We actually dropped back into the swims we had fished on the previous trip and quickly got some rigs out there in the fading light before sitting back to take in the calm of the sleepy old canal.

“The spots were tucked right up tight against big sets of snags, with inch perfect casts required to find the little hard spots and tough terminal tackle required for the severe situation. Rigs were the ever-faithful soft boomed hinge, made from 25lb Recoil and 35lb Tungskin booms, with size 5 OE’s and Krill Pop-Ups, as ever, boosted up with some liquids and crusted up in salt and GLM. Spots were baited lightly with just 20-30 16mm Krill Freezer boilies, again crusted up in salt, GLM and Krill Powder.

With the steadily increasing temperatures against us, we really weren’t too hopeful and to be honest, it really didn’t look good, but a few liners during the night and a few big sloshes let us know there were a few in the area. Shorty after first light, I managed two bites in quick succession, a lovely mid-twenty mirror and then a small common, and so we decided to stay. The second night produced an incredible black common of around 30lb for me, and another lovely old character of a mirror, with little melted fins around the same weight. For the next four days and nights I managed to steadily pick off a few bites, ending with a total of eight with some amazing dark old characters, saving the biggest for the last night. Marcus also landed a lovely 27lb mirror and a smaller common, working really hard to scratch the bites from an incredibly weedy swim.

As always with our trips, it wasn’t particularly about catching huge fish, or even loads of them, but it was an escape from the norm and four nights in such beautiful sleepy surroundings was reward in itself, the black old characters of the canal were just a bonus!”