Fishing The Erie Canal

Sweet Corn

Another cheap, readily available bait, sweet corn is not something that works in all situations, but can certainly be useful for canal tench, bream and carp. erie canal fishing rochester Because corn is too large for tiny fish to handle, it makes a more selective bait. It is also highly visible, making it handy for stalking fish in clear water – and the juice from tinned corn is a good additive to give your groundbait an extra kick. Sweet corn should be nicked lightly on the hook to make sure the point shows clearly. Single grains can be presented on a size 16, but two or three grains on a larger hook can be even more effective.

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Pellets and Boilies

Although processed baits will never take the place of traditional offerings on canals, they do have their uses. They also have the advantage of easy, convenient storage. erie canal fishing fairport High in protein and attractants, they have an appeal to various species.

You won’t get a bite every cast with boilies, but they are pretty much tiddler-proof until a bigger fish arrives – like this tench.

Pellets and boilies: modern baits do have their role, but should be used wisely.

It is on venues where you find a good mix of stocked fish complementing the natives that off-the-shelf baits truly prove their worth. Fish like crucians, skimmers and tench can respond well to smaller pellets, both as feed and on the hook. Use with caution however, because the quantities required will seldom be anywhere near those you might introduce on a heavily-stocked pond. Dampening them lightly before use tends to make them sink better and leak flavour more quickly.

Pellet bands are one way to use the hard variety on the hook, but an easier option is to buy a tub of special, soft, hookable pellets that have a nice rubbery consistency.

Boilies come into their own for carp fishing, although you have two main obstacles to success on this score. Wild fish might need to be familiarised with your chosen hookbait, which is where pre-baiting comes in. Equally, you might find that the bream and tench on your local Cut also take a keen interest in boilies. erie canal fishing spots One answer here is to use really large baits, up to and over 20mm, which only a bigger mouth can handle. That said, 8mm or 10mm boilies are great for chub and other species. Specific flavours are relatively unimportant, but I tend to stick to sweet versions such as tutti-frutti or pineapple for carp, for the simple reason that eels and crayfish love fishmeal-based boilies.

A bait waiter is an excellent way to keep supplies close to hand, encouraging you to feed regularly.

Also worth a quick mention are pastes. These can be bought in little tubs or made at home, usually with fishmeal-based groundbait and a raw egg. On waters that respond well to pellets, a piece moulded round a decent-sized hook can be a good bait, especially in heavily coloured canals.

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