On many canals you might be the only angler a carp ever sees.
A word of warning. No matter how fishy a spot looks, you can spend a lot of fruitless hours by
being inflexible. Far better to try several spots over a period of hours, days and weeks rather than stick it out in one area. On prolific canals, you might try each spot for about an hour at most. Even on the toughest canal, if I have not had a run in two nights in any one location, I would usually try elsewhere.
Tampa Bypass Canal Fishing Gallery Photos
Tampa Bypass Canal Fishing
An increasing number of canals have their local ‘hot spots’, but the best fishing is not always readily accessible. Perhaps it’s a sad indictment of modern carp angling, but if you can find any promising area more than 400 yards from a car park, or without obvious room for a bivvy, it’s unlikely anybody is fishing it. Unless you’re a lazy angler, this is to your advantage.
In general terms, the long, open canals with big expanses of water can be the most testing for fish location. And perhaps easiest of all are those canals where lock systems present separate, enclosed ‘pounds’, each with its resident head of carp essentially restricted to one area.
While there is no perfect solution when it comes to avoiding bream and crayfish, certain steps can definitely help. Trying bigger baits, tough particles and longer hairs on your rigs are ways to make your offering more ‘selective’. Tiger nuts, in particular, are an excellent carp bait that both crayfish and bream find harder to deal with. Where crayfish are present in numbers, there is little you can do other than check and recast your bait regularly. Using special bait skins to toughen boilies or even plastic and rubber baits are another option, although even a plastic bait can only withstand so much punishment from the signal crayfish menace!
Shredded bait: the infamous crays strike again!