Fishing spot enigma.

markg

Well-known member
This is a long disused canal, it is about 3ft deep, very shallow and weedy in places, in the winter the EA drop the levels even further to about 2ft. I have caught fish along it, plenty of rudd and roach a few bream, there are a few carp, not many but I have seen a couple, tench and there must be perch and pike. I have caught fish except in the one swim where I think I should catch the most, it is the only deep spot along the whole stretch, about 15ft, I have fished it at all depths, with a variety of baits and not caught one fish in it. Several tries and especially in the winter, I would have thought all the fish along that stretch would be there but nothing. Could be me or just one of those fishing enigmas but, any theories as to why?
( the pictures show the normal length and the the deep hole, there is a feeder dyke going in there and a small weir which should oxygenate the water a bit, making it a further fish draw, sorry about the size of pics, new computer and have not worked it out yet))
 
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dicky123

Well-known member
Mark.

Oddly my local canal is exactly the same. Its shallow, and very weedy in summer, maybe 3' deep maximum. But it has lots of tench and Rudd in summer. But the first real sunlight it get full of algae that stays all summer and you HAVE to drag a swim, so its mostly un-fished for most of the summer.

In winter it turns gin clear, unless we get a lot of rain like this year, then it turns milky for a time. I've tried drop-shot it winer, nothing at all. Very odd mate.

I've been told tench will hibernate in the silt, I'm unsure this is really true, but it does make sense? Interesting Mark?
 

Philip

Well-known member
Your Spot sounds fishy Mark. Could be allot of reasons why its not throwing up fish.

One possibility is that the very deepest spots warm up the slowest and can stay very cold in winter even if tempestures rise they warm up slowest. Sometimes it can be better to fish much shallower water especially if its calm and has direct sunlight on it.

Another possibility is the feeder dyke may be bringing in something the fish dont like ...colder water or some sort of run off.

Fishing spots can indeed be an enigma !
 

markg

Well-known member
Phillip-It is a strange one, the feeder dyke area is mainly a bird reserve, no crops so i imagine not much spraying whereas the area on the main canal not in the pic (further down) has wheat crops on one bank so, maybe more chance of chemicals getting into the main water than from the feeder dyke. there are cattle and sheep about as well in some fields. However, that dyke is often a funny color, but same as most dykes I see, nothing odd in that; that odd brownish color and clear like this one you get in summer but they always look fish-less to me, never see any in them.
I have fished this deep hole shallow up to 6 ft and right down to the bottom 15ft. tried maggots once, thought they must work but didn't, bread and sweetcorn and maybe a worm now and then, cannot remember but likely; I occasionally just dig some up if not catching on anything and I am sure I must have done that. It is very deep and quite quickly so but there is a bit of a slanting drop and I have fished the edge at shallow.
I must have fished this hole about 10-15 times and not one fish. Further back in the main picture there is a similar area, a sluice gate which either side there is 6ft of water and roach congregate there but not in this deep hole so it seems. Just never figured it out, a real fishy enigma. never caught one fish in it, not even a small perch on maggot.
the cold water would be an explanation but why no fish in the upper layer and even so, should be some fish in it.
it might be me, cannot rule that out, fished in a boat often enough when all catch but one angler, or it could all just be a coincidence, but a lot of coincidence if it is.
****y- tench may bury themselves, I have no knowledge of it but, I would think while they are half asleep, being buried would be safer from predators. however, you would think there would be evidence of it and I have never seen any or maybe there is but i just have not seen or heard of it.
Never seen the water go milky, just a mixture of brownish to clear/semi clear.
 
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steve2

Well-known member
Always interesting how some of the best looking, must contain fish swims never produce a fish.
The fish obviously don't read the same books as us.
 

markg

Well-known member
Not wanting to be picky ... but isn’t that a drain, rather than a canal?
It is a part of what was once the royal military canal built in 1815. It was built more for defense than boat traffic so it does look a bit like a drain, I am not sure the definition of canal but I think it is man made waterway so that could be why they call it a canal. It was built to 9ft deep, just enough to drown a man, it has silted up to about 2/3 ft now. I think the Ea have started to dredge it in a few parts. I have had better fishing in other parts of it but not too bad in this part, roach, rudd, came across a good bream shoal once about 500 yds away from that deep hole, never in it though. Never actually caught a tench on this particular stretch but I have been told other anglers have caught them, I have had good tench in another stretch about 5 miles away. Just nothing in this deep hole, one carp seen patrolling up and down and another but not in this hole, some good roach and rudd along various parts of it but not one there, virtual ghost town of fish. I always fished in great anticipation, some monster laying in it's depths, but not even a tiddler.
 
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steve2

Well-known member
I use to have some good days on the Royal miltary canal in the Appledore, Hamstreet areas. Remember some good catches of roach on wheat.
 

markg

Well-known member
I use to have some good days on the Royal miltary canal in the Appledore, Hamstreet areas. Remember some good catches of roach on wheat.
I used to get the train to Hamstreet, bit of a walk but nice fishing, good tench and some very big rudd, well big to my eyes. Shallow and small lily type weed right across with just a small gap in the middle, lobbed a float just over the gap. No big deep holes there though that I knew of but enjoyed my few trips there.
 

silvers

Well-known member
It is a part of what was once the royal military canal built in 1815. It was built more for defense than boat traffic so it does look a bit like a drain, I am not sure the definition of canal but I think it is man made waterway so that could be why they call it a canal. It was built to 9ft deep, just enough to drown a man, it has silted up to about 2/3 ft now. I think the Ea have started to dredge it in a few parts. I have had better fishing in other parts of it but not too bad in this part, roach, rudd, came across a good bream shoal once about 500 yds away from that deep hole, never in it though. Never actually caught a tench on this particular stretch but I have been told other anglers have caught them, I have had good tench in another stretch about 5 miles away. Just nothing in this deep hole, one carp seen patrolling up and down and another but not in this hole, some good roach and rudd along various parts of it but not one there, virtual ghost town of fish. I always fished in great anticipation, some monster laying in it's depths, but not even a tiddler.
Wonders of the English language eh?

Maybe it’s because I grew up with the Regent’s canal on my doorstep I’ve always seen a canal as having a towpath for horses.
But The OED also define canal as a watercourse to provide irrigation.

So in my simple head
A man made canal provides for transportation of goods
A drain transports water (away)
A navigation is a man altered canalisation of a river for boats (see Lea Navigation)
I’d always say irrigation “channel” rather than canal, but I could be wrong.

But then you’ve also got Popham’s Eau, the Hundred Foot river and the G. Ouse Relief Channel.

So that’s the Royal Military Moat :p
 

markg

Well-known member
Interesting topic Silvers, there is also "Haven" which I think is derived from some old Saxon word. I have fished three of them, Wallers Haven for example which I think is man-made, looks like a drain, 30ft wide and deep 12/15ft. No castle on the Royal Military, Royal Military Drown maybe:)
 

fred hall

Well-known member
I can think of a few swims on both the Ribble and some club lakes that I fish which definitely look the part but just never produce anything. I wonder if, sometimes at least, it is a self fulfilling prophesy ie anglers have been told that these swims don't have any fish in them so they don't bother to try them. Even if they do try it is done a half-hearted manner. I confess to being guilty of this myself.
 

markg

Well-known member
I can think of a few swims on both the Ribble and some club lakes that I fish which definitely look the part but just never produce anything. I wonder if, sometimes at least, it is a self fulfilling prophesy ie anglers have been told that these swims don't have any fish in them so they don't bother to try them. Even if they do try it is done a half-hearted manner. I confess to being guilty of this myself.
Yep-it is a funny old world of fish swims. My two banker swims on a river are one where people throw bread off a bridge and feed the ducks. The other is where people come down to the bottom of their gardens on the opposite bank and also throw bread in. Always fish in the general area.
I once got to know a 1/2 mile of river day ticket water, fished it a lot summer and winter. I got to know every yard of that stretch, where the big roach were and the chub. The two best swims were again a bridge and also a small weir, it was a narrow river and this was an EA measuring the flow weir so nothing spectacular but; it always held chub. But, now and then I would fish the "fish-less stretches" and still got some good fish. I think this is the best way, get to know a good length of river, it might take time but do not ignore those what look like to us "nothing to attract fish there", the fish might see it differently.
 
it is the only deep spot along the whole stretch, about 15ft, I have fished it at all depths, with a variety of baits and not caught one fish in it.
Hi, sorry if it's been mentioned, but 2-3 feet, suddenly dropping to a fishless hole 15ft deep - anoxic perhaps?
Cheers, Peter
 

markg

Well-known member
Hi, sorry if it's been mentioned, but 2-3 feet, suddenly dropping to a fishless hole 15ft deep - anoxic perhaps?
Cheers, Peter
Do you mean lack of oxygen? I would still think fish would be in the surface layers but the whole hole appears to be fish-less. However, I think it may be something to do with depth, colder temperatures and lack of oxygen, or me maybe, just think it wouldn't be quite as succinct.
 
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