Anglers don’t often associate canals with big pike.
Of course our local canals are full of fish, which means plenty of easy meals for pike so they often grow to massive proportions.
Dead or live baiting methods work best, presented in deeper areas such as lock gates and alongside features such as bays, bridges and boats.
The key to success is finding the areas where prey fish such as roach are shoaled-up.
Big pike won’t be far away and will visit the shoal occasionally, not just to feed on the roach but also to feed on their favourite meal; smaller pike.
Keeping mobile will improve catch rates because you’ve more chance of finding the ‘non-feeding’ fish.
Pike will rarely miss the opportunity of an easy meal whether actively feeding or not.
Move on every half-hour or so until you find where the pike are laid up, then sit it out for a while.
Pike are often found together in numbers and even the big girls will rarely be on their own.
If you prefer to use lures, use large floating plugs and retrieve just below the surface.
Cast over the area in front of where you’re walking so you don’t disturb any pike laid up in the margins.
Canal water is often very clear so a bit of stealth is called for.
If the Pike see you, they’ll be reluctant to take a bait of any kind.
Sherwood Forest Fisheries: Tue Open, Sherwood: 1st F Bispham, peg 24, 15-10-0.
Fred opted for waggler tactics with maggot cast 30m for a mixed bag of Roach and Skimmers, topped off with two 4lb Bream.
2nd: J Holmes, Woodhouse Angling, peg 15, 12-12-0; 3rd M Holmes, Woodseats Angling, peg 19, 10-11-0.
Wed Open, Holmedale: 1st A Lakey, Worksop Angling Supplies, peg 38, 22-1-0.
Strong winds didn’t put Andy off, fishing small pellet feeder to land Carp, Bream and a bonus Chub. 2nd G Mawby, Gateford Angling Centre, peg 45, 12-2-0; 3rd M Langton, peg 3, 1-8-0.
Sun Open, Holmedale: 1st C Brown, peg 51, 58-0-0.
Carl fought off strong competition, fishing pole pellet to come out on top with a good net of Carp to 6lb.
2nd: P Carline, Subfish, peg 54, 56-8-0; 3rd N Powers, peg 49, 56-0-0.
Hallcroft Fisheries: Mon Veterans Costcutter, Moat: 1st C Line, Retford Angling Centre, peg 70, 30-2-0; 2nd T Brown, MAP Leegem, peg 64, 26-4-0; 3rd B Sullivan, MAP Leegem, peg 61, 18-10-0.
Thu Veterans Winter League, Moat: 1st A Sellars, R&R Sports, peg 67, 21-0-0; 2nd R Holmes, peg 61, 18-0-0; 3rd T Furby, peg 29, 12-8-0
Fri Open, Moat: 1st A Oldham, Frenzee, peg 40, 45-3-0; 2nd G Gibson, Max Tackle, peg 26, 31-14-0; 3rd S Robbins, Map Leegem, peg 64, 23-10-0.
Sunday Open, Moat: 1st S Twigg, MAP Leegem, peg 6, 84-0-0; 2nd P Elliott, MAP Leegem, peg 21, 38-6-0; 3rd P Bagshaw, Frenzee, peg 56, 35-9-0.
Lodge Farm: Tue Open, Signal Pond: 1st G Brooks, peg 2, 26-13-0; 2nd A Farrar, peg 5, 19-11-0; 3rd B Chatterton, peg 7, 17-3-0.
Sat Open, Field Pond: 1st T Smith, peg 18, 31-8-0; 2nd C Perry, peg 3, 30-11-0; 3rd B Chatterton, peg 12, 23-8-0.
Sun Winter League, Top Pond: 1st M Foy, peg 13, 45-13-0; 2nd G Brooks, peg 32, 32-13-0; 3rd N Wheatcroft, peg 14, 25-14-0.
Toft Newton: Catch rates are on the up with 21 anglers landing 132 trout, giving a rod average of 6.28.
Ronnie Milloy had a great day, landing 17 fish just down to the left of the tower.
Blobs, Cats Whiskers, Diawl Bachs, Crunchers and Hares Ear all working well, presented high in the water.
Many anglers are expressing an interest in improving their casting skills and now is a good time to think about booking a lesson to improve on your accuracy, distance and presentation.
Prices start from £20 per hour lesson and many guided packages are available.
Also, get down to Toft to bag a tackle bargain, rods galore on sale at half price or less.
For further information and bookings contact Andy on 01673 878453 or 07850351695.
Worksop & District Angling Association: The executive meeting will be held on 27th February, while the delegates meeting is to be held on 6th March.
Both will take place at Manton Club at 7.30pm
Club Secretaries are also reminded that affiliation fees are now due.
If you have an angling story or a picture of you with an impressive catch, email me at email@example.com or call me on 07815 308463.