Leeds and Liverpool Canal – Wigan.

Canal StretchI’ll be posting a lot about fishing this stretch on Canal in my blogs as I live not too far from the stretch on Scot Lane.

My normal stretch, or the stretch that I find myself spending most of the time, is the stretch from the Crooke Hall Inn at Crooke Village, to the railway bridge just before Scot Lane new pond. There’s a ton of little fish holding spots on this (roughly 1.5 mile) walk. There’s over hanging trees, bridges, bushes, reeds, canal barges, little thin channels and also locks! At the top of the page, I’ve used Google Maps to try and show you the stretch where I start, where I finish and also a few of the headlined features.

The two red X’s are where I’ll walk to, or walk as far as. I’ll park and start where the blue rectangle is. There’s a little car park just where the right hand edge of the rectangle is, this is where I’ll start. The reason I start at the blue rectangle, is there is a sunken tree which has fallen off the far bank and has created a fantastic fish holding area. There is a reed bed just to the right of the sunken tree on the far bank which holds some nice shoals of Perch (It’s well worth jigging or drop shotting at your feet here as there’s normally Jack Pike hanging around). If you’re planning on float fishing, then you definitely can’t ignore that overhanging tree. It’s a magnet for fish and anglers!

The orange circle is probably my go to area when I’ve only got an hour or so of fishing available. There’s a lock here which has 2 entrances, a fast flowing run off on the far side and a weed/reed bed at the furthest entrance. I’ve had most of my fish here and also a nice Jack pike of around 2Ibs This was caught on a 5g jig head and a yellow jig.

 

Apparently, there a good head of chub here, too. The reason for the chub is that fast outflow. The canal is higher on the right (as you look at the picture) so the chub hang around in the far corner. If you can get your tackle over there, you’re in with a chance. It’d be hard to float fish as it’d be more like trotting a river than float fishing a canal. Swim feeder would be good and it’s well worth a go at lure fishing for them, too!

As mentioned above, the canal is slightly raised on the right hand side. Don’t ignore this section as there’s a good head of Perch, again hanging around the reed bed closer to the lock on your left hand side. There’s also the beginning of that overflow channel which is well worth a go – so don’t ignore it!

Looking at the map, it’s about a quarter of a mile walk to the railway bridge which is marked with a red X on the bottom right. I normally finish off there as it’s normally time I need to head back home.

Walking to the left of where I started (blue rectangle) there’s a road bridge (Scot Lane) it’s a good area for any shy fish bad is good for a bit of cover for them.

The purple triangle is a little channel which is just wide enough for fora barge to fit through. If you’re here at the correct time and fishing the right method it can be rewarding. Bushes that sit in the water with overhanging branches on each side are key features.

Ok. The black circle is next. This indicates the Crooke Marina. It is members only for the marina itself but you can gain access to many of the boats that are moored here. Some are work in progress and have been sat here for a while. These are the boats you want to target. It’s worth having a look at the lower part of the barge to check it for any growth like algae, moss or any other evidence that the boat has been sat there for a while, as these are going to be the potential fish holding boats.

After you’ve reached the far left red X that’s where I’d normally call it a day and make my way back down the canal. However, sometimes I do partake in a real ale or 4 from The Crooke Hall Inn! An absolutely lovely little pub in Crooke Village. Their steak baguettes are lovely as well! They also welcome dogs.

Here’s the link for Crooke Hall Inn.

I’ve also put the link for Wigan District Angling Association who owns that stretch of Canal. It is a day ticket stretch although have a look at their annual membership for £32. They have a lot of local waters and also access to the River Ribble and River Wyre.

Fishing Planet.

Hello again. Not so much a Bankside antics fishing blog, more rather a quick review on the new Fishing Planet for the PS4.

Ok. So what is Fishing Planet? Fishing Planet is a fishing simulator for the PS4. It does include different methods, styles and also different kinds of tackle you can use. For example, I recently caught a Golden Shiner (it is an American based game) on a standard float, 3ibs line and used bread as bait.

Now normally, to change swim, you’d have to come out of the game, choose your preferred swim, load your choice then start fishing from there. However, in Fishing Planet what you can do, is select your choice of tackle and bait, load your swim and if you want to change swim, you simply use your R3 and L3 buttons to navigate around the lake or river! Yes! You can actually up sticks and move whenever and wherever you choose!

After I’d had a few fish on float and bread, I purchased (in game currency) a spinning rod, reel, heavier line, some spoons and even different weighted jig heads and different coloured jigs! As in real life fishing, different times of the day, weather and also pegs/swims can effect your fishing. You do have graphs that are there to help you pick the correct time and weather to fish a particular place.

Within the game there’s currency. As with majority of “Free to play” games there’s the option to purchase extras. If you’ve played World of Tanks, you’ll know that there’s your normal XP and currency account and then there’s the premium account which would give you added extra XP and currency. Now, It’s up up to you whether or not you want to purchase the premium account or not.

There are tasks for you to do. Say for example, catch and release 5 fish to unlock certain added extras. When you complete a set amount of these tasks, you do get free premium account for a certain time. If you’re good at the game and know where, when and what tackle to use, I think you could get away with not purchasing the extra premium account and just take advantage when you unlock it.

With the game there’s different lakes and rivers to unlock and, just like in real life fishing, you need a licence to fish. In Fishing Plant, you have 2 different kinds of licences. You have the basic one which will allow you to fish for an unlimited amount of time on the standard lake. Whenever you unlock a new venue, you’ll need a new licence. Again, these licences are purchased using in game currency. You can win more currency by completing the tasks. The licence run from an hour upwards. Depending on how long your planning in playing in a certain sitting, you can pick and choose how long you want the licence to run for.

Fishing Planet is a free download if your a PlayStation Plus member with the added cost of premium accounts etc.

If you’re a fishing fan, it’s well worth a download and a go of. Takes a while to get used to the menu system as it can be a bit complicated.

I’ve included a link to the PlayStation website so if you fancy a look, here it is,

Fishing Planet.

Give it a go and see what you think!

Again, thank you and tight lines!

Tom.

Eisteddfa Fishery.

Welcome to Bankside Antics! A laid back blog about my fishing outings!

My very first blog is going to be about a mixed course/Fly Fishery in Criccieth (North West Wales) called Eisteddfa. It’s a fantastic complex with 2 fly lakes called the “Trout Lake” and the “Fly Lake”. The trout lake allows the angler to either fish the fly on a catch and release ticket or you can fish for a minimum of 3 fish. At the time of writing thise blog the price for 3 fish (and all day) ticket is £13! Which I think is brilliant value.

You can also coarse fish this lake with bait. You do have to keep the fish you catch though. I have seen people catch trout on maggots on this lake. The second fly lake is a fly only lake. This lake has the bigger fish and is based on a catch or time limited ticket (starting at 4+ hours and 3 fish) it’s a little bit more expensive to fish than the trout lake however, it does have the bigger and better stamp of fish. This lake is a Troutmaster fishery.

In this particular blog I’m going to write about the trout lake. I spent about 4 and a half hours on this lake the Wednesday after hurricane Ophelia hit the UK in October. My decision was to fish a floating line with 4Ibs leader and 1 fly on the point. My weapon of choice started with a green damsel fly nymph. After an hour with this fly I had nothing. Nothing whatsoever! No interest. So I sat there for a few minutes with a coffee having a look through my fly box and decided to try a black and green Montana. Again, just the one fly on the point. About 10 minutes with this fly had produced 2 knocks and one missed take! (My own fault for not paying much notice!)

Another 15 minutes went by with no interest. I had another wonder around the lake seeing if I could see any movement, or anything that would indicate any fish. I’d seen a few move over to my right hand side. With the wind blowing a bit stronger than earlier, I decided to stand with the wind coming over my right shoulder (Just to help with casting). Few more casts with the Montana and…. yep, you guessed it no takes! No interest! No nothing!

After another perusal through my fly box I decided to use a small (size 16 I think) Diawl Bach with a red thorax. First cast slow figure of 8 retrieve and BAM! Big hit, big splash, rod doubled over! Is this the fly and retrieve they wanted? I managed to land the fish and a fair few others after this one. The Diawl Bach with the red thorax and a slow figure of 8 retrieve was the method they were after! 3 hours later, 12 fish caught and 3 despatched. Absolutely brilliant fishing session!

As for the Fishery itself, would I recommend it? 100%! if you’re local to Porthmadog, Porthemeirion, Harlech, Criccieth or anywhere around those places, give it a go! I’ve attached the link to the website for Eisteddfa and is recommend you have a look at it.

They’re available on Facebook as well. If you do have any questions they’ll get back to you. Here’s the link Eisteddfa Fishery. There’s also 3 coarse fishing lakes, too! Thank you all for reading my first blog!

Tight lines.

Tom.