How would you fish it?

buygoodtackle

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Before poles were de rigeur we all fished the canals with rod and wagglers or if if they were towing a light stick float. At this time of year the boat track used to be the best area to target for a few bites.
 

satinet

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Hope I'm not hijacking the thread but basically the same problem as the op.

I don't have a pole. I am generally fishing the middle but just at the bottom of the far slope. I've tried near Bank and far bank as you can get with a waggler.

Last time there was a right tow in because of the boats. Like stick float speed at times.

As I say tried bread and maggots but had sweet fanny Adams even so much as a bite. Moved swims quite a lot.

This the grand Union near southam.

Part of me is stubborn and just wants to catch a fish to beat it. I have caught there in summer. There are actually some bigger fish in there. I got snapped off in summer but I was only fishing a 0.10 or something.

There are loads of places where there are both near Bank reeds and far bank trees that look quite fishy.

Having a mare!
 

alsur

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If you are struggling with tow or want to get close to far bank a straight lead can work.

Not fished Oxford Canal for years, when I did main line of attack would be bloodworm and joker plus caster across especially if there was some cover for bonus fish.
 

Silverfisher

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Hope I'm not hijacking the thread but basically the same problem as the op.

Having a mare!
Not a hijack at all mate it’s all welcome. I’m the same as you in needing all the help I can get on canals!

I’ve fished big rivers, small rivers, medium rivers, reservoirs, small lakes, bigger lakes, ponds, harbours, reefs, wrecks, flats, passes all over the place and none of them are as hard nuts to crack as the humble canals!
 

smiffy

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Many years ago there was a tactic where you sprayed up to 6pints of squatt on the GUC north of London. So it wasn’t always gently,gently.
Feed,lift,drop,feed,lift,drop,feed,lift,drop,spray squatt to stop them floating etc,etc Hard work😓
 

Silverfisher

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The one genuinely good canal session I’ve had wasn’t on the Oxford but on the K&A. Fished it just standard wag and mag like you would a lake or river and in a lot less than a 4 hour session I had about 8lb of roach and skimmers plus 3 Perch for about another 4lb. Was as good as any river fishing that. Couldnt believe the difference compared to the Oxford canal where I’ve never done as much as half that sort of bag. Probably was a more favourable time of year than I’ve ever fished the Oxford at but still was very different.
 

baggy

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As you are pleasure fishing on the wag, I would use a canal grey type Waggler clipped up just off the far bank (up the shelf) and gently loosefeed casters in 3s & 4s. As others have mentioned fish as light as you can 2lb mainline and 0.08/0.09 hooklengths with a 18/20 hook. If it’s really hard trickle a few pinkies in on the same line
 

The Landlord

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To combat the tow with a waggler, it can help if you fish overdepth by anything from 6" to 1ft. Place 3 x No8 shot an inch apart - with the bottom shot around 6" from your hook.
 

Zerkalo

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Bit old now but there's a Dickie Carr video on Youtube of fishing a waggler on a canal that's a good watch.
 

satinet

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Problem with this canal it's so narrow it's hard to make any sort of proper cast. The far shelf isn't very wide either. Il the middle is about 4 to 5 feet wide.

I figured the fish would be more likely to be in the deeper water in winter but away from the path. The far shelf was definitely on my mind but I figured it was pretty cold. I did try it best I could but no joy.

When I did fish it in summer a couple of years back it surprised me because I only caught a few reasonable size fish and a couple of roach (silver beam and chub as I recall). I also got snapped off at least once. Maybe twice by what felt like small carp.

That occasion I way over fed it and killed the peg. Thought I was still on the commie 😉

This winter I've had I think 4 goes and not had a whiff of a bite. Not full days by any means but still pretty tough.

Honestly I'm gonna keep going till I catch a fish. Not gonna be beaten.
 

smiffy

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Honestly I'm gonna keep going till I catch a fish. Not gonna be beaten.
That’s what makes an angler. Loads of us take it up and the only ones that really take to this pastime are the ones with that attitude👍 The rest give up and have girlfriends, wives, kids, pets, jobs. You know,normal lives😉
 

warrington63

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Kidlington stretch can be very clear, so
I had a look at the Gibralter pub section a few weeks ago ,get on at the bridge where the pub is and turn left on towpath, after about 150 yards you are opposite a type of marina, there is a decent depth down the track and they were catching on worm over dark groundbait, Some decent catches can be had casting a waggler or small lead across to the boats.
 

Silverfisher

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Kidlington stretch can be very clear, so
I had a look at the Gibralter pub section a few weeks ago ,get on at the bridge where the pub is and turn left on towpath, after about 150 yards you are opposite a type of marina, there is a decent depth down the track and they were catching on worm over dark groundbait, Some decent catches can be had casting a waggler or small lead across to the boats.
Had a few sessions there maybe 7-8 years ago, don't remember it being warm but not cold either so was probably spring and/or Autumn. Recall one session where I did ok on the waggler for perch, roach, gudgeon etc but was generally quite hard work, well except from the bleak! My grandad used to get a few proper bream fishing feeders up against the boats but that was before I started feeder fishing. I am thinking there or lower heyford as the place to go as the wharfs do tend to be fishing holding spots. Bit tight for space though which isn't ideal for towing the kind at the moment but a couple pegs aren't too bad.
 

warrington63

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Had a few sessions there maybe 7-8 years ago, don't remember it being warm but not cold either so was probably spring and/or Autumn. Recall one session where I did ok on the waggler for perch, roach, gudgeon etc but was generally quite hard work, well except from the bleak! My grandad used to get a few proper bream fishing feeders up against the boats but that was before I started feeder fishing. I am thinking there or lower heyford as the place to go as the wharfs do tend to be fishing holding spots. Bit tight for space though which isn't ideal for towing the kind at the moment but a couple pegs aren't too bad.
I was thinking of the Gibralter pub section because it seems more sheltered from the elements, kidlington stretches can be fairly open, also can fish the Gibralter pub section on same card as Sandford.
 

Silverfisher

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I was thinking of the Gibralter pub section because it seems more sheltered from the elements, kidlington stretches can be fairly open, also can fish the Gibralter pub section on same card as Sandford.
Yeah it's fairly sheltered from anything but a northerly there if you are opposite the wharf and think its southwesterly next week so would be off your back and even that wouldn't impact you much with the trees keeping most off. Is an absolute quagmire down there at the moment though so next few days will need to be as dry as forecast to even be able to walk it 😅. Bit more open at lower heyford but more solid underfoot.

Probably fairly academic now as rain forecast every day next week again now. This time of year is such a ball ache. Feel so sorry for all the poor sods that keep getting flooded as its bad enough for us anglers 😢
 
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RMNDIL

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I hate to say it but my experiences of the Oxford canal over lots of stretches and lots of years is that with these conditions it is VERY hard. Forget Gudgeon. They have almost all disappeared. Long gone are the days of everyone catching 5lb - 10lb even if frozen etc. In Oxford (if you can put up with the people) is where it can still be OK on punch/pinkie for skimmers when coloured. Drinkwater farm can produce chub (below Kidlington/above Wolvercote so the A44 layby and go down towards Oxford). Above this towards Kidlington are disused Clapper bridges with big features = big fish. Kidlington below Yarnton Road is a fair walk to the sluice. But the marina above the Rock is where the bream live and you'd probably catch on the chop chop/red maggot there if you can get on it. Northbrook immediately above the lock (not Dashwood but Northbrook lock itself) and before the stone bridge (it's a VERY short stretch) was usually OK. Then you end up at Heyford station, park up and walk 'downstream' along past the moored boats.
 

Silverfisher

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I hate to say it but my experiences of the Oxford canal over lots of stretches and lots of years is that with these conditions it is VERY hard.
I think it's probably the hardest venue I've ever fished almost regardless of conditions 😂 Probably never fished it in ideal conditions tbh as its only ever been a flood or closed season fall back venue for me but still even an out of sorts almost any other venue seems easier than that canal!

I'm hoping for a restrictions lift and/or weather improvement before I have to resort to it but one of the wharfs/marinas will probably be the go to if I do fish it just because they are the only places I've had moderate success before.
 
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