Saturday, 1 May 2010

A Grand Day Out

The building of the Grand Union Canal was first authorised by an act of parliament in 1793, and linked London and Birmingham.

My target today was a ruffe also known as the pope. This mini species is a member of the perch family and research had revealed that ruffe could be found in the canal at Cosgrove.

Mr Crabtree didn't provide any advice on locating daddy ruffe so I sought out the bridges and locks around Cosgrove before setling on a bridge where the canal narrowed.
The gothic style bridge was built in the 1790's at the insistence of the local landowner (the biggins family) and is one of only two ornamental bridges over the canal. Sitting just above the bridge I could cast a small feeder right under the bridge tight in to the bank where I hoped that perch and ruffe were lying.

The first canal boat was not long in coming and neither was my first bite, a small perch. Over the next hour several more canal boats came through the bridge, surprisingly this did not appear to have any detrimental effect on sport and most casts saw the quivertip pull round and the tally of small perch grew. A small bream of perhaps a couple of pounds followed, the first of five skimmer bream. Occasionally I switched from maggot to half a worm which made no difference to the number of bites although the skimmer bream seemed to prefer worm.

A couple of decent perch the largest 1lb 9oz came amongst the smaller fish. Normally in coloured water perch lack the bold stripes and strong colouring of those in clear waters and the colours are washed out but these canal fish defied the norm. A couple of palm sized rudd as the light was fading completed what had been a grand day out.