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Oh No, It’s Frozen!

Guest blogger Sam Crag recollects a recent canal session fished through the ice.

Once again my fishing season has to be put on pause because of the weather. The canals will be frozen the commercials will be peggy and the roads will be dangerous to drive on. I do often wonder how we would cope if we get really bad weather like they do in Norway and Sweden. Would we be British and just get on with it and dig out our cars and walk to work? No, we would probably all go into hibernation in our homes and moan until the weather improved – and then moan when the weather got too nice!

Last weekend I went out fishing on a canal and it was frozen (surprisingly). So obviously you have to break the ice somehow. If you are prepared for the worst you would have brought an icebreaker of some description along with you. However not everybody is like me and as a result our match got delayed 15 minutes. Needless to say I had broke the ice, set up my gear and plumbed up my rigs inside 45 minutes. This left me with 30 minutes to watch and laugh at people breaking the ice with their poles. To my amusement one bloke broke his flagship pole while attempting to break the ice with it!

After all this, our match eventually started. Then, a boat suddenly decides to come along which pushes all the broken bits of ice back into our pegs! We then all have to spend another 10 minutes clearing our pegs again!

My main plan was to fish liquidised bread at seven and 11 metres plus a backup worm line at four metres. I started off by cupping in a tangerine-size ball of bread onto each line and then baitdroppered some chopped worm at four metres.

The fishing was very slow to start with, as I only managed to get five fish in the first hour. As a result, I went on my worm line. This was even worse and produced nothing in 20 minutes. So, back on the bread to scratch out some more fish...

At the midway point it wasn’t going well with me only having nine fish in the net and with the guy catching upstream of me I was wondering what I had done wrong. In a desperate attempt to make something happen I started to introduce hemp over my bread swims to try and encourage the roach to start feeding. It worked and I started catching a lot of roach in the last two hours including some slightly better fish.

With 15 minutes to go, it had gone a bit quiet. I felt I had done ok in the conditions, though, and perhaps may have scraped my section. Just before the whistle I also landed a nice skimmer about 6oz, which reinforced my hopes for the section.

When the scales came to me I weighed in 2lb 11oz, which put me top of the leader board at the time. After everyone else had been weighed in I ended up finishing third – not a bad result on the day considering how bad I started. I left the venue with an envelope and bragging rights over my traveling partner – who also happens to be my dad!

Sam Crag is a 19-year-old student and club angler from Grimsby and a regular Pole Fishing reader.

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