Where would we be without the canals? With rivers cold and clear and stillwaters frozen over, only the city canals seem to be producing good, consistent sport.

Lee Woodhouse’s HanKat stretch of the Walsall Canal is the stand out venue.

All but four of the sections in the weekend teams of three 75-pegger were won with 5lb plus, with bloodworm or joker doing most of the damage.
There was an easy win for the three man team of Jon Arthur (pictured), Rob Middleton and Darren Massey, with Jon and Ron winning their respective sections and Darren finishing third in his and third overall.

Most of the fish caught were 30 to the pound roach, although amazingly a couple of tench were caught and some big perch were lost too.
It was a tight affair once again on this excellent match length, with Fox Tipton’s Richard Guest coming out on top with 7-8-0.

“I caught mainly on bloodworm, with a simple bulk rig to stop cat ice forming on the line,” Jon Arthur told me. “It’s a case of cupping in a golf ball of joker at the start and if you haven’t had a bite in half an hour, you’re probably not going to catch. Once the bites start, just feed a thumbnail of joker every so often.”

Other stretches of canal noted for not freezing and continuing to produce the goods in this kind of weather include Oxley and Tettenhall, which carries a bit of flow, and the Norbury stretch of the Shropshire Union.