THE Skipton Angling Association’s length of the canal at Skipton has certainly been fishing well of late with excellent sport being provided by a multitude of pike and perch plus some roach and even the odd bream.

The fishing bonanza commenced about a couple of weeks ago when pike began to attack fish being brought to the net on normal light tackle.

Tactics changed to dead baiting and spinning for the pike with both methods being equally successful.

Several fish have been caught by the many anglers wetting a line with the best estimated to weigh 7.75kg (17lb).

One particularly interesting catch was achieved by a four-year-old boy who caught a 6.80kg (15lb) pike that took a small perch that he had hooked on ordinary tackle.

Needless to say, he was given adult assistance to get the fish in the landing net while being watched by a large audience.

It appears that at least one pike succumbed to poor handling probably by the use of treble hooks and allowing the fish to swallow the bait.

For the size of the pike in the canal treble hooks are completely unnecessary when dead baiting and a large single hook of say size six or eight is much better and far safer for the fish.

They hook just as well as a treble, are much easier to remove from the fish and if it has been swallowed and needs to be cut off, it will not prevent the fish from feeding like one or more trebles stuck in its throat, will.

Besides the pike, perch have also been plentiful and upwards of 30 fish have been landed in two or three hours on the worm or red maggot.

The best fish weighed about 900g (2 lb) with a good number around the 450g mark (1lb) or smaller.

Roach have also fallen to the maggot or bread punch together with the odd skimmer bream.

For non-members, the Skipton club’s water commences at the road over bridge adjacent to Bizzie Lizzies and extends to the swing bridge at Niffany Farm, a distance of approximately 1.5 miles.

The Springs Canal Branch is also included in the fishing rights. Non-members may fish by either obtaining membership or by purchasing a day ticket from the many outlets.