IT’S time for our must-read Sunday blog on this new-look Angler’s Mail website. Every Sunday we welcome coarse fishing all-rounder Colin Mitchell (right).

For many years Colin was a senior Angler’s Mail magazine staff man and he has enjoyed a long, interesting journalism career. He understands match fishing, pleasure fishing, carp fishing – the lot.

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WE ALL know how certain weather conditions are rubbish for fishing, including really hot or very cold spells.

But think back to when you have fished in fog. Was it rubbish? I’ll bet that it probably was!

Don’t ask me to explain in any shape or form. I can’t.

But when I arrived on the bank last week and found the lake shrouded in a mist I just knew the fishing wouldn’t be great.

Everything else pointed to a great day. It was dull when we left home, the temperatures had been steady (and mild) for three days and I expected to bag up.

Wrong! Despite that fog keeping the light conditions down – usually good for fishbing, Mike and I struggled for bites. This was at a venue where we would normally expect plenty of fish, especially roach with a few tench thrown in, even in colder weather.

We both caught two small perch and both missed a couple of bites. As we had started early there was time for a move.

Surprise, surprise, we drove no more than seven miles and the fog had disappeared. Then it came back…but had gone again when we arrived at the Basingstoke Canal.

Despite all of the recent rains the stretch we fished near Farnborough was low and clear! That didn’t worry me too much as bankside trees meant light levels were low and there was little activity along the towpath.

It was definitely time for chopped worm and a few perch, which have been showing to a good size in the canal recently.

Eh up Michael, it’s a whopper!

Being a good mate I let Mike fish the biggest barge you have ever seen, which had been moored up. I took the only other big of cover nearby, a few branches overhanging the water (and I do mean a few…)

Needless to say he caught first, a small perch on red maggot. Then he added a number of other perch, roach and even skimmers.

I struggled to start but then caught perch on the chop…and proved yet another amazing fishing point: you rarely catch on ALL of your feed lines.

I fed a pot over next to the branches, another down my swim in the deepest water and a third line next to a few strands of left over weed down the middle in front of me.

I caught first next to that weed and then alternated between all three lines – but failed to catch on the one down my swim. I don’t know why as the deeper water was just four inches deeper than the rest.

There again maybe it had something to do with the 11 mountain bike riders who all came through at once just as I started to get bites! (Sounds like you’d better read Steve Collett’s blog from Tuesday, Col! Ed.)

Or maybe the guy who skylined me as he told me what he had caught elsewhere the previous day.

Still, by moving venues we had saved what could have been a very bad day. We’d had a few fish, learnt a few more lessons and Mike was probably grinning inside knowing that he’d landed more than me!

Mike was soon into the perch and got the better of me during our session on the canal.



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All Colin Mitchell’s blogs

Basingstoke Canal


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