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It’s been on my mind now that after 7 consecutive blanks I need to catch a fish or two. The words “Mick the blanker” have been posted on my facebook page and even though I enjoy trying out new methods its always good to have a little confidence boosting session at an easy venue. Over the years, my go to easy venue has been Bradshaw Hall Fisheries in Bolton, and a few other local easy waters where i can catch for fun (Drinkwater Park on maggot fished shallow, Sainsburys Pond on punch bread for example) but today I fancied using up some worms I have in my shed so decided to go drop shotting at Salford Quays for some perch.
This would set me up nicely with a few fish on the bank, so that I could then head off down the motorway to the other end of the Ship Canal, and have a try for the unknown by fishing the drop shot at Liverpool Docks, a venue I’ve only ever driven past before, never stopping, never looking, and certainly never fishing.
I got to the quays early doors, and the sky was blue, and so was the water (the quays management dye the water to suppress weed growth – health and safety for the swimmers and other water users). I set up my 7ft 0.5-9.0gram drop shot rod, loaded with 6lb braid, 4lb flouro and a size 12 hook. Got my worms out and hooked up half a worm.
First drop in, I slowly retrieved and could see a shoal of small perch flitting about around the worm – first cast — the fish were there, it was going to be a good session!
And so it proved as I caught perch after perch for around two hours. I started off on the boardwalks near the Beefeater, but once the open water swimmers started their morning session I moved off Ontrario Quay onto one of the side canals. The angling club and the water sports centre have a very good relationship and for health and safety reasons the club ask anglers not to fish when people are open water swimming. The Quays is a shared space, plenty of room for all. The swimmers are over and done in 2 hours,,, so please just leave them to it.
So I started out fishing the canal between Ontario and St Peter Basin. It was stuffed with perch – all hungry for a bit of worm ,, and I caught plenty of greedy 6 inch perch. As we moved round into St Peters Basin, I was hoping for a few bigger fish from near the rafts of floating debris — as the big perch love a bit of cover.. however it wasn’t to be – I just kept on catching the small ones. Very welcome as well after a run of trips with no fish.
Once Phil arrived later in the morning, we stayed on St Peters Basin for another half hour or so, banging out small perch for fun.
We then decided to head off West down to the other end of the Manchester Ship Canal, and have a try in the salt water of Liverpool Docks. I’m slowly getting into my sea fishing, and especially my species hunting, but due to the geography and built environment here in the North West — LRF/drop shotting opportunities in the North West are in short supply on our local coastline. I’ve wondered for quite a while if Liverpool Docks would be a good venue, but there isn’t that much info online. So it was a bit of a step into the unknown. But on the premise of if you don’t give it a go, you’ll never find out – we drove out to Wallasey Docks, and once we found somewhere with parking and access (Tower Rd) we set up our drop shotting kit again, and loaded the hooks with garden worms.
The water looked very inviting and clear, we could see huge growths of mussels and anemones on the dock walls, and the odd prawn flitting about but not fish.
First drop in we found the water to be 23-28ft approx deep, and after a while of jigging about down the side with no interest from any fish we started to flick our drop shot leads a bit further out into the dock.
Initially we were worried about debris/snags at the bottom of the docks, but these proved unfounded, as it turned out to be snag free.
The after a couple of plucks and stripped hooks, Phil hooked into the first of quite a few micro whiting.
The bites were no where near as frequent as Salford Quays, and all we caught in the hour or two we spent fishing were a few small whiting. However, Phil had a cracking bite/pull down on his rod tip leading us to believe that there are other, bigger fish in there, and that a return visit with a bigger variety of baits, and heavier drop shot leads might be worth while.
I say we needed bigger leads, as our 3.5g weights were really too light for the job in hand – when I come back it will be with 10g – 30g weights and with lug/squid/sand eel as bait.
Checking out a new venue is always good fun, but figuring out the fishing and catching a few is always better so we will be returning soon.
At the close of our day, we headed over to the Liverpool City side of the Mersey and had a look round the docks near Brunswick and Mariners Wharf. However parking was terrible, as was fishing access. And where there was access there were hoards of tourists/day trippers enjoying the nice sunny Sunday afternoon.
I apologise for the poor camera/shaky video. Next time out, I am going to be using an antishake camera holder, and will start trimming, and adding music and other fiddly bits to my videos.
In the mean time, please remember to give my new videos a thumbs up like, and please please please subscribe to the Fishing Fiend video channel.