Bolton, Bury & Manchester canal....

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BoltonBullfinch
Crucian Carp
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Location: Bolton, Lancashire.

Bolton, Bury & Manchester canal....

Post by BoltonBullfinch » Fri Sep 20, 2019 11:55 pm

I live about 200yds from the end of the Bolton arm of the Bolton, Bury & Manchester canal. I walked the Bolton arm earlier this week with a view to fishing it as I used to fish on the canal about 50yrs ago when I thought I would grow up to be the next Billy Lane, Ray Mumford or Ivan Marks. They held all the Bolton anglers matches, senior and junior, along the blue wall length of the canal. Bolton anglers are no longer in existence and all the three arms of the canal are now controlled by Little Britain anglers, them just taking control of the Bolton arm very recently. I walked the whole length of the Bolton arm (probably just under a mile) and there was only two spots where one could cast a float. I mean these two spots were literally one small swim each, the rest of the water is just solid weed/algae from one end to the other. The blue wall section of the canal (about half the total length) is very wide, about half as wide again as the SYNC we fished last Sunday. Getting this stretch of the canal fishable again is going to be a massive undertaking for Little Britain, and I'm hoping that the canal & river trust will be lending a hand. They have put new fencing along the canal and completely resurfaced the towpath on the Bolton arm, so hopefully they will help with the actual water problems. I think the canal has been totally neglected for many many years and I'm sure it will take many years to get it something like right for future anglers. But this must be done, there are too many canals that have gone to wrack and ruin, this must not be allowed to continue in this direction on this canal. I fished one of these two swims last Tuesday morning but was set up hoping for a half decent perch, so had plenty of knocks but nothing was landed, but I'm back on there in the morning to have another go with much finer tackle. As a aside, three people stopped last Tuesday morning and said that I was the first person they had seen fishing on the canal for years, and that it was nice to see. I feel something of a connection to the Bolton canal as it was a big part of my early years and I want the place opened up for future generations and feel that I have to somehow be a part of it. You never know, one day we might be able to have a TFF pie, cake and perch soiree on there. Sorry I have waffled on a bit....

Thanks
BB
'We fish a lot' Forrest Gump.

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Liphook
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Re: Bolton, Bury & Manchester canal....

Post by Liphook » Sat Sep 21, 2019 5:30 am

Great to read that you've got a potential NorthernTFF 'cake on the cut' venue sorted :Wink: Is it being used by much boat traffic BB? I used to fish the non navigable upper parts of the Lanky around Holme/Crooklands. It was chocked full of Canadian pondweed but also held fantastic tench roach pike and carp, including many large grass carp. Unfortunately released otters did for the tench and carp, but in the heydays we would spend hours raking swims and caught some good bags of tench - with a few surprises thrown in! The water itself was crystal clear, not the muddy brown of the navigable lengths further south towards Lancaster, and the only prolific mid day tench venue I've ever come across!
Having any water on your doorstep makes it an anglers duty to get it into reasonable shape for angling in my book! I think you'll get some satisfaction provided you don't set your sights too high too soon with regards help from others - keep plugging away whilst making your own swim or two would be my advice. It could be a nice little project :Hat:
Last edited by Liphook on Sat Sep 21, 2019 5:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Liphook
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Re: Bolton, Bury & Manchester canal....

Post by Liphook » Sat Sep 21, 2019 6:00 am

I didn't mention pies BB as I take them as a given in these parts :Hahaha:

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BoltonBullfinch
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Location: Bolton, Lancashire.

Re: Bolton, Bury & Manchester canal....

Post by BoltonBullfinch » Sat Sep 21, 2019 1:30 pm

No boat traffic whatsoever, the canal breached in I think 1936 just on from our local stretch and everything slid down the hillside and into the river irwell. So whatever was in the Bolton arm at the time must have stayed in the Bolton arm as the breach is still there some 83yrs later. Its probably a 'work in progress' in some government filing cabinet.
I fished one very small swim this morning and had 20 odd roach and one perch but nothing over say 6oz and apart from one roach and the perch everything came out to bread punch.
Back when the winter league was fished on here and all the other matches, my small collection today if I had had them in a keepnet would have won a lot of the matched back in the day.
I can remember Kevin Ashurst fishing the matches as a youngster and beyond, and his dad also, I think he was called benny or similar.

Thanks
BB
'We fish a lot' Forrest Gump.

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Liphook
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Re: Bolton, Bury & Manchester canal....

Post by Liphook » Sat Sep 21, 2019 2:10 pm

The Ashurst family are rightly held as legendary anglers! Benny was brilliant but I'm told Kevin was considered a miracle worker able to win sections and matches from the least favourable of pegs! As a boy I was lucky to have some coaching from Dave Roper and I distinctly remember him telling me that Kevin was "the most feared match angler on the planet". I think the Ashursts still have a maggot farm run by his nephew? I'm glad you caught fish BB :Thumb: Provided it's not silted up too badly and doesn't suffer from much pollution, it has potential to be a good fishery. From a tradditional anglers prospective you'll probably find that most local anglers will be besotted by the modern love of carp puddles, so hopefully you'll get miles of it virtually to yourself! More power to your elbow :Hat: I know that the CRT were keen to open up non navigable stretches where possible as the leisure and live-on-board boaters have big financial clout. Maybe with all the recent reservoir issues that might not be such a priority these days?

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AntiqueAngler
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Re: Bolton, Bury & Manchester canal....

Post by AntiqueAngler » Fri Jul 24, 2020 10:14 am

Morning,just read with interest your article on the blue wall with nostalgia,as a youth I used to sit behind the likes of Alan Macatee,Harry Settle,look and learn on evening sweepstakes,same on Elton Reservoir.Harry was very helpful,he used to give me free samples of Lion D'Or,french hooks with a very fine wire and long shank which were for bloodworm.Two great anglers.As for Kevin,he could truly turn up anywhere,Trent,Dane,bridgewater canal etc etc,always in the money.He used to always arrive at last minute,roll out of his Ford Granada accompanied usually by 'chaufeuur'dave Brierley.Later on him and his old feller,Benny bought Pilsworth Fisheries,used to watch Benny making stick floats sat outside his hut,happy,happy days I'll nevr forget.

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Fredline
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Re: Bolton, Bury & Manchester canal....

Post by Fredline » Fri Jul 24, 2020 10:33 am

Does it get any better than pie cake and fishing? I don't think so. Hang in there Steve.
If you have no grease with you, and your rings are full of ice, do not cut out the ice with a pen-knife but get your man to put the rings one by one in his mouth, and so to thaw the ice.
John Bickerdyke.

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