UKCARP MAGAZINE 22 SEPTEMBER 6TH 2011FISHING THE CUTof sharp edges everywhere, from the pilings to the stonework. For me it's 15lb-18lb line all the way, and believe me, it is essential. I top it off with a metre of 45lb leadcore. On this I have a lead clip, because I want the lead to come free should it encounter anything. Hooklinks are coated braid, with a sharp hook - nothing fancy, just efficient. When the tenth bream of the night has just done you and wrecked your rig, simple is best and you won't be too bothered about changing it. Big baits do help, but if the unwanted fish are on the munch you are in trouble. Once I even caught an 8oz zander, which must have taken a liking to the flash of plastic corn. I try to keep tackle to a bare minimum because the walks to the best spots can sometimes be like hiking to Scotland, so my barrow is always set up for the long haul. Barrows are essential and easy to use on towpaths. After a rather sweaty arrival I elected to fish one rod to the boats and another in the nearside margin. Both spots had been baited with about 50 boilies to get the carp used to finding food. I set my rods up in a bizarre way, parallel to the bank. I've always done this, otherwise I'd obstruct the towpath. You have to remember that these routes are very busy 24 hours a day and you must keep them clear for an easy life, and to keep your tackle safe. Another tip is always to backlead. It doesn't matter what time it is, it's amazing how often a boat that shouldn't be there can pass through your swim in the middle of the night. If you are prepared it isn't a problem, and to be honest I've found 99 per cent of boat owners are very friendly, helpful and a great source of info. So be prepared, and then there's no need to stress. With everything sorted I settled down for the night, occasionally chatting to the odd happy soul making their way home from the pub just down the road. The bream kept me awake with plenty of indicator action and lots of frustrating bleeps, but thankfully nothing was hooking itself. Then, as I sat nodding in the chair, a proper violent take was like a bucket of cold water in the face and I found myself attached to a powerful fish that had decided that trying to get behind the barrage was its best chance of escape. After a scrap that seemed to last forever, I finally netted a socking great 21lb mirror. I carefully sacked the fish, as it was literally minutes until proper daylight, and I was so chuffed I really wanted a decent picture. With that done I watched the surrounding world come to life - joggers, dog walkers and boat owners, all of them oblivious to my joy. With that catch under my belt I carried on with my campaign, enjoying great sport and meeting some interesting characters. In the next couple of trips I managed a nice little common and another decent mirror ounces short of 20lb. Canal carping has been great fun, and I have spotted a big fish that is well worth catching. You'll be surprised what's in a waterway near you, so don't neglect their untapped potential. In other words, don't miss the cut! Rod-tips parallel to the bank stops boats hitting them.Dawn brings a 21lb mirror and I'm one happy bunny!On canals lots of walking tends to be involved, so you'll need a barrow.