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Grand Western Canal

Fishing

The Grand Western Canal provides a quiet and relaxing venue with a good range of coarse angling opportunities. Of particular note are the summer Tench and winter Pike and Perch fishing. An excellent mixed fishery with above average stocking levels, means that the Canal presents a good challenge to anglers of all abilities with plenty of opportunities to find a quiet spot and enjoy the peace and tranquillity. Angling platforms, are located at various points through the park, allowing suitable, safe access for the less-abled angler.

For a nice simple introduction to coarse fishing and the equipment that is available to anglers, view the Discover Fishing website. The site also contains the Code of conduct for coarse anglers. Please also see this RSPCA campaign on reducing fishing litter.

Fishing by Greenway Bridge

Angling rights on the Canal are leased to the Tiverton and District Angling Club. In addition to holding a valid Environment Agency Rod Licence, a permit must be purchased, in advance, from either:

The current Fishing Permits prices are:

Under 10s Juniors (10 - 17yrs) Seniors (18+) OAPs
Day Free £3 £5 £5
Year Free £10 £30 £15

fishing on the canal

Please note:

  • There is no closed season
  • Please ensure that your tackle does not impede other towpath users, and, if using extendable poles, please move them promptly when walkers or cyclists are approaching
  • Take care not to snag your fishing tackle on offside vegetation
  • Please take all litter home with you and do not dig the banks.

To encourage safer and more considerate use of the towpath by anglers, walkers and cyclists the Grand Western Canal Country Park Ranger Service has launched a Towpath Code of Conduct image - PDF icon (219KB - pdf help). The code explains the behaviour expected of all towpath users and reminds people that horse riding and motorcycle use are not permitted on the towpath.

Grand Western Canal Fish Information image - PDF icon (255KB - pdf help)

These pages provide useful information for anglers and those who are interested in the fish species in the canal. Each page gives a description and average adult size of the fish and some angling information, like the example below.

Tench

Tench (Tinca tinca)

(Doctor Fish – Old Red Eye)

Found throughout the canal in large numbers.

Fish below 500 grams in weight are rarely seen or caught and are thought to survive in the silt and weed beds feeding on small crustaceans and water insects.

Average size 1.5 kilograms with 2 kilogram fish common during the summer months when spawning takes place.

Venue Record: 8lb 0oz (1996 season)

National record: 15lb 3oz 6 dr (2001)

Male identification made easy with angular pectoral fins. The male has a tendency to be smaller than the equivalent aged female. Visible sightings on the surface, in the summer months, of a mass of small bubbles some 450mm across would indicate that Tench are feeding. During spawning, they are most active. The males will pursue the females in large groups with much thrashing and disturbance in the marginal weed, a very common sight early morning and late evening during the first prolonged warm spell of the summer.

Mid Devon District Council have produced a leaflet about fishing, detailing sites in and around Devon's heartland. You can get a copy of this from the Tiverton Tourist Information Centre. Call them on 01884 255827.