The Urkervaart starts in Urk and proceeds about 12 kilometres eastwards to Emmeloord. Due to its excellent opportunities for carp, predatory fish and coarse fish anglers, this canal in the North-east Polder is a popular body of water. The canal is also easily accessible by means of the adjacent provincial road.
Most anglers choose the stretch between Urk and Tollebeek because of its width (50 metres) and the good catches possible there. Another popular spot is the section just outside of Urk, where the Nagelervaart flows into the canal. Places where waterways cross are generally hotspots. Towards Emmeloord, the canal narrows considerably to 30 metres, but it is more peaceful. While there is normally a slight current in the Urkervaart, the water in this canal can flow quite fast during dry periods and heavy rainfall. During times of drought, water is pumped into the canal from the IJsselmeer, and during rainfall, excess water is drained from it.
Coarse fishUsing a pole or feeder rod, you can easily catch roach, bream and silver bream, and now more often tench as well, along the Urkervaart. You can achieve the best results using a pole between 11 and 13 metres. Choose floats ranging from 0.75 to 1.5 g in weight and sturdy traces (at least 14/00 nylon) for the strong bream, which can weigh up to three kilos. If you prefer a feeder rod, then choose a spot in the middle of and/or on the other side of the canal (bear in mind that stone deposits on the banks mean that the latter option is not possible everywhere). Feeder cages weighing 30 to 50 g are often sufficient, but we recommend also bringing cages of up to 70 g for fast currents. A standard feed and bait approach with maggots, casters and worms is adequate, although experimental coarse fish anglers sometimes land large fish using the method feeder, mini boilies and wafters, especially in the spots that are known to be good for carp.
The Urkervaart is renowned for its excellent carp catches, both in terms of numbers and variety of types. Wild common carp are slender and weigh around 15 pounds, although some outliers may reach weights of up to 20 pounds. The stocked mirror carp get heavier every year in the nutrient-rich water, with specimens weighing more than 30 pounds already having been caught. During the day, fishing in the middle is worthwhile, but the carp also feed along the banks from the evening to the early morning. It is important to attract the fish to your spot and keep them there, so pre-baiting can be helpful. Preferably use boilies to avoid most of the the coarse fish, although carp and bream often go together. A good carp session is frequently preceded by a catch of bream. Finally, bear in mind that the fish have considerable freedom of movement in these extensive waterways. Particularly during spawning time, many carp swim up the tributaries to reproduce.
Predatory fishPike is the most commonly caught predator in the Urkervaart, followed by perch and pikeperch. The pike and pikeperch are usually distributed along the canal to a maximum depth of 2.5 metres, except during the winter months. The trick is therefore to be willing to go some distance along the shoreline. Pay particular attention to features such as bridges, bollards, intersections with tributaries and popular coarse fish spots. Only the northern side of the canal is easily accessible from the bank. Many promising spots on the opposite bank are only accessible by means of a boat or belly boat. Because of the murky water, we recommend using very noisy artificial lures such as rattle plugs, large soft baits or large spinners. By using a light spinning rod (maximum casting weight of 10 g) and small artificial lure (up to 4 cm), you can land a lot of perch along the banks up to around 20 cm. During the winter, the pike and pikeperch gather in sheltered spots in the canal, and you can have considerable success using dead bait as well.
AccessibilityAlmost the entire length of the Urkervaart is accessible by means of the N351 provincial road. The water is about 15 to 20 metres from the road. If you come by car, then be sure to park well off the road. The traffic on this fairly busy road often travels at considerable speed.