As I said on my last post I was fast loosing patience with the rivers this winter and decided to try pastures new, boy was I glad I did looking at the state of them again this week!
I have not caught a big perch, and by big I mean anything over 2lb for more years than I care to remember and I don't recall actually trying to catch one by design. So, I have set my self a little target of a 2lb perch before spring. I have spent the last couple of weeks since my last trip out searching for likely venues fairly close to home as I don't care to be driving miles at this time of year. The info has been freely flowing from a number of sources and I happen to have found a venue close to home that I had overlooked along with a couple more within reasonable distance.
After reading numerous articles and no end of rubbish on the web, today saw me heading out for what was my first serious perch fishing trip. Loaded up with suitable rods and gear, plenty of worms and a pint of red maggots I headed off to my new found 'local' perch water. I was disappointed though to find it the same colour as the cup of tea I am sat drinking now! Although with the recent rain I had half expected it as I had seen the water running off the local fields yesterday so I already had a back up in mind just in case. That backup was an area of canal around ten miles away, here the canal widens out a little with the boat channel right along the near bank up to a lock, weed beds on the far side and an overflow around the lock leaving a large peninsular of stone wall to fish along too.
With the rods already rigged up I was fishing in no time but it some became apparent the strong wind blowing down the canal was going to be a right pain as this stretch has concrete banks around 2 feet or more above the water making securing the rods almost impossible. I chucked out a light free running feeder rig to the stone wall with a full lob on a size 8 hook and dropped a float fished lob just a rod length out, it was obvious as the tip bounce around in the wind that I wasn't going to spot many bites and as the rod blew across the ground for the umpteenth time I decided to wind it in. On the end was a greedy perch around half the size of the lob I had been fishing, deep hooked as I had not seen the bite for the wind so with that I decided to sack the feeder and concentrate on the float fishing as I had managed to secure the float rod between my chair and one of those anchoring points they use to tie boats up to that stick out of the floor. At least this stopped it been blown constantly sideways.
It didn't take long for the perch to show an interest in my float fished worms and I had 3 or 4 small fish to around 8oz in no time, It was clear this spot held plenty of them as by now my mate JD had arrived and he too was into fish almost immediately on float fished worm. I had brought along an old short pole and a couple of rigs mainly to try and catch a few live baits, so with only the one rod out I soon had it rigged up and set about catching a few. It didn't take long much as I expected and my float fished lob was soon replaced with a small perch. With only fishing off the rod end I was able to keep my eyes on both floats as they were not too far apart, however I seemed to have got carried away with the 'live bait catching' as a procession of perch and roach were swung to hand. Nothing of any size though but at least if I could keep the small fish feeding then there was every chance a large perch might have shown up to see what all the fuss was about.
Alas nothing big did turn up and after a while the swim started to die off, with this I decided to explore the areas around the lock gates and overflow with float fished lobs. This brought a bit more action but again nothing big and most fish were around 6-8oz. A longer cast down the side of the wall brought a flurry of action as I landed 4 fish all slightly bigger at around 10oz only for it to then go dead. The sun had dropped and so did the temperature so I decided to return to my original line to see if anything had moved back in, after I bite less half hour I called it a day.