More big canal perch (Entry 13)

The title refers to my last post in which I asked the question ‘when will autumn start?’ Well it has certainly got a lot chillier since my last session, from daytime temperatures in the low twenties and night time temperatures comfortably in double figures, the nights have been dropping to low singles and a crisp north wind has made sure the day time temperatures are far more seasonal. This hasn’t stopped me fishing though. I am certainly not a fair weather angler. There’s nothing wrong with that by the way. I just have to make sure I am on the bank all year round. So this week it was back to the canal for an afternoon and evening session after big perch.

The swim above is the one I settled into. It simply screamed perch. I was pretty confident there would be some fish holding up in amongst the branches. I continued with my pole approach, fishing identical to the way I fished last week, the only difference being a size stronger elastic. This was simply to give me a little power to stop an angry perch finding the branches of the tree. Although the boat traffic wasn’t heavy there was still some using the locks and this made the flow pull one way and then the other. I fed chopped worm and red maggot straight in front of me and simply fished either to the lef tor the right as the flow dictated.

Fishing a whole dendrobaena on the hook I had bites from the off although only from small fish. I know this as I wasn’t hooking any fish! This does happen when fishing a whole worm on the hook, smaller fish will nip the tail and run off with the bait, and when you strike you simply pull it from their mouths. I wasn’t unduly worried though and maintained a regular feeding of red maggots and worked the bait through the swim. after fifteen minutes I had a slow, methodical bite which on the strike felt a decent fish, almost certainly a perch. Thankfully the fish swam towards me and played itself out in the boat channel. When it eventually surfaced from the murky coloured water I knew it was a perch of over two pound.

At 2lb 6oz it was a great start. I slipped it into the keepnet and quickly re-baited my hook. Perch often swim in shoals of two or three when they get to this size and often if you get your rig back out as quickly as possible you stand a chance of getting its shoal mates. On this occasion it again paid off, as five minutes later a similar slow bite resulted in another two pound perch, in fact two pound on the nose.

After this fish the swim went very quiet, the rain came in and the wind began to blow. I sat huddled under my umbrella hoping for some respite from the very autumnal weather. I continued feeding regularly with five or six red maggots catapulted over towards the tree and I worked the bait through the swim tirelessly, lifting and dropping the rig hoping to provoke a take. But no more bites came my way.

With the rain subsiding a little I decided to pack up a little earlier than I had planned to, but I was very pleased with another decent catch of perch from the canal. I’m getting a better understanding for the place. It seems to me that the perch are quite localised so I think it will probably be more productive to fish a swim for maybe an hour at a time, similar to chub fishing on a small river. I think on my next session this is most definitely something to keep in mind.

Until next time,



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