With slightly cooler conditions than we’ve had of late, particularly at night, I returned to the the venue I fished a few weeks ago for tench. This time however, with this distinct chill present, I fancied that the bigger perch might be more willing to feed. There was still the outside chance of an out of season tinca, but realistically, it was perch that I fancied. I know, perch again, but this time things would be different. The plan was to fish caster and chopped worm for the first few hours in the hope of attracting smaller fish. Get a swim going so to speak. All this feeding activity would hopefully not go unnoticed by a big perch. Then, in the afternoon, I would fish a worm on the hook to see if I could tempt one into taking.
After a slow start, usual for the venue, I began to pick up rudd after rudd. Three to four ounce fish, all falling to double caster and taken just as the last dropper came into play on the float tip. Confident, sail away bites, unmissable – even for me – and I amassed forty or so of them before dinner along with a sprinkling of roach and small perch. I kept feeding the swim whilst I drank a few cups of tea and chomped on a mince pie. When I continued fishing not long later, still with double caster, the swim was strangely quiet.
That was my cue to change to worm. I had a hunch a bigger fish had moved in and unnerved the shoal, hoping dearly that it was Mrs Perch, and not Mrs Pike. The worm fluttered through the water and down into the depths, and immediate tug saw the float bob a little, then return to absolute still. Maybe that was a small perch wiping at the bait. Using the pole, as I was, I was able to drag the bait around the swim, allowing it a few minutes once settled for any fish to make up their minds, before repeating the process. On the fourth or fifth move the float slowly sank. My strike set the hook into a larger fish. It kicked and jagged, making it’s way to open water, and away from any danger.
The unseen culprit tried in vain to reach the bottom but it was simply a case of letting the elastic tire the fish. Not too long later, a big stripy surfaced, it’s huge mouth still clinging to a rather bedraggled worm. The perch was safely netted and left to recover in the margins. I couldn’t stop smiling. It’s not often fishing follows the script but today it had done so to the detail. I took time for a cup of tea, admiring the perch in the net, backlit by the afternoon sun. It almost seemed to glow. Certainly a two pounder.
I put her on the scales. She was indeed a ‘two’, but even more so than seeing that dial pull round, I enjoyed watching her swim away under a trailing tree brach, melting into the clear water and vanishing. I tried for an hour or more to tempt another perch but the rudd and roach had moved back in. Now even they took whole worm after whole worm. A netful of silvers and a big perch. That will do nicely.
Until next time,