What a difference a day makes. Twenty four little hours. If you are someone who concurs with these lyrics then just think of the difference seven days make. A hell of a lot thats for sure. And this week I have proof. Real (fishing) world, conclusive proof.
With the luxury of two trips to the canal this week, my excitement was sky high, images of perch marauding in its murky waters, crystal clear, at least in my mind. The weather had turned a notch away from summer, with autumnal winds blowing in, a dip in air temperature, it seemed the perfect scenario for my perch plans to play out. I was sure that the smaller fish would start to bunch a little tighter, unwittingly creating tempting opportunities for predators. Find, or attract a shoal of them, and it would only be a matter of time before a big Perch came along. Right?
Day 1. I arrived mid afternoon and promptly caught some gudgeon for use later on. In the meantime I fished with prawn down the edge. Tight down the edge too. With the canal having good depth, and many, many boats passing through during the day, I’ve found perch of all sizes tend to hold here away from all the disturbance, tucked under any overhang or in between the slightest structure. They may not be in full feeding mode, and they may not all be monsters, but if an opportunity presents itself they usually oblige. Only today they didn’t and dusk was soon knocking on the door. I switched to livebait, cast now toward overhanging brambles, and settled down for the wait. The float twitched nervously. On several occasions it darted evasively as the livebait did its best to escape danger. Unfortunately for me, either the unseen perch was old and blind, or the gudgeon had super powers. It survived the ordeal, and once darkness set in, I resigned to defeat. Even the prawn down the edge survived. Kind of.
Day 2. Overnight the rain fell, heavy and unrelenting, and I arrived to much more coloured water. To make matters worse, this particular canal also turns river-like after a good bout of rain, and pushed hard from right to left. This did not bode well at all. Certainly not for perch. If you are after the resident roach it’s everything you could hope for, and it did not surprise me that several 10oz examples were taken, whilst I fished with red maggot ‘gudgeon gathering’. I hooked and lost a bream, that I thought for a moment was a big stripey, and was admittedly a little disappointed when its pale bronze side ghosted into view. Even more so when it spat the hook. Thankfully the gudgeon finally fed and I began to prime a second swim in more perch like territory. Lots of chopped worm and red maggot was trickled in at regular intervals, whilst two big dendrobaenas tempted hungry mouths to the hook. A short way away the livebait rod fished itself. Boat traffic was lighter today, but bites were hard to come by, not even the tiny perch seemed to be feeding, and even the roach had gone AWOL. All day the livebait rod sat pretty but not once did it look remotely concerned for its well being. Even the dendrobaenas survived. Kind of.
I had an enjoyable two days on the banks of the canal, and although it was a little frustrating, I felt relieved to have got the ‘bad session’ out of the way. Time for some positivity. Next week is such a long time away, one hundred and twenty of those ‘little’ hours in fact. Time enough for every detail and nuance to start to align. For my path and a big perchs to begin a journey that will hopefully come to cross.
Thanks for reading and until next time,