Friday, 10 August 2012

The search for Perch

Crappucino river
Wait a minute, that's someone elses blog, I can't use that as a title. Yes I blatantly stole that line to save me having to think of something. Perch are never the target fish for me and any I get are are just a bonus. But on arriving at the river early morning I found an unusual sight. Actually, it's an unusual sight in modern day, but way back when, long before I was born it was actually quite common to see foam floating around the streets from the river. In fact tales tell of it always "snowing" or of the streets flooded with foam. Nowadays thankfully this pollution isn't any where near as bad, but from time to time the river does get a little frothy. However, I'm not sure which is worse to be honest. The foam created years ago from the pollutants washed in to the river from the textiles industry or the occasional brown tinted foam that appears every now and again today, which I actually think is more to do with sewage being pumped in to the river. I'll blank that out from my thoughts now just as I did upon seeing this when I got to the river.

Actually, forgetting about the shit that might be floating in front of me I was quite happy at the sight. The last time I'd seen such, I managed a clonking perch pushing 2lb easily which took my 19cm rainbow. I'd cast at the hovering cloud of shite foam and the perch struck instantly. So seeing this cloud again I decided to have a bash for perch. Sods law I wasn't carrying the right rod and reel for it, so had to make do with the 80lb braid and 100lb trace. Hardly perfect but if you don't have a bash you'll never know. Figuring there could be a good bunch of perch hiding under this foam party I stuck on a 9.5cm soft 4play in roach pattern. I've still not managed a perch on this lure, every time I've used it an angry pike has come up and taken it, but it looks like a perch catching lure to me. Then again what do I know about targeting Perch?

I have some jig heads, some weighted and also just some standard SG hooks. I chose the un-weighted version of the "ready to fish" range and set about casting everywhere I thought the perch may be lurking. Not too soon later I was sure there were perch in the area. Right at my feet, small perch were harassing the fry in 6 inch of water. I was hopeful something larger was out there. A good twenty minutes went past and I'd not had a sniff, not even an angry jack. Then suddenly I get a bang, there's a bit of a splash on the surface and I can see a perch coming my way, i've hooked one! I wanted to net it before it dropped off and then realised I'd left my net out of reach so I gambled and landed it by hand. The hooks held firm and I was holding a lovely looking perch. No monster but one I was very very happy with.A perch on the soft 4play for the first time.

If I could catch a few more like that one I'd be well impressed, especially having targeted them for once. Yet nothing else happened on the sot 4play so I had a try with a few small lures and a couple of spinners. Surely a spinner would work? I stuck on a small copper spinner, a perch banker. Then I felt a bump but only this time it was bigger for sure. It went left, then right in a bit of a zig zag and I was thinking there was a chance this was an even bigger perch. Where's the net? If it was a perch I wasn't going risk losing it. And then the fight changed. It started shaking it's head like an angry jack, and yes, as it came in to view there it was. Damn pike, they're a nuisance! lol

I kept at it hoping for more perch but it went quiet until eventually I hooked one of the smaller perch who had been harassing the fry in the edge. In fact the tiny perch took my lure about a foot out, under the foam in less than 6 inch of water.

Despite the foam party and the fry obviously hanging around, as I could see them scampering as my lure came in, no more perch showed. I thought I might have seen them chasing stuff about or the smaller fish jumping out of the water but apart from them trying to get away from my lures that was it. I ended by sticking on a large bulldawg and bagged two pike to round off. One was about six or seven pound and the other was a nice pike of about eleven pound. Don't ask me why there's no photo of it as I had a brain fart and forgot. As I placed it into the water, gave it a breather and then proceeded to get a drowning from it as it swam away I then remembered I'd not snapped it. Ah well.

I enjoyed my bit of perch fishing and will no doubt do it again, only this time with a bit lighter gear more suited to throwing small lures about. I think I did quite well considering the heavy braid and stiff titanium trace used. Perch are awesome.

2012 pike tally
 Doubles 26
Total 149
Largest 22.5lb
Bonus Perch 5

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