Thursday, 16 May 2013

Aha, some perch at last!

I received my package in the post a couple of days ago. A long awaited delivery of my new reel, a Shimano Aernos 2500, to pair up with my Greys G lite rod. I’ve been using my lads Okuma reel for ages and been meaning to get around to sorting myself out. First impressions are it looks spot on for what I wanted. It’s a nice size, a pretty small reel and it looks the part too. A quick play with it in the house and it felt excellent. The reel came with a spare spool which is what I wanted and it also came with a free spool of shimano 8lb line. I’d already bought some 20lb Power pro super 8 braid so the spare mono would come in handy for even lighter lure fishing, in places where a bit of stealth was needed and also no chance of pike. I loaded up both spools and was ready but heavy rain on Wednesday had me sat twiddling my thumbs all day.

Today I had to nip to the tackle shop, having realised I was short of a few bits and bobs for trace making and so came away with those, plus more lures! Aargh, us lureaholics can’t help ourselves. Time was ticking on and I wanted to try my new reel out so headed for a canal. I could probably get to fish for about an hour and half or so, which is way better than not at all. Arriving at the scene I didn’t even bother getting my fishing clobber on. I stuck with the jeans and pumps, there was no time to be wasting. The canal looked slightly murky around the lock gates and a barge in the distance heading my way meant this swim would be even more murky in the next 20 minutes. I made a quick call and jumped back in the car and headed further along the canal, figuring I could have slightly more time to fish before this barge got here.

At the new spot I worked my way along the canal. I’d gone for the heavier spooled up option of braid since I know there are pike about, I know there can be snags and it gives me more chance of getting a snagged lure back. The pike and perch aren’t put off by a bit of braid, even in pretty clear water. I was enjoying the new reel and it felt a nice match for the rod so I was pleased with that. Just a fish now needed to christen it. I never like to go too long without a fish on new gear as you then start to blame the kit, so a fish now would be just the ticket.

The line went heavy, and then what felt at first like my lure had hit a lump of weed turned in to slow head shakes. I think this is a perch! It’s definitely a fish and as it comes close I see the stripes I’ve been hoping for. I could hardly make out the lure, the perch had virtually engulfed it all and the 7cm firetiger jointed Rapala shad rap had claimed another nice perch. A quick photo and weigh and it’s a spawned out two pounder. I’m well happy with that. A clonking perch, new reel christened and I haven’t even got my pumps dirty yet. Just watch out for the dog shit though, that could prove a spoiler if I’m not careful.

I cast around the area but move on after no more fish though I don’t get too far at all before another perch hits the lure. This time it was all up close and I saw the perch charge out from the murky depths, dorsal spines stood proud and stripes standing out bold in the clearer shallows. I struck but the hooks didn’t set. I think if anything I was too busy watching on in amazement at the perch. *insert “feeling gutted” emoticon here *. Nah stuff that. Yeah missing a big perch should be gutting but I’m happy seeing a perch up close hit my lure like that. They’re a handsome fish I tell ya! A  few more casts but I can’t get it to hit again so I move off once more.

Along my travels I spot a couple of carp. Miss the photo opportunity with one but manage to get a few photos of an easy twenty pounder cruising along just under the surface. Upon inspection there's none that have come out blog worthy which is a shame. I couldn’t tempt it either with the Rapala. It was worth a shot though. I’m now seeing rudd, small bream and spook a decent perch out of the edge before in the distance I see some shadows on the surface. As I move closer I can make them out now. A bunch of thirty or more chub, cruising along just under the surface looking for easy pickings. It’s hard to tell sizes but I know there’s some pushing three pound and one which must be a four. I look through my armoury of lures to see what I could try. First few chucks of the spinner ten feet or more away from the main bunch to see how they react to the splashes. They’re not spooked but they also don’t home in on the lures. I get braver and cast closer and then I get some attention. A couple of chub follow the spinner but then tail off the chase after following for five or six feet. Same again next cast but then after that each cast is met with the chub being a little spooked and moving off. I try a few small lures and again the chub seem a little spooked. I guess this is where I leave them to it?

In my bag I have the spare spool loaded up with mono. I make the call to ditch the braid and wire trace and get the lighter set up sorted. Tying on just a clip I’m feeling my chances of a fish have just doubled, though I know I must not use a lure which will sink into the depths where the pike might be hiding. I clip on a kopyto lure with a 3g jig head and cast out. Rod held high I can see my lure. Again I’m testing the water with casts away from the main bunch. The chub seem ok so I try a little closer. I spot a small group of three chub, one is easily a three pounder I’d guess. As the lure comes past I see the chub turn and chase. One of them hits the lure, I strike and feel the fish but then it all goes free. On inspection I find that the chub has made off with the tail of my kopyto and since I was travelling light I didn’t have any spares left. So what else is there? I spot a 7.5cm Savage gear soft 4 play and stick it on. I know this one doesn’t sink very fast as it is a pre rigged version with little weight to it.

Again I cast to the side of the bunch to see how they react. The lure is swimming along just under the surface and It sticks out a mile, but the chub, six feet or so away do not react. Time to cast nearer. I spot two decent chub together and cast over their heads, bringing the lure nicely between them. They both see it, turn and make chase. Jeez my heart is racing big time here, this is awesome fun. One of these two are gunna nail this, wait, what?! A much smaller chub smashes up out of no where and takes the lure, but at least I’m in. The clutch screams as the chub rips line off. I’d eased off a little when I made the switch to lighter line, and now as the fish is under control I apply a bit more drag, then scoop up the fish in the net when the fish is over. Wahey, success! A nice chub of about a pound and a half. Pity it wasn’t one of the bigger fish but I’m just happy my quick switch paid off. Those chub were spooked by my wire trace, but without it they were happy to take the lure. Lesson learnt for next time at least. The unhook is a bit tricky. The small chub has swallowed the lure and the treble is right down the throat. Aah damn it, treble hooks with barbs on. With a bit of faffing, in the end I get them out, though that is another lesson learnt. Using the pliers I press down the barbs, the next chub won’t be such a faff. I look up to see where the chub are but instead I’m met with the sight of that barge I moved from earlier. It’s moved my chub off and I need to get back to my car soon as it’s nearly time to get to work.

I figure I can get some more casts in on the way back if I’m quick about it. So no time to change back to braid, though I know I do need a wire trace, so I simply clip the eye of the swivel from the trace on to the clip I’d tied to the mono. Jobs a good un and I’m quickly back fishing for perch with that shad rap wiggling away. Wholly smokes I can feel a hit and some head shakes and I grin as I start to play another fish. This is a perch I know and I reckon it’s another decent one.  By golly it went two and a half pounds. What a christening this little session has turned out to be. Even better, my target of perch was actually achieved instead of pike and my tactical switch of venues and then set up both paid off. I hop skip and jump back to the car and dig out my sarnie box, then wolf down my food as I drive to work. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. These afternoons shifts aren’t so bad.


  1. Some nice fish there Paul. Well in !

    1. Thanks Mark. I very happy with those fish it was a great way to pass on an hour and a bit before work.

  2. Nice fish and as always a top blog. Can't beat big perch. Tightlines fella.

  3. Afternoon Paul and happy new season to you ... love watching your videos and especially as I'm fairly new to lure fishing Loved this blog as perch are my no.1 fish ... well done to you ��