Sunday, 16 March 2014

What to do when the rivers close?

With the rivers closed me and Woody decided for a steady session on the canals trying to find some perch. We know that they are nice and fat now, so could be a big fish or two if we're lucky but we also know that every man and his dog are at them. With the light gear we wanted some light fun but we also took the jerk bait rods just in case as there's a couple of locations along the way that throw up pike and we can't resist them sometimes.

We started at a lock, obvious feature, and the first few flicks produced nothing so we moved on and had a crack around some boats, always a good feature if you can find them. The odd tap but nothing to start with so we got up and personal, dropping the kopytos right in the gaps between closely moored up boats. It's only a matter of time before we get a fish or someone from inside a boat comes out and has a whine. I dropped in a tight spot that Woody was in and just dropped the kopyto below the rod tip, I jigged once and it was nailed by a plump fat perch possibly touching two pound, though I never weighed it. As is the case when me and Woody are fishing, as one guy is playing a fish he points to the same spot and the other one drops in. You never know, often there is another perch or two hanging about. His kopyto was nailed instantly and a fat perch, busting at the seems was in the net. Smaller, just over a pound maybe but fat as hell. We're off!

Tactics carried on the same, in and around the next boats but only the odd small perch showed and after a while we were making or way back to the car, time to try a new spot we thought. As we neared the car, out pops an old woman from within her boat. In a loud, aggressive and damn right disrespectful manner she shouts "those better not come anywhere near this boat!"  while pointing and gesturing. We weren't anywhere near it and hadn't been. I replied with "good morning to you too my love" to which she barked back more aggressive crap. Again I said "good morning to you too love, how about you speak to us in a proper manner and raise your concerns, you might be pleasantly surprised at the response." She was just a miserable old git that thought she was lady somebody. After more words she threatened us with the old, "I'm phoning the police" to which me and Woody chuckled. There really was no need for the way she had handled this. She proceeded to explain to the 999 operator that she "was ever so sorry to trouble you" and that there were two fisherman and she had asked "nicely" to leave. Blah blah blah and then she finished with thank you. We were in trouble. Actually I kindly explained to the lady she had forgotten to tell the police where we all were. It would take her ten minutes to explain our location and she'd forgot to do that. Her act of pretending to phone the police didn't intimidate anyone and didn't fool us. We were on our way anyway so not long after toddled off. The police never did turn up. Some people really do need to learn how to speak to their fellow human beings.

We jigged a couple of other likely looking spots but never found any fish so we had to keep going to another spot we knew about. On this spot we fancied some pike and perch so took the light and heavy gear. Switching between both and trying our luck where we fancied it, leap frogging each other and swapping rods when something made us do it. We were both at one point throwing squirrelly burts (big pike jerk baits) about. We know there are often pike about and expected a take any time soon. There's also some nice perch along here and Woody commented, "I bet a big perch would take that burt easily" to which I agreed. Less than a couple of minutes later something smacked the burt. I struck and missed, cursed my luck but then said "I actually think that was a perch mate". It wasn't a big smack like a pike, so I cast straight back at it and brought the burt through and then bang, fish on! "I'm in" and Woody looked across and saw a jack, turned away and then heard me shout "get the net". When he looked back he saw the stripes, it wasn't a jack as he'd thought, so threw down his rod and came running with the net. In no time the perch was scooped up and safely in the net. Two super sized grins to match the super sized perch in the net. We jumped around like idiots, hugged each other and danced, it was like something off a Disney film. I'd stupidly brought the jerk bait bag and the net was too big to weigh the perch accurately so Woody watched the fish in the net while I ran back to the car, which was frigging miles away. About 50 yards short of the car I found a carrier bag hanging in a tree, that will do, so I then hot footed it back. We weighed the perch and I was gobsmacked when it went 3lb 6oz, what a result.


The "burt"
I stuck with the burt but can't remember if Woody was still doing the same. Fifty yards up I had another smack and this time it was a jack of about 6lbs. Finally a pike, by now I expected we'd had a couple of jacks. I guess they weren't at home today. Still with the burt I was bringing it in and as it neared my rod tip I could have sworn I saw something. I just stopped the burt below the rod tip and it ever so slowly started to rise. Whatever it was below was now not just a trick of the light rippling over the waves, it was a fish coming up and then I saw it. Another bloody great big perch. I didn't know what to do and it all was slow motion until finally the perch saw me, turned and dived back down. Holy cow, they love burts today.

Savage Gear Low Rider
We hit another jigging spot but again nothing produced so we turned back around and headed back to the car. We wanted food and drink now but couldn't walk past all that water without fishing. Woody had a small rapala on and was aiming for perch while I decided to stay fifty yard behind him and thrash the water with big lures, a Savage Gear 19cm low rider. From nowhere my lure was smacked and in seconds I saw another big perch on the end of my line. Woody was miles away with the net so I just scooped it up in one hand. It was a good two and after more smiles and amazement the fish was put back without a photo for some strange reason. I hope I don't sound like some snobby angler who doesn't like two's!(edit - grabbed a screen shot from a video I took)

Back out in front and Woody was thrashing the water with his rapala and then he got the hit, heart thumping moment, wondering what it was only for a jack of about five pounds to emerge. An enjoyable catch but not when you are only thinking of big perch at that moment. Then finally he had a bang and a fight he'd been waiting for and when we scooped up the 2lb 6oz fish we were well happy, another super fish.



We made it back to the car and I had my pasty with Woody his cat food/tuna thingamy bob and a drink to get us some energy back in. It was after midday now so we still had a bit of time to fish and set off in search of more.


A new spot produced a hit, a brief tussle and then what I thought was a perch shook the hooks free. A bit gutting but at least we knew we were on to fish again. A little further along all of a sudden all hell breaks loose. We were both fishing in the same spot. We both had small rapala shad raps on and casting at the same spot, a foot or two at most apart. Woody shouts "fish" and within a second I shout "double!". He was in to a big perch and he thought I meant I was in to a double figure pike, but in fact I too was in to a good perch. The net was nearer me and I whipped it under my fish. Woody had the foresight to have brought his pike boat net, so while my fish lay safe inside the net Woody worked his perch towards and at the last second I dipped one end and scooped up his perch too. A double hook up and two super perch sat in the net.


We danced around again like idiots. We've had double hook ups before but nothing in this league. The perch were unhooked and then rested in the net while we sorted scales and cameras. It doesn't really matter the weight, the fish today were fantastic but it is nice to know a weight as guessing can be way off. Woodys fish went 2lb 7oz, fatter than it looks there and then my fish was in the bag for a weigh and it went 3lb 5oz. Feck off, you're kidding me, another three!




Firetiger Rapala jointed shad rap
Covering more water we knew there was a chance of something else, hopefully another nice perch or two. Even a couple of ones and twos would be fantastic but after a bit of water covered nothing more came so when we reached a good distance we about turned and headed for home. We tried a few new things but then got back to the rapalas and back in to the same pattern of leap frogging and hitting any spot that shouted out to us. Three quarters of the way back and now fast running out of water it was nearly time to pack up and go home. However there was to be one last piece of magic to come. Woody was a little in front of me, twenty yards or so but his lure was towards me, and then all of a sudden, "I'm in" he yelped. I whipped in my lure and dashed up the bank with the net. I drew level with the fish and then saw it, a good lump with dark stripes and awesome spikes standing tall. I don't think Woody quite knew how big a perch it was just yet and I beckoned him to just angle the fish toward me, then scooped it up with the large net. This was another superb fish and at 3lb 7oz was the biggest today and a fantastic end to a storming day out. We had a couple of smaller fish, Woody one over a pound but that was it. We were happy and it was time to go home. Two jacks, a good sprinkle of 6oz to over a pound perch, five twos and three, three pound super stripeys. Another top day and one to remember. Missing the rivers much?

15 comments:

  1. allready posted once but its not publushed it :s

    Thats a cracking haul of perch boys! bit dissapointed in the lack of pinkie finger action from woody though lol

    Paul youve had a good end and start to closed season lets hope its the start of a good roll, wont say the same about woody as hes just on a lifelong roll lol, i ended season eith a bit of a whimper so hoping im not on a downward roll.

    Any signs of spawning on there yet? think it was early april last year but it snowed in march and its been allit milder this year. The perch are packed with eggs atm so not far off i was getting squirted at the otherday with eggs on another venue

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    1. Had to train Woody how to hold a fish without the pinky, poor guy getting too much stick. I don't think the fish will be far off spawning to be honest, no squirting noticed though.

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  2. Great report Paul and some super snaps! The double hook up pic is a belter!

    Cant believe you got one on a squirrely! Well done lads.

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    1. cheers Glen. Burt and a big 4play too. When they're on it they'll have anything. The double hook up was awesome. Only wish I could have got both the burt capture and the double hook up on film because the reactions were priceless.

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  3. Well done Paul, some cracking Perch there.

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    1. thanks Danny, well happy with the day didn't expect as many big fish

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  4. Replies
    1. thanks Andy, fantastic creatures aren't they.

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    1. Cheers Jim. Hard work paid off, pity we can't get back at them for a while though.

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  6. Top luring lads, Paul can I ask what Rapala you guys used? The blog post also needs a picture of that burt that catches big perch - an awesome account, who's missing rivers indeed! ;) Tight lines, Sean

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    1. Cheers Sean. We use any rapala as they're all quality lures. We do like the shad raps though. 4-7cm usually, I was using a jointed firetiger and woody was using a standard shad rap in silver/roach type colour (had his 3lber on it). Added a rapala picture and a pike picture with the burt to the post, cheers for the comments!

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  7. "About 50 yards short of the car I found a carrier bag hanging in a tree, that will do"

    That was brave. I thought you were going to say you found something unpleasant in the plastic bag............

    Top angling.

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    1. ha ha, luckily it wasn't one of those kind of tree decoration!

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  8. Amazing perch! Where is that river?

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