Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Floody hell

It has been a long time since I can remember any dry weather and I'm sure most of you may agree that it has been rather monsoon like, many rivers and brooks have become bank bursting torrents.

Being someone who prefers flowing water the choice of places to fish were somewhat limiting.The canals did spring to mind but I thought that I would instead head to a new area of river and see if I could perhaps tempt some perch and chub.

Looking somewhat like a jelly baby in chest waders I carefully made my way to the spot, the river had burst its banks in places and despite being a very intimate waterway, it was almost double in width due to the excessive rainfall. I had looked at this area some time ago and it looked like the perfect place for perch to hang around, part of me wished I had also fished it back then too but I was rather distracted by other waterways.

Opting to fish off the main flow and not too far out,I introduced a black cage feeder, filled with liquidized bread (mixed with krill), maggot and caster, with a nice juicy lob worm tipped with maggot so as to help it show up a bit more.

The first few hours showed promise with fish breaking the surface on a couple of occasions, but the quiver tip remained motionless, the coffee flask was opened and a cup drained, it was just nice to be out wetting a line and I was as happy as a pig in the proverbial.

A light pluck, delicate and very tentative, was followed by a couple more, I struck and was met with a welcome resistance, wading out a little way to play this fish I eventually saw the flank of a large perch, looking every oz a 3lb fish, the landing net was slowly being guided toward it when the inevitable happened, "ping" the hook flying out and it was gone. Calmly putting the rod back in the rest and somehow managing to not mutter a single blasphemous word I sat down annoyed with myself, but at the same time very happy to know that they were about.

Little did I know that the scenario was going to repeat itself, but it did, this time I did not get a chance to fully see the culprit, but the bite and scrap felt all too much like another good perch, the same result, another hook pull. By now words failed me and I was beginning to think it was just going to be one of those days where your luck is in but not quite fully.

Not long after these two fish, a pike decided to gatecrash the swim, snaffling up the lob worm and giving me a lively tussle on the light setup. A large framed fish but weighing 6.12, it had some very nice markings and obviously had mistaken itself for a perca.

It was getting near to the end of the trip when I had the faintest of plucks, slowly the confidence grew, each pluck becoming a bit more daring and resembling every inch of a perch bite.

As I set the hook the fish charged off out of the slack and into the main current, this felt reasonable as had all the other hook pulls, "get out of my head" I muttered, but there it was still gnawing at me as I played this fish and was not to be silenced until the net was slipped under it.

It was a perfectly formed perca (2.13), with a resplendent dorsal and vivid colouration, after losing the other fish this was a very welcome reward and made for a very pleasant way to end the trip.


  1. A great result - for a Jelly Bean :o) but it could have been a real red letter day. Ah well, can't win 'em all and there's always next time as the conditions are changing no time soon.

    Have you tried the circle hook, may help with those pulls. Just a suggestion mucker :o)

  2. Cheers Dave, indeed mate wobble wobble haha.

    I was very happy given the conditions.No I have not tried any circle hooks, do you have a specific brand that you might recommend mate?

  3. Avoid Sakuma as they are brittle, but these;

    are okay although they lack any turn in on the bend which I think make them slightly less effective although they still have caught me perch and chub.

    I haven't used these but they are available in sizes down to a 12 so I'll be ordering a few at some stage, fine wire too.

    Mustad 39951BLN Demon Circle Extra Fine Wire Hooks (available on ebay)

    My favourites are these,

    Owner Red Mutu Light Circle Hooks Size 6 (ebay - in red too, good for predators ;o) )

    they are quite big for a size 6 and you cannot buy smaller but I have used them for worm as well as live/dead baits in a 4 and 6 for perch and pike with great success.

    You don't strike as such with a circle hook, just tighten to the fish and the hook comes out of the throat and catches on the scissors - brilliant for predators but not for anything with thick lips like carp, barbel, chub or Mick Jagger as you need to 'unwind' the hook to remove it and its likely to damage cyprinids.

    Have fun trying them, they really do work for perch.

  4. Thanks a lot Dave, will take a look at the Mutu and Mustad variants then, thankfully Mick is not too high on my list of things to catch lol, cheers again mate.

  5. Well done Mark,

    Ive been searching for some sort of inspiration to fish the river this weekend given the forecast, and i think you have just provided it

    1. Cheers Jimmy,

      best of luck my firend. I think we will be requiring waders though somehow, rain has been absolutely hammering down here.

  6. What a lovely perch Mark , well-in mate.

  7. Thanks Ben!

    I am really hoping the rain that is forecast holds fire this weekend, but I somehow doubt it will mate. :(