This autumn my plan was to fish for perch as much as time allowed, with the Severn and Trent in my sights. As so often happens the weather has completely fouled up my best laid plans and I’ve ended up jumping from one venue to another trying to find good conditions for perch.
Everything started well with a nice perch of 2lb 4oz from the Middle Severn. Adam Firth had knocked up an old-fashioned minnow trap and neither of us were particularly confident it would work, but in less than 10 minutes Sonubaits Tigerfish pellets were so attractive to the minnows that when we pulled the trap in there was a greater mass of minnows than water in the bottle! The only problem was getting them out as Adam had sealed both ends of the trap with some improvised melting on his cooker. In the end I had to cut the bottle open but we’d already got enough minnows for the day! Sadly the perch were more evasive than the minnows and the only one of the day came right on dusk to a float-fished minnow, but sadly it was probably only 4 inches long!
Heavy rain meant that my two target rivers were far too high to target perch for a while so I had a couple of sessions on my local canal. Worms fished on a pole produced a few small perch and a surprise bream of about 4lb. My main hopes were pinned on a small roach fished close in and just before dark the float bobbed and slid away. Full of expectation I struck hoping for the jagging fight of a perch on the end. What actually happened is the Xpert rod that I’m field-testing doubled over as a pike tore all round my swim. The rod coped perfectly, though at 1.1lb test curve it isn’t designed with pike in mind, and soon a nice fish was netted. Though it wasn’t what I’d been aiming for at 11lb 8oz it was a nice bonus.
By the following week the rivers had dropped but more rain was forecast so I finished work early one day and headed for the Trent even though I knew I’d only get about an hour of light before dusk. A few lobs were broken up on arrival and as the light levels started to fall the quiver tip pulled round. On striking I hit a dead weight that then tore off and shook its head – just like a good perch would. It then slowly came upstream and just hung in the current and my hopes of a big stripey faded as the fight became more typical of a bream every second. This was confirmed when it surfaced in front of me and I scooped it into my net. At 6lb 2oz it was a fine river bream but once again I was left thinking, “That’s not a perch”!
Mat Woods has a great birthday session with Code Red
Adam Firth bags a new PB Barbel from the River Trent using Code Red Dumbells.
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