We'd had a lot of rain in previous days but the river looked to be in fine form, carrying a couple of inches with a slight tinge of colour. Rain had threatened my whole journey over there and once I got out of the car and halfway across the field it decided to hammer it down, great start!
Livebaiting was to be my tactic for the day and it didn't take me long at all to catch a few dace and bleak for bait. In fact I was quite surprised that I was getting a bite a chuck as the river has suffered badly through cormorant predation in recent times yet today it was like fish soup, they were everywhere. A float-paternostered bleak was soon bobbing about in the margin to my right and after half an hour of inactivity I was starting to think the Perch weren't home.
Suddenly the float shot under and stayed under and my strike met with solid resistance, straight away I knew it was a Pike. Sure enough after much tailwalking a lively jack of around 5lb was quickly unhooked and returned a few pegs downstream. That pike must've been putting the Perch off because not long after I received another take which proved to be a nice stripey of 2lb6oz which pulled every bit as hard as the Pike.
2lb6oz, a fine start
The swim went a bit dead after that so I moved a few pegs downstream. Within minutes of casting I started to get a bit of interest and soon enough another jack, this one about 3lb was on the mat. Once again it was as if the Perch were holding back from the Pike and almost straight away upon recasting I hit a nice one of 2lb4oz.
After that things slowed up and I noticed that the river had risen around three inches since my arrival. It was also getting pretty coloured up and I assumed that the previous nights rain must've finally started to filter downstream. I busied myself catching bits whilst contemplating packing up. experience told me that the Perch don't like coloured water much in this river and this was manifesting itself in the total lack of any further action on the paternoster.
As I started to slowly get a few bits of kit together in preparation I received a take on the livebait. A strike met with resistance which suddenly went slack amidst a big swirl on the surface. I reeled to find that the bait had masked the hookpoint hence no hookup, cursing my luck I put a fresh bleak on and dropped it back in. Immediately there was a large swirl where the bait hit the water and I found myself connected to a powerful fish. After a quick tussle I was pleased to see a bucket mouthed head pop up off the end of the waiting net followed by a large spikey dorsal fin, it looked a good perch. On the bank it had the length of a monster but no belly on it, I was still most chuffed to record a weight of 3lb4oz though. I'd like to catch that fish around March time as it would be a new PB for sure! After that I packed up happy with a good mornings sport, even more so that I'd caught from a couple of new spots.
3lb4oz, a future monster?