Sunday, 22 December 2013

On Canal and Commercial

With Christmas fast approaching I finished work early on Friday so I could head into town to do some shopping. Whilst in town I stopped by the tackle shop to get some maggots and as I waited I allowed myself to look at the various lure rods on display. A couple caught my eye and ten minutes later I was walking out of the shop with them! An impulse buy if ever there was one!

Obviously I couldn't wait to try them out and the following morning I took the lighter of the two, a Korum number, down to my local canal to see if I could catch something to put it though its paces. The area I chose was a fairly urbanised section between two sets of locks, I'd not fished there for years so I wasn't sure what to expect. As it turned out It didn't take long to find out because within a few casts a small pike put in an appearance.


As I worked my way down the cut I had a couple of Perch drop off before eventually catching a small one to round the trip off. The little rod had performed exactly as I had hoped and I'm looking forward to catching plenty more on it in the future.

We had a lot of rain on Friday which made a bit of a mess of the rivers so Sundays day out was to be a visit to a local commercial with Perch in mind. I awoke Sunday morning and could hear the rain and wind outside lashing the windows and was sorely tempted to stay in my nice warm bed. Phil was picking me up at 6.30 however so bed was no longer an option!

It was still pitch black when we arrived lakeside and after all the rain the place was a total quagmire. Not surprisingly we were the only god forsaken souls there and we quickly endeavoured to get setup in some comfy swims with our backs to the wind.

Prawns were the bait of choice and due to the wind I decided to fish under the rod tip where I had about 5ft of water. I began to get knocks and bumps on the float straight away and despite my best efforts I simply couldn't connect with anything. It was obvious that small fish were to blame and this was confirmed when I eventually hooked a small gudgeon with eyes bigger than its belly!


The knocks continued and after catching an 8oz Roach I decided to switch to maggot to see what was down there. Straight away the float shot away and I netted the first Perch of the session at around a pound, a most welcome capture. After persevering with maggots for a short while longer I decided to switch back to Prawn. Over the next half hour I had another gudgeon and lots more knocks on the float as the small fish pecked away at the bait. Suddenly the swim went dead and I hoped it was because something big and stripey had moved in. I missed a sailaway bite before hitting another on the drop on my next cast, this time my strike met a dogged resistance and a decent looking Perch breached on the surface before bolting into the dead reeds at my feet. A brief tussle ensued and finally a proper Perch was bristling in the bottom of the net. At 2.4 it wasn't as heavy as its gut suggested but it was nice to get a 2lber at last after the mornings struggles.

Morning soon became afternoon and I was really getting fed up with the small fishes relentless assault on my Prawns. I decided to set up a quiver tip and fish further along the margin to my left where I'd been trickling bait in all morning. It took a while to get a bite but I struck at the tiniest movement on the tip and the rod hooped over. The fish thumped away in the open water before making a mad rush into a dead reed bed and breaking my hooklink. Much cursing ensued because judging by the disturbance in the reeds it looked a good fish.

After this, bites on the tip rod proved to be pretty hard to come by but I stuck with it and managed to hook another Perch which transferred my hook into a snag, I was having no luck! I recast and as I tensioned the tip it carried on going round so I struck and hooked another Perch. All went well with this one and it proved to be identical in weight to my last fish, giving me a nice brace of twos.


That fish had strange growths on the lips which were almost bonelike, a feature shared with many other Perch in the lake. I don't know what causes the lips to go like that on these fish but I've not really come across it elsewhere before, maybe this is what causes so many hook pulls here. Anyway back to the fishing and after frustratingly losing two more fish to hook pulls over the next hour I decided to play about with my rig to try and put more fish on the bank.

A shorter hooklink and a larger wide gaped hook seemed to do the trick as I successfully landed my next fish. At 2.10 it was the biggest of the day and exhibited the same boney growths in its mouth as the previous fish. The growths are visible in both the pics below and make for quite a strange looking Perch!

That was about it other than another lost fish as it got dark. A hat-trick of 2lb Perch on a cold December day was a decent result but I still left feeling pretty damn frustrated at losing so many, still there's always next time I guess. Tight lines all!



  1. Interesting mouths on those perch Leo, out of interest are you using small prawns, as opposed to king prawns, or just sections of prawns?

  2. I was using tescos value prawns mate, prob about 20-30mm across so not too big.