As I sit here writing its New Year's Day, chucking it down outside and I'm absolutely hanging after last nights alcohol related antics. Don't worry this isn't going to be a post where I'm going to go on about how I got on last year and where I plan to go this year, planning ahead never seems to work for me and if I want to go over old ground ill just look back through this blog.
I had originally planned to do lots of fishing over the Christmas hols but as it turned out the weather did a pretty good job of buggering things up for me on that front. The rain made a right mess of the rivers and the wind made fishing itself quite tricky. My plans for Chub and Grayling never materialised but I did manage to squeeze in a couple of lure fishing trips to the canal. Other than a couple of lost pike and a foul hooked Bream I wasn't overly successful and I was starting to think about writing my fishing off till the new year until I had a couple of texts come through regarding some Perch fishing.
Now, after last seasons success I hadn't really planned to do a lot Perchwise this winter as I'd more than achieved what I wanted already but an opportunity to fish had arisen and after my recent lack of action it looked to be worth a go.
My first trip ended in disaster because after driving all the way to the venue, scouting some tasty looking swims and then getting all the gear out of the car I realised I'd actually forgotten to pack my rods! The air was somewhat blue as I headed home but I made plans to return the following morning.
Next day the wind had really picked up overnight and a lot of cloud cover had moved in, I really fancied my chances but I could only do the morning as I was visiting relatives in the afternoon. It turned out the wind was a lot stronger than I anticipated and I must admit I was somewhat nervous of the creaking trees and cracking branches behind me! I felt I fished pretty well though despite the conditions but it was to no avail and I packed up at lunchtime without so much as a sniff.
The following day was New Year's Eve and it turned out my wife had nothing planned which gave me the chance to get out on the bank again. With everywhere else flooded and mucky brown I decided to head back to the Perch venue. I was hoping to pick up some fresh maggots on my way but it turned out the tackleshop I passed was closed which left me with just a few lobworms and nothing else for bait. My confidence was a little dented but i figured if I thought carefully about my swim choice and managed to land on some fish then that would be half the battle won already. Luckily I knew a spot which had produced some fish to another angler a couple of days previously so that had to be a good place to try surely.
After six biteless hours I was starting to question my judgement, I'd not even seen a small fish top let alone had any indications. It had rained pretty much throughout the session so far but at least the air temp was fairly mild so I wasn't sat there shivering. I decided to commit every worm I had left into a final afternoon push and I was relying on the Perch witching hour ( the last hour of daylight) to produce the goods as it so often does no matter where you fish. I kept the four biggest worms for hook baits and chopped the rest up before using a tiny bait dropper to bait my swim with maximum precision.
Almost exactly an hour later the bobbin on my right hander began to slowly but steadily rise towards the rod (I love big Perch bites even more than Barbel bites!) and my strike met with that lovely solid jag jagging resistance you only get from a nice Perch. It stayed under the rod tip but it put up a great account of itself and after the days struggles I was glad to get the net under it. It looked a decent fish and at 3lb exactly I wasnt disappointed, a great result on a tough day! Now I've mentioned on here before about my various camera woes and seeing as my proper camera has packed up I've been using the wifes point and shoot thing which isn't great at the best of times. Today was no different and after rattling off some shots of the Perch I realised that the damp had got to it and the pics were unusable. Never mind at least the fish wasn't a monster otherwise I'd have been gutted.
I recast and seeing as the witching hour was still to come I was pretty confident of maybe getting another bite. It was approaching 4pm when the bobbin on my right hander began to do its thing again and as before I hit into solid resistance. This fish didn't pull as well as the first but it stayed deeper and I didn't even see it until it popped up and rolled straight into the net. I lifted the net up and knew straight away this was something a bit special, it was as if I had a housebrick in the net except this one was stripey with fins!
My heart sank as I suddenly remembered my camera problems but Maybe the self timer on my phone could work? I hadn't even got the fish out of the water to unhook it yet but I secured it in the margins and it seemed quiet enough so I set about rigging my phone to the tripod. A couple of test shots seemed passable so I got the fish out to weigh it. What a cracker it was! a proper chunk of a Perch and at 4lb1oz its my third biggest of all time, what an end 2013! Happy new year everybody!