Sunday, 15 September 2013

Opportunistic Angling, Monster Perch

This morning I didn't set myself any targets, had no real ambition, I just wandered down to the river with a bucket of maggots and a tin of luncheon meat. I thought I would just catch fish under no pressure whatsoever. I started off in my favourite Dace swim happily trotting away loose feeding as I went hoping for a decent fish or two to come my way.
In the next swim above me was Hank, a friend of the family who has recently been made reduntant and feels that fishing is a good way to spend his now abundant free time. What he lacks in skill he makes up for in enthusiasm and I'd gone along to give him a few pointers. His plan involved swimfeeders and the way he kept losing them, lots of them.
We were building up quite a netful between us catching Dace, Roach and Gudgeon with consistent regularity. None of them monsters but good fishing fun all the same. We were about halfway through the session when I noticed a disturbance by the keepnet. At first I thought a Jack had taken an interest in our captives but on closer inspection I made out a monster Perch that was obviously pretty hungry. Not being the sort of person to miss out on an opportunity, look a gift horse etc I thought I'd like some of that.
I snipped off the hair rig on my Barbel rod and stuck a size eight hook through the lip of a mini Dace.
Float just beyond the keepnet

My keepnet was under a Willow tree which I used as a makeshift rod rest and dropped the Dace by the net in only two feet of water. The bait runner was put on and I left it as a sleeper. I carried on 'tiddler bashing' for a while when suddenly the sleeper rod burst into life and a fish shot off into the main current. I grabbed the rod but within seconds of me doing so the hook pulled-gutted! I dropped it back on the same spot and ten minutes later it went again, this time though I won a short battle but I was disappointed as the Perch I drew over the net was definitely not the same one I saw terrorising the keepnet, I was sure the one I saw was much bigger.
1lb 2oz
The sleeper rod went out again with fresh bait and I continued trotting maggot down the main flow still catching bits and pieces including some quite decent sized Gudgeon. All went pretty quiet and with about ten minutes to go I checked the sleeper bait to find the hook bare so I put on one last Dace. Within minutes the reel screamed as another fish made off into the main flow. I gained control, turned it's head and saw a great swirl that set my heart racing, I was attached to a good fish. Slowly and carefully I drew the fish upstream and breathed a huge sigh of relief as it was forced into the net. I pulled back the folds of the net and knew that this was definitely the one I was after.
Big Perch have been a nemesis of mine in recent years, eluding my considerable efforts so hopefully this 3lb 2oz beauty will break that run of poor results, my biggest Perca Fluviatilis for over 20 years.
3lb 2oz
Back she goes........
There was no need to carry on, I had just caught one of the biggest Perch I have ever heard of from the Warwickshire Avon, job done.


  1. The biggest fish of all - that's a beautiful specimen :) Autumn is now with us, morning's have acquired a sudden chill, there's dankness in the air and the leaves will soon feel crisp underfoot. Here's to more monster Perch in the weeks to come.

    1. Great fish Joe, as my last blog says it is time for Perch now. The Warks will hold some real nice fish, its just a matter of finding them.

  2. Brilliant Joe, they're a special fish. Hopefully more to come!

  3. That's a good 'Un' Joe well done.

  4. There is nothing like big Perch, and that's a fantastic example Joe.

  5. Brilliant Perca Joe well done, can't beat the sight of such a specimen in my opinion, not to mention the striking markings on a river fish.

    1. Cheers Mark, I thought you'd like it. I have tried to catch these out of ponds but out of the river is much better in my opinion