I'll start this post the same way as everyone else seems to start theirs at the moment: River bank high, chocolate coloured, drop in temperature etc. Fishing time is precious so rather than flog a dead horse we headed to the local commercial in search of the elusive monster Perch that grow fat therein on a diet of stunted fish and left over match bait.
The fishery in question has a reputation for throwing up five pounders but funnily enough there are no photos to verify these massive specimen and I doubt they were even weighed. Anyone who is inexperienced in catching big Perch will no doubt be way out when trying to guess the weight of these fish. I've had a few now and I still never get it right.
The fishing was slow, tediously slow. We blamed the cold, not unusual for this time of year but this has not been a usual year for weather!
It took a good few hours before finally we had a bite, first blood to Martin. A decent sized double figure Carp. I'm not sure why, maybe because the fish was freezing cold but Martin thought he would give it a cuddle. Or maybe he's not been getting much lately!!
It obviously warmed the fish up as it gave a powerful flip and Martin ended up juggling it about for a while and then doing his uncanny impression of Keith Arthur.
Back under control he resumed some serious posing again.
Another spell of inactivity followed before I caught a Carp of my own. One of those fish that give commercial fisheries a bad name. So ugly that I did not even take a net shot. Half it's mouth was missing on one side. the other side not much better, it had three dorsal fins where there should only be one and a nasty sore just above it's tail. It had suffered enough and I felt guilty that I had put it through more!
An hour later, early afternoon the float twitched but didn't fly under, just edged its way away from the marginal tree towards the centre of the pond. A positive strike and it was obvious that this was no Carp as the rod tip jagged about in a way that could only mean Perch. Soon enough it surfaced and the hook which was only held by the tiniest flap of skin thankfully kept its hold. At last we had what we came for, Even though it fell short of the three pound mark by only one ounce I was still overjoyed at my biggest Perch for this fishery and believe me I have fished there many times.
I pulled my usual dour Yorkshireman pose before Martin said something mildly funny to make me giggle.
And then he got all artistic with the camera but to be fair the result below was worth it.
Two more small Perch followed before we called it a day, we were cold to the bone but it only takes one fish to make a difficult day worthwhile.