Friday, March 15, 2013

It's that time again

It seems like every year around this time I get the urge to chase the rumoured big perch in my local canal. And every year it amounts to a couple of hours getting bored chucking lures around. If that's the case my canal perch campaign is over for another year. With a little more success than usual.

I know the current trend for catching perch with lures is to use jigs and soft plastics. I find that ever so slightly more tedious than fishing spinners slow and steady. No matter what the currently fashionable Japanese soft bait is for catching perch, if I had to pick one lure to use for ever more it would be a silver Mepps. So that was what I clipped on to my trace to start with. There's the added bonus that blank-saving micro pike have a liking for silver spinners too!

My plan was a simple one. Work away from the bridge for an hour with the Mepps, cover the same water back for an hour with crankbaits, then go to the chippy. The plan worked. After about three quarters of an hour I'd reached a clear area of bankside pilings and first cast along the edge I felt some rubbish attach itself to the spinner. Except it wasn't rubbish, it was a small perch. Knowing my luck with perch on lures I used my ridiculously large landing net to make sure this little fishy didn't get away.

Filled with enthusiasm I managed another ten minutes before starting to get bored. Something, I suspect a micro pike, turned away from the spinner as it left the end of a reedbed, but the tedium of slowly winding in a spinner was getting me down. I clipped on a Mann's crankbait and started working my way back to the bridge. I was still using the slow and steady retrieve which I find better for perch than the erratic, twitching retrieve pike find so attractive and which keeps my interest up. I swapped the Mann's for a larger Bagley's shad-shaped bait and twitched it through the rest of the swims.

The chippy was almost empty. I didn't have long to wait for my chips, fish, peas and barm cake. Back home the kettle went on for a brew to accompany the fish and chips. Why does tea always taste better with chippy fish - and bacon butties come to that?