Part Two - Specimen perch (Perca fluviatilis)

Sun 04 March 12


UKMA: What type of venue would you choose and at what time of year and what do you look for when choosing a swim when targeting specimen perch, giving details of preferred habitat in all venues (rivers lakes etc)

Alan Stagg: Most of my fishing for big perch has revolved around commercial stillwater’s and rivers. These two venues offer the best chance of producing specimen fish. I believe commercial stillwater’s hold the future to specimen perch fishing. More and more are cropping up throughout the country and the great thing about them is they are easily accessible to everyone. Perch grow big in these venues thriving on neglect and growing quickly on the abundance of small fish that they often contain.

I tend to concentrate on my perch fishing during the winter months. Commercial stillwater’s are often far quieter during these times allowing me to keep mobile. When visiting a venue for the first time I always look for any available cover for the fish to hide under. Overhanging bushes, reed beds are ideal places to target perch.

UKMA: What tackle and tactics would you use and why, giving details of rods, reels, rigs and any seasonal variations when targeting specimen perch.

Alan Stagg: My tackle and rigs are very simple when targeting perch. I stick to one rig that I know works, which I can take to a variety of venues and will catch me fish. My favourite way of fishing for perch is using live baits and in my opinion there is no better way to present them than using a float paternoster. Live baits on these venues catch the majority of big perch and using this rig helps to present the fish up off the bottom and not allowing them to hide under any bottom debris.

My tackle consists of the following:
Korum Precision Multi feeder rods
4010 Shimano Bait runner reels
6lb Gardner Hydro Flo Mainline
4lb Gardner Mirage Fluorocarbon hook lengths
Drennan Chubber floats in a variety of sizes deepening on conditions

Gardner Covert Anti Tangle Sleeves, John Roberts Run Ring
Size 4 or 6 Gardner Wide Gape Talon Tip
1oz Gardner Pear Lead

On venues where live baits are banned I tend to base my fishing around a match based approach using a long 17-foot rod or a pole. In this situation I will bait heavily using chopped worm, casters and red maggots and introduce this feed via a bait dropper to ensure accurate feeding. I tend to favour very small pole floats and light lines in these situations.

UKMA: What baits would you use and at what times of year would you use these baits when targeting specimen perch

Alan Stagg: Included in above answers.

UKMA: Give an in depth guide to preparation of your baits, the techniques and additives you would use and how you would feed the swim at different times of the year when targeting specimen perch

Alan Stagg: When using live baits I will often steadily feed maggots over the top in a bid to attract small fish into the area. I know some perch anglers use ground baits however, I have not found these very effective and they will often draw carp into the swim, which I am hoping to avoid.

UKMA: Do you have any personal tricks or tips that have been past on to you by other anglers or that you have discovered yourself, that would help improve an anglers chances of catching a specimen perch

Alan Stagg: My main piece of advice is no matter how small a venue may be never right it off. As I have said perch will thrive on neglect and even the smallest of farm ponds are capable of producing fish over 4lbs in weight.

Most anglers fishing commercial venues target carp and perch in these venues are often only caught by accident. There are literally hundreds of venues to explore throughout the country and many are capable of producing a fish of a lifetime.


Visit the Website: