Wed 12 February 14
Some of you might be aware that I like to set myself little targets. You might also be aware that this winter I decided I was going to target Perch with a 4lb+ fish the hopefully end result!!!
Well….it has certainly been a long winter and I have invested heavily in Iceland frozen foods having gone through a ridiculous amount of king prawns.
I have lost count how much CC Moore liquid additive I have been through, how many pints of maggots I have used, tubs of worms, potting soil etc. Not forgetting the hours of time I have put in through the wind, rain, sleet, snow and occasional sun shine!!!
With countless Perch up to 2lb, fifty plus 2lb Perch, eight 3lb Perch it was only a matter of time before I could take a sigh of relief having finally bagged the fish I have been chasing since early November 2012!!!
Was it worth it? Of course it was I wouldn’t have changed it for the world. I have learnt a vast amount about the art of commercial carp water Perch fishing. I now know some top venues to target in the future that are likely to chuck out some surprise chunks, and I have also been lucky enough to meet some top likeminded anglers along the way who I will continue to fish with over the coming years!!!
Will I stop there and be content with the target fish…. Hell no! There are bigger out there and I have only scratch the surface.
So how did I come to capture such an awesome fish this weekend?
Time, patience, resilience to the cold and wet and the openness to follow tip offs from trusted or sometimes not so trusted sources. That and a great deal of searching through the archives of the internet, looking at match reports and so on. I always say if you want to catch big fish you need to do your research and at least know you are fishing a water which will hold what you are after!
This weekend gone I was given a tip off that a lake on the east side of Hampshire had been producing multiple 3lb Perch and chucked up the odd 4lb fish. I couldn’t ignore this and having got a little bored of my local waters I loaded the car and made the 120 mile trip down to Hampshire to see if the rumours were true. I had a cracking start with three 2lb fish to 2.11lb and followed up by some 1lb Perch.
All good fun but not what I was hoping for, they were not playing ball. I stayed the night through to Sunday morning getting battered by the rain. Sadly the Perch had gone quiet and I was feeling pretty miserable in the bitter cold wet weather. I then got the call I needed reminding me of a water I had not paid much attention to this winter back in deepest darkest Sussex. So I made the return journey of 120 miles arriving at the venue at 1.30pm.
The weather was shocking still but I still had bait left and didn’t want to waste it! Times are hard!
I moved round to an area I had heard had been producing some good fish. I set up in the quagmire of a swim not feeling particularly confident, especially as I had never fished the venue properly. I had a snag to my right to fish at which consisted of about 5ft of water surrounded by a load of tree roots!!! It did scream Perch but still….. to my left I had either open water or an undercut bank. I decided to fish the undercut bank and keep the bait trickling in as it was so close to me.
Hook bait as ever was cooked king prawns soaked in CC Moore’s liquid extracts (shrimp, worm and mussel) as well as Krill Amino compound. A little blend that the fish seem to go mental for!
Groundbait consisted of potting compost, chopped mussels and prawns, dead and live red maggot, chopped worms and then more of the CC Moore liquid additives as well as the juice from the prawns and mussels so no need to add any water!!!
Set up – Greys Prodigy VX 1.25lb tc rods, Okuma Tri 55 Baitfeeder Reels loaded with 6lb line.
The end tackle was a 1oz running lead stopped by a Drennan Stopper Swivel, a 4.4lb fluorocarbon hooklink of about a foot in length attached to a Drennan size 6 Barbless Wide Gape Specialist Hook.
My rod rest always positioned very high to allow a decent drop on the very light weight bobbins for good indication. A Fox MMX alarm to let me know what is happening at the business end and finally an open bail arm with the line positioned under an old skool Drennan Line Clip.
I have only just got the Okuma reels and I am totally made up with them, let’s hope they see a few memorable fish during 2013.
Having checked the area for snags pulling a lead through a few times I was confident I would not be losing too many fish to silly underwater hazards
The baits went out along with ample amounts of ground bait and I could sit back and relax again. This didn’t last long with a 2.11lb fish coming to the net after just 10 minutes of being there. Rod back out I got a silly take to the margin rod and had a battle for 15 minutes with a pristine 15lb Common Carp, I hoped I didn’t end up getting too many more of them!
I went on to bag another fish of about 2lb and few fish to 1.5lb. I sadly managed to drop a couple of fish and miss a couple of bites. But this was all made better following a slow pick up from the tree roots, the bobbin pulled up to the rod and the line released from the line clip. I waited a couple of seconds to let it take a bit more line then I whacked over the bail arm and set the hook firmly. The fish tore off initially rod bent double, it truly felt like I had hooked a pike. It wasn’t until I felt the tell tell knocking of a Perch as it shock its head that I knew this was no pike but a very big Perch.
My heart was in my mouth the whole time I was playing the fish. I was trying to get it in as quickly as possible as I knew it could throw the hook without a moment’s notice but also trying to play it very carefully so as not to lose pressure or allow it to go into the snags further round the swim.
Finally after an intense battle I slipped my rather tatty Drennan Specialist Net under the epic fish! I was stunned for a moment then placing the netted fish back into the water to recover I began celebrating, dancing around and punching the air.
I knew this fish was well over my PB of 3.6lb and after weighing it the scales sat nicely at a whopping 4.4lb. I had only gone and done it!!!
I honestly thought with time slipping away before the Perch spawn I was not going to do it but I proved myself wrong. A sure sign that with some real dedication you can really get amazing results.
I am off to France at the end of this week in search of a French PB Carp with a couple of good friends from For Life Experiences. I think it is the well-earned break from the Perch hunt I need. Lets hope it produces some news worth captures.
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