Specimen perch with Chris Westley

Tue 25 November 14


Well its come to that time again where me and Andy are off in pursuit of Specimen Perch, this time at a local commercial fishery in South West Hampshire in the Village of Hordle, we chose to fish Bobs Lake one of the 7 lakes onsite at Hordle Lakes. Based on a netting a few years ago by the Sparsholt lads and after speaking to the Owner and bailiffs we knew this water contained a good few perch over the 2lb mark and the possibility an even bigger specimen.

Bobs lake is not short of features and upon arrival a quick lap of the lake had us spotting many areas that had cover for perch to ambush the prey fish.

Andy chose a swim that had a large overhanging tree and a monk and i chose a swim i had fished before that has a deeper hole and some reeds. We felt that by choosing these 2 swims that all areas would be covered and this would give us the best chance of catching numbers of big perch.

The rigs would be kept simple we used free running ledgers with large size 6 barbless hooks to which we would then mount a large king prawn or lobworm hookbait.

Placing these rigs under the rod tip close to the features and keeping a constant rain of red maggots to bring the silver fish in would surely in turn bring the perch in to investigate. But to give extra attraction i used a ground bait of chopped ragworm mixed with a cutting compost to create a scent filled cloud of attraction with little food content.

We all know that the hour just before dark is the best time to catch perch as this is when they are actively feeding but that does not mean perch cannot be caught during the day and even in bright sunshine. A wriggly lob worm fished on a float and placed tight to the cover were the perch could be hiding, can bring bites. You are looking to get a bite using the aggressive nature of the perch if your worm is right in front of a perch and with a periodic lift of the rod tip that twitches the bait right on their nose, well this is often all that’s needed to get a bite when its hard during the day.

When ledgering we will both leave our prawns to soak in liquids and additives to create a bait that constantly pumps out flavour, hopefully making your hookbait the first point of call to a perch looking for its next meal. Not only does this increase the attractiveness but different liquids will change the colour of the prawns. The fresh prawns bought from the supermarket often come in a tray that splits the prawns into 2 separate compartments, I use this to add an additive to half of my baits. Predator Plus is a great liquid which dyes the hookbaits red and is full of perch attractors. Then this leaves a side of the tray with natural untouched prawns and depending on the day one will generally work better than the other..

Chris Westley

For more tips and tactics check out this short film…



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