I fancied a change so decided to spend a couple of hours on a Warks Avon backwater. Predators were the target so I armed myself with a traditional lure rod and a drop-shotting setup.
Drop-shotting is something I got involved with last winter. If you're interested in knowing the finer points then the web is packed with information from much more credible sources than me. Basically, an artificial rubber lure of a few inches long is attached to a hook on a length of line with a weight at the lower end to keep it in touch with the bottom, as shown in the diagram.
You then use the rod to impart some action into the lure, keeping a tight line whilst you watch and feel for bites. When I tried it for the first time last season, I caught small Perch immediately but found subsequent sessions a little hit and miss. I was determined to give it another crack and look to find some larger fish.
Upon arrival, I opted for the standard lure rod and a small spoon. The backwater I was fishing is something of an unknown quantity. I know it contains a lot of small fish including a good head of Perch. Although pike have to be present, previous trips have provided no clues as to their presence. Therefore, I was pleasantly surprised and pleased when a small Pike was hooked within the first ten minutes. Unfortunately, the light hook hold resulted in the inevitable and the fish escaped. Whilst it would have been great to have landed the fish, I was not too down beat since it proved there is a Pike population present so future visits won't be in vain. I continued to explore the area, casting to moored boats, staging and any other feature that might provide an ambush point for a predator. However apart from my early flirtation with the Pike the next hour or so was a tiresome experience. A Perch of a few ounces did follow at one point but was not convinced enough by the lure to attack it.
As the last hour of light approached, I noticed some activity. A few small fish scattered and alerted me to some fishy action. I moved round to the spot and tried both the drop-shot rod and the lure. I then moved a short distance away to a narrow channel. Here I observed a small fish frantically accelerate as a larger fish, almost certainly a Perch, pursued it under a staging. I quickly decided that I should employ the drop-shot method here as it was clear there were feeding fish and one Perch usually means others in attendance. Within minutes, a Perch of around half a pound nailed the 3" replica minnow. In fact it had disappeared from sight when I came to remove the hook. Fortunately, the hook hadn't so it was returned safely.
The first fish of the session
A string of similar Perch followed in what appeared to be a twenty minute feeding frenzy. I also managed to see a couple wriggle themselves free of the hook before a solid knock saw me connected with something a bit bigger. Although not a monster by Perch standards at 1lb 3oz, it was the biggest Perch from the venue to date and gives me reason to believe a 2lb fish is possible. It's a really fun method, which after a little practise is very effective. So much so that I'm already plotting another visit.
At 1lb 3oz, this proved to be the fish of the session