An angler's journal

Thursday, 29 October 2015

River Perch: A Personal Best!

Following a journey dominated by road works, I finally found myself on the banks of the middle Severn. It was around lunchtime and the first few spots of rain fell as I settled into my chosen area. There was a deeper, steady run much of the way across river with a slacker area on the near bank. This swim had all the characteristics in order for me to exercise my predetermined plan.

I began by dropping some hemp and pellet just past the crease and then left it alone as I set about my second plan. I have been keen to land a big river perch for a while but to be honest, I have never really got round to giving it a proper go. A few half hearted efforts and some drop shotting have found some fish but not of the proportions that are deemed specimen proportions. My aim was a 2lb river perch and the nearside area was hopefully going to contain some.

After 40 minutes of drop shotting and plumbing the depth for my worm rig, I made my first cast with pellet to the baited area. This rod was left on the baitrunner as I continued to feed maggots to my left while giving the worm and drop shot rigs a try every so often, albeit without success. By now the rain
Not ideal conditions to be sat outside
had started. Fortunately, it was pretty mild but the light faded quickly as the mist descended above the rain pitted surface. The banks became treacherous resulting in me slipping and winding myself in the process. Covered in mud, I sat hunched under my umbrella watching the geese and jackdaws going to roost. Unsurprisingly, the low and clear conditions were not conducive to feeding barbel and the now torrential rain meant I was unable to explore other swims. However, I had continued to feed a dozen maggots regularly and the now gloomy conditions started to encourage a few small fish to rise and jump in the near bank area. Although my lobworm bait had been ignored all afternoon, now was surely the time for a big perch to bite if indeed it was going to happen at all. As the latest wave of rain lashed down, the float began to sink from view. I could see it clearly such was the water's clarity. I did not want to be to hasty with the strike as the bait was large and I wanted to ensure it had been engulfed fully. The float was now sinking from sight in positive fashion and a firm strike resulted in the first hooked fish of the day. Undoubtedly a perch and judging from the resistance, a
My first two pounder
decent one too. My first view confirmed it would be a personal best. They say perch is the biggest fish of them all and this one had a colossal mouth, but would it make the magical 2lb? The scales toyed with me briefly as it hovered around 1lb 15oz before freezing on 2lb exactly. I repeated the weighing process a further two times to be sure before posing in the wild weather for a couple of pictures. Darkness soon arrived and the perch feeding window was all too brief. I gave the barbel rod another half hour to see if one could be tempted in the low light but when I was blessed with a short pause in the rain, I decided to make a hasty retreat to the car feeling damp but ultimately satisfied with the results. I think I might have the perch bug so expect to see a few more perch related posts.

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