An angler's journal

Friday, 1 April 2016

More perch success and a fisherman's tale

With my tench campaign just around the corner I am close to concluding my perch chapter for the season. So a second visit to the stillwater that gave me my first 3 pounder on my last trip was unsurprisingly my venue of choice. The weather forecast a cloudy day, perfect for perch fishing. The reality was a glorious spring day coupled with bright sunshine. With the weathermen wrong (when aren't they?) I knew my chances would have to wait a few hours until the sun dropped down behind the far bank trees to the west. In the meantime, I fed regularly to attract the silver fish. The plan worked because after a couple of hours I had dozens of roach boiling on the surface to beat their shoal mates to the feed. I caught a few, well it would have been silly not to given not much else was happening or likely to.

At last, the sun began to drop and my fishing became a bit more focussed. With this a neighboring carp angler appeared and decided to start what turned out to be a very long chat. Now I don't mind exchanging pleasantries but this chap wanted to tell me about everything from his holiday to his mountain bike trip. After a while it became somewhat tedious but fortunately one of his bite alarms beeped which had him sprinting back to his peg. Moments later my bobber float slid away and the first perch of the session was hooked. A spritely looking perch of around a pound and a half kicked things off. Surely another would be in close attendance? My own alarm sounded as the ledgered prawn was taken but the surging runs told me I was into a carp. A nice looking common was soon tamed and it was a decent fish too that I suspected was not far off a double.

The first perch of the day
A nice common
It was at this moment that the 'carp' angler started to call. Whilst my peg has suddenly jumped into action after hours of slumber the friendly angler had managed to get himself in a mess. Despite having a carp on, his reel had somehow gotten in to a twist and he had a bird's nest. The phrase 'All the gear......' sprang to mind. Although I admit to it being a wrench to leave my swim at that time I did in order to help him out. With line everywhere I attempted to unravel the mess but it wasn't straightforward. Meanwhile the carp, which was marauding out of control had decided that despite having the whole lake to swim in it would station itself right in my carefully and painstakingly prepared swim! At this point I suggested we hand line the fish in. I assertively took the rod and brought the fish in with the specialist carp angler doing the honours with the landing net. With the fish safely banked I decided I would return to my swim and actually do some fishing. In went some maggots but there were no boils this time as it looked like the disturbance had cleared my swim out. I was a little frustrated by now. Light was begin to fade and I was convinced I had missed the window of opportunity. It was at this point that our friend appeared again deciding he would like a photo of the carp as it was 'a venue record' for him. I then proceeded to take a photo of him and his fish refraining from pointing out that I caught the bloody thing.

Finally, I was free to fish on into the final 30-45 minutes of what remained. I felt I deserved the good will of the fishing gods and it came. The prawn rod went off and I was hooked into a definite perch,
The 2lb 14oz fish
and a good one. The head shaking always gives a perch away. It was promptly landed and another prawn recast. Perch often feed in short spells so I was keen to make the most of this window of opportunity given the earlier disturbances. About 5 minutes elapsed so I decided to weigh the fish but before I could do so the alarm sounded again. This perch was smaller at around a pound and half but it was stocky fish that was fit to burst, I then finally managed to weigh the bigger perch - not quite a 3 pounder at 2lb 14oz but a fine fish all the same. The light was disappearing fast but there was time for the final prawn to be hooked and cast. Within moments I was rewarded with the best fish of the session and another new personal best of 3lb 2oz. By the time I weighed and photographed this fish it was dark. It had been a hectic hour or so with 4 perch and a carp in addition to the events in the next peg but I trudged back the car a happy angler.

My new PB of 3lb 2oz

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