An angler's journal

An angler's journal

Sunday, 31 October 2021

Perchy Ponderings

With autumn upon us, I decided to target some river perch. The venue was a middle Severn stretch that I have fished on many occasions over the years but not too often in recent times. It was a lovely warm day with some October sunshine to boot. Not ideal conditions for perch who prefer to feed in low light but I did have an ace up my sleeve. Although the river had returned to normal level, it was still holding some colour. I also chose a swim that afforded me some shade. A quick plumb of the swim told me I had just under 5 feet of water a rod length out. There was some slight flow with trees upstream and downstream of where I planned to drop a bait. I began fishing a whip with maggots to see what was lurking in the swim. Unsurprisingly, bites came quickly with small dace, roach and chublets all making an appearance. This was encouraging since as any perch angler will know, where there are small fish then predators are never far behind. After half an hour or so, I dropped in a few broken bits of worm and baited a size 8 hook with a lobworm. I use barbless hooks with perch as they can at times end up deeply hooked. A barbless hook makes this event a lot more straightforward to solve. A small piece of elastic band on the bend prevents the worm escaping. The hook was tied to 6lb line with a bobber type float shotted with a single SSG shot around 8 inches from the hook. I see no point in over complicating matters. 

A 1lb 7oz was the pick of the first batch
Results were pretty instant with a 1lb 7oz perch the pick of the first three perch. They soon moved off and I went back to catching the small silver fish. With the steam engines of the Severn Valley Railway chugging along the valley it really did add something to the trip. After a bite to eat in the warm autumn sun, it was perch time once again. The second stint through up another fish around around the pound and a half mark before I hooked something completely different. I knew it was not a perch and and as the lively battle came to an end, a small pike came into view hooked right on the edge of its mouth and thus preventing my line being bitten through. Then the float dipped and again solid resistance was felt. The tell tale jags told me this was a perch and of much better stamp than its previous relatives. This fish really did put up a good battle and a beautiful perch was netted. It went 2lb 2oz which was a decent result and capped off a really enjoyable day. I plan to return when conditions allow as I know a 3 pounder is a real possibility and who knows, maybe something bigger. 
The 2 pounder promises much for the future

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