A close call but the fish is in the net (perch article and video, entry 293)

A close call but the fish is in the net

I had made my plans and was looking forward to a number of outings during the week. But of course, making plans and seeing them through are often two different things. First of all I got tied up with a visitor that we had from South Africa as his hire car fell through and I stepped in to help out. Not that I’m complaining, far from it. He’s a good friend and I did what I did without any inner grumbling at all. Then my own car played up. I thought it may have been the head gasket, fortunately it wasn’t, but nevertheless it was off the road for a few days. So by the time I got to go fishing it was Thursday and the end of the week.


Like a kid on Christmas Eve

With the mild spell continuing, I did consider heading to the river and taking my choice of species including barbel. But the one thing that for me is important about angling is that it’s first and foremost meant to be enjoyable. I’m not like a businessman looking for opportunities to make a fast buck. Yes, there are windows of opportunity and we need to take them. But I really wanted to fish for perch on the canal and so that’s where I planned for.

The day before I was really excited that I was going fishing 24 hours later. You sometimes hear stories of adult anglers that walk away from what they once loved. Many different reasons may be behind their decision, but the bottom line is that they no longer feel the passion and enthusiasm that they once did.

I know that we can never be presumptuous or take things for granted, but it’s my aim to fish on and on and on. I want to be a 90-year old night fisherman, pitched up in all weathers and conditions. And why not? After all, I’m 47 in April and I’m still playing competitive football each week and enjoying it.


The bait fish still visible


A small pike and lots of bits

I arrived at the canal very early and a water temperature reading showed a healthy 7.9C. In fact it was much warmer than the air and continued that way for the rest of the day. I’m sure people who aren’t switched on to these things would be surprised if they knew that more often than not it’s warmer in the water than it is on land.

I started off by fishing a small 2BB waggler and within minutes I had caught a small gudgeon. In turn this was taken by a small pike as I cast out the livebait rig. I tend to strike early rather than later and as you can see from one of the article photographs, when I landed the pike it had the gudgeon livebait protruding from its mouth.

I caught a steady trickle of gudgeon on the float rod plus a single bream, rudd, perch and roach. But it was the bigger perch that I was really after on the livebait rig. Even though the temperature was up and conditions were good, the fishing was quite slow really. It shows that there is more to angling than just one or two factors being right.

At last – a quality perch






Tip of the week


Take advantage of the mild weather that we are currently experiencing

in the UK.

Whatever your species, get out there and pursue it.

We’ll never catch sitting at home watching TV!


But if anything, I’m determined and positive and so I carried on fishing with hope, expectation, belief and confidence. And those qualities came together when the 5g bob float announced that another fish had taken the bait. From the fight I knew it was a perch and so I was not surprised in the least when I ended the battle by slipping the net under a quality fish.

Although there are lots of smaller perch in the canal, like most other places, the specimens are not only few and far between, but they don’t give themselves up very easily either. Therefore it’s great when everything comes together. I felt really good about catching the fish, but also realised how close I had come to missing out as the hook pulled in the net.

And the next fish, which was also a good perch, again slipped the hook, but this time before I had the chance to net it. I didn’t see it but it felt like a better one than the previous perch that I had landed. The one that got away eh? And that was the last of the livebait rod action, but rather than be discouraged it motivated me to get back out.



A canal caught perch

The same old story

But the stretch that I returned to the next day was a different one. I visited there are few times during January and if you are a regular reader and have a good memory, it’s where I lost a number of good perch that all slipped the hook. I also struggled to catch gudgeon livebait, and in spite of the upturn in temperature this time round, it was the same old story on that front as well. I did not catch a single gudgeon, with the only fish of the morning being a small perch on single red maggot. It was a short session and I was soon back home, doing some work and thinking about where I was going next! I’ve still got the passion for angling even when I struggle. I did manage the one good perch though this week, so I was more than buoyed by that.


Click on the icon for this week’s video clip


The week ahead

Now that we’re into March, it has to be the rivers next week for me. As for the species, well I am very tempted to take advantage of this mild weather and do some barbel fishing. Either that or stay with perch. Tune in next week and find out what I decide to do in the end!

(Originally posted February 2009)

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