You can’t have it your own way all the time (perch article and video, entry 277)

You can’t have it your own way all the time

It doesn’t matter how experienced we become as anglers, the broad spectrum of fishing is such that there are still lots of things that we have yet to do. For me, up until a couple of years back, I had never been spinning for perch and I found myself wanting to have a go on the local canal network. So I bought the necessary tackle and got myself set up to do just that. And I can honestly say that I have really enjoyed the times I go out armed with just a lure rod, net and small shoulder bag. And that’s part of the attraction really – the light and mobile approach that spinning offers. And with no baiting up or preparation needed, you simply turn up, put the already made-up rod together and away you go.

Opting for Mepps Aglia

Like any branch of angling, you can get tackle at various prices and quality. I have tried cheaper ‘no-brand’ spinners, and although some of them weren’t too bad, very early on I liked what I saw when I fished with Mepps Aglia. One of the things I did at the beginning was cast into clear water so that I could see how the various spinners responded and also how I could work them to my advantage through the water. There is a limit on what you can do with a tiny 3.5g spinner but nevertheless sometimes just the slightest change in retrieve can produce a fish.

Confidence plays such a big part in angling – more than we realise actually, particularly when we sit down and think about it. And because I have caught some decent perch on the Aglia, that’s my chosen brand of spinner. Not that I am inflexible and am closed to anything else, far from it. But once you cast out and your lure hits the water, you’ve got to have total faith and trust in it. It’s no good fishing with any bait that you don’t believe in, unless you’re experimenting of course.


A canal chub caught on spinner


Another surprise pike

Because of the previously mentioned flexibility associated with spinning, I was able to get a couple of sessions in, both very short. I ended up with several perch, a few chub and a small pike. I never knew that the section in question had any pike in it, but in recent months I have caught a couple of small fish. It just shows that angling is full of surprises. I’m not sure that there is anything big in there though – and I still wonder where the small ones have come from – as I’ve never seen anything other than perch attacking fry.




Tip of the week

If you’ve never done any spinning for perch, then give it a go.

It’s a great way of fishing – simple, easy and good exercise. And above all it’s great fun.

My tip of the week, as you can see from the regular box, is that if you have never been spinning for perch then perhaps consider doing so. It is simple enough to get into and is great fun. The thrill of a take is one of those ‘bite experiences’ that for me ranks with the lethargic movement of a hanger when a big bream takes the bait, the initial tremble of a pike float and the sudden bend that appears in a rod as a hooked barbel starts a run. Angling is more than just putting a fish on the bank, for me it’s about the big picture, including even the excitement from the night before at home knowing that I’ll be fishing the next day.


Switching species

After the sessions on the canal for perch, I switched species and venue as I targeted pike on a small river. Casting the first deadbait into the flow (a sardine section) I immediately had a take which resulted in the pike that you can see on the right. But like so many times, the initial fish did not herald the opening of the floodgates. In fact quite the opposite as the rest of the trip produced nothing at all. I did fancy another crack at the river though and so returned right at the end of the week to see if I could improve on the previous session.

But instead of the graph showing an upward turn, it plummeted as I hit a brick wall in terms of feeding fish. And in between I had another blank as I did a very short morning session on a pike-filled (or so I believe) local canal. So not one of my most productive weeks in terms of big fish to hours on the bank ratio. But you can’t have it all your own way all the time, and I have had some decent enough catch reports recently.



A pike from a small river

The birding was good though

But in spite of struggling on the angling front this week, the birding has been quite good. If you are a regular reader of my Angling Journal you will know that our feathered friends are definitely mates of mine. And due to the type of fishing that I usually do, it means that I am occasionally able to take my eyes off the rod and see what is going on around me. When I am birding proper I have a pair of Swarovski SLC binoculars and a Kowa TSN 800 series scope, so if you know your stuff you’ll appreciate that’s decent enough kit. But I daren’t take them fishing with me and so I have a cheaper pair of Bushnell binoculars that I take angling. They were good enough to spot birds this week that included goosander, peregrine falcon, raven, teal, snipe and siskin.



Click on the icon for this week’s video clip


The week ahead

The weather has gone into freefall over the last few days, so my original plans to continue with predator fishing have been put on hold for a while. Next week I am going to target grayling, and no matter how cold it gets, one thing you can always say is that they will be feeding.

(Originally posted November 2008)

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