Back on the perch path (Perch, entry 527) Plus video

The home page of my angling website has a photograph of a fish from each of the last 14 weekly entries. Looking at it and realising that the perch was missing prompted me into action. I had neglected my favourite species for too long so it was time to put that right. My opening sessions saw me getting the dropshot gear out.

Most of them were on local canals with a couple on a lake. They were all short though, just a couple of hours at dusk. That’s the great thing about dropshotting, and lure fishing in general, you don’t need to spend lots of time in preparation and baiting up. Plus you’re travelling ultra light with the absolute minimum of gear.

A peep into my dropshot box
A peep into my dropshot box

That’s a peep into my dropshot box above. I do have a number of tackle boxes that I keep for different species / styles of fishing. It does mean you have to buy multiple items of individual tackle such as scissors, swivels etc, but it’s really convenient. And if you build everything up gradually anyway you spread the cost.

Berkley dropshot minnows
Berkley dropshot minnows

I use the Berkley dropshot minnow, and as they come in a variety of options, there’s always room for change if needs be. So, what about the fishing, how did that go? I caught a few but nothing of any size, it seemed that the bigger perch just weren’t up for it at all. As I love perch anyway though, regardless of weight, I was just happy to catch.

A perch from the canal
A perch from the canal

I usually fish rural canal stretches but I did venture into the Black Country a few times to do some urban fishing. You have to have eyes everywhere and that’s just to dodge the dog droppings. Plus it’s not for those who are easily intimidated, with drug addicts and alcoholics amongst the many that you share the environment with.

I had no issues though, so was able to get on with my fishing in peace. I always watched my back and developed eyes in the back of my head though whenever a mob passed behind me. I have night-fished before but only when I can back into something and no-one can get behind. I want to see in front of me. Then at night of course,you get another problem – rats.

An urban canal scene
An urban canal scene

I do enjoy dropshotting for perch. Use the right gear and the take and fight is pretty impressive. I guess that’s true of all fishing really. This style of fishing though is definitely better with the designated stuff. From rod to weight, there’s a whole developing dropshotting industry out there. Enjoyable as it was though, it was time to move on.

A greedy lake perch
A greedy lake perch

My first ‘sit-down’ outing is the one that you can watch on the accompanying video. As it’s all on there I don’t need to go over it again. You can check it all out via the link at the foot of this piece. And that’s the bigger roach I caught, which as I say in the video, is a cracker for the venue.

I dare say I will be back there in the not-too-distant future for perch. And probably for roach. The major problem I have is fitting everything in. Even though I fish more than the average angler I still find that ten desires don’t fit into one week. There’s always something that has to give. Not that I’m complaining though, it’s hardly a hardship is it?

Not a perch but a cracking roach
Not a perch but a cracking roach

The next session was also on flowing water, but a much different prospect in the form of the Middle Severn. With the river running at normal summer level, I still fished with pretty much the same tackle as the stream, except for a step-up in quiver rod and line strength up by 50% to 6lb. I fished a swim with 4 feet in the margins, gently sloping out into the channel.

The middle Severn in August
The middle Severn in August

It was hard going but after a few plucks and taps, plus a hook-pull, I finally got a perch in the net and on the bank. Not a big one but your first fish is always special as it means you’ve avoided a blank. Again no big fish put in an appearance but I enjoyed it and that’s the most important thing. I ventured back to the Severn for my final outing, but to a different spot.

The perch from Severn session one
The perch from Severn session one

Again fishing worm, this time on a size 8 hook, I set up an 18g cage feeder this time. Casting to the crease in deeper water, I let the feeder settle and deposit its contents of red maggots and Sweetfruit groundbait (SBS) on the river bed. My first bite resulted in a gudgeon that went six and a half inches (16.5cm). A monster!

If you’ve ‘liked’ my angling Facebook page then you may well have seen it already as I posted it on there. Following the gudgeon I had a variety of fish including a 1lb eel and even a small barbel. But it wasn’t until almost seven hours in that I caught my perch. Good things come to those that wait. It was close though, the hook came out in the net.

The final fish of the week
The final fish of the week

Again, just the one perch to show for my efforts, but as always another pleasant session. I also saw 3x female goosander, raven, kingfisher and a little egret while I was fishing. The latter was feeding on the muddy margins of the river, my first on the Severn. Then on the way home I spotted two barn owls in flight, one in Shropshire and the other in my home county of Staffordshire. My enjoyment of the natural world always cushions the times when I struggle on the fishing front. (Published August 17 2013)

Watch the accompanying video HERE