Spinnin’ and Spinnin’ (Perch, entry 537)

With limited time available this week I grabbed my spinning gear and did a number of sessions that were just ninety minutes each. That’s the great thing about lure fishing in general, you don’t need hours. Some may say it’s not a long time to fish, but every Saturday thousands of miles are covered by people for just an hour and a half of football.

Parking the car, within minutes I’m fishing. When spinning for perch I use dedicated gear – and it really does make a difference. My Greys G Lite rod and Spro Micro Passion reel are the perfect companions for the job. Fishing with braid, I can feel every thud from lunging perch and when a fish is hooked, even the small ones put up a great fight.

A small perch on a Mepps Comet
A small perch on a Mepps Comet

That’s what I caught on session one – just small fish. I did have a few though so there was plenty of action. My lure was a Mepps Aglia Comet size 3. I’ve used a few spinners but Mepps are by far the best I’ve fished with. Well so far anyway, you never know what the future holds. That’s why when we make statements about bait, tackle etc, it’s all a current opinion really and views often change.

Session two was just as productive in terms of quantity, but even more so as far as quality was concerned. Three of the fish needed the net and the photograph below is of the smallest. Although my battery indicator was telling me I had plenty of life left, unfortunately when I came to snap the second of the decent perch I got ‘Battery exhausted’ on the screen.

One of the better fish from the lake
One of the better fish from the lake

On one occasion as I retrieved the lure, in the crystal clear water I spotted a big shadow following it. In the couple of seconds I watched it went from a pike to a huge perch to a turtle as I saw it had legs. Then as it turned away, a length out, I could identify it properly as a great crested grebe! Fortunately I didn’t hook it but it was close.

The margins looking very autumnal
The margins looking very autumnal

Although it was a mild evening, the natural world was looking very much like the fall was taking over. Yet in the autumnal reeds I spotted a few moorhen chicks that couldn’t have been out the nest very long. All I hope is that they grow before we get the first frost, which won’t be too long in coming now as we move on in the year.

Sessions three and four were on the same venue, which was a lake by the way. Following the opening couple of sessions which saw a number of fish on the bank, it was all downhill from there with just one fish and a blank respectively. Not that the downturn in fishing had anything to do with it, but my next outings were all to the canal. They also proved to be far more fruitful as well.

Another small fish in the net
Another small fish in the net

I have been fishing the local canals a lot since the late 1990’s, initially inspired by the rising cost of fuel and the need to hit more local waters. Far from seeing them as a second-best though I’ve come to really appreciate them more and fish them by choice as opposed to just financial reasons. The species that I have targeted more than any other has been the perch, and I’ve done reasonably well.

A canal perch poses for the camera
A canal perch poses for the camera

One of things that is really important regarding fish weights is to see them in relation to the venue. If your venue holds, for example, just a handful of carp over 10lb then a double is a specimen. There’s no point in setting your stall out for a ’20’ if they aren’t in there. Therefore when you catch ‘only’ a double you need to see it for what it is, a great fish.

On that basis I’ve come to see that any perch of 1lb or more is a good fish from the canal and anything over 2lb is an excellent one. When you see things from that perspective you enjoy your angling far more. Not that I don’t or didn’t, I’m just making an important point that I’m sure you get. Learn to appreciate the fish in context of where you caught it rather than just a stand-alone weight.

The best perch of the week
The best perch of the week

I did three sessions on the canal, all short ones, with two first-light and one up to dark. I caught on all of them and alternated between the Mepps Comet and Mepps Aglia red spoon, both of which you can see in the photographs this week. I fished with 3s, which are my favourite all-round Mepps’ perch size.

The boat traffic is definitely down on the canal now that the main summer holidays are well behind us. There are still ones coming through in the day but early morning and late evenings you avoid them altogether, which is preferable really. And with seven outings this week, the title is inspired by the Motown classic (aren’t they all) by Syreeta.

Perch plus tackle
Perch plus tackle

Finally, a few social media mentions. If you’re interested in water temperatures and general related information then check out my  Twitter HERE and  Facebook HERE page where I’m posting stuff. I’m using #UKAnglingConditions. Feel free to use the hashtag yourself. My Twitter account is a brand-new one, angling-only and I follow back.

 I’ve started a new YouTube channel, which you may be aware of as I’ve added the link to the blog in the last few weeks. The first series, coming shortly, is dedicated to winter fishing and will have bank action, tips and more. Why not subscribe to the channel and get the video every Saturday in your inbox? Check out the channel HERE. (Published October 26 2013)