ANOTHER LANDMARK REACHED (Staffs/Worcs Canal perch) – blog entry 600

Click to play video. Includes: short pioneering perch sessions, perch chub and bream on the bank, water temperature and fish activity, my granddaughter Nyah, BBC radio interview clip, importance of a disgorger, rig.

Following last Saturday’s blog entry, Mission Accomplished, where I fished every day in the calendar year, this week also sees me hit another landmark. In this instance it is the publication of my blog that grabs the headline, as this one sees the 600th consecutive Saturday update. I receive lots of regular comments along the lines that I am very dedicated, and of course that is true. Above all though, it’s a total and absolute labour of love. Although commitment comes into it, it’s certainly not a hardship.

Returning a fish back to its watery home
Returning a fish back to its watery home

This week, as you can see from the video, my angling was very focused in terms of species, tackle, bait, rig, approach and venue, which was the Staffs/Worcs Canal. The only thing that changed was that I fished in different places each time. You can’t beat trying new spots and most of my favourite angling spots have come about as a direct consequence of a little bit of pioneering, so to speak. Of course, sometimes it doesn’t come off, but other times it does. And on my opening session I got off to a great start with a cracking perch.

Like most focused fishing, other species turn up
Like most focused fishing, other species turn up

This was followed by a session right next to a lock that produced a small chub around the 1lb mark. Lots of roach plucks on the next outing, but nothing big enough to take the clump of worms properly, and then the fourth visit saw me back on track with a perch and a chub. This session was the shortest of the week, just 45 minutes in total. Fishing to a large holly on the far bank, I was really happy to bank the fish, especially as the conditions were quite harsh. The day had started off with much of the canal iced over, so the afternoon thaw meant I could at least get a bait in the water.

The best fish of the week, a true canal cracker
The best fish of the week, a true canal cracker

To round off the week I headed for a spot where I have caught plenty of chub before on baits such as bread and boilies. In other words, non-perch treats. On a recent session however, I did go for chub using worms and caught two perch, hence the decision to return and target the species. Although the conditions overall all week were good, I ensured that I had just the one blank, as a perch and a bream came to the net. I really enjoyed my perch fishing this time round, especially as all my recent activity for them has involved either spinning or drop-shotting. As an all-rounder, for me variety really is the spice of life. (Published January 10 2015)