A few years ago, with my mortgage paid off and kids grown up into adulthood of their own, I was looking forward to the benefits of being semi-retired. In fact that is how I described my position when asked about my working status. If you have followed my angling adventures for some time you will be aware that in 2014 I even achieved my bucket-list wish of fishing some part of every day for a calendar year.
However, life is full of surprises, some good and others not so. In the case of what happened next though is definitely the former. I got involved with The New Saints, a professional football team that plays in the Welsh Premier League. As that grew it meant I was going to games both home and away plus other visits to the ground, as well as social media and journalistic responsibilities. In fact today is twelve months to the day that I first picked up a microphone at Park Hall.
Am I complaining? No, far from it and quite the opposite. What it has meant though is that my work position has changed considerably and done an about-turn. However, I’m determined to do as much fishing as possible and that’s where spinning for perch comes in. Not only is it one of my favourite ways of targeting my number one species, it’s also perfect when time is short. I cover all that in the video, along with a few photographs from my time with TNS.
This week’s sessions ranged from dropping off on a pool on the way to TNS through to early morning and late evening outings on the local canal. The common denominator though in every instance was that each session was very short. The maximum that I spent on the bank at one time was the same as a football match – 90 minutes. With rod made up and no need to prepare the swim though, the moment you cast out you are in with as much chance as you are with the last chuck.
As stated, I do like spinning for perch and there is a definite thrill when you experience the thud of a take. Sometimes that happens out in open water – I’ve had fish take the lure the moment it hits the surface and hasn’t even started the retrieve – but often I find perch will be caught right at the edge. Not that they are there in the first place necessarily, but they do follow the spinner in and when it looks like their meal is getting away, they strike.
This is why I always stand back from the water’s edge and even watch the lure before I lift it from the water. many times I’ve seen a perch tracking it and I’ve swept it further along the margins and caught it. Although you don’t think of spinning as visual it most definitely is. It might not be the same as watching a quiver tip or a float but nevertheless keeping your eyes on what’s going on, especially at the end of the retrieve, is important.
In a future blog entry I will cover the tackle that I use and also how I make my traces. They’re vital by the way. On many stretches of canal I fish pike are very few and far between but as long as there’s even an outside chance of connecting with one then you can’t go straight through with mono. I have a trace permanently on my rod set-up. Anyway, I’ve enjoyed myself so much spinning for perch this week, it’s going to be more of the same next time round. Finally, if you’re on Twitter or Facebook check out my accounts on this page. See you next Saturday.(Published August 29 2015)