OFF IN THE POPE-MOBILE (Ruffe) – Blog entry 635

If you have been following my blogs in recent months you will be aware that in a perch session on the Staffs/Worcs Canal I caught a few ruffe. As they were on my agenda anyway, the capture of the fish merely hastened the slots to be inserted in my fishing diary so that I could target them specifically.

Inevitably lots of perch showed up this week
Inevitably lots of perch showed up this week

I’ve always had an appreciation for our mini-species that goes back to my childhood in the 1960’s. Maybe as I get older I’m reverting back, who knows, but one thing I do know is that in recent times I have developed quite a desire to get out there and fish for them.

A nice canal roach on the bank
A nice canal roach on the bank

My first session was an early morning one and with it being quite overcast I fancied my chances. I returned to the spot where I had caught the previous ones on the perch outing. I caught just one ruffe but I was a happy angler. There aren’t any angler and fish pose pictures with ruffe of course. The palm of your hand is about as good as it gets as far as this species is concerned.

My target species - the ruffe
My target species – the ruffe

Back home and a day’s work ahead of me, I was back in the same spot on the evening for a three-hour into dark session. This time I had no ruffe but I did catch a couple of small perch up to dark and had lots of roach activity into it. Plus I saw a weasel along the towpath. Angling and the natural world are the perfect companions as far as I’m concerned.

Roach on a clump of maggots
Roach on a clump of maggots

The following outings on the canal didn’t produce any more of my target species but I did bank lots of perch, roach and even a tench. This is the second tinca that I have netted from the same section of the Staffs/Worcs Canal this year so who knows, they could be taking hold. I guess time will tell.

A nice surprise in the form of this tench
A nice surprise in the form of this tench

My bait for the week was either a small worm or maggots. Ruffe, being small species are obviously going to be difficult to separate, especially when using those baits. There aren’t any that you can fish with to eliminate others plus they aren’t exactly prolific so that makes it more difficult as well.

A small roach ready to go back
A small roach ready to go back

As there is no such thing as a nuisance fish though as far as I’m concerned, I just looked upon the week’s activity as mixed-bag sessions. Even though I always set myself the target of specific species, ultimately angling has to be about the big picture and for me that is enjoyment. I’ve certainly enjoyed myself. See you next week, when due to the fact I’ve been well and truly bitten, I’ll be targeting ruffe again. (Published September 12 2015)