Although winter fishing for perch is obviously more of a challenge than during the summer months, nevertheless with some thought you can still catch once the temperatures – both air and water – drop. There are three tips, below, to improve your winter perch fishing catch-rate. In addition, click the above images to enlarge the fish caught on this session.
One. Location. The fish won’t be as active or as widely distributed as they are during the summer months. The key is to work out where they will be, and on the canal where I was fishing this time, overhanging vegetation next to a lock was an obvious feature. Especially in the winter, don’t expect the fish to come to you, go looking for them.
Two. Bait. Although my favourite bait for perch is a big worm, on this occasion, with the water temperature rock-bottom, I went for a smaller bait. A single red maggot on a size 18 Drennan Super Specialist hook did the business.
The fish I caught – on a light leger set-up – only gave very slight plucks as opposed to the more confident takes that you get when the water is warmer. When the water temperature slows down, so do they.
Three. Feeding. Regarding how much bait you throw out, always remember that you can put more out if needs be but once there you can’t take it back. I started off with just a few red maggots, and then as I had a couple of very slight enquiries early on in the one hour session up to dark, I upped it slightly.
In addition, when I caught fish, I checked their mouths and on each occasion, they contained numerous maggots. That told me they were feeding well and I then increased the loose feed accordingly.
The key is to avoid over-feeding as that will kill the swim. Try and work out what’s happening beneath the surface and respond with your loose feed approach. Keep them keen and competitive with each other.
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