Friday, 22 May 2009

Perca Perca!

Things have been so busy of late that I've not had the time to run this blog as the diary of days that it wants to be, so this entry is something of a round up of recent fishing stuff. Unfortunately the roach are once again slowing down and approaching uncatchability
, with just a few coming now and most of those falling to tactics involving a goaded response. I did have a single roach conventionally and the largest bream I've yet caught in the cut at just under three pounds, and this one the real bronze adult version.

Also Judy turned up on the towpath just in time for nice perch, a fish she has never seen before, but reckons is absolutely gorgeous.

John, my mate, came up from London for the private view of the current show at the gallery, and by tradition after all such events we go fishing on the next morn, and so as host I have to arrange a solid prospect, a place that pretty much ensures an eventful fishing day. I've not yet failed him on that score with a string of excellent fishing days filled with incident arranged thus far, but arranging a good days general fishing is one thing, promising quality roach quite another.

John likes lure fishing much more than I do, in fact I reckon he is destined to end up being a fluff chucker if he takes the lure thing to its logical conclusion. I like bait fishing because it is so demanding, so necessary that you do the right thing on the day, so difficult to master and predict with any measure of certainty. When we arrived at dawn and despite the visible presence of roach on the surface right in front of us, we caught an endless stream of perch up to a respectable ten ounces, John set up his spinning rod and went after something bigger, whilst I sat back and waited it out hoping for the roach to come on the feed.

When, after perhaps twenty minutes, I hear John calling for the net I knew he had something attached to his mepps a tad larger than the perch we had caught thus far. It was a perch and a good one that I thought was approaching two pounds. It was a really beautiful fish, just perfection really with its strong markings and bright red unragged fins, and it brought the scales down to a satisfying one pounds ten. He then followed this lovely fish up with another just as gorgeous, but one that was a miniature of the previous, and easily the smallest of the day, about the length of a thumb, and it had attacked a lure just a little smaller than itself. So much for spinners pulling out the bigger fish!

I scrounged a Mepps and wire trace off John, not having brought out any spinners or lures, and tried the same thing thinking that a big perch would be every bit as good as a fair roach, and a huge perch as good as any. I had plenty of follows from small perch but no more large perch were seen or hooked and when the first boat of the day came around the corner to muddy the clear overnight water, spinning was out of the question.

Next morning we went lure fishing at dawn thinking that perch of good size would be caught easily but it wasn't to be. John had two of half a pound or so and I had just the one after hours of walking casting and snagging. I lost three spinners on bottom snags and my favourite jointed plug up a tree after trying my best to cast across the cut at an angle to get the lure under the overhanging cover. We packed up when we were knackered and stopped off for hot tea and an English breakfast at the local cafe on the way home.

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