All of a sudden some really good perch are turning up to the fishing challenge competitors - Andy and Danny had a nice haul of them up the cut the other day with the best brace falling to Danny's rod and these around the two pound mark - that they went out for roach is neither here nor there - they had worms as backup and the perch were obliging. Then Steve managed a cracking three pounder out of a local commercial - that he went out for carp is neither here nor there either - he nicked a live roach off his fishing partner and reaped the wind.
Patiently waiting for KJ Taxis
Me and Keith on the other hand, ignorant of the upcoming successes of our friends, actually went out specifically after big perch last Friday evening but despite both receiving plenty of what seemed quite unmissable bites to lobworms, managed to miss each and every one and left the fishery an hour after after dark, dry netted.
Perhaps we should have gone out after rudd, or something?
Keith over the in the far corner
Monday morning I decided to have another crack, this time at a local free water. This is a place that I have only fished a few times during summer and then had unremarkable catches of perch on maggots and four identical common carp of a couple of pounds each to bread. However this lake looks to contain something special and I suspect that that something special might be some very large perch as the lake has an enormous head of blade rudd that in hot conditions swarm at the surface. With so much food around at least some of those smaller perch must have grown large, surely?
After casting around for ages searching for a clear spot amongst the weed that blankets most of the lake bed I finally located a likely area and within minutes had my first bite. I missed it, as I did the next, and the next, and the next, the next, and the...
"Sod this," I thought to myself... "Little fish."
I packed up and moved over to the nearby canal for a crack at whatever was about. I set up on the bank opposite the towpath, chucked out my worms and then sat back to enjoy the sunny afternoon. After half an hour of peace, the left hand buzzer bleeped once - two minutes later it beeped twice and then a minute later still the bobbin rose deliberately toward the rod.
I missed the bite...
I recast to the very same spot and just five minutes later the bobbin rose once again only this time I hit something heavy and solid. The fish was certainly moving but I could not stop it and then the right hand buzzer sounded as the fish passed across the line. It was then that I realised that I had either hooked something enormous, or something quite odd as the fish was pulling strongly but the line wasn't moving to the right as it should have, and then before I could figure it out, the line snapped near the hook and the lead flew out of the water...
It just had to be a predator and maybe a proper croc, but something, somehow, was not quite right. I decided to go home, get the pike gear, and return nevertheless.
An hour later I was back in the swim thinking that whatever it was I had hooked was probably still around and sure enough, first cast to the same spot where it had taken the worm produced an early tremble of the float but a belly of line pulled things out of place and the bite failed to develop. The next cast I sank the line - five minutes later the float jerked and then trembled, eventually moving off. The strike was good and the hook found a hold but up came a zander of a pound and a half ...
Not exactly what I was expecting!
An unusually dark and well marked fish this, not at all like the usual run of local zander who tend to be much lighter in tone - perhaps it was a long distance wanderer who'd travelled in from clearer waters?
I didn't get another touch the rest of the afternoon so perhaps the little zed was the culprit after all? I think my lead had snagged bottom giving the illusion of weight and the fish had simply thrashed on a short leash giving the impression of being directly connected.
I moved up to the marina for last knockings but was rained off by a cold shower of hail and icy rain, and so ended another rather frustrating day, one more to add to the recent collection.