Thursday, 7 April 2011

Big Perch Quest - A Reason to be Cheerful

My perch woe continues - what was a bit of a joke a few weeks back has become something else entirely. I know it's a quirk of statistics, this inability to catch a perch over the weight of one pound eight ounces, but it's getting to the point now where it seems that there is something else at work.

I got out to meet Keith at Weston Lawns Friday last, a place that not only contains plenty of perch over the weight but a (non-apocryphal) track record proven by Steve's and Keith's successes and documented on their respective blogs with lashings of photos and relish on the side. Keith has even made it his aim not to catch large perch anymore, but ones that weigh one pound nine ounces, just to rub the salt right down in the marrow, and he has succeeded, twice!

I got there ahead of Keith but with a distinct lack of carp anglers around the lake and therefore the pick of the swims I decided against my usual feeling for wind conditions and fished the windward corner and right in the worst of the chop. I got bites though, and fish too, but guess what the weight of the largest was?

One pound seven...

I packed up and moved around the lake just after this fish as the wind was wearing me down and pitched myself in a comfortable peg on a spit of gravel where I could fish into a narrow finger of water full of weed. The albino great dane turned up and sniffed about but on this occasion was very well behaved and went away when I shooed him off.

The floats were not settled long when the left hand shot away sharply to the right and went under at a shallow angle - no perch this - the strike meeting with the inevitable surge of raw power of a hooked carp. The fish went crazy in the narrow confines of the swim, ploughing through the weeds and generally stirring things up but at such close quarters and on just a four pound bottom it was a matter of keeping a vertical line and hoping for a netting opportunity. It occurred well before the fish was tired and my first carp of 2011 was duly banked.

My next outing was just yesterday, on what was the warmest day of the year so far, and out to the local free ponds on a mission to see if the summer species had woken up yet. They hadn't, so I went to the one lake of the four where I am sure some big perch live and fished out my worm supply there. I have only ever had perch of a few ounces here but the water is crammed with stunted silver fish that in high summer make the surface boil like a kettle when bread is chucked in so I have always been confident that far larger fish must be resident than my catches suggested.

I got bites enough but the first fish was a small roach with very dark colouration due to the clarity of the water. My next fish was a tiny perch, and the next too, both of a size that the lake seems to contain hoards of but just when I was considering calling it a day as my idea of fun is not that of performing deep throat surgery on thumb length perchlets who've engorged a whole lobworm on a size eight hook, the float sank purposefully, and I was attached to something worth fishing for.

It was perch too, and a big one for the lake...

Under the weight again, of course, but this time a cause for celebration as it proves a theory right - that the lake probably does contain the monsters I believe it to and is therefore firmly fixed on my fishy radar.


  1. Steve in Colorado9 April 2011 at 01:46

    You're on the right path though, eh?
    And kudos for the lovely photography; you do know how to frame and compose.
    Colorado is also waking up- I've had bass, bluegills, and trout but nuffink to brag about...

  2. Thanks Steve. I try hard to make the pics interesting even if the fishing isn't up to much!

    It wont be long now before it's summer fishing through and through - can't wait

  3. It was very interesting to see that someone has the same problem as me. While I have fished for over 30 years I have yet to catch a perch of over 1lb 8oz.When I was 15 years old I had a perch of 1lb 6oz in Scotland and it only last year I managed to beat it with a 1lb 8oz fish.

    I have seen others catch much bigger perch than this but never me. Funny old game this fishing lark. Good luck in your quest.