Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Perch Practice Makes Perch Perfection - I Hope!

With a big two-day-in-a boat trip to Hanningfield Reservoir hunting huge perch coming up at the end of the month, well I thought a little perch practice might come in useful, so up to the canal with Molly went I...

New rod in hand and wanting to test its mettle against the canals various snags, new line too, braid, a substance I have next to no familiarity excepting last year's experience on the same reservoir out with Steve Philips hooking crazy rainbows, and a box of old and rarely used lures. I found my fist snag within ten minutes of starting. Who knows what it was? It was beast though...

Lesson 1. Used to mono and its various forgiving qualities, I hand-lined the snagged lure, pulling for a break, only to find that it refused to. It just didn't like the idea of parting company with the lure one bit, but liked the idea very much of playing cheese wire to the palm of my hand, cutting into my pain barrier long before there was any chance of losing the lure. In the end I just locked up the clutch, pulled a straight line direct from the reel, and guess what? It ripped the lure back out of the snag -- dead body, shopping trolley, whatever it was -- pinging the lure high into the branches of a budding hawthorn behind me. No problem. A sharp yank (we all know one of them!) and the line just sliced through all the obstacles that always prove something of a problem to mono, and the lure splashed back into the water. I'm liking braid on canals!

Lesson 2. The braid had bedded deep into the backing after all the exertions. I'd bought the line off a local lad running a stall on Nuneaton Market just last Saturday, along with the new rod (cheap, but nice) and some lures. I thought the spool was a good 100 yards full but proved upon closer examination (spooling up and discovering the fact more like!) to only contain twenty yards. It was enough to be honest, the little lures that I'm planning to fish at Hanningfield, the Mepps ones and the small plug style ones, can only be cast 30 yards or so, anyhow.  I'd tied the Braid to the mono backing with a knot new to me, the one known as the 'Yucutan' knot and recommended as the best. It hadn't failed yet, so I guessed it must be...

Lesson 3. The lure went out and came back through the water only to be snagged by a swimming snag, well at least that's what I thought it had to be, as I didn't actually expect to catch any fish. Sure enough, the 'snag' proved be as 'live' as it had seemed. and in came a fat little hen perch bursting with unspent spawn. She had taken a Mepps style spinner with a bright fluorescent orange body. The lure was immediately retired from work having proved itself a perch puller. Better use it later where it might matter much, than lose it now where it doesn't matter much at all ...

Lesson 4. Molly was a royal pain in the arse. I'll never take her on a boat. She loves the coconuts that local asians throw into the cut as part of their funerary rites. too much. It can't be good for the souls of the dead that she removes them as soon as she sees them and not very long after they have been thrown in. Three or four a day is an average. They end up in our garden stinking to high heaven. Springers are bred to be workers. Molly is a tireless rubbish removal asset to the canal authorities, taking it upon herself, and in an entirely unpaid, voluntary capacity, to jump in and remove anything offending her sensibilities that floats in water, and at any opportunity. I would have killed her there and then (and thrown the bloody coconut back in as part of her hastily arranged funerary rite!) if it wasn't for love...

Lesson 5. It was cold, I should have worn mitts. I will take mitts to Hanningfield. Within half an hour I was cheesed off with both Molly and the frozen digits, the passing boat that coloured the water too, and having proven that the new rod, the new line, and the old fluoro lure too, could, between them, hack it on the open inland sea that Hanningfield is, and best pleased to have caught a single perch, went home at lunch time and got a couple of bottles of strong ale in, the second of which I am polishing off as we speak...

Two beers being how long it takes to write a short post, four for a long one...



  1. Can't wait for Hanningfield! Some one out of us lot WILL be catching a record perch - I can feel it me old tap water

  2. Ten quid says its Mr Jobling who catches the 5lb perch !!!


  3. No, That's fine as long as I catch a six !

  4. No, Keith will be puking over the side should the wind pickup. Might make good chum come to think of it? Keith, eat a bucket of lobs and two packs of Tesco Basics prawns before we set off...!

    No point in investing in Tesco Finest...

  5. Lee, can I borrow a rod off you ? :)

  6. Good luck everybody! Friend was there on Monday and had a right grueller - not a sniff!

  7. Your mate was clearly too early, Toodle. You have to see the whites of their eyes! So I'm told

    At least he had a one day grueller, mine's gonna be two if we don't find em'.

    But we will!

    Of course we will...