Thursday, 19 November 2015

Commercial Perch — Marginal

The bloggers challenge is reaching that point where scores are getting harder and harder to achieve. Where I began two months late and then raced up the leader board into a heady third place in no time at all just by going out and catching whatever I could manage, now it's all about improvement and catching what has not yet shown.

It's the same for everyone. George is going to find it very tricky wangling canal points, for instance. He's now facing the task of making marginal improvement to gain extra points because his quota of easy good fortune is running down fast. His stonking eel (which put me back in fourth place) is not going to be bettered. His hybrid also. Even catching a two-pound roach will not earn him a great deal extra over his 1lb 13oz fish because he already 'owns' the 10 bonus points for that. Realistically, there's just 5-10 points available for the expenditure of time and effort such a feat would require...

And besides, he may lose those bonus points to someone else who goes one ounce better and might  have his score not inflated but deflated. Tough stuff! But that's the beauty of these game changing  bonus points. You win some — you lose some. They are not your property.

James down south faces an even tougher challenge. In pole position for what seems like months on end, he topped the 1000 point mark some time back but has not improved a great deal since. He caught a twenty pound canal carp last week for which he earned zero points having already caught better before, which illustrates his problem perfectly. Even banking a thirty is not going to help much. Carp are not big score makers. His river position is even tougher. There are points to make but really, he has exhausted the potential to make great gains there now except for the capture of a Thames zander and fairly easy improvements for pike and perch.

My position is still fairly open. Lots to go at, when I can find the opportunity to go at them. I have a very good roach to my credit but still water fish have proven my hardest challenge and I have fluffed too many chances. However, failing to catch both crucian and tench when the time was right is not actually a problem but a potential lead maker because I have vacant slots to fill next spring. Both will gain me lots of points no matter what at a time when others who have already filled those slots try to gain small margins over what they already have.

Still water perch are proving to be my usual bane. Last weekend Martin and myself went on a foray in the wind and wet to try again. Both having improvements to make and mine seemingly easier to achieve than his. However, it was not looking good at the half way mark with just a few bites between us, them from probably gudgeon, and not a single fish of any species hooked. Then a miracle happened...

Martin moved swim!

Of course I followed suit soon after because though things had been creature comfortable for many hours the wind had changed direction and now blew rain into my shelter. And I wasn't getting the right kinds of 'perch' bites either, so wasn't prepared to endure discomfort in hope they'd come by at some point later on.

So I took up a corner plot I'd fished before where casting prawn at the marginal reed beds one float buried decisively just minutes after settling down and in came the first fish of the day. A perch that matched my previous best to the ounce — so no scores there. What followed was a flurry of bites and perch but none to beat what I'd caught last month in fact they were all coming along progressively smaller. But at last, some points. Three for an improved bream at precisely 2lb. Now I hope to better that by some margin at some point and if I can't top it by at least five pounds then there's no hope for me! 

Martin then began catching perch too, only his were of a better stamp. However, I don't think he scored much in the way of points, if indeed he scored any at all. A tough day in bad weather with little to show for it then. But much fishing will improve over the winter months, I'm sure. And the rivers beckon now with lots to do and much potential to exploit...

However, winter might well throw floods at us. Then we'll be stuck with canals, commercial venues and the like for the duration!

Now I do like my perch fishing. But not that much...


  1. I haven't even recorded some of my lake captures, it's the river points keeping my interest up, still plenty to go at too, hybrids, roach, silver bream and zander. Might have to visit one of your favourite venues, got to be some points there. Oh and let's hope the grayling are playing ball. Now river carp might be a tad difficult now, might have missed the boat. I'm still 5lb chubless, and I know where there is a big pike. Just need more time. I've certainly enjoyed it thus far.

  2. River carp will be doable come springtime, Mick. Right now the table is spread with the winter feast. A limited menu, I'll admit, but I love winter fishing most of all. Went after a canal carp I saw the signs of this morning. Didn't get a proper bite — just two liners. But they were there alright. In summer I might have half a chance but canal carp, like river carp, are very cagey creatures, aren't they?

    1. Well the lily pad swim I know and love I've hooked and lost one and literally had 20 or so climbing on each other's backs to get the dog biscuits, they ignored a bottom bait even chunks of bread. I might go to pastures new come spring, got a few ideas. I've found cut carp easier to spot but you still need to find them. I fished with Danny down the cut, showed me where they were and they ignored a floating bait, not interested at all. Still think bread is king though, bottom fished or on the surface.

    2. Yeah, Dan took me along to one of his hush hush venues. It was there that I learned how to spot canal carp. Dawn. You walk and talk and then you see the very slightest ripple emerge from beneath a bush. Then you sit down and watch for as long as it takes to see more subtle happenings. I little tail pattern here, a slight humping there. Then you cast ever so carefully tight to cover and wait. You get one run between you both which I fluffed ( He'll never forgive me that!) but then a boat comes through and you go home!

      A masterclass is what it was.

      Today I sat for two hours watching out for the almost imperceptible signs of their presence. They were there. No other fish makes the signs that carp make. But by Christ they don't give away much!

  3. Jeff,

    However, winter might well throw floods at us.

    I think that may be a given, if the long range forecast up to Christmas is correct, it may be yet another washout on the rivers. It just seems to go on and on sadly.

    1. Oh Gawd! Monty, I really hope they are out of whack with predictions. A winter without good river fishing is torture, isn't it? I can't bear to think about previous years waiting for improvement only to be accosted by yet more rain just as levels fell.