Tips & Hints for October 2013

In pursuit of Big Perch

In pursuit of Big Perch

16 October 2013

In pursuit of Big Perch

Chay Jackson

Well it's that time of year again, summer has finally started to ebb away and the autumn seems to have been dumped on us without warning, bright sunshine one day and strong winds, dropping temperatures and rain the next, winter is definitely coming!

It is during the latter part of the summer I will start to give more serious thought and early planning to what will be my winter campaign, now I have to admit my discipline when it comes to keeping to a plan is at best poor! The problem is I am a lifelong Pike and Chub fanatic, and come winter it takes a lot of self discipline not to go off what my winter campaign was planned to be! I regret to inform you that I am not always successful!

This year though will be different, no really it will be! I have a cunning plan that involves fishing for a species that I have been planning to target for a while now, but never had the time (or got pre occupied with pike!) It's also a species that I have been lucky to catch at a decent size already, the magnificent Perch. I don't think there is a better looking fish, especially when it gets to 2lb+. To be honest I have been lucky to have caught them to over 2lb in the past, I even landed 6 over 1lb to 3lb (Pictured) in an hour once, but what I have always wanted to catch is a 4lb Perch, yes 4lb! A fish of a lifetime to be honest. Every year I promise myself that the autumn and winter will be in the most part given over to catching a massive Perch, trouble is as you can imagine they are as rare as hen's teeth and venues are very hard to find, especially where I used to live in Melton Mowbray. Sure there are venues about but when you run a busy fishery seven days a week travelling miles in search of your quarry is just out of the question.

A lucky break

Last year a friend of mine was lucky enough to land a brace of Perch over 4lb from an 'undisclosed' midlands venue, yes you know the ones, well it just so happens that I have just moved house from Melton Mowbray to not far away from said venue and of course it would be rude not to have a piece of the action wouldn't it? My mate has been gagging for me to join him down there on a session, but it has always been at least an hour's drive from me and when you run a fishery full time it's not easy to put enough time in to do the venue justice really, so I have always resisted the temptation...Until now!

The fishery is only a ten minute drive for me; the proximity of the venue will make it so much easier to put in the required bank hours to catch big Perch, all I need now is a plan of attack.

The venue is actually a commercial carp and coarse fishery and as you can imagine it does get busy during the summer and early autumn, eventually though the summer anglers drift away and leave a near deserted pool, until then I have to work around them!

This month (September) I have started with a few recce type sessions, these have been limited to late afternoon until dark sessions, the weather is still quite warm with high pressure, not ideal. Perch feed best during low light I am hoping for action as the sun drops out of the sky, of course the lake is also a lot quieter to.

Air injected Lobworms, a quality Perch baitAs I said earlier the venue is commercial water and  a bit of a hole in the ground to be honest, typical Perchy features like reed beds and old fallen trees etc are scarce. I have decided to concentrate my efforts (in the early parts of my campaign anyway) to three key areas, a reeded area around 20 metres long, a willow tree that drapes into the water providing a good ambush point for Perch and the drop off on a small island at around 30 yards, it’s not a lot to go at but I have it on good authority that they have done big Perch in the past.

Another problem with the venue being a commercial is rules, no live baits which would normally be my first choice Perch baits and no lure fishing, never mind though I will fall back on the ever faithful air injected lobworm and prawns, a quality Perch bait. I fish both baits on simple free running ledger rigs, I use wide boar run rings in conjunction with 1oz leads and 4lb fluorocarbon hooklinks to a size 8 Drennan super specialist hook.

The early sessions...

As I sit and write this piece I have done three late afternoon sessions, unfortunately the water temperatures are still very high and all I have to report is a string of Carp to 15lb and a few Tench! My only Perch so far has been a 6oz baby (right); well it's a start! During the coming month and into October I will fish longer sessions as and when the weather suits, I'm really looking for a low pressure and drizzle; filthy miserable days are what we are after for Perch to go on the feed. I have already started to learn a few things about the pool and have started to piece together all the pieces that will hopefully end up with me landing a big un' until next month