Catch Fish with
For anyone unfamiliar with the site always check the FRESHWATER, SALTWATER and TACK-TICS pages. The Saltwater page now extends back as a record of over four years of (mostly) sea fishing and may be a useful guide as to when to fish. The Freshwater stuff is also up to date now. I keep adding to both. These pages are effectively my diary and the latest will usually be about fishing in the previous day or two. The Tactics pages which are chiefly 'how I do it' plus a bit of science are also updated regularly and (I think) worth a read (the earlier ones are mostly tackle and 'how to do it' stuff so if you are new to fly fishing or spinning these are the ones for you).
11 February 2008.
It's a while since I tried to catch a perch so, when the weather improved to clear,frosty mornings and sunny days I thought that I'd try my 'circle hook-livebait' tactics again. When I arrived at the water there was a chap legering for chub just downstream of my chosen spot. He immediately came up to pass the time of day and it seemed that he'd caught nothing on his bread and luncheon meat baits in two hours - not very encouraging.
The river was still pretty high and had quite a bit of colour but I selected a nice slow eddy, about five metres across, in the shade of an alder tree, attached a small livebait to the size 2 hook (tied on fifteen pound knottable wire) and swung it out into the middle of the slack water. Within a minute there was a bump on the rod top and the line started to move about steadily. I tightened into a fish and it pulled hard enough to take a little line. Soon it was on the surface and I could see the shape of a small pike which splashed, plunged away and came unstuck. Next cast the same thing was repeated except that I did not see the culprit. I decided to switch hook sizes and tied on my (pike) standard 4/0 circle (still on 15lb wire) as a paternoster link above a 10g weight.
Two more casts and there it was again - bump! bump! I gave slack for a couple of seconds and slowly tightened. This time the fish was on - a nice perch. I baited up again and next cast a bit bigger perch - fantastic! two more casts and I hooked a pike, probably the one I'd lost at first. Five minutes later I hooked and dropped a better fish, possibly a big perch, then another small pike took my last bait so I packed in and went home.
It's interesting that the two species of predator are perfectly prepared to feed in more or less the same spot (presumably because there is plenty to eat down there). In the past I've even had decent sized pike and big perch from the same swim despite the apparent risk of pike eating perch. Of course the presence of pike means that the tactics have to be a bit cruder than I'd like for the perch but they don't seem to mind too much.
Perch number one.
Perch number 2.