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).
07 August 2009.
Jigs and perch.
Talk about 'old dogs and new tricks'! I don't know whether it's just me but I find that I have a sort of 'angling inertia' when it comes to doing anything different. I shouldn't be like this because all of my most effective techniques, bass plugging, mullet spinning, maggot flies, circle hooks, etc. etc. had to be tried before they were trusted.
This week I decided to try something different, just for a change. For years my pal Paul Froom has been catching good perch on soft plastic 'grubs' and I've been meaning to 'give them a go' but for some reason (angling inertia) never got round to it. This time I was determined to give them a proper soaking. As it happened, last Christmas my grandson and number one fishing buddy Ben had bought me a selection of lures which included a number of leadheads and some plastic grubs. To make sure I didn't chicken out and tie on a plug I only put the grubs in the box (and one little Rapala - just in case my confidence deserted me).
I went to a spot where I often catch perch, as there is little point testing something new in an untried place. I tied on a white leadhead with a red and yellow curly tail. It looked so garish I was already having doubts at this point. I flicked out the lure into the white water downstream of the weir and jiggled it back. Was this the way to do it - I'd no idea. next cast went a bit further - nothing! My third chuck was right up against the sill of the weir. Cast, tighten, I'm in! A fish had taken the lure as it sank. Eureka!
The perch jiggled and sheared about as they do but it was no match for the bass tackle (still on from my last sea fishing trip). I was chuffed, my confidence was now sky high. I took a picture of the perch and popped it back. Next cast - wallop! Another perch, then another and another. By now I'm thinking this is easy then I cast a bit further and let the jig sink. It went solid on an obstruction and I had to break it off. I rooted about in the box and found a slightly larger leadhead with a whiteish, silver speckled body. On it went. First cast another bite and yet another decent perch. After several more fish again I snagged up and lost the lure. How about a variation? I tied on an unweighted white lure with a small uptrace bomb. Nothing! I swapped the plastic for my little Rapala. Still nothing! I looked at my watch time to go home for my tea.
What had I learned? I could catch perch on jigs. They were often taken 'on the drop'. The colour didn't seem to make much difference. The fish were right up against the face of the weir. I'll lose lots of jigs fishing over a stony bottom. Not bad for a first attempt. I'll be back!!!