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).
10 February 2007.
Following the capture of a decent perch last week I decided to give it another go. Now there are several approaches I could have taken - spinning (lots of big fish take spinners of various kinds), bait fishing (worms seem to be very effective and so on but I'd decided to persist with livebaits. My pal Ben wanted to do a spot of piking (he's been confined to barracks for a while with his new baby) so I thought I'd try to catch a perch. Our tactics were similar in that we both used live dace. Ben's were larger baits and he used a float so that they would search the water, my small baits were tethered to a half ounce weight on a paternoster rig so I could drop them exactly where I thought there might be perch. The (and keep them there)other difference was that Ben's circle hook was about a 4/0 and mine a size 6 both were on fine wire traces.
It wasn't long before Ben had his first pike. Then he had another, and another. Of the perch there was no sign, to be honest I wasn't too surprised as they are a bit thin on the ground in this river. We came to a ditch joining the river. An old bridge of scaffold poles has fallen into the mouth of the ditch and I thought it a possible perch spot. Within seconds of dunking my bait it was grabbed by a pike and - DISASTER! - the pike shot under the sunken poles and out into the river. I could feel the line grating round the rusty poles as the fish dragged off line against the clutch. All went well until the fish was almost back in the ditch then, inevitably, the line parted just above the wire trace. I said a few choice words (mostly regarding my stupidity for fishing in that spot). A few minutes later, out in the River, Ben shouted 'fish!' and began to play a pike. He landed it and as he removed the hook, there, in the pikes jaw, was my little circle hook. All's well that ends well.
A few days later I decided to try my 'perch' tactics in another river containing more perch. Of course I had to use a wire trace again - just in case. For almost an hour I tried one likely pool after another - nothing! Then I saw a green flash and a big tail as a pike hooked itself. I played it out and landed it after negotiating a barbed wire fence and a three foot high bank. It was nicely hooked in the maxilla on my small hook - excellent. By now I was almost back where I had started. I dropped the little bait into the umpteenth hole and within seconds it was grabbed (in full view) by a decent perch. I tightened and the fish was hooked. I landed the fish, took a picture and dropped in another bait. This time another perch, about the same size as the first, swam up to my bait with evil intent, then suddenly, it turned tail and rocketed away into the gloomy depths????? What was on? I did not have long to wait before I found out, as a green torpedo lunged up from the deeper water and took my bait. I landed and returned the pike, again nicely hooked on the size six. Two pike and a perch plus a nearly perch- better. I'll give it another go soon. It occurs to me that the small circle hooks may be more than adequate for piking too.
How about that?
A perch at last.
The pike that scared the perch.