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I hope that you find my journal interesting and entertaining. If, having read this, you think that I am talking rubbish then at least you have stopped and thought about it long enough to come to that conclusion which is something of a result in my book. If you would like to comment on this article or anything else relating to my website, please feel free to contact me using the adjacent form. Feedback is always greatly appreciated and very helpful when it comes to improving both my site and my angling. Thank you for looking. If this form will not work for you, please e-mail me at editor@ericweight.co.uk
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The big perch fairy and the law of Sod

 

It's glaringly obvious that to catch a two pound perch (my arbitrary definition of big) there has to be one to catch and truth be told that is nearly everywhere these days. If there is only one then your chances of catching it are directly related to the number of small perch likely to get to your bait first. And the point is that statistical probability is more relevant in each swim than it is in the venue as a whole. On a canal we can fish just about every inch of the water and I refuse to believe that all summer long, I have been fishing in water that no longer contained any big fish at all. After all, they haven't just been parachuted in from nowhere. Failure has to be the result of technique and, or, competition.

Why technique? Well, I have a definite tendency to resort to smaller lures pretty quickly and for sure, that produces more smaller fish. If the swim contains a hundred four ounce perch and only one or two big ones, I am going to need a lot of luck to catch the latter. If however that swim contains half a dozen two pound plus perch and few if any tiddlers, a small lure will prove just as effective for them as a bigger one, and so it has proved lately. It may be then that if the bigger fish are more spread out for most of the year that it would be better to stick with bigger lures if I want to catch them rather than go for the maximum number of fish of any size.

Occasionally amongst this veritable glut, one or two half decent fish come to the net that are very 'black' in colour. This is a phenomenon that, rightly or wrongly, I associate with males in spawning garb and is something that I have seen in rainbow trout and zander over the years. Perhaps, probably even, this is why those better fish have become easier to catch. They are gathering together and feeding up to prepare themselves for the annual shagfest. After all predators tend to spawn early so that their fry are advanced enough to take advantage when the silver fish finally get around to it.   

This theory is reinforced somewhat by the equally sudden appearance of some better zander as well. For a fish that is supposed to constitute a rampaging plague, they have been problematic to catch of late as well. Whatever the reasons we can only be grateful and greedy.

 

 

Somewhere, somehow, a switch has been thrown by someone. It had seemed like a lifetime since a decent perch came our way, but in the last month, all that has changed. Out of the blue, two pound perch have been popping up all over the place. I am not complaining, believe me, in fact it has come as something of a relief, which as a statement in itself is a bit rich coming from someone who professes not to be obsessed by big fish.

The truth is I love catching big fish and small fish, but given a choice, well it stands to reason that big is better. No woman that has told me otherwise has ever sounded convincing anyway. So, it all begs the question why, having struggled all year, have we suddenly found the answer, and the truth is, we, haven't. It is merely a happenstance of nature.

One of the most irritating downsides of this autmnal glut is that we lose more big perch as well. Perch can be quite tricky I know, soft rods, soft hands, firm but not violent pressure and a measure of haste in getting the net under them are all important factors. That thin fragile membrane between lips and mouth is easily damaged and many a time the hooks fall out in the net simply because they have made a disproportionately large hole in it. Barbless or otherwise it seems to make little difference with perch, but extended playing times, excessive or sudden pressure and slack line will all let you down.

I know all this, but between the three of us we have still lost four big perch, half of which were potentially three pounders and one large zander over the last few weeks. It is a fact of life, sod’s law that they will always end up being bigger fish than you land but that doesn’t make it any easier.

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