From the water’s edge

Artificial

 Lite

December 2012 - Small but perfectly formed

So here we go then; a new site  with a similar, hopefully less complicated and more easily updated format. You are very welcome to tune in whenever you feel the need to get your fix of light lure angling or if you just want to see that somebody else is no better at it than you are.

The summer has been difficult, time-wise, but at last I am getting back out and for this trip, Pete and I turned to a stretch that we have only ever fished once before. We caught quite a few perch back then but for some reason never got around to a return visit.

The perch were still there and fairly readily caught using our standard issue, big hammer and kopyto shads of 2 and 3 inches long. Pete did really well getting a couple of dozen out in short order, while I trailed well behind.

This entry to my journal however concerns the follow up visit a week later because I really believe that I learned something new (for me) this time.

We arrived at the water to find it absolutely filthy; and filthy water and lure fishing for perch in my experience don’t mix.

 

Fortunately we now had an advantage in that we knew exactly where Pete had caught a lot of fish the previous week and that was less than a foot or two from the side. Dibbling was all I had left in the armoury, so I decided to give it a serious effort. Dibbling is how I think of vertical jigging, not in 80 feet of water in the middle of Rutland, but in 12 inches to 10 feet of water along the margins of the canal. I will use it in any depth as long as I can’t see the bottom and it essentially means plumbing the depth with a tiny lure hanging directly beneath the rod tip. I pick the lure up and put it down an inch or two away. If I catch up on a snag, I will guide the lure back out the way it went in and ‘plumb’ carefully all around it.

 

I was using tiny 1” tubes, kopytos and small tripple ripple grubs and results were immediate. The theory was that those fish would probably not have moved from their holding spots and they were self evidently either not prepared to chase, or unable to locate a moving lure quickly enough to take it in this dirty water. In these circumstances the usual and generally accepted method is to use something loud, colourful or noisy; or any combination thereof. It is common sense and obvious, but I can’t honestly say that I have ever found that to work any better than anything else. It should, but that is not my experience.

So I crept and trembled my tiny lures around the sticks and stones alongside the bank and had 14 perch between 4 oz and about a pound and a half in the next couple of hours. The two biggest came from this spot above. This picture was taken another week further on, and the, by now, very low water level revealed two large holes in the brickwork which was exactly where I had caught the two biggest perch. The second of those two took on the drop, and I can’t help wondering if they were tucked into that brickwork, popping out to take anything that should venture past. I have caught a lot of perch now where the steel cladding ends and  the wash has hollowed out the soft bank behind. Another spot that often works well for me is in the angle where the bank straightens up below a lock or after a bridge. Any area where the boats don’t physically disturb them too much is worth a prolonged effort I find and I do think that Perch are fond of nooks and crannies.

If Pete had said that he didn’t fancy it with the water that colour I would gladly have gone up the pub early, but to catch so many perch in those conditions has got me all excited. I do catch a lot of fish in 12” of water in the margins of the canal, but if I’m honest I don’t try fishing  it hard enough and if this method works so well in poor conditions what might it do in good ones?

Takes by the way were very gentle in keeping with the slow movement of the lure. Mostly they were just a sense that something wasn’t right and that the lure might have got a little heavier. I stopped and watched the line. Often it just started to wander about and a smooth lift hooked, and swung the fish to hand. Interesting stuff and a good excuse to buy lots more tiny little soft baits and 2.5-3.5 gm size 6 jigheads. The beer and the food in the pub afterwards was top drawer as well - happy days. Or as Pete is fond of saying as we sit in front of the log burner, “I wonder what all the poor people are doing?”

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.

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