From the water’s edge

Artificial

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July 2010 - Summer plugging

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.

Their frenetic, tight wiggling action is very attractive to perch as well. This 2lb 7oz  beauty on the right took my lure from the fast, shallow riffle pictured at the top of the page and was the last fish I was expecting when the rod hooped over.
Friends of mine find this lure effective for perch on the Thames where they will come up from quite deep water to have a go at it, and they have also found them strangely effective for canal zander -  a truly versatile crankbait.
It seems to have been months since I last caught a decent perch, probably because I spend most of the winter months fishing dirty canals but this week I have had two. The 2lb-5oz fish on the left took a 6” storm kicking minnow on the river trent a couple of days ago, so rather like london buses, you wait ages for one and then two arrive in quick succession.
There really is nothing to touch a big perch though is there?
Although I did eventually catch a pike on the trip that most of these images came from, this one had the last word by repeatedly following my zonker fly to the side before slipping away. The rest of the story of this trip to a small midlands river is taken up with something I never use these days - bait. Steve, who kindly took me along here on a guest ticket was chasing the barbel and when I spotted some feeding downstream of the bush that he was fishing above,a hasty move paid dividends.
He caught two on the day both of which weighed in excess of eight pounds and what beautiful fish they were too. They are incredibly powerful and his rod took on some alarming curves at times as they ploughed back under the cover of the bush before he was able to get them free.
There is something wonderful about seeing their bronze backs and big pink elephant ears pectorals as they glide across the gravel or bore strongly across the current on the end of the line.
Both fish fought strongly for a long time, necessitating a long spell of careful assistance before they could safely swim away, but Steve is good at this and has a couple of simple tricks up his sleeve to ensure that they are full recovered before swimming away.
Once they are in the net he leaves them to rest in the water while he gets his scales, forceps, mat and camera organised, then they are quickly lifted out and unhooked .
Once they are ready to be returned he walks them along to another swim and holds the fish upright in the side by the wrist of the tail and waits until they have expelled all the gases and air that has built up. You can see it bubbling out of their gills and when they are ready they will start working that big powerful tail and set off iin their own time. It is a beautiful sight when they power off into the current.
If I have a baby Manns-1-minus clipped on the end of my trace it will almost certainly be early season on the rivers. I don’t know of a more reliable chub lure for the summer. They cast like a bullet, as far as you could ever need, are small enough to catch chub and perch, and most importantly, as the name suggests, they work in the top foot of the water column. Luring chub from the far bank slacks and out across the shallow runs is easy with this lure as the 4lb -1oz specimen in these first images demonstrates.
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