Friday, 12 October 2012

Swithland perch fishing - towing the line

Tuesday the 25th of September

On Monday Steve had suggested a session on the reservoir the next day but I wasn't sure if I would finish work early enough to make it worthwhile. As Tuesday progressed the work situation was looking good but the weather wasn't, a strong southerly wind was piling into the dam end and from past experience I knew that spelt trouble, a big undertow was inevitable and bite indication would be a nightmare. I had told Steve that I would be able to make it but in all honesty I didn't fancy it at all though I soon changed my mind when I got a text mid afternoon saying that he had caught a perch, a 4oz perch but a perch. Now bearing in mind that between us we had only caught three perch last season you can understand that I found this quite a significant event and got myself down there pretty sharpish.

I pulled the van up on the dam wall and jumped out to have a word with Steve before I got set up, as soon as I poked my head over the wall I knew that the wind was going to cause problems and Steve confirmed that, in fact he had resorted to trying drop off indicators as bobbins were dragged up to the rod by the undertow within seconds, but he had aslo caught another small perch.

I really didn't know how I could effectively fish in the given conditions but I was there and so I would give it a go. The kit was balanced on the five foot high wall, ladder lifted over and leant on the far side and I followed it with the help of a boot on the van's bumper. It seemed that I had chosen a particularly awkward spot with regards to getting banksticks between the rocks and combined with the gusting wind the rods were bound to be rocking about all over the place. With rain forecast I also needed to set up some kind of shelter and I'd picked up my Korum day shelter thinking that with it's multiple pegging points at least a few of them would coincide with cracks in the stonework. I was right a few did but open cracks aren't the most secure and in the strong wind it was more a balancing act than anything else.

My wobbly house
I got the rods out with the usual maggot feeders and lobworm hookbaits and then attempted to get the bobbins set correctly without a hope in hell, I gave up after adding five swan shot to each cord and each time watching the indicator shoot straight up to the rod. I sat there thinking what an idiot I was to even bother trying to fish and then the day got worse as a tooth that had been playing me up for a while started to quickly get much worse probably due to been blasted by the wind, how delightful. I seriously considered packing up and making a run for it but convinced myself that the wind might drop in time for dusk. A packet of painkillers rattling about in the van helped somewhat and I tucked myself under the precarious shelter to sit it out.

The occaisional single bleep rang out but in such conditions could hardly be put down to a fish though I did wind in to find the hookbait missing several times, possibly lost on the cast? It was very difficult to say but by the time we started to pack up neither of us had anything else positive to show for our efforts.

Thursday the 27th of September

The wind had swung to a westerly which was much more promising and so I found myself back on the dam wall late in the afternoon with a single swan shot hold each bobbin just where I wanted it to be. After considering the situation over the last couple of days I had made the decision to add a second hook to each rod, set up short helicopter rig style a couple of feet above the feeder and baited with a few maggots it gave me two bites at the cherry and also made it slightly more feasable to fish in the extreme undertow that so often occurs on this water.

Withing half an hour of casting out one of the bobbins crept up and I struck, I thought I had missed the bite but in fact wound in a micro perch about three inches long which had taken the maggot hook. A little while later I was just setting the bobbin after a recast when it was pulled out of my fingers and cracked into the rod, another small fish was responsible though this one was slightly bigger at a huge four ounces, again the bolt rig had done the trick which was very encouraging. So I had now equaled in numbers my entire seasons perch catch from last year, wether these small fish have just arrived this season or if they had slowed down when I started fishing in late November last year is yet to be seen but I was starting to get a bit concerned as to what effect they might have on my chances of a big fish although of course it is a very good sign for the future.

Not what I had in mind
First negotiate the wall and then perch on the slope, not the most comfortable place to fish
 It turned out to be a lovely evening with a big moon rising over the trees in the distance and only a light ripple disturbing the surface on occaision. A surprising number of small fish were showing, in fact it was the first time that I have seen more than one or two on a session as the place normally seems dead, I also saw something much more substantial splash right on the edge of the marginal weed and had a suspicion that it might just have been a perch.

Another fish of about four ounces took the lobworm hook just before dusk and despite sticking it out well into dark proper that was my last indication.

The moon rises and the little uns top


  1. They can;t all be big 'uns :-)

  2. Very true mate, I would imagine that they small ones will disapear as it gets colder and I will then be wishing for the odd one to return to save me from endless blanks!

    Don't get me wrong I'm very happy to see them, quite apart from having the potential to grow big themselves they are providing a food source in their own right. I spent hours contemplating what exactly the perch and pike lived on last year as I honestly saw zilch in the way of small fish.