Sunday, 10 February 2013

River perch - when your luck's in

I really fancied getting another session in while the snow was still on the ground but it was a bit of a toss up as to what species and where due to the conditions. In the end I decided on perch but my first choice of venue, the Trent, was a no hoper due to the water level and so I decided on the River Derwent. I bought a new ticket this season that gives you the best part of ten miles of the river to go at but to be honest I've hardly fished it bar a few barbel trips last summer and a few perch trips in the autumn though it had given me some quality fish so I decided to give it another go for the perch. The main roads weren't a problem after several days of gritting but when I turned off into the narrow lanes I started to think twice as in places they were just a sheet of ice. I made it through to the fishery in one piece though the car park was like an ice rink too and I did wonder if I would be sleeping in the van for the night, I'd deal with that later though, at least I had got there ok.

I found a swim between a couple of trees that looked the part and cleared enough snow out of the way to allow me to set up comfortably. There was enough room to fish a couple of rods in this spot so along with the usual quiver tip set up I rigged up another running feeder rig to be fished on the alarm and bobbin. Half a dozen droppers of chopped maggot and a couple of chopped worm were positioned in a little line between the two trees and I flicked the worm baited bobbin rod to the upstream end and the quiver tip rig to the downstream. I was late in arriving at the river and within an hour the light was just beginning to start fading as the bobbin started to creep up slowly before I hit into a fish. I had actually thought that my best chance would be at the very last minute due to the snow causing such bright conditions but I was proved wrong. It felt like a good fish from the start and put up a good solid fight right under the rod tip, diving back down to the bottom several times before I could bring it to the net where it certainly did look to be a hefty old perch. As I usually do with fish I want to photograph I unhooked it and weighed it before returning it to the water in the landing net while I set up the tripod and camera. The scales made it 3lb 10oz and I was chuffed to bits with that especially in the snow, this was going to make a cracking picture. Once everything was set up I lifted the fish out onto the mat and flicked the camera on, I pressed the button to activate the intervalometer and then the shutter release to start the timer. No sooner had I started to pick the fish up than the first shot fired, no problem as it's set to repeat continuously, I was just about ready for the next picture when it fired again and I was about to adjust my position a bit to get it spot on for the third shot when the camera turned itself off with a flat battery! I popped the perch back into the water while I tried to sort the camera out, I stuck the battery in my pocket for ten minutes to try and revive it but eventually had to accept that it wasn't happening, the cold had just killed the remaining power, my fault for not having to charged to the maximum in the harsh conditions. I've only ever had that happen once before and that was when perching in the snow too funnily enough, as soon as I got home I was going to buy a spare battery and make it a rule to keep it in my pocket in very cold weather in future. Fortunately the second shot was just about reasonable.

3lb 10oz

The result of a dead battery from a year or two back, snow joke!

I decided that I was going to go home after that, I wouldn't have been chuffed if I had caught a monster with no camera to record the event and I was more than happy with what I'd had anyway so no problem there. I managed to drive out of the car park without too much bother and was tootling along down the lane nicely when the back end of the van slid out and I ended up pointing back the way that I had come, that was too close a call I can tell you, especially in a new van.


  1. Stunning fish Rob, well done. If you get out in this wicked weather you deserve good fishing.

  2. Thanks gents. This was in the last bout of snow Richard I'm a tad behind the times mate, neverthless quite fitting that it's back yet again today

  3. Well in Rob, great Perch, I think you made the right decission getting off home early, I just about made it off the Avon on Saturday due to a rising river.