Monday, 25 July 2011

Silver Bars in the Margins

 Finally got by arse in gear and went fishing today. The alarm sounded at 06:00 I was away by 06:45 for the short drive to the decoy lake for a day’s perch fishing.
I noticed on the drive up to the lake that the air temperature was a tad low for July. It was a mere 10 deg C and there was a breezy north easterly wind that was on the chilly side for summer.
I arrived just after 07:00 and unpacked the car. The wind would be in my face today, so a fleece was grabbed from the back seat.

I decided to head further down the lake than I usually would when targeting the bream and tench, because today I was after the only predators that were in here, the perch.
Now I am by now means an expert perch angler, but I do love stripeys. Perch always look grumpy to me with their down turned mouth, but neither the less they are expert predators when not being hunted my mess er pike or zander.

So I have come armed with lob worms and casters as by primary baits and soon the first bait was cast to the overhanging trees on the far bank. At real perch haven by all accounts. Second rod out was fished with a float set at a shallow depth with casters as the bait. The area around the float was then baited up with a mixture of casters and hemp. The hemp is used to draw the small bait fish into the area.
With the air temperature seeming to be rise the digital thermometer came out of the bag and was set up. The air temperature read 14.6 deg C, with the water temperature being only 0.3 deg C lower.
Too small to catch
It was not long before the casters were being harassed by small roach and soon the first fish of the day was landed. A small roach of a couple of ounces. This was soon followed by several other roach over the next hour. With little or no attention from perch, I changed the float depth and fished it a good foot deeper, ensuring a shot was closer to the hook to endeavour to get the bait down quicker past the small roach. The tactic worked and soon the first perch of the session was hooked and landed. Nothing massive, but a perch it was.

The perch was soon unhooked and returned and I re baited and recast. The float hadn't settled before it shot under and a roach was hooked. This was soon followed by half a dozen small roach, so the float depth was altered by another foot. Unfortunately, the roach as still there and more roach followed and again the depth was altered. I was fishing near to the bottom and the perch were still not feeding. The roach on the other hand were, so I decided to change tack. If the roach were feeding, perhaps the larger ones would.
So a new lighter hook link of with a size 14 hook was added to the 4lb mainline. Float depth was adjusted so the casters would just be tripping the bottom of the lake. This would also mean that I could also have the chance of tempting the resident bream and tench that frequent the lake.

The area where I had been fishing for the perch was baited up with a mixture of caster, hemp and some flavoured sweetcorn . Hook bait was changed to the flavoured corn and it didn't take long for the roach bite to come and before long I have the first of many quality size roach. Not exactly record breaking but good spot and with the stamp of fish now averaging 9oz, it seems that the future could be bright for larger roach given a couple of season. By midday it was it was starting to warm up and the first bream made an appearance, again nothing huge, but it was a welcome sight. This was swiftly followed by another and a couple of roach/bream hybrids.
15:00 came and the carp started to crash in the lilies on the far side. Whilst they were within casting range, it actually seemed in polite to interfere with the afternoon frolics, so I left them be. Perhaps i go after them on another day.
16:00 came and went and the day was now pleasantly warm, but with bait stocks diminishing, I decided that I had caught enough silver bars and I packed up and head home. With 20lb of roach caught with the occasional bream and hybrid, it was not a bad catch, just a shame that the perch didn't make an appearance.

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