I don’t think I have ever been so undecided about where to fish as I was prior to my last trip. My heart was set on the Trent but it was a little too high and coloured for Perch fishing. My usual Derwent spots were a little on the high side too. I thought about a commercial close to Chesterfield but I didn’t want to be surrounded by crowds of people.
With that in mind myself and Mr C decided to go to a spot on the lower Derwent that although on the high side is out of the main flow and has a reasonable depth to it. I’ve never had a Perch from there despite it looking absolutely fantastic. It also gave us the opportunity to try a couple of spots that I have wanted to try for a while but never got round to it as I always seem to head back to areas that have produced in the past.
I took with me some mashed up prawns and mussels despite the fact i’ve never caught a Perch on prawns from the Derwent. My backup plan though was to hopefully get a Chub or two and they do love prawns.
We settled down into our swims although neither of us had much expectations of catching Perch. With the exception of Chub we had really struggled in the past.
After a couple of hours our concentration and hopes were fading fast. I couldn’t get the thoughts of the other swims out of my head. They were like an itch that desperately needed to be scratched. Just at that point the tip on the left hand rod banged over. I hit into a solid resistance and immediately thought Chub. It desperately tried to get into the roots of the tree to my right but with a little persuasion I managed to steer it clear and into the waiting net. It looked a good 5 and the scales confirmed that is was 5lb on the nose.
We fished on for another hour and after a brief chat with the bailiff we decided to try the new swims. After all, we had zero confidence in the swims we were sat in. The new swims that we moved to were far from ideal. Although the water looked relatively serene, every now and then a big boil would appear and the water would back up into the slack. Time was ticking on and we we decided to give them a go. Funnily enough I managed two half decent bites in the new swims but I managed to miss them both. I suspect the culprits were Chub and not Perch. I couldn’t settle and as soon as Mr C piped up with the “Do you want to move?” question, I didn’t have to think twice.
The problem we were now faced with was where do we move to? We didn’t know this stretch very well at all. We did see a couple of likely looking swims further downstream so we setup in those. Surely they must produce a fish of some description. How wrong can you be? We sat there for 3 hours without a bite between us. Despondent we sat there and had a chat about the Perch fishing on this stretch of river. Everyone you speak to has tales of half decent Perch that have been caught however, these have been in the summer and autumn. The lack of other people fishing doesn’t exactly fill you with confidence either. Could that be a sign about how good the fishing is? Do the fish migrate downstream to the deeper water of the Trent in winter?
All these question left us perplexed. I don’t mind blanking but I can honestly say I have no confidence in going back to the same swims. With so many other bits of the Derwent producing fish and lots of water to explore on the Trent I think it’ll be a while before we venture onto that stretch of the Derwent again unless the target species is Chub.