Saturday 21st March saw me fishing at a midlands commercial fishery in search of a big Perch along with a few fellow members of “The Perchfishers”. I had been keeping an eye on the weather all week. Friday was going to be nice and mild with no wind and a similar pattern was expected for Sunday. Saturday however would see cold northerly winds along with gusts to 30mph. How typical is that?
Arriving at 6:30am the temperature didn’t feel too bad. I was hoping the weather folk may have got it wrong. I set up with the gusty wind over my shoulder and decided to float fish half a rod length out in about 3 feet of water. The pond itself was about an acre and a half in size and only lightly fished. The good thing is there are no carp stocked in there. Just a mixture of Rudd, Tench, Bream, Crucian Carp and Perch.
Immediately I started getting bites. Hitting them was a different matter as the fish were obviously too small to take a large worm on a size 6 hook. Eventually I did manage to hit one and it turned out to be a skimmer. A couple more followed before I managed a couple of small Rudd. The bites then inexplicably dried up. Could it be that something bigger had moved into the swim?
The answer to that was, yes! The float bobbed around a bit but didn’t go fully under. Expecting another small fish it was a surprise to hit into something solid, with the fish plodding around under the rod tip before making a dash to the reeds to my left. I could see that it was a Tench and a good one too. I finally managed to get it to the surface and slid it towards the waiting net and then for no reason at all the hook pulled with the fish agonizingly close to the net. Could it be the barbless hook that had slipped? I’m suspecting that I didn’t let the bite materialise fully and therefore the fish was lightly hooked.
Slightly disappointed I fished on but the bites had slowed up considerably. A short while later I hooked into another solid resistance. This time though the fish came to the surface straight away. It was a nice Bream in the 5lb bracket. I slipped it back quickly in the hope there might be more but it wasn’t to be.
By mid-morning the wind had got decidedly colder and the bites were few and far between. Just as I started to day dream, the float slipped under and I hit into a fish that immediately got my thinking I was into a Perch. The rod tip nodded a few times and an immaculate Perch came to the surface. It looked around 1.8 in size and was fin perfect. Before long another one came along only this time slightly smaller at around a pound.
After a bacon buttie and a bit of a chat at lunch we all got back to trying to catch more Perch. I decided to switch from the float to a small feeder and fish towards a small island. The bites had totally dried up by this time on the float and I suspect the change in the weather had put the fish off.
I fished a combination of chopped worm and blended maggots in the feeder hoping the combination would attract some bigger fish. It was about 30 minutes before I had a proper bite and this turned out to be another Perch around the 12 ounce mark. Not big but very welcome nontheless. A short while later another followed around the same size. It then went quiet again before I finally had another Perch with this one also around 12 ounce. They were like peas in a pod.
The bites were very sporadic and I wasn’t at all confident. By 4pm my confidence had gone totally. I was annoyed by the weather and I couldn’t help but think had we been there the day before we would have done better. The cold had made me not want to take my hands out of my pockets hence why there are no photo’s on this post. It’s the first time I have fished an out-and-out commercial and I can’t say that it’s for me. It was a lovely little fishery but I am already dreaming of being back on the rivers.