I arranged to meet up with fellow Perchfishers member Kim at one of the large midlands trout reservoirs for a bit of fly/lure action. I’m not really a lure man and although I have caught a few fish on the lure my expectations weren’t high so I was glad I had the fly rods to keep me occupied if necessary. The plan was to pick up a few tips from Kim on the lure front and get into one or two stripeys.
The conditions were looking good when we arrived. Plenty of cloud cover and not too hot with the only downside being no wind to push us along in the boat. The water though looked horrendous with huge blooms of algae that made the water look like pea soup. I’m never confident when there are huge amounts of algae in the water and I can understand why fish get irritable in those situations.
Nevertheless we started off close to the boat jetty where we had a couple of tentative plucks on the lure. This encouraged us to repeat the drift a few times before I made contact with a sprightly jack which managed to shed the hook right next to the boat which is always handy. Sport was hardly what you would call brisk though so we decided a move was called for.
We motored to another hotspot and Kim was quickly into a jack about seven and a half pounds which fought very well and had me convinced it was bigger. To be honest though we really wanted to be catching perch but they appeared to be eluding us. We continued on into deeper water but the fishing was incredibly hard. We fished several areas in the morning but none of them produced so much as a sniff of a fish.
I did think about putting the fly rod through it’s paces but if i’m honest I don’t think it would have been any more successful. Still we weren’t to be defeated and after a bit of a rest and a sandwich Kim suggested we try another area on the opposite side of the reservoir. No one was fishing over there so we headed over and started fishing in about 15 feet of water. After a few casts there was a resounding thump on my lure just as it was starting to come up next to the boat. Instantly we both said the word “jack” expecting a a feisty little pike to come popping up until we both saw a stunning Perch come to the surface. I was praying that it didn’t spit the lure out as it looked around the four pound mark. After a final desperate dive for freedom I managed to get her in the net and I stood looking at an immaculate Perch. She had a little thrash around in the net and then the hook popped out on it’s own. What a relief it was that the hook managed to hold until she was in the net. She weighed in at 3.12. I was slightly disappointed that it didn’t make 4lb but if truth was told I was still over the moon. She was a lovely deep fish and she swam away strongly when returned.
No more fish were forthcoming from that spot so we decided a move slightly further up was in order. It wasn’t long before connecting with another fish. It turned out to be another decent Perch, this time coming in at 2.9.
After a very slow morning things were starting to pick up. We starting to get more takes and connecting with a few more fish. Nothing more particularly big but still great fun. We kept continuing the same drift, although we were hardly drifting due to the lack of wind, and I then had another couple of taps on the lure before hitting into another fish. It felt like another decent Perch before it was obvious I had hooked into a Pike. The Greys lure rod took on an alarming curve as the fish dived, desperate to shake the hook. I was playing the fish as hard as I could before Kim shouted that he too was into a fish. By this time I was wondering what we were going to do about netting both fish as the reservoir will only allow you to use one of their small pan nets for fear of spreading the killer shrimp between waters. I could tell mine was a decent fish and the size of the net was concerning me a little although there was always the option of chinning her out.
Thankfully Kim managed to unhook his fish while I was still playing mine and I then managed to squeeze a very fat Pike into the small net. She weighed in at 18.12 and was as fat as a bacon pig. After releasing her I had to take a minute to calm down and get my breath. A couple of hours previously I was wondering if we were ever going to catch a fish and my love for lure fishing wasn’t getting any stronger but now I was loving it and hoping that we could both get a few more decent Perch.
A couple more small Perch followed but it was obvious they had either moved or had spooked. We had a couple more drifts and although we did get the odd take we decided another move was in order. It was now past tea time and we had a couple more hours fishing before we would have to set off for the jetty in order to be back for the 8:45pm curfew.
After that hectic couple of hours we didn’t manage another fish. We had fished hard for 12 hours and it had been great fun. I wouldn’t say i’m a convert to lure fishing but I think it’s definitely something I will continue to try on the odd occasion in the future.