I can’t quite put into words the run of luck i’m having at the moment with the Perch but as I don’t seem to be able to put a foot wrong at the minute, I guess it makes sense to make hay while the sun shines. Although in weather terms the sun definitely wasn’t shining today. It felt very cold even though there wasn’t a frost on the ground. The wind had switched to the east and it pierced every layer of clothing I had on.
I think the fish must have noticed the change in wind direction too because the normally productive first couple of hours of daylight never produced a bite. It wasn’t a good sign and I knew it was going to be a grueller. I decided on a change of swim which served two purposes. Firstly the walk would warm me up and secondly it gave me chance to try out my new swim where I had a 4.11 Perch the other day. It’s amazing how your confidence comes back when you move swim and it’s amazing how quickly it disappears when you haven’t had a bite for an hour.
Just when I started to think it wasn’t going to be my day the tip started knocking before slowly pulling round. A sprightly Chub weighing 4.6 soon graced the net which I was more than happy with. It’s the first Chub i’ve had this winter and they seem to get rarer as each year passes. At least I hadn’t blanked and I could relax now, although I really did want a Perch.
Lunchtime came and went and before I knew it the time was 2:30pm. The cold had set in again and one of my wellies was taking on water. I’m on my 3rd pair of Muck Boots in 3 years now. I was really tempted to call it a day and the thought of a hot shower followed by tea and an eccles cake really tested my resolve to stay. I don’t know if I was too cold to pack up or if something else was telling me to stay but whatever it was I decided to stay to the bitter end.
By 4pm I really had lost all hope but then the left hand rod kicked into life. Three or four gentle knocks on the rod tip before it slowly pulled round a couple of inches. I struck into something solid that just didn’t do anything and came in like a sack before up popped a Perch coming in on it’s side. Bugger me it’s foul hooked I thought but then it rolled and the line had just got caught around the pelvic fin. It had a little spurt of energy just before I netted it but I have to say I don’t think i’ve ever had a perch fight so poorly but upon seeing the hook hold I’m glad it didn’t scrap. The hook was just nicked in a tiny slither of flesh in the corner of it’s mouth. Any resemblance of a fight from the fish and I think I would have lost it. It was a good fish too and was fit to burst with eggs by the look of it. It looks like the fish will be spawning early with the mild winter as this one looked like it was about to pop any minute. I estimated the weight at 3.10 before popping her on the scales and was a bit shell-shocked to see the dial settle at 4.1. Well actually it was slightly over 4.1 but i’m not going to quibble over a few drams. I felt sure that I hadn’t zero’d the scales properly so I went through the procedure again before reweighing and as before the dial settled at just over 4.1.
What a result. I can honestly say that when I looked at her I just thought she was a good 3. Maybe i’ve been spoilt by having the 4.14 and 4.11 last week and my judgement is out of kilter. She wasn’t particularly long but she just felt like a solid lump. I gently released her so she could go and make some baby Perch. Normally I would pack up after such a good fish but today I just felt like staying right to the death. It felt like there maybe another twist in the tale but there wasn’t. Two bites resulted in two fish and I fished solid for the best part of 10 hours. I can live with that though when catching Perch of that calibre.