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21st July 2012: The After Party

Posted by AddictedToScopex , 25 July 2012 · 4,413 views

Following my first ever two pound perch and the consistently good weather I was spurred on to have another go on Saturday on the same stretch of canal to see if I could root out another big perch.

This session was to be an early start. I had to be home by 12pm to make sure I could help the wife out with getting things sorted for our daughters christening the following day. I made the decision (despite having been at work all week with 6:30am starts) to get up at 5:30am and head straight down. It's amazing how you can motivate yourself at 5:30am to jump straight out of bed but on a work day you hit the snooze button multiple times before finally dragging your backside out of bed.

I arrived at the canal with it looking lovely in the early morning summer sunshine. I had a good feeling about the day and was itching to get tackled up and fishing.

The canal:

The view:

I tackled up with one of my own traces again followed by attaching my dumpy roach plug. I started by having a few chucks at the bridge and then a little in the open canal but I soon felt the pull of the locks and the temptation of the big perch. I made my way to the first lock and this time only saw one or two small groups of perch milling around. I cast in near a small group of small fish and immediately had a take off one of them. It was nothing of any real size but it was very satisfying to get a take so quickly and get off the mark. You can see from the picture below just how bright it was so the capture seems to fly in the face of the old wives tale that perch will not feed in bright conditions. This trend was to continue.

I continued to whip the lock into a foam and had numerous follows and takes catching small perch. I then had two small pike back to back.

Pike 1:

Pike 2:

It was rapidly turning into a real red letter day. I was getting non stop action. I had a few more smaller perch and then swapped to the shads as I had promised anderoo I would try them out again and see if they could weedle out the larger specimens. I had my first retrieve and immediately hooked a small perch. This fell off. I then had another which fell off. I decided to rest this lock and move to the next. I arrived at the next lock and crept up to it and had a retrieve down the length of the inside wall. I was getting pulls, taps and whacks all the way back and hooked a perch near the end of the retrieve. I short fight and it came off. This happened a further 4 times which included me losing a real whopper again. I was really considering stopping using the shads as they were costing me too many fish. Most of my hookups resulted in bumped fish or fish that would fight for a minute and then spit the hook. I was using a large barbed jighead too. It was immensely frustrating. I decided to keep plugging away with it for a little while longer to make sure I had given it a fair run out. I changed to a brown sparkly shad which was the same length as the silver one. I ran it down the inner wall and past myself and as I did I noticed a shadow following it about a foot deeper than the shad. I kept the lure in the water and moved it around. The shadow struck at it and nailed it in one. A short fight and rather than reaching for the net I grabbed the braid and hoisted the fish out. I wasn't going to lose this one. I was surprised at the weight that met me as I lifted the braid. It was another very large (for me) perch. I weighed it immediately. 2lbs 4oz! Another 2lber. I was over the moon and took a moment to admire it and take a picture before slipping it back and admiring it as it swam off into the depths to sulk. What a fish. A 2lb perch may not be big by some peoples standard but for me to catch one on a lure felt totally magic. For those interested I was finding that keeping the shad coming back at a constant depth or smooth curve in depth produced far more bites than an irratic series of depth changes.

I decided I had better head back to the other lock after catching that fish as it had made a little fuss and I wanted to rest the lock. I headed back to the first and was greeted by the sight I had been dreading all morning. A boat. I decided that rather than have to wait ten minutes for it to pass through the lock I would just call it a day and have a nice relaxed walk back to the car. I wandered down the tow path and spooked no less than 5 pike which were basking in the early morning sun and marvelled at the masses of fry and small roach and perch which were milling around in the weeds.

It was a lovely day and as always I was smiling all the way back to the car. Is there really anything better than being an angler during the summer months?

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