– After a great Christmas and a break from fishing due to University commitments it was time to get back to what I love best. I decided to target some giant perch from a selection of commercial still waters including Whitevane Pond, Sumners Pond and a lake in West Sussex that has a track record of some enormous perch. 4lb+ is this years target and I have given myself the month of February to achieve this goal. A 4lb perch is a massive fish and rare to say the least but with the careful selection of waters and by spending a reasonable time on the bank using the correct tactics I feel I can catch a giant stripy and achieve this target.
The first lake I fished was Sumners Pond in Horsham which is a comfortable forty minute drive from my home in Kent. I used tactics that I have had previous success with when fishing similar venues. The rigs were simple running ledgers incorporating a lead clip with a large loop swivel that ensures the line can be pulled freely if a fish picks up the bait resulting in no resistance that can cause a perch to drop the rig. I fished this with 6lb line straight through to a size 6 longshank hook pattern. One rod was fished with a big king prawn hook bait and the other with a big juicy lobworm which in my opinion is the ultimate big perch bait. Over the hook bait I baited lightly with some dead maggots and red krill based ground bait enhanced with some worm extract additive. I fished a swim with some likely looking perch cover in the form of some dead willow trees and targeted the margins in four feet of water.
With most commercial fisheries the water is murky which can cause the rule book of generic perch fishing to be changed. Perch generally prefer to feed in spells usually when the water is exposed to minimal sunlight. The mornings and evenings are considered the best time to fish for big perch but when the water is so murky or deep the feeding periods can be inconsistent with this rule. I have caught large perch from commercials at midday so putting in the time can reward you with an unexpected monster. Due to the waters clarity I like to use big bold baits that release a lot of smell and I am a big believer of enhancing these baits with additives to make it easier for the perch to find.
I was fishing with my angling mate Will who had come all the way from Oxford to join me in Horsham. After arriving at our original choice of lake only to be told a match was on and that we couldn’t fish we had no choice but to travel to Sumners Pond which meant we arrived after first light. A breakfast from the onsite cafe was first on the agenda before we settled down to target the perch. Sumners pond has produced fish over the magical 4lb mark so this was a great water to refine our tactics before moving onto the main target water for a real monster.
By midday we both had not received as much as a nibble when out of the blue my Delkin let out numerous beeps more common with that of a carp run then a perch take. I engaged the bail arm that was tactically left open to eliminate any resistance and lifted into a strong fish that was banging its head around trying to dispose of the hook. After a quick fight Will netted a lovely perch that went 2lb 6oz caught on a lobworm. (picture above). This was great catch and start to the campaign. The rest of the day proved uneventful and we had no more fish to show for our efforts. It was now time to move onto the main target lake and really pout some hard time in for a fish of a lifetime.
– Following a great session at Sumners Pond I decided to concentrate my efforts on another water close to home in the search of some giant perch. The water I focused on has produced fish to over 6lb!! but most recently fish to over 4lb have been landed with one at 5lb 10oz. The lake is a small commercial and I planned to hit it hard during the month of February.
The campaign didn’t go to plan with no perch to show for six sessions including one session in the snow where I stayed the night in order to get the rods out for first light only to wake up to a frozen lake and snowfall. Following this session I managed to brake my foot and that was the end of that. I write this at the beginning of April and am looking to concentrate on catching a large roach to begin my Drennan Cup campaign.