Before christmas i manged to grab an afternoons fishing at a small local pond which i,ve heard rumours has produced some big perch to pleasure anglers over the past year or so. I had to work locally to this water in the morning and knew i,d be finished by midday so i sneaked my perch gear in the truck along with my tools and made sure i passed the local tackle shop on my way to work to pick up some maggots and lobworms. The sky was overcast with a little drizzle in the air while i worked which i was very happy with as i like overcast conditions when i predator fish. Unfortunately by the time i had finished what i had to do the sun had come out and the temp had risen a few degrees to make it a lovely day, but unfortunately not what i was after. Nevermind i thought, its my first trip to the water so i,ll just use it as a recon visit.
Arriving at the water i was surprised as to how attractive it was, willow trees overhanging the nearside banks with swims in between them and reeds lining the margins of the island. I was also surprised at how small the water felt, i,ve been fishing waters upwards of 15 acres over the coarse of this year so this little 1 acre water felt tiny, especially as the island was only 30ft or so from the near bank and took up most of the waters area. It was also shallow with a maximum depth of 3ft, so i have to admit it looked perchy but with being so shallow i wasn,t so sure.
Anyways i set up a float rod to try for some silvers to gauge what might actually live in this water. First off i chucked in half a handful of red and white maggots just past the marginal shelf followed by a few golfball size balls of groundbait, my thinking be to get a little attraction going so any silvers will drift in hopefully followed by the perch. First chuck and i was in to a nice plump roach of near half pound in weight, result i though as you can,t beat a nice size roach. Next chuck and i had what i,m not sure was a skimmer bream or a silver bream. Then followed another few bream of equal size which was great fun but were way too big for any perch to feed on.
Well after a couple of hours playing with the roach and bream i hadn,t caught any other species let alone any perch. I found this to be quite odd as all the fish i caught were way too big for a perch to manage to eat, i was beginning to think the rumours were just that, rumours. Anyway i carried on catching roach and bream but scaled my tackle right down and fished just of the bottom as i noticed that when i fished up the shelf i was getting small plucks and my maggots came back sucked so thought there might be gudgeon down there which would make great livebait. Fortunately i was right and caught 3 of the little blighters as well as 2 small roach, livebait sorted time to set up the perch gear. I hooked on a little gudgeon to a size 8 Pallatrax The Hook, i like these hooks as they are very strong but quite small for their size, slid on a trimmed down bait flag to stop it from coming off and flipped it out beneath a willow on a free roving float set up.
After an hour a had a take from a BIG perch which boiled on the surface before throwing back my little gudgeon in disgust. Boy was my heart pounding at that point. I carried on fishing my swim but nothing else showed so went on a little walk about dropping my bait into any likely looking areas to try and temp any strippies present. Eventually i got a cracking take which saw my float shoot across the surface at a rate of knots like a pike would take. A quick strike and i was into a fish which was pulling back quite nicely. After a few minutes tussle my prize was in the net, 2lb 5oz of pristine perch. A few quick pictures and she was sliding back into her home.
Well i was wrong about this small shallow water not being able to hold any sizable perch, and i will definately be back for the monster that i lost......