As anglers we all strive to catch fish and most of us big fish. It's only natural, even for the least competitive fisherman to want to beat their personal bests. We spend our time saving our pennies and researching kit to enable us to buy the best we can afford in the hope it will aid us into achieving these goals. On occasion whether planned or straight luck we have a day that we will remember for a very long time. A true red letter day.
Whether it is a lucky short session or a highly planned, organised and orchestrated mission, these red letter days are always welcome. However I do feel the reward is much higher when all the planning and preparation pays off. In the words of Hannibal Smith "I love it when a plan comes together".
Having had sometime off but not much of a chance to go fishing, I set aside a couple of days for a fresh water assault in the hope of some perch, more importantly my first 2lb perch. I popped out to Lure Heaven UK HQ for a restock of perch lures and to borrow a rod. I ended up borrowing the Graphiteleader Nuovo Bosco GlNBS-642ML. 6'4" in length it was perfect for those little flicks under trees and more than long enough for the canals and rivers of the UK. Having a casting weight of 1.7-10.6g makes it ideal if any sneaky pike snatch the lure but plenty light enough for the perch.
Gloves on and a brisk walk back to where I finished off and I was warm, cozy and rev'd up ready to go. By midday I had landed 34 fish. The 35th fish pictured above was then followed by the most subtle take but a hearty scrap. This was by far the best fish of the day and once in the net I could tell it was a PB or at least close to it. A quick weigh, then photograph and popped her straight back. Mission accomplished 2lb 1oz!
The day continued much like this with 8 fish over 1lb, 1 over 2lb and 7 at about 12oz - 1lb. Top that off with 42 fish under 12oz makes for one hell of a perch session. All the fish fell to Bait Breath BeTanCo Curly tails in 2in in white/clear with gold fleck and Bait Breath O-GO who have proved themselves ten fold the last few weeks. They team up nicely with the Decoy Violence VJ-31F jighead in 1.4g with a size 1 hook and the 1.8g size 1/0.
As a result of sinking a few tins the night before with fellow reprobate Matt Jones, we started well after first light but I wasn't complaining as it was even colder today and the frost was even thicker. In fact the frost was so thick that after walking 500yd down the canal I had over an inch of ice on the soles of my boots.
Todays fishing was much slower but I was still getting a few small ones. After getting some advise on where to fish for the big girls from top ghillie Matt, I was keen to give it ago. Not much joy early in the day so I began to walk and cover some ground. We saw dozens of pike and not a single one was interested in anything we threw at it, With light starting to fade we made my way back to 'the spot'.
Earlier in the day we had seen a pike breaching the surface and we were both keen to snag him. With a combination of a spinning blade firmly screwed into a Gary Yamamoto Swim Bait in white, Matt was top man and bagged himself a nice 4lb pike.
I had upped my bait size to a 3" body + tail Bait Breath BeTanCo Curly Tail rigged on a Spro 5g 3/0 jighead and jazzed it up with a Savage Gear spinner blade. Casting to where I had seen a couple of swirls I expected to pick up pike. A few turns of the reel handle and everything went tight followed by a good fight. After not too long I saw a flash of the fish, it was a perch and looked a good one. It was soon in the net and once again weighed photographed and returned safe as sound.
This fish certainly didn't shy away from the 18lb titanium single strand wire trace by Knot2Kinky. I've been getting on with this stuff great and being a knot able wire there's no need to pre-tie rigs. It can all be done on the bank although some forceps are handy to really tug on the tag end of the knots.
One cracking weekend about 15 miles walked and 8 hours driving but the results were well worth it with 77 perch and one pike landed. 2 perch over 2lb, 8 fish over 1lb, 8 fish about 12oz and lots of small ones. Well happy and well and truly knackered. massive thanks to Matt for a bed to sleep on and some top class advise but if I have to hear him say "great fun on the light gear" one more time I might have to throttle him.
The rod proved to be an absolute dream to use. Although I haven't told him yet John will not be getting this one back. It will have to stay with me for future fresh water assaults.
All content copyright of Dean Pilgrim 2014