canal perch 1

Canal Perch on the Worm

Canal Perch on the Worm

It’s all down to location

The most important part in catching a big bag of perch from any venue is simply down to location and a couple of winters back, during a match, I drew one off the flyer, an end peg on one of my club stretches on the Kennet and Avon Canal near Hungerford. Ever since watching the lucky angler that drew this peg who proceeded to take over 30lb of big perch I’ve been meaning to return, well today is the day!

The early bird…

If you want to get the best swim then you have to arrive early, set the alarm well before dawn, park up in darkness and start setting up as the sun rises. Fortunately today I’ve been blessed with a respite in the recent wet weather but looking at that sky, I’m on limited time before the rains arrive, the only downside is most of the swim is covered with leaves.

Canal craft

First job is to get the box set up nice and stable in the marginal vegetation, mix a little groundbait, plumb up a few areas and get some bait in to activate each line. I’ve settled on three lines, one at 8m where I’ve cupped in a couple of balls of groundbait made from a 50/50 mix of Champion’s Method Black Roach and Quick Skimmer which I pushed through a fine riddle a couple of times. My second line, slightly to my left at 11m, just on the downside of the far bank shelf and close to a line of rushes is prepped with a couple of cupfuls of chopped worm and casters and my final line at 13m is right across on top of the shelf just under the cover of the far bank overhanging bushes. 

canal perch fishing 3

You need to be comfortable and have everything to hand to fish well.

cenex fluorocarbon line

The clarity of fluoro makes it almost invisible in water.

It’s not rocket science

As for tackle I’m using my trusted Sphere Zero-G F1+ Pole and although each line is slightly different regarding elastication and end rig, the one that is producing after rotating each line is the chopped worm and caster one. The rig for this is relatively simple and consists of Stretch 7 Blue 1.90mm Hollow Elastic, 0.12mm Cenex Hybrid Power line containing a 4×14 pole float, with a four inch Cenex 0.13mm Fluoro Carbon Hook Line and a Sphere size 16 Match Hook. Nothing fancy regarding shotting, just a bulk of no8 12’from the hook and a couple of tiny droppers spaced equally to the hook with the whole rig fished an inch over depth. 

 

Rigs and things

A couple of things worth pointing out is although I’m using a hook length that is of a higher diameter than the mainline, its breaking point is slightly less, the reason for the thicker hooklink is its created from Fluoro Carbon, a material that fish find almost impossible to see, something that when fishing for sight feeders such as perch is very important. I’ve also set up my pole roller down the edge so I can side ship my pole in and out without upsetting other canal tow path users and the Black Magic Double Width 60 Roller with its extendable legs allow just that! 

Little reason to switch

A quick look at the 8m line from the off and its only producing small roach, which is a great sign as where there’s small fish there will be big perch and after fifteen minutes its time to lower half a Dendrobaena in on the 11m line and straight away the float sinks and I’m onto a reasonable perch. The action continues throughout the morning with perch to 2lb 6oz gracing my net and apart from one bite on the lobworm line I see very little reason to switch. It’s a good idea to keep pulting a few casters over the top to keep the small fish interested and every time bites dry up I simply introduce another cupful of chopped worm and casters which livens things up. After three hours and with the first spots of rain in the air I’ve had my fill and have ended up with at least 15lb of quality perch including a couple more around the two pound mark. Canal fishing, I love it. 

Colin Sheppard

canal perch fishing 2

The nerve-jangling moment a big perch hits the surface.

Colin’s Tackle

Sphere Zero-G F1+ Pole

Stretch 7 1.90mm Blue Elastic

4×14 pole float

0.12mm Cenex Hybrid Power Mono

0.13mm Cenex Fluoro Carbon Hook Line

Sphere Size 16 Match Hook

Colin’s Bait

Dendrobaena Worms

Lobworms

Casters

Squat

Maggot

Champion’s Feeder Black Roach & Quick Skimmer Groundbait.

sphere f1 plus pole

Keep up to date with all our latest match news here.

Find out more about our team of anglers here.

 

Visit the Browning interactive product catalogue here.


pole fishing perch 1

Thames Perch on the Pole

Thames Perch on the Pole

I always look forward to a couple of hours fishing on the mighty river Thames before heading off to the office whether it be a spot of feeder fishing for bream, running a stick float through for roach or like today, pole fishing for perch.

Perfect venue

The free fishing stretch near Walton Bridge in Surrey is a brilliant venue as it has a free car park right on the river bank, so no long walks, just arrive, unload, set up and start fishing. This stretch is deep, around 10ft at 10m and the reason for targeting perch, and hopefully a few roach, is there’s hardly any flow due to the dry, hot summer. 

Rise and fall

I’ve dropped into a swim opposite the café, literally just twenty steps from where I’ve parked. It’s a typical swim with cabbages close in and deep water on the other side. There are a few fish dimpling which is encouraging, probably roach and dace plus the odd predator chasing these. First job is to plumb up and as expected it’s not far of ten feet at just nine metres. As I will be edging the float through the swim slowly, I’ve decided to fish a couple of inches over depth. This will allow me to hold the float back on occasions allowing the bait to rise and fall in the water, a good tactic, especially for perch. 

perch bait
worm pole rig
worm pole rig 2

Hazardous feeding

Although my main hookbait choice is worm, I’ve also brought along some casters which can be deadly on their day plus some red maggots just in case it proves really tough, yet usually the bleak mean these don’t get a look in! Although there is very little flow, loose feeding can be a bit hazardous in such deep water as it’s difficult to gauge just where they end up, it also attracts the bleak so I’m going to introduce three balls of Champions Feeder Black Roach groundbait, which I mixed up on arrival, laced with chopped worm and casters. This is introduced accurately, straight out using a big pole cup and will hit the bottom around a foot further down, an area that I can fish over the top and hopefully concentrate some fish to feed on. If the flow is faster I tend to use a bait dropper which might be ‘old school’ but it tells me exactly where the feed has been deposited! During the session I’m also to ping a few casters over the float which will hopefully attract some silver fish in feeding as well as dragging a few better perch from downstream and if the fishing is really productive the odd ball of groundbait will be fed. 

Straight forward

As for the rig its really straight forward, a 1g pear shaped Tangi pole float which is cocked with a single olivette positioned around eighteen inches above the hook plus two small dropper shot equally spread on the hook length. The pole I’m using is the Sphere Zero-G PT+, 1.9mm Microbore pink elastic which has a 7-9 rating, mainline is 0.16mm Cenex Hybrid Power Mono, hook length is the same but in a 0.10mm diameter and at the business end is a size 18 Sphere Match micro barbed hook which might be switched to a size 16 if the bigger perch turn up. 

Early start

The fishing always seems to be best in the mornings here, probably due to this stretch being extremely popular with kayaks and canoes, so if you’re planning a trip make sure you arrive early! First drop in with a red maggot and as expected a bleak hits the bait so its straight over to a single caster and it’s not long before the elastic stretches out as a half decent perch hits the net. A few more follow but the bleak are still problematic so it’s time to try double caster which produces a bite but soon after hooking a small perch a pike grabs it. As expected the swim slows up after the first hour so it’s time to try a worm and that seems to bring the swim back to life but its noticeable that as the clock ticks the fish get smaller, probably due to the water being gin clear, the light levels rising, that pike being in my swim as well as the boat traffic increasing. 

Angling fix

Having just a couple of hours at my disposal in the morning its might seem a lot of effort for such a small window of opportunity but it’s a great way to start the day as I miss the motorway traffic, get my angling fix and it keeps me in touch with the river as come the autumn when the roach move in or the bream turn up I will be ready and waiting.  

Justin Watkins

perch catch
perch catch 2

Justin’s Tackle

Sphere Zero-G Pt+ Pole

Microbore Pink Elastic

Cenex 0.16mm & 0.10mm Hybrid Power Mono

Sphere 18 Match Hook

1g Tangi Pole Float

0.9g Olivette plus two No8 dropper shot

Justin’s Bait

Red worm

Caster

Red Maggot

Champion’s Feeder Black Roach Groundbait

cenex line
sphere match hooks

Keep up to date with all our latest match news here.

Find out more about our team of anglers here.

 

Visit the Browning interactive product catalogue here.