A Day to Remember
A Day to Remember
By Andrew Mcilhone
The weather is starting to improve with arrival of spring, the mornings are brighter and there is a stretch in daylight in the evenings, a very welcome sight that a lot of us have been waiting on all winter.....
Sunday’s weather looked promising, So David, John and I arranged to meet at a lake in the midlands for one last bash at fresh water before the real fishing starts with the good weather approaching. I loaded the car up on Sunday morning and set off around 6am, arriving at the lake just over an hour later to find the other two had just arrived before me. A quick coffee while discussing tactics and setting up, we agreed on mainly targeting Perch as none of us have ever caught any. I have had a pretty productive winter chasing Pike and really wanted to catch a Perch to the point that I was not going to target Pike at all that day!!!
The weather was great, although still quite cold
When we got to the water’s edge there were a lot of small fish breaking the surface so we all set up simple rigs, small hooks some lead shot and floats with maggots as bait to small jig heads for drop shotting. David was first in the water from the bank and instantly pulled out a Perch, I couldn't believe it, nor was I amused as he caught one before me, but as soon as my bait hit the water I had my first as well (Above pic) shortly followed by John using drop shots. It was great crack we were pulling them out hand over fist all small but it was addictive fishing and as small as they were they put up a great little fight.
David with his first fish, soon followed by John
Anyways more to the point we needed to start catching them from the Kayaks so on to the water we went. David and John had their first kayak caught Perch within minutes and continued to keep catching them one after the other..........I couldn't catch one!.............It was driving me nuts and to make matters worse the lads were taking the piss out of me laughing at my misfortune, but what was I doing wrong as I caught loads of the bank?. My rig was fishing about two feet deep so I adjusted the depth to around four feet and BANG my first kayak caught Perch, I couldn't stop smiling.
Another one for the species hunt!
After that they just kept coming, mostly tiny little fellas with the odd bigger one, John had the biggest of the day as far as I remember.
You could sit and catch them all day but as we caught what we came for it was decided to have a go for our last Pike of the season.
They look to have a right attitude problem!
John hooked up nearly straight away with a nice fish around the 8lb mark but the man always underestimates his size, shortly followed by another small jack while David and I paddled all around the lake trying everything with no joy. At this point we decided to head in for some lunch so I stuck on a copper spoon to trawl on the way in, within 10 feet I had a thump on the rod........fish on......just as I was taking a pic my dead bait rod bent over and line started screaming of the reel like mad. I just about got a pic of the small Pike before having to drop it over the side so I could grab and strike the dead bait rod.............
This fish felt a lot bigger every time I gained a little line it took double, it fought like mad and I was convinced it was going to be a personal best! After a cracking scrap I had the Pike on my lap in disappointment, it fought like a fish at least twice its size the water temp was up quite a bit maybe this has livened them up..... Who knows?
Anyways happy with two Pike back to back it was time for lunch, I paddled in to find John just stepping out of his kayak too. As I went to step out of mine I felt one of my rods thumping at first it looked snagged on the bottom but as the kayak was stationary and the rod was still thumping I lifted it to find another Pike on the end of it.
Jack number four, again, a small fish
After a quick bite to eat from our cook David and I giving him some abuse as he had yet to catch a Pike we were back on the water as the day was becoming very much enjoyable.
I was not on the water for five minutes when I had hook up number Four
What a day I was having definitely my most productive fresh water session to date....At this point David lay down and give up, I think he was on eBay looking to buy a set of golf clubs on his phone....
David taking a break
John at this point was playing with the drop shop rigs obsessed with trying to catch a big Perch as apparently there are a few in this lake.
Then again my lure rod trolling the copper spoon about started thumping again, another hook up..........and YES another jack Pike.......starting to wonder is there any big Pike in this lake at all.
This one had some scarring from a bigger Pike or a bird.
We called it a day shortly after and on our way back in had one last crack at the Perch. This last crack turned into an hours fishing for them as it’s bloody addictive We also tried with some sweetcorn to see what was about and had a few Roach too.
By far one of my most enjoyable and exciting days fishing with more Perch than we could count, five Pike and Roach.