Big Perch, A Few Thoughts

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binka

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I would be very interested in hearing other people's ramblings relating to their experiences, frustrations and fixes whilst fishing for big perch.

Here are a few of mine based on these early days of my current campaign...


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Following a frustrating couple of weeks that have seen me return to livebaiting for the first time since I was a kid I’ve been having a rethink due to my lack of success in finding a big perch of late.

I did quite well throughout last winter going into spring and invariably with worm or maggot, the obvious problem being that they’re not very selective baits.

I have no doubt at all that I’ve been fishing areas that hold these target fish yet I’m drawing blanks despite fishing both dawn and dusk periods and instead I’ve been banking pike and zander, I accept this as a likely occupational frustration but I reckon I should have put a big stripey or two on the bank by now.

The first thing I’ve decided upon is to use smaller livebaits than the two to three ounce fish that I’ve been using, I’ve read a few articles recommending the use of big 4oz plus livebaits for big perch and I’ve spoken with people who have stumbled across big perch by accident whilst pike fishing with large baits in addition to those that have had larger fish snatched on the retrieve.

I think that this has more to do with the appeal of a fish in distress and the prospect of an easy meal than it has to do with the size of it.

The big bait = big perch theory seems to stand to reason on the face of it but I reckon it must be the overall exception not least for the reason being that a four pound perch would be consuming over 6% of its body weight in one meal which is by no means unrealistic but it certainly can’t keep downing those size of meals consistently without resembling something found in the Nile.

So it’s back to blade size baits for me in the hope that it will filter out a fair few of the pike and zander and I will also be able to get away with a far lighter rig offering less resistance at the possible risk of having to wade through a few smaller perch perhaps?

On the plus side the livebait float paternoster rig which I’ve put together has been functioning a treat and bearing in mind I’m more used to fishing a running paternoster with deadbaits in flowing water for pike I’ve realised the simple mistake that tying longer hooklinks results in and so these will be 4” – 6” max.

I’m also going back to a standard wide gape hook and leaving the circles for the pike fishing following a period of frustration and missed runs over the last couple of sessions, a bit disappointing really as the circles did so well on their initial outing, if I start to get amongst some big perch on a regular basis then I will be more inclined to give them another go.

So then…

As far as bait choice goes we’re being more selective by using a livebait as opposed to worm or maggot and we’re hopefully filtering out some of the undesirables by downsizing the bait.

I reckon that by choosing a handful of swims to fish on a given day we might just be in with half a chance of banking the size of fish that were coming out to the worm but I know there's bigger…



Did I mention cloud groundbait… ? :doh:
 

smudger172

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Steve i don't thing there is an easy fix when targeting big perch. I can only give accounts of when i was fishing hard for them. Fishing was always at distance so lives were not an option. I tried deads, worms, maggots and prawns. Maggot caught the most and for me the biggest. Worms worked but not as well as maggots. fishing deads on on rod and maggots on another, maggots out fished them 10-1. This is from a water that has done perch to over six pounds. Personally i think its pick a method and wade through the smaller fish until the one you want comes along.... Are you fishing a river or stillwater..

Andy
 
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binka

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Thanks for that Andy, I'm fishing both rivers and stillwaters.

Interesting that maggots out fished worms, I had a 2-5 on the river the other week that took a single maggot... I reckon perch get pre-occupied with regular trickles of small moving bait items falling through the water but that might not have been the case if you were distance fishing :confused:
 

laguna

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I think that this has more to do with the appeal of a fish in distress and the prospect of an easy meal than it has to do with the size of it.
I can relate to that Steve. I just match the bait to the size of the hook, the smallest and lightest tackle I can get away with!

Sorry I can't offer any clues regards selective baits, as you have already said; worms appeal to all that swims, but one trick is to hook a worm in the saddle and pinch its head off then stick the head onto the hook as well. It might not bag you a big stripy but it wont harm to try. Good luck mate.
 

arthur2sheds

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Have you tried chopped Dendrobaena worms as bait... they seem to pull in the larger fish.... (well they do on the Thames anyway), I used them with a bit of meaty groundbait in a cage feeder, this method resulted in my PB of 2lb 9oz
 

robertroach

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I have found small livebaits to be the most effective and selective baits for perch. The trouble is that minnows, which seem to be irresistible if you put one in front of a perch, can be inhaled by a 3 ounce fish, even with a size 6 hook.

Gudgeon are even better, but where I fish you can't always catch them.
 

john step

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I too have found the perch fussy this year. I used my hair rigged rudd tail on one water from which I had a couple of modest fish.

Saturday, on another water on worm and maggot you would have thought the water was empty until I tried single caster on an 18 and got delicate bite after delicate bite and perch caught. Not big enough to weigh but over the pound.
Back on worm...no bites. Back on caster...bites.
Lightly hooked on the edge of the mouth.

This second day was on a lightly fished, non hammered water by the way.

As an after thought I would add that an occasional angler I know who fishes for whatever comes along caught one of three and a half from the 1st water on prawn.
Its a bit like the times the first time piker goes out and lands a twenty!!!

PS. I can't prove it but I believe that a few high oil trout pellets scattered around are a good attractant.

Must get some prawns.
 
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binka

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Have you tried chopped Dendrobaena worms as bait... they seem to pull in the larger fish.... (well they do on the Thames anyway), I used them with a bit of meaty groundbait in a cage feeder, this method resulted in my PB of 2lb 9oz
It's more often than not denrobaenas that I use Arthur due to their ready supply, I will occasionally dig a few lobs from the garden but I tend to find they die quickly once in the water.

Either way/either worm I swear by chopped loose feed, I've actually started to put some of this in via a bait dropper when fishing close in on stillwater as well as by hand over the top so that I get a good scent coming off the bottom as well as through the water column.

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Must get some prawns.
I might give the prawns a try on a second rod John, I've been trying the cooked ones without much success so maybe in their raw state?

The cooked ones do dye up nicely with some Pred Plus on them.

Having said that I took what would easily have been my pb (had I weighed it) on a cooked prawn with finely chopped prawn through a feeder whilst chub fishing on the Trent many years ago.
 

arthur2sheds

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Hmmmmm chopped prawns and worms in a feeder or a dropper with pred plus....? now that sounds promising:wh:w
 

thecrow

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Chopped prawns and worms (lobs) in a dropper were what my lad used when targeting Perch on a local commie, both were used as hookbait he caught fish to 2-15 ( I doubt there were much bigger present as the biggest he knew of from there was just over 3 ) using this method along with many fish from 2 to 2/12 pounds.

It was noticeable when I watched him that a constant supply of the chop was required for the bites to come fairly regularly, possibly down to everything else in the lake also liking the chop although from memory he only ever hooked a couple of Carp while doing it. My lad reckoned the Perch were drawn into the swim by the small bait fish that fed on the chop.
 

dann

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I am not really qualified to give advice on this but I am watching this thread with interest as I am enjoying catching perch on the river at the moment and looking to get some bigger ones.

I have had a few on worms but anything of a reasonable size has been on a lure, most success has been 10cm odd rubber lures with some colour to them.

Now that the seasons have changed, I am going to try some dead baiting too.

Perhaps off topic but something I noticed this weekend on 2 separate occasions - when I hooked a perch and brought into sight, there was a second perch trying to grab the lure out the first fishes mouth. At first I thought that perhaps 2 fish had gone for the lure at the same time and I had hooked 2 on a single treble but this wasn't the case. Is this normal behavior for perch?
 

arthur2sheds

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Its like kids fighting over a toy or sweets.... ones got it, the other wants it.... with a food bait I'd imagine that lots of food signals and amino acids are leaked to provoke a competitive feeding trigger... the same with lures that mimic wounded or injured fish.. fish will try and mug their mates for a free mouthful if they miss the "main event"
 

naxian62

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Good thread, well done Binka.
I've got the perch frustrations too!
There's a lock on the canal that I know for sure holds 3lb plussers and I know that they fell to plastics, dropshotted, but can I connect with anything bigger than 6oz, no way. Lobs, lives, plastics, spinners tried the lot, nada for me. And as another poster said single caster sometimes double seemed to bring some success last year on little commie I fish when it gets cold. Just my two peneth.
 

Graham Elliott 1

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Binka. I have had good success on local carp puddles with prawn as main bait.
Fished on size 8 just under depth. Fish to just under 4lb. Also some bonus 1lb plus roach.

Loose fed maggots and handful prawns.

On the rivers (kennet mainly)also some nice fish to 3lb on lives ideally gudgeon. Pike a nuisance.

On one special day on a Thames boatyard I had 4 perch over 3lb on 4 -6oz roach whilst piking.
I was amazed. All deep hooked unfortunately. On this boatyard section it held lots roach this size under the boats and few other sized silvers.

On the kennet I tend to use 13ft quiver rod and push it out as far as possible in rest at a slacker section under a float.
I find the bait fish have to move around against the rod top and the flow making them very attractive.

Loose feed maggots. I often trot the swim with another rod and a change to 5/6 maggots on that rod will often take a bonus perch.

Good Luck

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Perch - Page 66 - Barbel Fishing World Forums


One of my pals specialises in perch.

Look at these beauties. Few of mine on other pages.
 
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rubio

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Not that I've caught any huge perch, under 3 lbs is my best, but isn,t the old school philosophy to use small perch to get the monsters?
There are lots of smaller perch turn up when I use maggot for roach, but casters and lots of'em seem to draw in a better stamp of pound plus fish. Not that I mind too much catching perch instead of roach.
I understand the desire to catch big specimens but a fat perch of a pound or so looks so perfect, whereas 2lbs plus seem to carry lots of war wounds and are less beautifully marked.
 

barbelboi

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Resistance, certainly with running water fish, I believe it's the change in resistance rather than resistance that causes problems – i.e. I don’t now have a problem using a baitrunner. With livebaits, I believe a ‘free’ bait would possibly act a bit too naturally to tempt a big perch when they’re not really up for it. Therefore I’d prefer to fish a a top feeder hard to the bottom so it flaps about to get up in the water, and paternostering a gobio mid water to make it struggle to get back down to the bottom.

I’ve also had success on the Kennet dangling a lob, or ‘jumbo’ prawn, dunked in predator plus, from a drop shot rig..............
 

soft plastic

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Sorry to butt in on this thread but I am using Tapatalk and I seem to have lost the option to create a new thread of my own?!
Anyway, I have some time off work next week and I fancy a trip to the Nene after perch on my ultra light lure gear. I fancy a couple of nights B+B in a pub and a few days fishing. Can anybody recommend anywhere that is available on a day ticket? All help gratefully received!
 

Derek Gibson

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Not that I've caught any huge perch, under 3 lbs is my best, but isn,t the old school philosophy to use small perch to get the monsters?
There are lots of smaller perch turn up when I use maggot for roach, but casters and lots of'em seem to draw in a better stamp of pound plus fish. Not that I mind too much catching perch instead of roach.
I understand the desire to catch big specimens but a fat perch of a pound or so looks so perfect, whereas 2lbs plus seem to carry lots of war wounds and are less beautifully marked.
It's true that the old school would use ''small'' perch livebait when after the bigger stripy's, and I know the validity of that, having in the past used small Perch as livoes. In fact two of my own best Perch fell to exactly that approach. Both fish topped four pounds, with a number of three's thrown in for good measure.

I have been trying for the last few years to equal those results with lures, but to date close but no cigar.

Incidently, some of the bigger samples taken on the Trent could hardly be classed as pristine, often looking like they've been round the block a few times. Not raggy by any means, but lacking the vivid stripes, but that could be due to water conditions.
 
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