Now when I say perch fishing you have not take that too literally, as even though I am fishing on venues for perch using methods highly tuned toward perch, I have in all honesty only managed to catch one over a pound and about a thousand under an inch long. Why then should I have been having such fun! Well the answer to that is quite simple... carp.
This unseasonably mild weather combined with the fact that not many carp can resist what I purvey for the old Sargents, means I have been having myself a right old winter carpfest of late, to say the least. They haven't been fish that would set the carp fishing world on fire nor have I used some deadly new rig to catch them, but they have all been caught on very sporting rigs, they have a really pulled my chain and just about all of them have looked truly amazing in their winter finery.
It all began on a bright freezing cold day when this fish totally ignored the expansive bed of chopped worm I had laid down as a trap for Mr & Mrs Perch, and instead took the double fluro pinkie I was using as bait on a size 22 hook, attached to my nine foot super light rod. At the time I was attempting to, and let me say being particularly successful at trying to catch, lots of small silvers in order to send a vibrating invite to any predatory perch in the pool.
The next beauty I had to wait all day for... Keeping myself occupied again catching roach, I thought the bright sun and clear water were the kiss of death for perch. Even so I kept the faith and kept a prawn line constantly supplied with free offerings. Right as the last rays of light faded away my float bobbed and slid away. It was pure poetry until I struck and found a hard fighting carp on the end of the line. Although the fish was stunning I didn't look too happy. But that I think had more to do with me shaking uncontrollably and suspecting I might have had the beginnings of hypothermia.
The odd carp here or there no fest makes I hear you say! Well those January temperatures held just under double figures and with that the water temp rose too, so much so that my last perch session turned into a full-on winter carp bagging session. Fishing on the little woodland pool these amazing looking carp could not get enough of my whole prawn fished over chopped prawn.
In four hours I got through an entire kilo of chopped up prawn as time and time again they routed out my hook bait from the leaf littered bottom. The strange thing on this occasion was that even though I fished two rods on two baited spots, one baited with worm and the other with prawn, located within a meter of one another, the worm never got touched once; the prawn caught all the fish including three perch under a pound.
It was almost a little hard to get my head round, catching eleven carp, a handful of small perch and two errant chub in what is supposedly the dead of winter. It went from the inane to the sublime when I ran out of free bait and ended up just swinging alone hook bait into the void. Nothing seemed to stop the hungry rampage and I was still getting bites as my hooks baits too dwindled. Late on I landed a very strange looking fish which I suspect might have been a hybrid between a common carp and a goldfish, or a common and a crucian carp. Outwardly at first it does I think look like a common carp, but the more you look at it the more you see some different features which makes me doubt its pure blood linage.
Right now I can't say that I have been disappointed by these carp crashing my supposed perch party. I know I am supposed to, as a target minded angler, say that they were pest fish ruining my chances of my target species, but I can't as I have been having so much fun with my rods bent over likes its summer in the middle of January. Add to that sunsets like this and I could almost get used to this type of winter.
Not bolt rigs were used or harmed in the making of this blog ;)