Friday, 29 January 2016

I nearly kissed it.

I don't think many people currently living in the UK would disagree if I said we were having at bit of an odd winter this time round and frankly it's a bit confusing. Nature to seems a bit off balance due to this cockamamie weather. Outside my work shop there is a filbert nut tree which dropped its last catkin way before Christmas and all around its base there are wild garlic shoots three inches high. On my journey to work there is a cherry tree sheltered in a corner of a building which I am sure has blossomed twice already, and in the churchyard down the road from my house there is a pair of daffodils in full bloom. With it being sunny one day, wet the next, then freezing and snowy in random turns, I don't think we or nature knows if it's autumn or winter or possibly even spring.

With the snow having melted what seemed a lifetime ago, the weather had gone full circle and the temperature was now back in double figures. It's because of this I really thought the fish would be in the mood for a good old feed, so I wasn't at all concerned about only having a very short window of opportunity to get out. Really I thought I'd just rock up a few hours before night fell and start smashing them out.

Wrong! After two hours of walking casting and changing lures, I literally had not had a sniff and it seemed like I would have had just as much chance of catching a fish casting into one of the many puddles that lined the tow path as I would casting in the canal itself.

Even with the heavy cloud cover I was well aware that the sun was setting quickly and my chances of putting a bend in my rod were dwindling. But somewhere in the half light I finally scratched myself a very tepid hit on a curly tail grub and swung in a small perch. Normally I don't get too excited by small perch, but this, this one I nearly kissed. Literally after thanking the chilly little fella I nearly kissed it, I was that grateful for it taking my lure. 

If it wasn't for that little perch that I came so near to snogging I would have never had bothered to carry on casting. But I got the strange feeling that there was certainly fish around and that even though they had spent the afternoon fasting, now the light was going they might just come on the feed. Casting right into dark using a very white cannibal shad I finally connected with something better which after smashing the lure, battered around the canal like a demon, and when it came to the net through the murk it looked a bit odd. The thing must have been four or more inches thick and looked like it had swallowed a ball. 

The picture barely shows how thick it was, but as far as feeding was concerned this fish wasn't going without. This fish certainly had been gorging on something to keep itself in this sort of condition at this time of year. Maybe these unseasonal conditions are keeping prey active and the perch well fed, which might give some answer to why on this occasion they only seemed to feed at that optimum hunting time around dusk. Whatever the reason for its great condition I am glad I never kissed that first one as this one was a much more attractive prospect at the end of the session.


  1. Spot on Danny, that is corker of a perch!. Do you think a 3/4lber is near?. I'd be intrigued to see, no such stamp here mate on my canal, such a shame as a fish like that would really be worth the trip out!. J.

  2. Lovely bright red fins too, that's a cracker. What did the rotund specimen weigh btw ?

    I'm looking forward to the close season, need to get on the canals again.

  3. I am terrible for not weighing fish if I don't think their over a certain weight. At a guess it was over a pound, maybe even up to one and a half it was so fat.

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  5. Did you kiss the perch though? It certainly looks well fed. Nothing better than a productive fishing trip, eh?

  6. I have been finding that the perch in my local cut are already showing quite a filling of spawn. Like yours they look both plump and healthy. Like the blog...not seen it before.

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