It's not that often that I walk away from a venue before I've even started fishing, but that was the case the other day! I'd dropped off both JB and BB and made my way to a predetermined section of canal for what I had planned as a day of light lure fishing and roving off into the Warwickshire countryside. Admittedly I was a bit on the late side arriving. But after I did eventually arrive I got the gear out of the car, walked the short distance to the canal and peered at the water to see the boats had been at it for hours and done their worst. Literally, I reckon moles would have been more at home in that water than fish. Any love for the venue evaporated quickly and left me feeling rather flaccid about the whole session.
It took me a while to go through the local venues to choose an alternative that was in reasonable proximity to where I was and where I needed to be. As all I had was a very light lure outfit, the choices narrowed quickly and rather than go to another section of the same dirty canal I opted to head over to Leamington Spa to have a session on the Leam town waters again. The torpid Leam I surmised might be a good candidate for some light lure fishing and having been there a while ago I knew the waters running through the Victorian parks held a few nice fish amongst all the bank side cover.
I reckon I'd been fishing all of ten minutes before I figured I'd made the right decision to move venues. The Leam it turns out is rammed to the reeds with small perch, and those small perch loved the tiny lures I was casting into the river and hopping slowly across the current. Literally every cast was getting some kind of hit and in many cases multiple hits. There must have been groups of these tiny little predators chasing the lure back to the bank, gobbling it up and spitting it out until one got caught out.
All the perch activity raised the attention of the pike as well. Several small perch got chased around in the first swim until the naughty jack in question saw my lure and had a go itself, ending up getting hooked close to my bank after thinking its quarry was about to get away and engulfing it with a flare of its gills.
The fun went on all day and catching huge numbers of tiny perch meant it was only a matter of time before I located some bigger ones. In the shadow of a huge white building the far bank cover ended at a brick wall. Just where the cover ended, the wall began seemed to hold some different sized perch. At first it was just ones half as long again as the wasp average, but with the odd half pounder here and there. Someowhere amongst the multiple plucks from the smaller fish came a hard thump as something bigger hit the small spiky shad I was retrieving. The little fish and the small pike had proved sporty enough on my 1-7 gram outfit; this fish though was really having it. After playing it out in the flow in the middle of the river initially, it moved into the shallower clear waters close to my bank and I saw one chunky perch with my lure hanging out of its mouth being tracked by its identical twin. The second fish disappeared at the sight of my net in the water but the hooked fish went in good as gold.
I ran out of fish-able bank by mid afternoon and after a quiet break for lunch on a park bench in the sun, I turned around and worked my way all the way back down the stretch. Amazingly even after casting hundreds of times into the already fished swims, the stripy hordes were still well up for attacking the tiny lures as they skipped across the bottom. By the time I reached the end of the stretch, the river was in shade and the sun was heading towards the horizon. How many of those tiny perch I caught through the course of the day was impossible to calculate, but what I do know is the Leam where it runs through Leamington Spa is a brilliant venue for light lure fishing, and I will definitely be back for another go before winter sets in.