All the local canals seem to really be waking up a bit now after a sputtering spring thing. I think it was three weeks ago that I saw the first little fish dappling the surface on the Grand Union. The zander might have spawned and now seem firmly on the feed and the catch rates are reflecting this. Perch though are another matter! A couple of outings ago I caught one solitary perch which was ready to pop, it was that full of spawn. Since then though the temps have risen so much that I was sure as hell the perch population should have got their mating done with.
One canal that I have neglected a bit lately is the Coventry as the general lack of a hard winter season did not benefit it at all. Usually when we get a good consistent winter the Coventry responds well and fishes consistently. In previous years when the temps have been up and down I have found that the fishing can be very patchy, even on normally reliable areas. Hence I have purposely been reluctant to fish there.
The warmer weather got me thinking that maybe it might have settled down and that the perch might be feeling a little peckish should they have spawned. It was a bit of a sputtering start for me on the day after an early wakeup call from my boy resulted in me turning off the alarm to glim a little more kip. In the end though I did get there and did fish, although the fish seemed hard to find or should I say, hard to convince to eat.
I was very diligent about working along the stretch, methodically using several different lures in various ways all whilst fishing a small dead bait as a sleeper rod at the bottom of the marginal shelf to hopefully appeal to a zander. But even working very hard it quickly became clear that the canal was still not on form.
My one sole bit of action was as pure as pure can be. From a short distance away I saw what I was sure was tiny roach flipping out in a flat calm section of canal hidden from the wind. As I approached, two more small silver fish jumped out of the water. After quickly flicking through the lures I had to hand, I settled on a small silver glittery paddle tail grub which I cast tight to the far bank cover beyond the jumping fish. I must have cast and recast twenty times before the lure got hit on the fall as it dropped into the trench. It turned out to be a big perch which had taken my grub and what a fatty it was as well.
|You could put a saddle on that!|
It did however confirm that the Coventry canal perch at least haven't spawned yet, as this one definitely had spawn in it and had a very swollen vent. I can't deny being confused as I was sure as predators, the perch would have spawned already to give those little munchy baby perch a good head start.