How To Catch Perch

During the autumn and winter months, however cold the weather, you can normally rely on perch to feed and over the past few years there’s no doubting that the species has seen an incredible rise in popularity. This is partly due to the introduction of drop shotting to the UK market but it’s also down to the fact that they are piling on the pounds. I know it sounds strange to say, but a big perch looks big and incredibly impressive.

A predatory fish, they can be found in almost any water. However, if you want to target them, especially the big ones, then you probably want to take a look at your local commercial fishery. Most local commercials are stuffed with carp and silver fish and it’s these silver fish that provide easy pickings for the perch. Big perch don’t get big eating worms and maggots, they do so by eating little roach and rudd.

Location
So, if you’ve found a water that you think contains some perch, what sort of areas are you looking for? Firstly, a good place to start is any snaggy looking spot, an over hanging tree, lilies, reeds; anywhere a perch might lie in ambush for its prey. As long as there’s a fair depth of water there it’s likely a perch will be there too. Sometimes, however, especially on commercials which can be quite ‘featureless’, you aren’t always blessed with such an area. If this is the case then look for the deepest spots on the lake, as these will often be the areas, especially when it’s cold, which the baitfish will shoal up in. Hopefully the perch won’t be far behind.

Conditions
It’s no secret that nearly all coarse fish prefer and are more willing to feed at dusk and dawn, especially on bright sunny days, and the perch is no exception. Try to base your sessions around this. It can often be the case that you’ll fish all day for nothing and then just as you’re thinking about packing up, as the sun slowly starts to disappear behind the horizon, the light levels drop and the fish will all of a sudden come on the feed.

Tackle
Perch don’t grow massive and a 3lb+ fish would be a specimen, so with that in-mind you don’t need to tackle-up too heavily for them. A standard waggler or soft-ish avon rod with a test curve of 0.75-1.25lb would be fine. Match this with a 3000 - 4000 sized reel, loaded with around 4-6lbs mono 4, and you’ll have a perfect perch fishing set-up.

Rigs
One thing that perch don’t like is resistance, so whatever rigs you use try to keep them as free running as you can. It’s less important when you are float fishing as you can spot the bite instantly, but on any occasion when you are ledgering and waiting for the fish to pick up your bait and run with it, it’s essential the rig you are using allows them to do so. You can make your free running rigs as simple or as complicated as you want. Personally, I like to keep them simple and there’s numerous quality run-rig kits on the market that will do this job perfectly. Combine them with a 1-2oz lead, a 4-6lbs fluorocarbon hook length and a size 4-8 hook and you’ll be equipped to target them.

Bite Detection
Obviously if you are float fishing then a standard waggler will be fine for the job, but if you are ledgering for them then you’ll need some form of indication. Personally a bite alarm and a drop-off indicator are my preferred choice. The drop off indicator allows you to fish for them ‘open bail arm’ style, which means the resistance the fish feel when they pick up the bait is minimal. If you haven’t got drop off indicators then a standard bobbin would be fine, as long as it’s lightweight. You don’t want anything too heavy as there’ll be a risk that the fish will feel this and drop the bait. If I was using a standard bobbin I’d fish my rod rests nice and high, allowing a good drop for the indicator. Once again all this is to bring the resistance down to a minimum.

Bait
Perch will fall to all manner of baits, however the preferred choice would be maggots, lobworms, prawns and live baits (if and when allowed). Maggots and worms are a great starting point, however, if you’re after the bigger fish, then sit it out with a whole prawn. The smaller fish will often leave this alone and it also tends to deter the ‘nuisance’ carp and other fish that most commercials are full of. Both lobworms and prawns are fairly large baits so it’s essential to use a decent sized hook to match. Perch, for their size, have massive mouths so don’t be too shy.

Feeding
There’s a few different ways you can feed for perch. The simplest of these would be to simply spray maggots over the top of the area you’re fishing, this will bring in the small bait fish and hopefully the perch will follow. The second way would be to fish over a few free offerings, for example a few broken lobworms or prawns - however I wouldn’t go over the top with these, a whole lobworm/prawn is a good meal for a perch and they probably wouldn’t need too many to fill themselves up.

Thirdly, you could combine both of the above. Use a dark coloured groundbait, or even just some mole hill soil, and add to this some maggots and a few chopped worms and prawns and introduce it to your swim either in balls or through a feeder. This does two things; once again it attracts the small fish and clouds the water and it also offers some food items for any perch that visit the area.

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How To Catch Perch

How To Catch Perch

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How To Catch Perch

How To Catch Perch

How To Catch Perch

How To Catch Perch

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