|A view from the peg at 0530hrs|
Over the next hour I gradually increased the feed, the dace were now coming every trot down. I hooked into something a lot larger. At first I thought I had hooked into a snag but the line started moving upstream steadily, the fish was hugging the bottom, it felt heavy but didn't seem to be fighting too hard. I increased the pressure to try and get the fish to the surface, but it was having none of it and I realised that i was going to struggle to land the fish on the tackle I was using. I managed to get the fish off the bottom and I got a brief glimpse of its bronze flank and large tail, then it realised it was hooked and it rapidly headed for the far bank. The hook length snapped fairly easy and the fish was gone, I wasn't too disappointed as I knew I wouldn't of been able to land it anyway.
I continued to feed the swim while I had a bit of a rest and sorted out the rig. The next run down I hooked something else decent, a perch of around a pound. I continued upping the feed and was still getting the dace nearly every trot downstream. I tried double red maggot again and hooked into something that fought very hard, the fish made several runs upstream, however each run was shorter than the last and after a minute or two I could see that it was a very large perch, easily 3lb plus. I had the perch on the surface and was guiding it towards the net when the perch flipped and snapped the hook length ! I was gutted as this perch would of easily doubled my best. I kept the feed going in whilst I sorted the rig, I decided that I would fish the 4.4lb mainline straight through to the hook.
First run down on the new rig and I was into a decent fish again, I was sure it was a perch and I knew it would be a definite p.b if I landed it. The perch fought hard and made several attempts to get into the tree roots but I managed to net it at the first attempt.
|New p.b of 2lb 4oz|
After weighing the perch I would put 'the perch that got away' at over 3lb and probably pushing 3lb 8oz.
I kept up the rhythm of feeding, casting, feeding then striking, if I missed the bite I would feed again before reeling in, if I hooked into a dace I would feed before unhooking it. Every 15 minutes or so the float would make it to the end of the run without going under, so then I would put double red maggot on hook for the next run through. More often than not this would result in a perch, this continued until around 1000hrs when bites started to become less frequent, even from the dace. The river had dropped an inch or two and it was losing its colour fast, I stuck at it but once the sun broke the tree line it became even more difficult. Bites became very infrequent and I was running low on bait so I switched to the caster, the dace left the caster alone and I managed to tempt a few more perch.
|Some of the perch|
I had my last cast just before midday and took a very small chub on a rubber caster. I ended up with 1 grayling (11oz - new p.b) 2 very small chub, 12 perch (1 over 2lb and 4 over 1lb, smallest 6oz) and over 100 dace (I lost count after 50) with the biggest dace going to around 8 oz.
|2 new personal bests|
At the beginning of the year I set myself the target of catching a 2lb eel and a 2lb perch, I will try to concentrate on the eels now until the autumn but I can see myself having a few more stick sessions after these perch.