The Coach How to catch canal perch
GONE are the days when tiny silverfish were the only thing on the menu when fishing canals – now giant perch are stealing the headlines.
Preston Innovations manager Scott Geens has been a canal fanatic for years and has devised an attack that produces the goods time and time again.
This week he exclusively reveals his top perch fishing approach to Angling Times...
“There will be plenty of pegs on your favourite canal that have features, but I am very particular about the kind of cover I am looking for.
“Overhanging branches that extend into the deeper water down the middle are my number one choice. Small snags that just droop into the water will not be surrounded by enough depth.
“Ideally, I am looking for at least 3ft of water, preferably more. In most instances, the perch will already be sat there waiting, and it is just a matter of getting your tactics right.”
“If you turn up and the water is clear then a cautious approach is required. In this instance I will introduce a few minced dendrobaena worms that add lots of scent, around 30 casters and a few roughly cut lobworms to give the fish an idea of what the hookbait will look like.
“Big perch will also feed in coloured water, and under these conditions I feed similar quantites but kick off with a couple of balls of Sonubaits Super Crumb Black as well.
“Its potent smell will attract not only perch, but the small silvers that they prey on. I will go in over the initial dose of feed within 10 minutes of dropping it in, as perch often react quickly to a meal being introduced nearby.
“If nothing happens, try fishing elsewhere for a while, but keep pinging a few casters over the top to draw fish in and hold those that are already there. Top up with more potted worms after 20 minutes and try fishing over the top soon afterwards.”
“When fishing close to cover you could easily be tempted to fish a very heavy rig, but I don’t subscribe to this approach.
“I’ll happily use 0.15mm Preston Innovations Reflo Powerline to a 0.13mm hooklength of the same material, finishing with a size 10 or 12 PR355 hook.
“This may seem like a big hook but when you are using half a lobworm as hookbait you can easily get away with it.
“My elastic choice is a No12 Dura Hollo, set slightly tightened to power those fish away from the snags in the immediate seconds after setting the hook.
“The best float for the job will have a rugby ball shape that will remain stable, and I find a 4x14 Inter Wire float is ideal.”
HIT EVERY BITE
“In most types of fishing it pays to strike the moment the float sinks, but perch are the exception to the rule.
“It can take a big stripey a fair while to get the whole worm and hook in its mouth, so I will usually count to five and then strike.
“If I see the line tighten before that, I will react immediately.
“This technique doesn’t lead to deep hooking, and the hookpoint is usually buried well in the perch’s top lip.
“Once you’ve caught a fish, it’s time to top up with a small amount of bait and draw another fish out from under those snags.
“There are thousands of big perch in the UK canal system and the drop in water temperature is your cue to go and bag a new personal best,” concluded Scott.
This canal perch took Scott’s worm hookbait. Feed includes minced worms and casters.