Spinning and light jigging
Carl – Alex and I have been massively inspired lately after watching some YouTube videos. Normally we view the carp and coarse fishing videos, but recently we have found a group of American YouTubers who make loads of regular blogs about their bass fishing adventures. They predominately use lures and spinners to catch bass and, watching the hook sets and bites they get when the bass grabs the lure, made me desperate to head over to the USA and get bass fishing! Maybe one day, but for now I’ll stay in England as we’ve got perch and pike to catch! Alex and I are relatively new to lure fishing, we’ve done the odd bit here and there but when we walked into the tackle shop to buy some kit we were amazed by the choice of lures and spinners available. We decided to keep it simple and cheap as the likelihood is that Alex would cast into a tree first cast! We bought some Mepps spinners as we usually do well on these and also grabbed some jig heads and rubber shads so that we had a few options. We’ve had a few trips in the last couple of weeks to both of our local reservoirs, Ardingly and Weirwood. The perch thrive in these waters as they are never short for food, especially now the fry from most species have hatched. The lure fishing we have done on Weirwood has been in the evenings during our carp fishing sessions. Weirdly though, we hardly ever get bites while the sun is out but, as soon as it dips below the horizon, the perch and pike seem to switch on. It must be something to do with light levels and when the predators feel confident about feeding, but we managed some great action with the ultralight rods. The perch seemed to move in shoals and, when they started chasing the fry, it was a bite every chuck. The perch, and indeed pike, really grabbed the spinners and jigs with so much confidence giving good hook-holds and we rarely lost fish, apart from one perch that I
“The perch moved in shoals and, when they started chasing fry, it was a bite every chuck”
hooked on a jig as I twitched it over the marginal weed. We both saw it come up and snatch the jig before diving back into the deeper water. This was a giant, well over my personal best of 3lb because, when it touched the surface, the length and thickness of its body was like nothing we have landed before. But you guessed it, one last head shake before entering the landing net saw the hook fly out of its mouth and into a bush behind! Gutted was an understatement. But we kept at it and later that evening I landed a good 2lb stripey. It still didn’t make up for the lost giant, but there’s always the next session! Ardingly Reservoir is notably deeper and the fishing was different as well. We started fishing around 2pm while the sun was still bright and enjoyed some instant bites. In fact, in most of the weedy we noticed loads of scattering fry confirming that perch were hunting below. We knew that if we got a cast through the middle of the fry, a bite was almost guaranteed. We mostly caught small fish but after the rain at around 6pm the fishing died, but we would be back soon for another go! Lure fishing is exciting and keeps you active, watching, walking and casting constantly. When I’m next out teaching a friend to fish, I might leave out the bolt rigging for carp and the float fishing with maggots and set them up with a lure rod. It can be extremely cheap and simple and, even better, there’s no smelly bait involved! Alex and I will no doubt be back at Weirwood after that monster perch soon!
The best of many perch landed