For­get dawn and dusk. Fish well into the night for perch

Tackle shop owner Dave Mut­ton has aban­doned dawn and dusk fish­ing to tar­get perch well into the night

Improve Your Coarse Fishing (UK) - - Contents - Words & Pho­tog­ra­phy Mark Parker

IT’S well doc­u­mented that the ‘best time’ to fish for perch is first and last light – leg­end de­crees that once it turns dark, bite time is over un­til sun­rise the fol­low­ing day. Ap­par­ently, this time-hon­oured wis­dom is sim­ply in­ac­cu­rate, ac­cord­ing to tackle shop owner (Spec­i­men Fish­ing UK) and lure fa­natic, Dave Mut­ton. He has spent the last cou­ple of years fish­ing well into dark and it’s an ap­proach that’s paid off hand­somely for the 47-year-old Coven­try-based rod. His big­gest night-caught perch is 3lb 12oz and on a re­cent ses­sion he banked more than 20 stripeys and a pike once the sun had set on the River Sev­ern. Night fish­ing. For perch. On lures! This was one grand claim we just had to check out, so Fea­ture’s Ed­i­tor, Mark Parker joined Dave for a night ses­sion on his lo­cal Coven­try Canal, in pur­suit of perch and the oc­ca­sional zan­der.

Why fish lures at night?

So, when the light starts to fade, the fish come on the feed. Forty min­utes or so later, they sud­denly stop feed­ing in the gath­er­ing gloom. “Ut­ter non­sense!” as­serted Dave. “Un­less the fish are very good or very lucky I doubt they’d be able to fully sate their ap­petites in such a short feed­ing pe­riod. It stands to rea­son that they’ll feed into the dark.” This is Dave’s rea­son­ing why night-time lure fi­fish­ing works, but the rea­son he fi­first cast out a lure in dark­ness was more out of ne­ces­sity rather than some great eureka mo­ment. Like all of us, in the win­ter, when dusk comes early, Dave found he had less and less time to fish af­ter work. So in time­honoured tradition, that one last cast be­came three, then 10, un­til he found him­self ac­tively fish­ing two or three hours into dark, just to get some ‘bank time’ in. “I found that I started catch­ing, and catch­ing well,” Dave told us. “Now, ex­pe­ri­ence has shown that night can be bet­ter, of­ten more pro­lific than through the day. The bites are also much more ob­vi­ous and harder.” The rea­son for this is due to clear win­ter wa­ter and the low sun an­gle in­creas­ing light pen­e­tra­tion. Perch and zan­der will sit among snags, fea­tures or

Al­ways take a range of lures. Dave prefers those that pro­duce loads of vi­bra­tion

There’s al­ways plenty of ac­tion from zan­der on the Coven­try Canal A head­torch is the only ad­di­tional kit you need to fish lures at night

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