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
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