Pick­ing the right lure is vi­tal – Andy Loble

There’s no need to wade through the vast ar­ray of spoons, jigs and crankbaits when you fancy a spot of perch­ing – just fol­low Andy Loble’s ad­vice in­stead

Improve Your Coarse Fishing (UK) - - Contents - Words & Pho­tog­ra­phy Tony Grig­or­jevs

FISH­ING light lures for perch has be­come all the rage in re­cent years, and it’s easy to see why when you ex­am­ine this arm of the sport. In an era where work and fam­ily com­mit­ments dom­i­nate life, a style of fish­ing that re­quires min­i­mal time and tackle ap­peals to many of us. That is ex­actly what light lure fish­ing pro­vides. A rod, reel, land­ing net and a small bag of bits is all that’s needed for a cou­ple of hours’ rov­ing up and down your lo­cal stretch of canal. But there is no doubt that this tac­tic can cause a headache. Browse the in­ter­net for sites ded­i­cated to it and the num­ber of dif­fer­ent lures on of­fer is sim­ply mind-bog­gling. Thou­sands of pat­terns have been cre­ated, all of them suit­able for a slightly dif­fer­ent job, but de­cid­ing which one is right for you is no stroll in the park. One man who is a dab hand at sort­ing the wheat from the chaff is Andy Loble. The Sonik-backed an­gler has spent years analysing which pat­terns per­form best, and his re­sults prove he has cracked the code, with nu­mer­ous 4lb fish to his name. “Pick­ing the right lure is vi­tal if you want to make the most of your ses­sion, and recog­nis­ing key as­sets can help you make that de­ci­sion,” as­serted Andy.

Only one lure type for perch!

Spoons, jigs and crankbaits are all types of lure that you’ll have heard about, but you may not have a clue what they look like! When it comes to catch­ing perch from canals, Andy has a firm favourite that comes into play ev­ery time he wets a line. “I love small rub­ber lures be­cause they have a num­ber of at­tributes that make them highly ef­fec­tive. If you drop your lure close to the bank and ‘work’ it through the water, you will no­tice it moves in a way that repli­cates the move­ments of a real fish in­cred­i­bly well,” he en­thused. “They also cast well, which helps give you the re­quired ac­cu­racy if you are try­ing to get it close to a par­tic­u­lar fea­ture.” The size of the jig head needs to be var­ied de­pend­ing on the con­di­tions, and Andy finds that 3g and 5g are the two weights that cover most con­di­tions. “I al­ways use the light­est jig head pos­si­ble while still get­ting the pre­sen­ta­tion I want. “If there is no flow then 3g is best be­cause it en­ables me to twitch the lure, and it will bounce up off the bot­tom at a pace that makes it look like a dy­ing fish, which at­tracts preda­tors. “But if there is a bit of flow 3g will be too light. The cur­rent will ham­per how it acts and you need to step up to 5g to keep con­trol.” As for size of lure, it comes down to your aspirations for the ses­sion. If you are in the hunt for one or two big perch then start with a fairly large pat­tern. Al­ter­na­tively, if you are af­ter lots of bites from smaller fish, start on a mi­cro lure that any­thing could en­gulf.

Colour plays its part

Rang­ing from flu­o­res­cent or­ange all the way through to jet black, lures come in a wide range of colours. The main fac­tor to con­sider when choos­ing which one to start with is water clar­ity. “In coloured con­di­tions you need a lure that will stand out and catch the eye of any perch nearby,” ex­plained Andy. “Bright or­ange, yel­low and sil­ver are all re­ally good in these con­di­tions and it pays to keep switch­ing be­tween them dur­ing the day to make the most of your time on the bank. “When the water is clear you need a darker lure. This will cre­ate a sil­hou­ette against the sky when they look up at it and I have found that black or dark green lures are best.”

Swim choice

Many canals, at first glance, can ap­pear bar­ren and de­void of any cover. Look closely, though, and the stretch is likely to have sev­eral spots that will hold perch. “Lock gates are bril­liant hold­ing points for perch and I have caught so many qual­ity fish us­ing lures close to them. “Any un­der­wa­ter ledges and slopes are also worth look­ing at, as are weed beds that have grown in the mar­gins. I will al­ways have a few casts down the mar­gins and of­ten get bites when I re­trieve my lure past the stand­out fea­tures. “Analysing re­cent match re­sults can also pro­vide clues as to where the perch will be hold­ing up. If big hauls of sil­ver­fish have been taken from a par­tic­u­lar area you can guar­an­tee that preda­tors will be lurk­ing close by.”

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