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
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.”
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.”