Sunday, 8 January 2012

Fun with the float rod

During the summer I visited a local pond and fished for the carp, whilst doing so I noticed a number of rather large perch swimming through the gin clear margins. Try as I might I couldn’t get said beasts to show the slightest bit of interest in anything I dangled in front of them, the issue I had was that the club operates a live-bait ban. Well quite recently the club lifted the ban, you can guess where I was headed today!!

So excited was I that when I arrived this morning it was still dark. I set myself up in the swim I saw the big perch previously, probably one of the deepest swims there with a good 6 feet in the margins, but margins you can see all the way to the bottom, the fish and everything else that’s down there. But not today! As things became brighter I couldn’t make out the bottom or any fish. I still fished on for an hour for live-baits and hoped that visibility in the other, shallower swims might be a little better. I fished for around an hour, caught 20 or so roach and rudd but only one was of a suitable size. With my little friend in tow I explored each swim only to find that I couldn’t see into any of them. Now the issue here is that the pond holds a good head of pike, and with my perch fishing consisting of using 4lb hook links, I would have stood no chance, I may have landed a few, but it really wasn’t worth getting smashed and leaving hooks in the fish, so the decision was made to leave and find a more suitable venue. I had another small pond in mind, the smallest of a three pond complex only a couple of miles away reputed to have a handful of two’s in, so with the car reloaded I hit the road.

I pulled into the car park and found nobody on the pond in question so I quickly started to fish with a size 18 and single maggot catching four rudd of perfect size. I set up the float rod with a centrepin, dibber float and size four hook and made my first cast against the snag trees at around midday. I switched swims twice and gave it until half two but there were no takers. I still had two of the rudd left so I released them back onto the pond, took off the dibber and replaced it with a small waggler. There was a nice bush overhanging the water along the margin with four feet of water underneath it, redworms given to me the day before by my companion were to be the main hookbait and maggots were loose fed over the top little and often. First fish was a rudd, not big at around 8oz but it gave a decent account of itself on my light tackle and it shone bright gold in the winter sun. Next bite produced a roach of similar size with the deepest crimson fins and pearlescent scales. A few more of each came to the net until during one particular battle I noticed a spiny dorsal, I had my perch. It wasn’t a monster by any means, but at 12oz it was my first of the day and my target species so I was overjoyed. It was a really dark perch, its stripes really stood out as if they were embossed and its gills flared and spines stood up in anger as I unhooked it. I continued to catch rudd, roach and perch and was happy catching average sized fish when the float buried and the rod arched over something quite a bit bigger than anything previous. It kept deep, jagging, twisting and turning and I really did think I had finally hooked one of the two pound perch, I even looked at where the sun was shining from and planned the best spot for a self take. I’ll bet you can imagine just how surprised I was when a tench of a pound and a half broke the surface, in January!! I was taken aback, although I must say I was pleasantly surprised, but it just goes to show how messed up things have got with these seasons. I watched the tench swim off and continued to fish.

Things went a little quiet after that capture and around twenty minutes later, at 3:45pm, I packed away my things and headed home. A great weekend’s fishing was had, if only all weekends could be like this one.


  1. I know why you cannot catch them, it's the carp gear, they know!!!

    Now if you fish with Perch tackle, they will respect it and you will catch.

  2. Agreed's all about balancing the tackle to the situation in front of you, something I try to do whenever I fish. Sometimes an opportunity arises and you don't posess the tools for the job, then is a time for improvisation.

    Kind Regards