Since returning from the gorgeous surroundings of the River Severn and its barbel, the last few weeks have seen me roaching on the cut and perchubing on the Great Ouse.
Although no monsters have crossed my palm, enjoyment was still had, a welcoming amount of pristine silvers were caught from the canal and once again were all taken on the pin/pole float and elderberry approach to an average size of roughly six ounces or so with the odd ten/twelve ounce fish a bonus beauty. Personally I think there is an unknown potential lurking somewhere within our canal systems and it might be there on your doorstep just waiting to be caught. Get out there and try your local, you never know!
Pictured above is a section of the Great Ouse that is only a short 25 minute drive from my home but until recently I had never cast bait at it. I suppose Its known more for doing big chub than anything else, occasionally it throws up the odd barbel from a very,very small shoal. The perch potential is a little unknown to me but I can see no reason why a big three or maybe a scraper four shouldn't be there for the taking. So with perch and chub set firmly in my mind and the nicety/excitement of fishing a new stretch, my last two midweek sessions have seen me exploring a new challenge at least for the time being.
My chosen tactics consisted of a tipped specialist feeder rod and my trusty cardinal reel. Two swan shots pinched to a short section of line before being pulled through a couple of float stops and onto the 6lb mainline and completed with a size 8 hook and two/three big fat juicy lobworms as the hookbait. A move was made every half hour or so unless bites were forthcoming or if I had one of those angler feelings that I might!
I had just moved into swim number two but immediately made a mistake!
Fifteen yards to my right on the opposite bank was a large overhanging tree, it looked sexy and worth a cast but after fifteen minutes or so only a small tap on the tip had registered even after a couple of lift and lowers of the lobs. Five yards out to my left and right were some pipe reeds which created a nice slack beneath my feet, it was in this slack that I noticed small fry leaping and dimpling the surface as I sat there with a cup of tea and a cigarette. I thought to myself that I'd give it another fifteen minutes in the swim before strolling on but decided to move the bait into the slack water.
On positioning the bait and placing it on the rest a small pinch of red maggots was deposited every couple of minutes, shortly after I was soon landing a nice stripe around the half pound mark.
The next half hour that followed saw me catch a dozen perch to just under the two pound mark with a couple of fish also bumped off before the bites dried up and forced me to move on.
Conditions were bright and sunny and the wind was quite strong, far from ideal but enjoying it I was and the fish I had managed so far had in my eyes made the day worth while.
Swim three and the last of the session produced four more perch to roughly 12oz or so before I headed back to the truck and called it a day. In hindsight I think that if I'd have taken the float rod then a few more fish would have fallen but at least now as long as conditions are on my side then I know my tactics for next week.
I'll let you know how it goes.