The best place to catch perch is in any hiding place. Perch love to hang out under trees, in reeds or in amongst roots. Anywhere the can lay in wait for the fry. On colder days they will be in deeper water and warmer day the roam around more in the shallows. If you find a spot it will hold more than one fish as perch tend to hunt in packs. Look out for the surface breaking with fish trying to escape.
As with most fish, dawn and dusk are best. Late on a Summer day is a good time but perch are not that fussy and will strike any time of day.
Lobworm is great for perch and will be hit as soon as it drops in the water. Under a float is good but my favourite is a light lead and a quiver tip.
Prawns and small dead baits are also a good bait, especially on still waters. It always worth chucking in a a bit of ground bait in the area to draw in the small fish.
The best in my opinion is small lures. It always results in bigger fish and adds to the excitement, as you can often see the strike.
The sun is out, the fish are in shore… grab your rod and get out there. Here are my top tips to catching a sea bass.
GO LIGHT: Use light tackle, you will be able to feel the lure working much more effectively. Also means you can cover more ground and move easily.
WATCH THE WATER: watch bursts of action from bait fish breaking the surface or seagulls diving on the bait fish.
WHAT TO CATCH: If there are Mackerel, Whitebait and Gars about then you can be sure that the Bass are not far behind.
STRUCTURES: Bass like to hunt in beach surf, so you do not need to cast far. They also like to hang around structures and ambush their Prey. Try fishing rocky marks, piers and groins for Bass using a variety of lures.
CHECK OUT YOUR MARK: Check out the areas you intend to fish on really low tides, to spot potential fish holding features such as gullies or ambush points for bass.
REEL SPEED: Vary your retrieve rates when lure fishing, also change the action when twitching the rod tip.
LURE TYPE: Match the lure/spinner to what the main bait of the area – sand eel, mackerel and red heads are all round winners.
MOST dedicated pikers only target pike from October to March, this being the traditional pike season. This gives the pike a break for spawning but also reduces the stress to fish, which soon become stressed and gassed up after a hard fight in warm water where oxygen levels are reduced.
Pike are more active in the warmer months and when they decide to feed they often go into a frenzie and snaffle down baits very quickly.
For this reason we do not recommend the use of dead baits until the winter months. This will inevitably result in deeply hooked and often damaged fish.
Pike are perceived to be tough, hardy predators but they do not cope very well with being hooked deeply or kept out of the water for too long.
If targeting pike at this time of year, use lures, but ensure that you are using adequate tackle – they will fight hard. Mono should be at least 12lb and braid 40lb breaking strains and always use a quality wire trace of min. 26lb breaking strain and at least 18 inches long.
Get the fish in quickly, unhook with forceps and release the pike as soon as possible.
Where appropriate, unhook the fish in the water without re-locating to the unhooking mat.
Following a few simple rules will ensure the pike will be returned unharmed to be caught another day.
Lure in the pike
Lure fishing is the only accepted method of piking during the warmer months. This is a much more pike-friendly method at this time of year when fish are more actively feeding in warmer water where oxygen levels are reduced.
Lure fishing for pike using spinners, plugs and spoons is a great, exciting way of catching pike. In summer they will hit lures very hard and give a fantastic fight right to the net.
Lure in the pike
When choosing lures you need to determine the pattern, type and size to suit the water you’re fishing. You’ll need to consider the presence of snags, weed beds and rocks to ensure you avoid snagging up.
When casting always cover an area in a systematic manner so you don’t miss those idle fish laying in wait. In deeper water you’ll need to cover all the depths too. Cover all features whether above or below the water line, reed beds, lily pads, drop-offs, ledges, sunken trees and over-hanging trees & hedge lines. Always cover the shallow areas; it’s surprising how many fish will sit in water barely deep enough to cover their backs.
The market is flooded with lures of all colours and pattern designs, some no doubt designed to catch the angler and not necessarily the fish.
I prefer to use natural colours and patterns to mimic the pike’s usual diet of roach, bream, perch and their favourite food, pike. That said, if not successful after covering an area it often pays to use different colours as a change-bait.
It’s surprising how often a naturally coloured lure will be ignored and a lure, which doesn’t seem to resemble a fish at all, will be taken. Perhaps these get the attention of the inquisitive fish that can’t resist the action of the lure regardless of what it looks like.
Jointed shallow diving plugs are most commonly used locally with waters down to max 10ft. The plug will float when at rest and dive when wound in, covering depths to around 6ft. These are ideal for covering a large area above the weed line. Pike will happily come up from deeper water to hit lures on or near the surface.
Spinners are also commonly used, available in weights and sizes to suit all waters but make sure you use a quality spinner or you’ll find the hooks are not up to the job. Remember, even when targeting perch on small spinners, you’re likely to hook a pike in the process so the choice of lure & quality of hooks has to reflect this. Large spoons are surprisingly versatile and are very effective in all water depths and types.
For lures with natural colours and movement – click the link below.