Common name: Perch
Latin name: Perca fluviatilis
Current UK Rod Caught Coarse Fish Record PERCH (Perca fluviatilis) 5lb 15oz 2006 Les Brown, Stillwater at Crowborough, Sussex
Description and habitat of Perch:
Nickname ‘Stripey’ 'The Sergeant' The perch has a flat-sided greenish body graduating down to a white belly. It has bright red/orange pelvic fins, two dorsal fins with five or more broad black vertical stripes down the sides. It has a row of sharp pointed spines along the dorsal fin so be careful when handling the perch. The body of the perch is rough to the touch as the small scales are imbedded deep in the skin. The perch will probably be the first fish an angler catches because they are a very aggressive predator that will bite at almost anything.
The perch live in still, slow and fast running water, lakes, ponds, rivers and canals. Perch can be found where there is underwater obstacles or structures, tree roots, weed beds and overhanging trees, these are all good places to hide and ambush anything edible. Larger perch will eat smaller fish such as minnows, roach and dace.
Fishing Methods for catching Perch:
Perch can be caught using various methods including float, ledger, feeder, free-lining, spinning with lures and even fly fishing. The venue will determine the best method. Most perch are caught more in the summer months but can be caught throughout the year. A medium rod with a fixed spool reel fitted with a 3lb line, hook size of 16 - 10 depending on the bait used is ok.
I find the best bait for catching perch is a lobworm hooked through the middle with a small piece of rubber pushed onto the hook to prevent the worm slipping off. After hooking the lobworm I pinch off the tail of the worm, this releases a scent into the water which will hopefully attract the perch. Used in conjunction with chopped worm this is a deadly combination. I always use barbless hooks because they cause less damage to the fish and are easier to unhook. On stillwaters, lakes and ponds, try float fishing using a waggler with a big lobworm on a size 10 hook.
Plumb the depth and fish overdepth by 6 inches. Use chopped worm mixed in your groundbait and throw a couple of balls in to start. If you know there is an underwater feature in your swim, cast near to this. The chopped worm will attract the perch which will hopefully take your lobworm. If you get no bite after a few minutes, try twitching your bait (reel in a couple of turns) this sometimes induces the perch to bite.
A typical approach when perch fishing in rivers or flowing waters is trotting.
Fishing methods for catching Chub:
Use a stick float or in faster waters a big Avon or a Loafer that carries a lot of shot. The float and shotting pattern will depend on the speed of the water flow and where in the water the perch are located. Plumb the water to get the depth and start by stringing the shot out button style and letting the float and baited hook flow at the same speed as the water. The baited hook needs to be in front of the float so hold back (stop the float) for a couple of seconds every couple of yards or so. (the reason for this is the current nearer the river bed is slower than the surface so holding back the float will allow the baited hook to stay in front - you'll get the hang of it!).
Feed chopped worm every second or third cast to attract the perch. After a few run throughs if you get no bites try altering the shot by moving it nearer the hook or bunching every second shot together. If fishing a fast flowing water try using an Avon type float and fix the shot nearer the hook to keep it closer to the river bed. Another method is free-lining. This is ok where there is little flow on the water. Attach a single swan shot (SSG) about a foot up the line from the hook and again fish a large lobworm on the hook. The lobworm will bounce along the river bed and hopefully be intercepted by the perch. The feeder rod can also be used. Make sure you use enough weight to hold the bait on the bottom of the river bed. Start with a 24 inch hook length, bait your hook with a lobworm , fill you feeder with groundbait containing chopped worm and cast in. Perch can also be caught using plugs and spinners. Spinning is a good way of fishing for perch as it allows you to move up and down the water and find where the perch are.
Natural food for perch include; crustaceans, insects, flies, mayfly, caddis fly, larvae, worms and all fish fry. The average size perch is 4oz - 1lb with anything over 2lb considered a specimen.
Baits for catching Perch:
Worms, lobworms, dendrobaena worms, red worm, brandlings, minnow, casters, maggots. Also caught using plugs, lures and spinners. The perch has also been known to be caught on flies used by trout fishermen.
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