It was my birthday just recently. And as it was my birthday and because I really do enjoy float fishing for perch more than any other type of fishing at the moment, I went float fishing for perch.
I decided on my usual short session and arrived just after lunch. The lake was clear of ice, even if the water was extremely cold. I tacked up my new Drennan Red Range 13ft silver fish float rod (a brilliant tool, by the way – slim, responsive and a pleasure to use and only fifty quid or so!) with an insert waggler, three pound mainline and a two-and-three-quarter pound hooklink and finished with a size 18 hook. I had a feeling a maggot approach would pay off with the water so cold, so I started off feeding just ten or so every cast and used a double red offering on the hook.
A few small roach came quickly before it all went ominously quiet. But it was for good reason that those little roach disappeared as no more than 30 or 40 minutes into the session, I had the bite I was hoping for. Upon striking the solid resistance and firm, angry headshakes told me a big perch had arrived early. And she was a beauty – 2lbs 5ozs of stripy perfection.
After such a quick result, I was hoping there may be a few other perch around, but by the time I’d cast back out the small roach had returned and the perch had gone. I had plenty of roach, skimmers and even a pretty little linear mirror carp, but by about three o’clock it all switched off and I never had another bite – I expect the fish are feeding in patches during the warmest part of the day.
Then on Saturday I travelled back to see the folks. I was thinking of sneaking in a couple hours on the Suffolk Stour after a chub, but the sleet put me off to be honest. And anyway I had more important matters to attend to – Ipswich vs Wigan with the old man. Terrible game, but it was fantastic being back at Portman Road. We had season tickets for years, but being in London and now out West as well as having a young family has limited the opportunities I get to go and see them.
McCarthy has worked wonders and we’re finally seeing a bit of positivity around the club after the dark days of Keane and, particularly, Jewell. It was great to see young Tyrone Mings in action too. Always a split second ahead of the others on the pitch, he is genuinely comfortable on the ball – unlike the majority playing on Saturday who when they received a pass simply wanted rid as soon as possible – and incredibly strong, yet graceful. Things didn’t always work out for him on the day, but he got over it quickly and moved on without fuss. A class act, I’m sure he’ll go far.
The close season is looming. Lots of ideas and plans – another crack at the perch, a trotting trip or two and maybe another go for a big pike – quite which of those I’ll get around to before the 15th remains to be seen.