Perch no substitute for pike at Braybrooke

January 10, 2017 at 6:47 pm

Knowing that a couple of old friends would be fishing at Jeane’s pond in nearby Braybrooke park today, I’d hoped to join them for some roach fishing, but a couple of prior engagements saw the morning slip away into the early afternoon, with an hour’s plug fishing my only opportunity to catch.


A cold morning with a chill wind, had given way to a bright mild afternoon, but my friends were gone, no doubt undertaking their grandfatherly duties on the school run. Pegs one and two showed evidence of recent occupation, it not taking Sherlock Holmes to see a scattering of liquidised bread and the odd dead red maggot on the bank, that the local pigeons and sparrows had yet to clear up.


Detective work over, I set up my ancient seven foot split cane spinning rod and ABU 506 reel, attaching a 70 mm Rapala Countdown sinking plug in the hope of hooking a pike. On their last visit to the pond, my now absent friends had complained of  a pike attacking roach, as they brought them in, the carnivore attracted to the silver fish activity. Visiting the next day, a pike had taken my lure on the drop, while casting around these same pegs, but had failed to set the hooks in it’s bony mouth.

Now possibly less that an hour after their visit, there was every chance of another pike, but my efforts around the two pegs drew a blank, despite the plug giving an award winning impression of a sick and dying roach.


Walking round into the shade, I saw a small fish jumping like a skipping stone across the surface, close to a bankside tree. A clear sign of a predatory fish chasing it’s supper, I cast the plug to drop among the ripples and retrieved. The tip pulled round and I struck in an instant. Dead weight. A small branch came to the surface, then dropped off at my feet. This snaggy spot was worth another cast, or two. Minutes later the tip bounced round with a proper take. It was a fish, but not a big one, that pulled deep into the pond without too much resistance, if a pike, it was a baby; all being revealed as a 4 oz perch surfaced, shaking it’s head ten yards away.


Neatly hooked in it’s bottom lip, the barbless was out in a second, this little perch happy to take on a fish one third of it’s size. A few casts later, the rod tapped on the retrieve and another small perch jumped clear throwing the hook. I had a smaller Rapala in my bag, but decided to soldier on. Moving round to cast into the area from the other side, boils behind the lure indicated another fish chasing, but not taking. The regular anglers speak of large perch in this pond, but none showed today and after another half hour’s entertainment with no sign of a pike, I was ready to face the rush hour traffic.