Quality perch reward patience on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal

September 25, 2020 at 2:08 pm

Bingley angler Johnathon, a contract chef, has been on a fitness regime since being furloughed, which includes a five mile run every day, starting out each morning along the Leeds and Liverpool Canal at the bottom of his road. On his run he had spotted a shoal of large perch in an area not fished by him before and on returning home ordered a range of bait from pinkies to worms from the Angling Bait Company, taking advantage of their overnight courier service. Two days after spotting the shoal, he was up early with his Frenzee HGV trolley loaded for the mile walk to the canal peg.

A workout in itself, Jonathon arrived to find the canal crystal clear, the opposite of a few days earlier, not a good sign on this Yorkshire canal, but undeterred he set out his stall to fish the pole down the deeper boat road.

With a wide selection of bait, Johnathon was optimistic for a decent session.

Selecting a Guru F1 foat to a size 20 Kamasan B511 barbless hook, he fed a few pinkies out toward the far side and waited for a fish to take his single pinkie hook bait.

Nothing. Next step was to start a chopped worm line to the right of his main feed, hoping that those perch were still around, but still no bites. Johnathon has been in this situation before and all it usually takes is a boat to come through to stir up the mud, but the back end of September is a bit late for the boating season on the Leeds and Liverpool and he waited three hours to hear the steady throb of a barge motor.

Just the ticket. Sometimes boats are a curse, but this one was salvation from a dry net, colouring up the canal.

Once the water had settled, bites came on the red pinkie, small roach at first, but as regular feed went in, some better roach responded, but the loss of a near pound roach on the size 20 barbless, scared off the shoal. Maybe it had been a pike that had spooked the shoal, as after a dead period he managed to hook a small roach, only for it to be chased in by a pike. The swim went dead again and he dropped back in over the chopped worm feed with a heavy perch rig and half a worm on the hook.

Ten minutes later the float slid away and the elastic was out, as a good perch of at least a pound hugged the bottom in its first run. Soon the float was visible again and the perch steered to the waiting landing net.

Another wait and the float cruised off again, but this time there was much less resistance as a small fish made off with the worm, Jon almost falling off his seat at the sight of a miniature jack pike hanging onto the bait.

The perch were still there, but he had to wait for them, taking another six over the next two and a half hours before calling it a day. Persistence had eventually paid off, with the perch crowding out his landing net for an end of day shot.