Saturday, December 13, 2014

On the perch again

As cold weather settled in and the weeds in the canal dropped to the bottom, a new perch season started.

And oh, how it started. Amazing days on the canal, hitting perch after perch on small softbaits rigged on a jighead or drop-shot. 
I am not saying that I got tons of huge fish everyday and everywhere, I really had to work for it. But the rewards were there, and they made the cold, the rain and the wind much more bearable.

One particular day has stuck with me though, ever since.

It was one of those mornings, after just 3 hours of sleep, that I grabbed my tackle in a hurry and sprinted for the fishing spot, only to find out when I got there that I picked up the wrong reel!
As if fishing wasn't hard enough as it was!

Started telling myself, as I was rigging my set-up, that maybe it's a good thing.
That maybe it will force me to pay more attention to my fishing and make me think outside the box for a change.

Easier said than done, though. Fishing with a finesse UL rod paired with a 2500 size reel, 20lb braid and a 2g jighead was nothing short of a burden. Luckily enough, there was little to no wind that day.

Tied a longer monofilament leader than usual to help the lure travel more freely to the bottom and started "casting".
Even though the YGK 20lb braid is very thin for its strength, it's not the 3lb one that I am used to.
Lost all the casting distance, precision and control over the lure. But it made me pay a lot more attention to the line and what it visually told me about what happens to the lure underwater (a very important thing when fishing with jigheads is to never take your eyes off the line - it will tell you more about bites,  lure movement, and underwater structures than your rod, regardless of how sensitive it is, ever will).

After half an hour of messing around with different leader lengths, jig head weights and lure types, I finally came to a satisfying result and found the fish soon after.

Only a couple of small ones at first, but very welcome nonetheless, given the conditions.
Soon enough the bigger perch started to appear, and after 10 good ones, I got hit by something I thought to be a pike at first, only to feel the trademark headshakes a few moments after, a sign that I was into a nice perch.
Turned out to be the best this year so far at 45cm, and, boy was I happy! Snapped a few photos fast and released the beast back into the water. 

The 2500 size reel looks like it's going to squish the poor striped creature

The rest of the day went pretty decent, ending with a big pike taking my 2 inch softbait and giving me a few seconds of joy on the light rod before she bit trough the leader and took off with my lure (I only fish with barbless hooks, so I am pretty sure she lost the hook pretty fast).

In the end, I lost count of the fish that I caught, but I'm pretty sure it was close to 50.
Not bad considering the fact that I was using half of my bass gear to catch them...

After almost a year of using it, I still can't believe how good this rod actually is. Check details Here

The season it's only mid-way trough, so I hope that the 45cm mark won't stand for too long as "best of the year". Even if it means that next time I'll have to bring a 3000 size reel and 25lb braid.

I hope it won't come to this though...