Since my return to work in September after being furloughed for several months I have had very little time to go fishing. In fact I'll correct that statement, I've had no time to go fishing. That has all changed again due to the second lockdown period which started here again just over a week ago. My wife is classed as a key worker so I've got a month to kill. What is a man to do? Go fishing, obviously.
These days I can't face the prospect of spending nights out on the bank after Carp. Twenty five years ago I didn't think twice about it, but the prospect of sixteen cold hours of darkness every day is more than I can handle.
I can't justify/afford to spend £25+ on a Chew Valley Lake ticket everyday which is where I would really love to be, chasing the huge Perch that lurk in it's depths using fly tactics. I still wanted to concentrate on predators so I decided I would spend some times fishing a canal. This was a bit of a gamble as I knew very little about the canal or it's watery inhabitants. I was aware that there were Perch, Pike and some Zander present but I had no idea as to how big they grew. I love catching any fish but I always like to know that there is a chance, no matter how small, of a real big specimen. I did the usual thing that I guess everybody does, namely googling the hell out of the place, but very little information came back my way. Only one way to find out then I guess.
I've fished five sessions so far. I've done ok, in so much as that I've only blanked once. I haven't caught anything of any size yet. In total I've probably had 35-40 Perch but nothing weighing over half a pound. I've had one or two follows from slightly larger fish. Speaking to other anglers on the bank I'm convinced there are much bigger fish present, I just need to find them. The highlight for me so far has been catching my first ever Zander. I caught it using a Westin 7cm Official Roach Shadteez lure  fished very slowly bouncing it across the bottom. All of the Perch have been caught on a Fox Rage 6cm Spikey Shad. I love these lures. If my life depended on catching a Perch on a lure this would be the first one out of the box.
I've really enjoy this style of fishing. I travel very light, a small backpack, landing net and two ultralight lure rods (1-8g). I tend to have one set up for dropshotting and one for soft plastic lures mounted on a light jig head. I'm having a couple of days away from the water this weekend, but I'll be heading back on Monday.
Richard Ford

My first ever Zander

If I could only use one lure for Perch this would be it. Fox spikey shad 6cm. Check out those fins.

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