Categories
Cameron Harris Coarse Lure

The Best Species For Lure Fishing?

With lure fishing we can catch pretty much every species that swims, from Grayling, Roach to Catfish. But which is best? The most common 3 are perch, pike and chub. Pike despite getting big, fighting hard and being pretty common they are only a winter and autumn species as its dangerous to fish for them in summer. Perch, being stunning, growing big and the grind to find big perch are all brilliant being an all year round target and very fun fighters. perch really are up there as some of my favourites to catch. Chub, challenging but strong, hard fighting and stunning are another brilliant target, their weariness makes them hard to fool but when you do you know your in for something good. Again being safe to catch all year round if you haven’t targetted these on lures yet, what are you playing at! I cant speak on literally every species as we wil be here all day so im only gonna cover one more. That is the catfish, big, strong, awesome and rare these make for a fantastic catch. Catfish are mostly spring to summer fish however their size and power gives them a pass!

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a 2lb perch caught on the slick finesse 9cm dropshot style.

For me light fishing is king with strong fights and big fish feeling gigantic on a light set up. And as much as i hate fishing with rods built like broomsticks you cant deny the chance of a 30lber makes it all worth it. I haven’t had the opportunity to target catfish on lures thats coming very soon. So for me its defo the light fishing on small chalk streams for big chub and trout. In conclusion for me the best fish for lure fishing is chub due to their versatility. Whats your favourite?

https://youtu.be/TO3OZ9Cdsoo
Categories
Bob Dellar Coarse Lure River

On The Hunt: Predator fishing 2021/22

Winter is all about predator fishing for me, although I did partake of a couple of short sessions on my local river, the Suffolk Stour, trotting for the numerous dace and chub that inhabit this jungly, overgrown stretch, which I’m happy to say is free-fishing and only a five minute walk from my house. It was great fun using my 10.5 ft Shakespeare match rod, trotting a light stick through and enjoying regular bites using maggots and bread for bait. The bread was less consistent than maggots but seemed to tease out the better fish. That little stretch has become even more jungly and overgrown now following the ravages of Storm Eunice and I may have to wander down there with a chainsaw during the close season to re-establish some swims.

But as I say winter fishing is all about the preds for me, especially pike. In 2021 I joined a couple of clubs that afforded me access to some potentially exciting fishing in The Fens, chiefly on the Great Ouse through Ely and Littleport in Cambridgeshire. In October 2021, I made the hour long drive across the Fenland skyscape to Littleport, armed with a lure rod. I surmised that the best way to get to grips with the Great Ouse there was to walk its banks, casting a jig around as I did so. Saying that, I only walked about a mile and a half. It was hard going, trudging on top of the floodbank fully exposed to frigid autumnal winds the Fens are famous for. Nonetheless, I managed a couple of jacks casting along the near bank reed-line, and a nice perch of over a pound. I had a follow from a bigger fish too but fluffed the retrieve in my excitement and off he went, too wiley for my amateurish jig control.

I returned a couple more times during November to give deadbaiting a crack. My plan was to fish into darkness to see if the odd zander might oblige. But all I managed was a couple of pike just shy of double figures and an interesting tête-à-tête with a group of Eastern European anglers who were fishing in a swim fairly close to mine. It looked like an entire family: a couple of teenage kids, a youngish woman and three (very large) guys. The swim was a mini encampment with two tents and an elaborate BBQ/dining area. It was utterly spotless with not a hint of litter or unkemptness. The very moment I landed one of the pike, the three large guys descended on me, each one a potential Bond villain.

“What you catch there”?, one of them barked. “Only a small pike mate”, I replied. And I immediately thought, “bloody hell he’s going to nab it for his BBQ!” But thankfully my fears were unfounded as they were very congratulatory, saying, “we fish all day for no fish and you come and catch fish, what are we do wrong!” (I paraphrase but that was the general gist). 

So I gave them a few hints on how to float fish for pike and a couple of sardine and mackerel deadbaits. I’ve no idea if they were there illegally or not but they were making no attempt to conceal themselves and were extremely friendly and good natured, I’m very glad to say!

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The Great Ouse at Littleport, Cambs.

The Ouse through Ely is somehow a more welcoming stretch of river than Littleport, which I found slightly desolate and barren. At Ely the landscape is altogether more bucolic with water meadows and gnarled old willows to admire. The only drawback is the people and their dogs, which seem to drift by in a constant stream, with the occasional canine raid on my deadbait bucket or lunch bag. Also, there’s nowhere to have a crafty pee so I learnt quite quickly to lay off the bankside tea. I had a few nice pike during my sessions at Ely, the biggest around 15lb. But the icing on the cake was my first zander for many years, nabbed on a small roach deadbait whilst fishing the well-known town centre stretch, an area where the prey fish congregate during the winter creating a predator hotspot.

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Ely Town Centre Zander

The Suffolk Stour is a river that has a reputation for consistent pike fishing and I’m happy to say I’ve had some of my best sessions on this lovely waterway, specifically through Sudbury. With the river and air temperature still relatively warm, I had an early season Red-Letter Day in late October, banking six fish and losing two, all on float-fished sardine and mackerel. Most were low doubles and the fish were in fine fettle, still powerful and sleek, yet to succumb to cold-induced lethargy. But that was to be my only pike session on that stretch of river. Whilst I was playing my final fish, an otter swirled just a couple of metres from the struggling pike and I nearly had a cardiac arrest. Visions of me having to unhook an angry, frightened otter had me bully that fish to the net and call an end to the session pronto. I did return on a few occasions as there are a couple of deeper, near-side swims with overhanging vegetation that scream perch and chub, and this proved the case as I managed to catch perch to 2.2lb and chub to 5.2lb. Remarkably, during an evening session, another otter porpoised through my swim and I thought, “that’s that then.” But the second he disappeared I had a decisive bite on the tip and landed the 5.2lb chub! What that’s all about I don’t know, but that otter didn’t deter the fish from feeding, on that occasion anyway.

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A Suffolk Stour perch of 2.2lb

The re-introduction of otter’s has become deeply controversial amongst anglers and I can understand why. But I for one love to see these animals and I’m sure that before too long nature with prevail and a balance between predators and prey fish will be achieved. Although to see one swirl at a pike I was in the process of playing was disturbing and put an end to my deadbait fishing on that section of the Stour.

I did fish a couple of stillwaters too, with mixed results, but by far the best session was just before Christmas on a lake managed by Clare Golf Club in Suffolk. There’s only a couple of fishable swims, the best in my opinion is directly alongside the course itself, in a sheltered corner. I fished three rods for a change as I had the room to do so but it became apparent quite early on that that was a mistake as bites were coming thick and fast. At one point, I was unhooking a fish when the alarm shrieked and I had to quickly return the fish on the mat to attend to the new run! I wasn’t complaining as frantic sessions like this are infrequent to say the least but fish safety is paramount so I opted for two rods only. Even then I was kept busy. In the afternoon, a couple of golfers wandered by, one of whom had obviously overindulged in the Christmas festivities. First, he offered to land a fish I was playing, only to become tangled in the mesh as he picked the net up. Over he went. His mate picked him up, giggling as he did so. I was giggling too, it was slapstick at its best. I landed the fish myself only to see the same golfer topple into a bunker. His mate was hysterical by this time and too weak with laughter to offer any assistance. So all in all I had a brilliant day. Nine pike to 12lb and impromptu, side-splitting comedy Laurel and Hardy would have been proud of.

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Clare Golf Club Lake-the mat was busy that day.

Now, with the pike and river season drawing to a close it’s time to focus on my favourite fish-the tench.

Categories
Bob Dellar Coarse

For The Love Of Perch


There’s been a bit of a perch bonanza amongst fellow Essex Anglers bloggers lately, so I thought I’d show my appreciation for this magnificent fish too. 

Like most anglers, my very first fish was a perch, in fact I think I caught about nine, at the age of nine, from Highams Park Lake in Woodford Green, Essex, an estate lake originally part of a landscape designed by Humphrey Repton in the eighteenth century. That first session had a profound effect on me, and I was utterly hooked from that moment. Part of the allure was the fish itself; they were tiny but they fought like tigers, flashing back and forth in the pellucid shallows, all spikes and stripes with great, gaping mouths and huge, predator eyes. They certainly put a bend in my six foot Woolworths fibre glass rod. I’ve still got the folding, red fishing stool I used on that day and the Golden Virginia tobacco tin my dad gave me for my hooks and bits.

Perch loomed large in subsequent trips to the lake, as I’d yet to hone my angling skills enough to tempt any of the more wiley tench, roach and carp that lived amongst those kamikaze stripeys. Eventually, after discovering the revered books of tench guru Fred J Taylor, I managed to bank a tench or two, plus a 1lb roach. But that was a couple of years away, and me and my best friend and angling pal Gary were content to hoik out “wasp” perch on line thick enough to hang your clothes on.

Gary was a street-wise kid who’s personality contrasted with my laid-back, mild manner but our mutual appreciation of wildlife and fishing forged a strong bond. We once witnessed an older group of boys catching perch after perch and dashing them to bits on nearby rocks, laughing as they did so. We were utterly appalled and shouted at them to stop, from a safe distance obviously. Thankfully they did stop, despite hurling threats and abuse, but the shocking sight of those poor, eviscerated perch is still emblazoned on my mind.

Later on, after I left college and moved back to London, I discovered what was at the time one of the best big-fish rivers in the south-east: Coppermill Stream, Walthamstow. A short, two mile tributary of the river Lea it is nowadays a shadow of its former self but when I fished it was renown for specimen fish of many species including barbel, roach, chub, and perch.

I enjoyed good sport from all the above, apart from (and despite my best efforts) the perch.

I knew they were there, I’d heard the fishy tales from fellow anglers of giant stripeys, either caught or spotted skulking amongst the streamer weed. My own personal experience of these gorgeous giants was to be bitter sweet; to be truthful more the former than the latter! But nonetheless I’m glad I had it. One evening in the late summer I was fishing for barbel with no success. A few swims up was another young angler fishing hard up against concrete bridge pilings. He was hoiking out perch after perch, whooping with delight as he did so, every cast produced another fish. And they were massive, the biggest perch I’d ever seen. He was carefully placing them in a keep net and after a while my curiosity got the better of me and I walked up to him to witness his remarkable catch. He was a humble, good natured bloke and appeared almost embarrassed by his success. He asked me to take some photos for him and I was happy to oblige, a bit jealous of course but very pleased for him and in awe of his catch: six specimen perch to 3.8lb; not fresh, clean-skinned, fin-perfect youngsters these but old, muscular warriors, with scarred flanks, blood-red fins and bristling spikes. If there had been smart phones at the time I’d have asked him to text me a photo or two, but this was the late eighties and mobile phones resembled house bricks. I’ve still got some vivid memories of those perch though. The fella packed up shortly after, a very happy angler. I asked if he’d mind me poaching his swim and he graciously obliged, but although I fished into darkness I had not a touch, despite replicating his tactics: legered lobworm against the concrete pilings, feeding maggot over the top. 

Over a decade later, I would employ the same approach to catch my own big old stripey. Not a 3lb monster but a beautiful fish nonetheless. One autumn evening in 2004 at Dobbs Weir on the river Lea in Hertfordshire, I took the advice of a friendly bailiff I’d met at the weir the day before, and fished hard against the concrete bridge pilings adjacent to the weir. I had two perch, the biggest 2.12lb. Luckily, that same bailiff turned up again, and with a smile and an “I told you so” took a couple of photos for me. 

Here’s one of them.

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Nowadays, perch fishing is enjoying an amazing revolution. The opportunity to catch specimen fish from a wide variety of venues using a wide variety of tactics are legion. I have myself been bitten by the lure fishing bug, and in the space of a year have bought numerous multicoloured, jelly-like lures; some resembling fish, others the “Bugs” from Starship Trooper movies. But to be honest, although I’ve enjoyed fishing with them, I’ve not caught many perch! Plenty of jack pike though, which on light gear are a joy.

Saying that, I had two nice fish of around 1.5lb from the Great Ouse near Ely, on a jig resembling another perch! The little cannibals…

I had to resort to the time honoured perch catching marvel that are lobworms to get amongst something bigger. On a favourite stretch of the Suffolk Stour is an old railway bridge and a very deep pool with perch, (and chub), written all over it. One evening in December last year I  decided to give the pool a crack. As dusk settled in numerous fry were making their presence known, their tiny bodies iridescent in the margins. In went a link-legered lobworm and within twenty minutes out came a beautiful perch that pulled hard and shook its head all the way to the net. She went 2.2lb, again not a monster but a fish that had me buzzing for days after. 

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Categories
Cameron Harris Fishing Tips Lure

Why Fishing Into Dusk Is Crucial!

Im sure we have all been told at one point that if you wanna catch lots and big perch you need to look at dusk and dawn and to an extent ive believed it however ive never really acted on it always starting my sessions early morning and fishing through the whole day. However ive had a good amount of time and sessions to really say that, dusk is where its at!! i have no experience fishing at dawn because i cant get up that early however dusk i can say with confident is the best time to go fishing! I have had about 6 sessions on the same lake now starting at 9am and ending at about 4pm. Throughout the day even when i fished a variety of different lakes i could not get a bite infact i think i out of all the sessions i landed maybe 5 perch in total. however when the light fell and the temp dropped the bait became alive! the perch were on it!

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Now to find the shoal, my go to searching lures are jigs and Texas rigs, both can be fished a fairly faster speed helping to cover more ground and fish through more shoals. i had a few hits on jigs but no hook ups, i swapped to a Texas for a more gentle approach and managed to start banking fish. over the past 5-6 sessions ive landed what must be 10-15 perch just in dusk!

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trust me, fish in dawn, go to work, then fish at dusk you will not be disapointed!

https://youtu.be/02Fy80OrJbs
Categories
Cameron Harris Lure River Tackle Reviews

Is The Ned Rig Worth The Hype?

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I saw the pressure and it just screamed perch! i grabbed my rod and went off to do a test that ive wanted to do for a long time, is the Ned rig really worth it!? is it as good as people say it is? So with the pressure low, spirits high, overcast weather and mild i got the z-mans hooked up and went to visit my favourite mark. Upon arrival i went to a boat which always has a steady shoal of perch below i, nothing big but to get the blank off the table was a brill thing. The pike were EVERYWHERE and didn’t show any signs of wanting to do pike things, so i lost about 4 lures to pike and throughout the day about 7 to snags. When the bite dried off on the z-mans i decided to change to a slick shad in young perch colour this was because id seen perch hitting bait on the surface and the bite rapidly increased, even tho the river was low the fish were on the feed hard! The day slowly got more and more annoying as kept getting bitten of and snagged but the ned rig was killing it as soon as i found the shoal id just wipe up taking what felt like the whole shoal one by one. I stuck to margins and slacks all day really as its very tidal and i cant get 7g to stick on the bottom however one mistake cast ended up seeing the z-man bugz getting crushed in the middle of the chanel by what felt like a solid fish, unfortunately there wasn’t much fight as the tide was pulling too hard when i got it into the net i saw its shoulders and realised this was a big girls child, hopefully shes out there, besides that this fish was already a pb! i don’t do too well on the perch aspect i cant get big ones to save my life but i managed to pull this one out and she was the end of the day on a lovely PB fish!

Categories
Cameron Harris Lure River

Chub Chasing

So on this day, I took the heavier gear and some jerk baits around 10cm and smaller. I went to the clear part of the river it sits at about 2ft with deep holes of about 4ft chub central. I found a lot of shoals but being a bright day it’s difficult fishing and managed to get a lot of followers however no takes.

I stopped sight casting thinking that the fish were not gonna be in the shallows, one blind cast resulted in a fish within the first twitch of the lure. The fish was fighting like a chub but when it showed up it was a pike of maybe 3-4lb I landed it in my 30cm trout net which was a comedy show in itself. but finally got the tripod set up and a nice fish

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After spending more time with it going extra quiet I decided to move to deeper darker more weeder sections of the river I found a particular bridge I had been looking for for a while I knew it was covered in perch so I just wanted to find a couple of perch to save a blank. I ended up with one first cast which came out as a nice fish.

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If you’d like to see the video check this out!

Categories
Cameron Harris Coarse River Tackle Reviews

Using the Salmo Slider to find big chub.

Last year I received a 7cm Salmo slider for Christmas after hearing this lure was a must-have for pike I decided to pick one up in real roach colour, and to say I’m impressed is an understatement!

As I have learnt more and progressed through my fishing I have come to realise that its also an outstanding big perch and chub lure! After starting freshwater fishing last October I have been determined to master the fresh and catch everything from dace to salmon. And this chapter is on chub.

I started the day by waking up at around 6:00 and got to the river at 7:00, the lure got a lot of attention from small fish and within 10 mins a follow from a big chub and not only big but my first! she took the lure and missed the hookup. Heartbroken. Anyway, after trying to find her again it proved unsuccessful so I carried on moving to what I like to call my honey hole. Every time I come here there is some sort of fish be it chub, dace, trout, perch there’s always something to save the blank. And that I very much did, a specimen perch showed its face and took a liking to the Salmo with a spectacular fight to put a massive grin on my face!

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After this I spent the rest of the day trying to find another chub in the crystal clear urban setting, unfortunately, I spent most of the time pulling hooks out of my fingernail or net, what a pain. But I didn’t let it get me down I swiftly ripped the hook out and carried on fishing, after my repositioning proved unsuccessful I went back to where I got my follow hoping the fish had come back and was ready for another go. And there she was sat in the flow sunbathing I dropped my net and pitched a perfect cast to her face after the follow and a few twitches of the lures I felt it. BANG. Reel screaming, rod shaking adrenaline making me feel bulletproof, this was my first chub. As she neared the net I prayed she would stay hooked and everything came to plan.

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I have recently been down to the river and noticed a massive population of chub and super big ones mixed in with the average size ones, due to the slider being 21g I cannot cast it with my UL set up but I will be picking up some rattling hornets and lighter Salmo crankbaits and getting some real fun on the chub, remember to check back in then!

Categories
Bailey Payne Lure River

Dropshot for Perch: Creature Lures & Worms!

Something different from me today, I go to try and get the grasps of lure/dropshot fishing for Perch. I have previously tried, and failed, although so far only have 2 lure caught fish to my name, a Pike and a Trout. So I’m not the most confident when it comes to lure fishing and the Perch has evaded me so far.

I was hoping to christen my Rigged & Ready Fish Rig 180 a super light rod ideal for Dropshot and lure fishing for Perch. This time, my dad decided to come along and give Dropshot for a few perch a go too. We headed down to the River Chelmer, a river with an abundance of Perch, or we were hoping for anyway! We focused on fishing structures where we thought likely for the Perch to be, bridges etc etc.

I started the day using a FFS INBE Creature Lure in Get Bit colour, really hoping I would get my first Lure Caught perch! The lure is only small, so it gave me a lot of confidence the little wasps would go for it. At the first bridge, the water was crystal clear and we could see a lot of Perch darting around, although a lot where close in just staring at where the wall met the water, possibly after larvae?

The first cast saw instant attraction, with a group of Perch following the lure through the water as I jigged it. However none of them seemed to keen? Maybe I had to tweak retrieve to spark interest? (If anyone can comment or message me tips It would be greatly appreciated as I am still learning this technique!) I went for quick bursts which seemed to really get the perch chasing the lure, a quick burst, then stop, drag, quick and repeat…BANG! First Perch had grabbed the lure! And was quickly lifted in!

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My first lure caught Perch!

I was chuffed to get my first lure caught Perch! A lovely little wasp! This bridge struggled to provide much else for us, so we wandered down to the next, where again it wasn’t long before I managed to get another on the same Lure!

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I started to struggle to keep enticing these Perch to take, so swapped over to using worms on the dropshot for the rest of the day, which certinaily gave me more fish, clearly it was a worm day, however the Perch still seemd pre-occupied (Any thoughts maybe?).

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A lovely little wasp by the Rigged & Ready Fish Rig 180.

The Perch were coming quite quickly for us through most of the day, and we caught a lot of the smaller wasps just on sight fishing, which is great fun watching the Perch suck in the worm and lure! My dad managed a few Perch too, and even a little Pike which put up a good fight!

The best Perch of the day came as the water started to colour up, preharps the more coloured water on the upper chelmer starting to come through, or just the sheer amount of boats that had been going past us?

The best Perch came from the middle of the River under a bridge, and was on the retrieve, still on Dropshot and Worm. And put up a great scrap!

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The best Perch of the day!

On our wanders up and down this lovely bit of River, we did also stumble across a rather large grass snake, which I couldn’t leave out of my blog!

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Grass Snake

All in all, a good day, and really helped me build confidence on the Dropshot, hope to go out on the jig and catch a few more soon! Really got the bug of this type of fishing! I’ve always loved a Perch too!

Until next time, Tight Lines All…

Rigged & Ready Fish Rig 180: (If you interested in getting anything from Rigged & Ready use the following code for 10% off! ESSEX A+R&R)

FFS Lures INBE:

https://www.ffslures.com/product-page/inbe

I highly suggest checking both of these out! Tom @ FFS Lures is a great help and will take the time to answer questions and help you find what you need to get you catching!