Most commercials have the potential to throw up a personal-best perch. Having an effective feeding strategy is a sure-fire way to tempt a few of these specimens into your swim.
Up-and-coming star, Lottie Wootton, has enjoyed plenty of success on the big perch front at the rejuvenated Baden Hall Fisheries in Staffordshire using an attention grabbing bait mix.
“I’ve been using a concoction that works on several fronts. Whenever it’s introduced, I feel confident that a massive fish could come my way,” she said.
“Best of all, it’s cheap to make, you don’t need mountains of it for it to work, and it can be whipped up in no time at all on the bank.”
Four ingredients are required, and Lottie explained how they all offer a slightly different quality: “Chopped worms ooze off lots of flavour and the finer you cut them, the more oils will be released. Maggots offer a visual aid, and their movement attract the attention of any nearby perch. Casters are the final loosefeed element, and their crunchy nature is what makes them attractive.”
These are all added to a dark groundbait and formed into balls before being potted in.
Add small dollops of loosefeed to your groundbait to form a ball rather than chucking it all in at the beginning. This way you can moderate how much of each feed item goes in and add more of one if you feel it is giving you the edge. Every ingredient will also appeal to silvers such as roach and skimmers, and the presence of these will pull in the predatory perch.
Introduce a couple of balls at the start but only top up once you’ve caught a fish. Break that rule and you’ll be adding to the carpet and making it more difficult for a perch to find your hookbait when they arrive.
Amid the wriggling maggots, chopped worm and darting silvers your hookbait needs to be the stand-out item. A large offering will do that, but you also need to work the rig.
“I always lift and drop my rig every 30 seconds,” Lottie said. “Sometimes only the float comes out of the water, other times half of the rig. It’s about chopping and changing so that the fish don’t see the same movement and wise up to it.
“Perch are instinctive, and they won’t be able to resist attacking if something falls close to their faces.”
Hookbaits are best matched to the contents of your groundbait, otherwise the perch could quite easily sense the danger. What they’re unlikely to click on to, though, is the size difference. Individual maggots, casters and pieces of chopped worm will be dotted all over the feed area but you can make the hookbait stand out by using multiple on the hook.
Set the hook
“Perch have really bony mouths, and you need to make sure you set the hook. A solid strike is needed, but that won’t be enough if your elastic is too soft. A No13 Preston Dura Hybrid has enough grunt to drive it home.
“Hook size is equally important, and I’ll use a minimum of a size 14 SFL-B.
“The rest of the rig is made up of 0.13mm mainline to an 0.11mm hooklength (upped to 0.13mm if the swim’s snaggy), while a rugby ball-shaped float with a reasonably thick tip will be buoyant enough to handle big hookbaits,” she said.
Give Lottie’s baiting strategy a go – big perch can’t fail to fall into the trap.