Commercial perch fishing with a pole

Commercial carp are slowing down in the lower temperatures, but there’s one species you can always rely on for bites – the perch. 

Most fisheries hold good stocks of these predators, some of which grow to phenomenal sizes. Often they are encountered by chance, but by adopting a tailored approach it’s possible to make the most of these often untargeted fish.

Angling Times news reporter Freddie Sandford visited Buttonhole Lake near Wisbech, Cambs, and outlined his simple approach for commercial stripeys…

For more great tips from top anglers head to this year’s The Big One Show


Perfect Presentation

“The most important factor in my approach is the way I present my hookbait, and this varies depending on how the perch are feeding. 

“The first bait I always try is two casters impaled on a size 16 hook. A light rig with strung-out shot allows the casters to fall delicately through the water alongside loosefed offerings, and I expect bites just as the bait hits the deck. 

“If no indications come within moments of my float settling this tells me that the perch aren’t intercepting my bait on the drop, and are likely to be mooching around on the lakebed, watching over my loosefeed. In this instance I change to a worm hookbait and bulk my shot towards the bottom of my rig. This puts me in direct control of my hookbait, allowing me to jig the worm to induce a bite.”

The Session

“On the day I caught the majority of my fish on casters, but later in the session a small worm jigged through the swim picked off a few larger fish that were settled over my feed.

“Give both these baits a try to keep catching in the cold.”

The Margins

Perch love to lurk over the marginal shelves in search of prey, making the edges the perfect place to target them. I like to find the bottom of the nearside shelf and fish one line in front of me and another in the margins. 

Fishing two swims helps to keep bites coming throughout the day, as this gives the fish somewhere to retreat should they become spooked on one of the lines.

Perch Baits

There is no need for a complex bait tray when targeting perch, and I look no further than a few pints of casters and a small pack of worms. 

Both swims are initially fed with a few chopped dendrobaenas and a pinch of casters, and throughout the day I like to flick a few casters over both lines. I never feed large amounts of bait as, in my experience, this can bring in lots of unwanted small fish.”