BIG perch are similar in appearance and feeding habits to American smallmouth bass, so it’s no surprise that one of the lures favoured by US competition anglers has been fully adopted by UK anglers in recent seasons, and to devastating effect.
The secret to the success of the Ned rig lies in the buoyant material the lures are made from. When mounted on to a jig head and cast out, the lure stands on end, perfectly mimicking a feeding bait fish or worm on the lake or river bed.
There are a number of ways you can fish the Ned rig, but the most popular and effective is the ‘twitch, twitch, pause’ technique that causes the lure to shuffle along the bottom enticingly. Try casting to the far bank, letting it sink, and then, when you feel it hit bottom, start the ‘twitch’ retrieve.
Every time you twitch the lure it kicks up dirt or silt, which imitates feeding and causes the perch to home in and investigate. When you pause the retrieve, the tail will waft enticingly upwards, and this is often the moment when the lure is engulfed.
Another way to fish the Ned rig is to use a method called ‘dead-sticking’. With this, you cast out and then leave the lure where it lands, with a tight line to the rod-tip. If no action follows after a minute, you can then very slowly drag the lure along the bottom, keeping the lure upright. In many ways, it’s almost like feeder fishing, as you can watch the tip pull round when you get a take!
The Ned rig will work on any venue, from canals and rivers, to all shapes and sizes of stillwater. Make sure you have some in your tackle box this festive period.