“I recently learned the importance of carrying a variety of lures when predator fishing after a change in approach during a recent trip helped me to catch a massive perch.
“There’s a particular Fenland drain that’s been a tough nut to crack this season, although on a few occasions I’ve seen some very big perch follow the smaller ones that I’ve hooked to the bank.
“Seeing these inspired me to keep fishing the area, but to begin with I had very little luck. That all changed on my latest session, however.
“I arrived at the drain early in the morning and found the water was quite coloured, so I clipped on a chatterbait, which is a vibrating lure with a colourful skirt, as I wanted something vibrant that the fish would notice easily.
“After 10 minutes I’d not had a take and so I just assumed that either the fish weren’t there or my approach was wrong. I decided to switch to crankbaits to cover more water, and apart from catching two perch between 1lb and 2lb, I was mostly reeling in weed.
“So, with there being so much weed about I made yet another change and switched to my trusty Olivette Rig with a pearl-coloured stickbait mounted on a weedless hook.
“All I’d done was thread a Drennan Lock & Slide olivette on to my line which allowed me to adjust the distance between the weight and hook without cutting the line. The stickbait is also buoyant, which can be effective in weedy areas.
“I cast the lure out and fished it almost static – letting it rise through the water column before twitching the olivette back towards me.
“It took only a few casts before a very heavy fish smashed into the lure just as it rose above the weed. My legs turned to jelly and, to make matters worse, the fish rolled on the surface immediately and I could see that it was a big perch and not a pike!
“At 4lb 6oz she wasn’t the heaviest perch I’ve ever caught but one of the longest at 50cm!
“I’m pretty sure it will be well over 5lb come February. The catch certainly proved that it pays to have a few lure options with you on the day.”