25 superb tips for perch

Perch - the most handsome of coarse fishNovember is a fantastic time for perch. This most striking of species becomes more active as temperatures fall, and with so many venues no capable of producing a fish-of-a-lifetime, there really has never been a better time to target them.

Increase your chances of catching a specimen by following our top 25 tips…

1 Livebaiting is one of the all-time great methods for perch and it can be devastating. But check fishery rules before you fish – some don’t allow it.

2 Keep things as simple as possible when it comes to rigs. Floatfishing is always the best option but if you have to leger, opt for a free-running rig.

3 Don’t ignore commercial carp waters if you want to catch perch. Often these venues will be pike-free, making the perch the top predator. They can grow to large sizes on a diet of silverfish.

Prawns are superb for perch

Prawns are superb for perch

4 Prawns are an outstanding perch bait, particularly on venues where the fish have seen more traditional offerings. Buy cooked and peeled prawns from the supermarket.

5 Sunlight is the angler’s worst enemy when perch are the target. Instead, pinpoint feeding times – most likely dusk – and maximise your chances.

6 A popped-up lobworm is visually striking and therefore a great bait for perch.

7 The way to successfully pop up a worm is to inject air into one end with a syringe. However, be careful. This should be done against something solid – and not your leg!

8 There are lots of different liquid attractants made especially for predators. Try soaking cotton wool in your choice of additive and then placing it inside a blockend feeder. This will leak off enticing juices without filling the fish up.

A winter perch with a jig in its mouth9 There are all manner of lures you can use for perch but don’t ignore things like rubber worms. These can be jigged across the lake or river bed.

10 Perch find chopped worm truly irresistible. It is one of the all-time great attractors for perch. Fish a lobworm over the top for the best results.

11 Barbless hooks can present a problem when fishing with lobworms – primarily because they can escape. Keep them in place with a sliver of elastic band placed on the bend of the hook.

12 Jigging is a devastating method for perch. Jigs are small rubber lures that the angler bounces across the lake bed by twitching the rod tip.

Perch have grown bigger on crayfish in some venues.

Perch have grown bigger on crayfish in some venues.

13 Crayfish can be a real nuisance when perch fishing and will readily attack almost any bait. One way of overcoming this is to pop a lobworm up off the bottom – or to lure fish.

14 Try nipping the tail off the end of a lobworm. Insert your hook through this end because perch tend to attack this area first.

15 Perch have huge mouths so be prepared to give them a substantial bait! Try two lobworms, or two halves of a lobworm. But remember you’ll need to step up hook size to a 6 or a 4.

A single maggot will keep a lobworm from coming off the hook

A single maggot will keep a lobworm from coming off the hook

16 One way of ensuring a worm stays on the hook is to tip it off with a red maggot. This has the added bonus of offering further attraction to the perch.

17 Some of the biggest perch live in rivers. Look for prey fish and the predators won’t be far away. Slacks, where small fish can keep out of the flow, is a good place to start.

18 All perch love to lurk in sheltered areas where they can ambush prey. On lakes and ponds look for lilies, tree roots or overhanging trees and, if they’re there, wooden platforms.

19 On rivers look for locks, mooring stages, bridges and towpath pilings.

20 For some reason, perch seem to love red maggots above any other colour. Feed these to attract perch into the area then present a worm on the hook.

21 Perch are rarely solitary feeders and will hunt in packs. If you catch one, be quick to get your bait back in the water.

22 Lure fishing is a great way of catching perch and it enables you to cover a lot of water. Make sure you cast your lure in the shape of a fan and only move to the next swim when you have covered all the water.

23 How do you attract perch into the swim without overfeeding them? One clever little trick is to chop a lobworm up and place the bits inside a blockend feeder. You get all the attraction of the worm’s juices, but the perch only have your hookbait to go at.

24 Locks are great places to target perch on rivers and canals. A lobworm fished under a float is the best method for searching out likely looking areas.

25 Remember the key rule when targeting any big fish, including perch: location is key. You can’t catch what’s not there!

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