ANGLER'S MAIL has great advice every week from experts including regular Andy Browne, and many guests too. Here Andy offers perch fishing tips to help you catch more and bigger fish on rivers.

AT this time of the year, perch are a great species to target. They are coming up to their optimum weight prior to spawning and are commonly found near features such as overhanging trees, woodwork in the water, rush beds, inlets and outlets.

Sport can be especially good when the rivers are up and coloured, as this tends to push perch into the margins where they can be present in large numbers.

The basic river perch fishing approach

I like to fish for them in short sessions at dawn and dusk – times when they are most active.

My approach is simple, I normally start with the swim furthest away from where I parked the car that possesses likely perch-holding features.

I spend about 15 minutes in each swim, moving on to the next one until I find out where the fish are located.

When the fish are in a feeding mood they will come to the chopped worm very quickly. Some day’s results might be instant, but other days you can’t seem to raise a bite – that’s fishing, and we all blank every so often!

River perch-1

1 One of the most productive methods to use for river perch is to quivertip with a feeder rod.

River perch-2

2 My reel of choice for this is a Matrix Reflex 4000 reel loaded with 4 lb Maxima. I use this reel because it has a large diameter spool, it is very light in weight and the front drag is very sensitive and easy to operate, especially with cold hands! If you don’t possess this reel, then other similar-sized reels would be adequate.

River perch-3

3 Another piece of kit that I find invaluable, although not vital, is this Seymo Hook Tyer for tying line to hooks. This make is an improvement on the old Matchman Hook Tyer in that you only have to turn the top of the tyer – the lower part of the handle remains in your palm and freely rotates.

River perch-5

4 Where certain swims have seen a lot of angling pressure I tend to use smaller hooks such as Kamasan B611 in size 16 and 14. When baiting up with lobworms, I normally break the tail off, thread the hook through the centre of the broken end…

River perch-5

5 …and push the hook out of the side of the worm. For the feeder chop some worms over some dark groundbait and mix in an additive like Van Den Eynde Predator Plus or Liquid Worm to dampen down the mixture. Load this mixture loosely into your selected feeder and cast out.


  • If bites are hard to come by, remove the feeder and put on a straight lead as sometimes they don’t seem to want the feed.
  • Keep to a mobile approach until you find a productive swim.
  • Chopped lobworms seem to work better than dendrobaena worms.
  • Use smaller hooks and lighter hook lengths when the going gets tough.

CAUGHT A BIG FISH? Email pictures & details exclusively to You could appear in the top value weekly magazine!