New to the Angler's Mail blogs, Mark Radcliffe from HTO shares his tips for landing perch on the River Thames. Make sure to pick up your copy of this week's issue (cover-dated Oct 20) with bonus lure fishing guide from HTO Tronix.
A LOT of my kayak fishing is coastal and a lot of it is competitive, where I will be launching with every possible rod, rig lure and bait.
However this summer I have spent an increasing amount of time fishing the River Thames for pleasure, and increasingly using less and less tackle just enjoying drifting along the river whilst drop shotting for perch.
The tackle I use for this couldn’t be simpler and can practically fit in your pocket.
The rod and reel I prefer are the Hart Absolut Spin with a No 3 reel loaded with the HTO braid. Then the tackle is just a spool of fluorocarbon, a pack of HTO drop shot weights, a variety of HTO Mini and Mega Sticks along with size 4 wormer hooks for the smaller plastics and a size 1 hook for the larger.
Tie a simple drop shot rig, lower it over the side and that’s all there is to it.
Fishing from the kayak offers advantages and also causes some issues. The joy is that you can fish along all the tree lines, close to boats and access areas that just wouldn’t be possible from the bank or a larger boat.
However you have to remember that you will always be moving, you always drift with the current or wind so drop shot fishing in its traditional sense isn’t possible. The weight and rig will always be moving with you putting constant movement on the lure, it is more akin to vertical jigging than drop shotting. You have to use a slightly heavier weight than you might do from the bank because you want to maintain a vertical line to your lure not allowing it to drag at a 45 degree angle.
As with bank fishing putting extra movement on the lure either through vibration or lifting adds interest to the fish and often lifting and dropping the lure just a few inches results in an instant hit. The Mini sticks seem irresistible to perch and there is always a constant stream of fish to 1 ½ lb coming aboard, whilst the Mega sticks obviously sort out the larger stamp of fish.
Whilst perch are obviously the main target on these trips, pike make a regular appearance, loving the sticks as well. In fact it seems that practically every fish in the river has a penchant for the sticks with chub and bream also making a welcome appearance.
It really couldn’t be simpler and is a truly joyful way to fish.
Get out there and give it a go!