This blog is brought to you by Dave Mutton of the Pike Anglers Club and www.specimenfishing-uk.com. He discusses are perch the new carp? If you like this blog share it with your friends on Facebook and Twitter by clicking the icons above!
I RECENTLY came across an article that asked: ‘Are perch the new carp?’ It did get me thinking about the rise in popularity of the humble perch.
Now, as somebody that mainly fishes for predatory species, perch have always been on or around my radar, but recently there seems to have been a huge increase in their popularity amongst ‘die-hard’ carp anglers.
So why is this? They certainly don’t grow to a large size like the carp does. Maybe it’s because what the perch lacks in size it certainly makes up for in attitude.
The perch is a no nonsense fish, full of bristling indignation. The perch really is a ‘mans’ fish, no wonder that it was once described as ‘the biggest fish of all’.
I feel that part of the popularity of the perch and the modern light lure scene is due to its simplicity and the minimal amount of gear required.
In the dark winter months, it can seem a chore sorting all the gear out for either a carping session, which can often be very slow with many hours spent in a bivvy, or even for a day session deadbaiting for pike.
A drop shot or jigging set up take up no room and can be left almost permanently in the car. The gear required can be fairly cheap and an adequate set up can be purchased for under £100.
The other great thing about perch is their availability, the smallest of ponds can hold large specimens as do the canals, drains, rivers and reservoirs all over the country. Many of the commercial carp fisheries do not hold any pike but they nearly all have perch in them, so they are available in a great abundance.
They can also be a quite obliging fish at times, I have caught perch in all conditions from low clear water, to water that was the colour of strong tea.
For me personally the rise in the popularity of perch and the ‘new’ methods of catching them are something of a double-edged sword. Perch, like nearly all predators thrive on neglect, and so the increased amount of pressure that they will face on some waters may lead to declining stocks.
I know of one lake local to me that three years ago was throwing up the odd 4lb fish and plenty of 3’s and now it rarely seems to produce anything.
The flip side of the coin is that, as somebody who makes his living selling fishing tackle, this rise in their popularity and that of the light lure scene has been very good for business, and I am sure that I am not alone in that.
It will be interesting to see what happens next winter and the one after that. Will people continue to mooch round their local canal towpath or commercial carp fishery armed with the 6 ft rod and shoulder bag? Or will they all just be gathering dust in peoples garages and sheds as their owners are sat behind three rods on alarms targeting either carp or pike?
Either way, I will still be targeting them, along with doing my pike fishing as well of course. To me the perch is a bruiser, a warrior that deserves my respect… it truly is a star with stripes.