Sorry it's been a while, but it's time for me to keep my promise and reveal the species of fish that can claim the number six spot in my top ten coarse fish. I said it was a fish with plenty of attitude, so what else could it possibly be other than the perch. (the Photo is of Copmere near Stafford; it looks nice, but the fishing is hard)
Old stripey, otherwise known as the perch, has a lot going for it. Firstly, when a perch bites, it bites, it doesn't fuss about with your maggot like an old lady, the perch puts it straight in its mouth. This probably accounts for why the perch was the first fish most anglers ever caught, and therefore the very fish that set them onto a lifetime of pleasure.
The second great attribute of the perch, is that pound for pound, it can put up a decent fight, especially when compared with cissies like bream and the pike.
Perch have also been responsible for many match wins especially on the canal because they often turn up as a bonus fish. Most anglers could have caught a couple of pounds of gudgeon, but the one with the bonus perch was the jammy bugger who went off homw with a pocket full of pools money.
However, having sung its praises, the perch does have a couple of weak points and that's why it occupies the number six spot.Firstly, it is so voracious and has such a big mouth that it often swallows the hook. Now I'm a gentle soul and hate to think I was causing fish any pain, (If I did I'd give up fishing) so a fish that swallows the hook is not a good thing for me. Thankfully I'm so damned good with the disgorger(perhaps I should've been a brain surgeon)I can usually remove the hook without the perch even twitchin a fin.
Secondly, they are a bit spiky. The first thing you learn when you catch your first perch is to make sure you fold down its dorsal fin as you grab a hold of it. However, the perch has more than one spike that it uses to inflict pain on the nasty anglers. Just behind the gills it has another couple of spikes that have managed to get me on several occasions. I know they are there and I don't know if I'm just being clumsy or I'm worried too much about the dorsal fin getting me, but I've been done by the spikes on a perch's gills several times. If you've suffered the same fate, you'll know what I'm talking about.
In my second book about angling, (click here to see details of the first, pictured on the left) which is almost finished, you can read more about the perch, and how my father ended smacking a innocent cow in the face with one. In my next fishing blog I'll reveal my number 5, a fish with whiskers. By the way if you've got an electronic book reader my fishing book is avaiable on Kindle and several other formats that can be found at smashwords at an almost give away price of £2.99. Click here to go to smashwords