Posts Tagged ‘Minnow’

Drop Minnow for Perch

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

Perch are a well known yet at the same time an unknown species, appreciated and yet unappreciated in equal measure. Striped tigers, residents of backwaters, marinas, underwater obstructions and the underside of moored boats, for a lot of us anglers they were probably our first fish caught, spiky, scaly, striking to look at and about three ounces in weight. For that is the enigma, most perch encountered being both prolific within the particular fishery and small, in short for seasoned anglers they become a nuisance. However, when the species grows to specimen size (1.2 kg or 2.6 lbs), it becomes highly sought after and a very welcome catch. The rub being, perch of this size are rare in Ireland, thus few people deliberately target them.

Dublin angler Owen Walsh displays a quality River Barrow perch.

Which is why observing Owen Walsh use a tried and trusted method for attracting a large fresh water predator, drop minnow, became an interesting exercise. Ledgering a “bottle caught” minnow close to a waterside obstruction Owen initially encountered a good fish only to have it drop the bait. Five minutes later a lusty scrap ended with his friend Mark netting a beautiful perch weighing a pound plus. Spiky, striped, red finned, belligerent and totally impressive, Owen’s smile said it all, a great catch.

The Perchfishers, published by Harper Fine Angling Books.

To cap the day, who should I stop and talk to only Dan Smith and Ken Garry, two of Ireland’s most committed perch fishers with a string of specimens after their names. The story of these firm friends can be read in chapter 10 of a cracking book published by Harper Fine Angling Books in 2011 called “The Biggest Fish of All” a collection of stories collated by the late Richard Chandaman of The Perch Fishers club. I challenge anyone not to seek out specimen perch after reading this book………

Avonmore Beauties

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

The Avonmore River, Co. Wicklow is noted for its wild brown trout fishing. In its upper reaches it is not an easy river to fish being untamed, characterised by rapids, rocky deep pools and overgrown banks. For the trout angler who perseveres though the rewards can be quite surprising as those dark tea coloured pools are home to some serious fish. Inaccessibility coupled with natural selection allows special fish to buck the trend and become truly giant. Adjusting their diet to feed on minnow and smaller trout they put on the pounds.

A 6.lb 6.oz wild brown trout from the Avonmore River, caught by Christopher Stacey around 1993.

Christopher Stacey, who along with his wife Teresa runs Footfalls Walking Holidays likes to fish, we established this when we first met a couple of weeks ago. Discussing the Avonmore we reminisced about our experiences on the river. “I got a beauty out of it one evening in the early 1990′s”, Christopher told me. “Six pound six ounces, I have it mounted at home in the hall”. Well that was that I had to see this fish, so arrangements were made and I popped over to Trooperstown, a town land high up above Laragh.

There it was, easily two foot long and judging by the fins and overall proportions of head to body in excellent condition when caught. Christopher related the story of its capture. Fishing a particular deep, wide, pool with drop minnow just as it was getting dark he got an immediate run. On striking the fish proceeded to stay deep and bore up and down the pool always trying to gain the shelter of a sunken tree to his left. Eventually after fifteen heart stopping moments the great trout was on the bank, a fish of a lifetime preserved for posterity.

Two and a half pounds of Avonmore River, Co. Wicklow, wild trout.

Incredibly above the monster trout was another mounted fish, smaller but equally special this trout weighed 2.lb 8.oz. Caught by Christopher’s son Phillip from the same pool on worm, again in the 1990′s, what a double. Yes there have been big fish extracted over the years from the Avonmore, but they are few and far between. For one family to get two of them is really special, like winning the lotto. “Let’s take a shot of the fish down by where your son caught it”, I said, and we did. With the trout season opening today I know what I will be doing tomorrow weather permitting. A marker has been set for the coming season. Belated congratulations to Christopher and Phillip on those superb fish.

Click: Fishing Information on the Avonmore and Aughrim Rivers.