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Archie Braddock’s

Flavour of Fishing

NEW MINI SERIE S

In the second part of this mini series, the bait flavour guru reveals his top tactics for perch.

Perching my way

Create your own wormery START with a decent-sized bucket. Any old bucket will do, but the carp counter of most tackle shops will have good ones of various sizes. Purchase a bag of generalpurpose garden compost if it contains peat, but make sure that it doesn’t have a worm inhibitor, which some do. Fill the bucket about threequarters full with compost, and dampen it down with water, if needed. Buy 250 g of medium dendrobaenas (at today’s prices around £5) and drop them on top of the compost. They’ll soon burrow down. If you don’t need to

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use them for a while, buy small ones, as you get more, and they grow quite quickly. Take a good size potato and microwave it for between five and eight minutes, but first run it through with a skewer, to prevent the spud from bursting. Baked potato is your food source, and the worms will thrive, and indeed breed, on it. When cooked and cooled, break it in half and place it white side down on the compost. That’s it! Check it once a week and when there are only brown skins left, replace it. The worms will soon breed and

This my own wormery, in which the worms breed, multiply and grow.

you’ll spot surprisingly large green eggs in the compost, along with tiny, newly hatched worms. At around six to nine months the compost will become stale, so it will need to be changed. I spread a dustbin liner on a flat surface, and tip the bucket’s contents on to it. Clean and refill the bucket, and then sort through the gunge, looking for the healthiest looking worms, dropping them into a pail with a couple of inches of water in it. When done, drain the water from the pail and place the ‘washed’ worms

back in their home, and give them a new spud. You can have as many buckets on the go as you can manage: I once had eight of them producing worms at the same time. Finally, for those who want larger worms, it’s easy to grow a few ‘dendys’ to near-lobworm size, giving specialist anglers a good hook bait. Use a separate bucket of compost and put a couple of dozen of the biggest worms in it. Check it regularly, turf out the eggs and baby worms when they appear, and watch that two dozen grow!

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Worm feed is a baked potato. Pierce the potato and remove the skewer before cooking!

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The result is a constant supply of high-quality dendrobaena worms.

n A Trent fish of 4 lb 2 oz, which was caught on a paternostered livebait.

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’M a vice president of The Perchfishers Group, a club that I’ve been a member of for many years. Its members are some of the best perch anglers in the country, including Andy Cheetham, whose incredible brace of 5 lb 11 oz and 5 lb 2 oz came in a single day last March. I am privy to all the members’ catches and records, and the majority are taken on lobworms. Add to that the many quotes by angling writers in various books, and this very magazine, and it’s obvious that lobs are the best bait. Right? Wrong! Since the start of this century, year 2000, I’ve had

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upwards of 500 perch of over 2 lb, and lesser fish of course. Around 120 have been in excess of 3 lb, sprinkled with a few fours, all of them caught from local rivers and stillwaters, as I don’t chase around the country to fish the known big perch waters. Not one of my fish has been taken on a lobworm. Why? Several reasons. I’m too old to go crawling around parks and golf courses after dark to catch my own, like I used to. Lobworms can be bought from tackle shops, but they are expensive, and I doubt that many anglers can afford the cost of the quantities that

n Archie is one of four vice presidents of The Perchfishers, a group that is dedicated to all things perch related. a regular perch angler needs. Cold water also turns them lifeless, and they are not easy to keep in any numbers. Thankfully, we have dendrobaenas. The old angling books referred to them as the gilt tail, a woodland worm found in leaf mould, and not usually found in urban gardens. They are easy to keep,

they’re lively in cold water, they come in various sizes, and are generally available from tackle shops. A few years ago none of us had ever heard of them, but now they’re the only worm I use. Before covering rigs and tactics, I‘ll tell you how I make sure I have this vital bait on tap at all times.

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Break the cooked spud in half and place it white side down on the compost.

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Archie Braddock’s Flavour of Fishing Dare to be different

With a worm on the hook, the THERE are several books on float whole thing floated, so I then put fishing and legering for perch, a split shot, usually a BB, on the and there have been numerous hook link about 3 in. away from articles, so rather than go over the hook, roughly the length of the same ground, I’ll tell you what the worm. This anchored things I do that’s different. nicely to the bottom. With the Some years ago I fished a worm hooked in the head, it was very slack, shallow bay on the presented almost standing on its Derbyshire Derwent regularly. tail, popped up by the foam and It was so still, it was like lake anchored by the shot. Result: no fishing. A group of good perch more leaf problems, a worm that spent a whole winter in there, wriggles almost continuously and eventually I mastered the because it can’t quite reach the approach needed to keep them bottom, and maximum visibility coming. Float fishing was the to a marauding perch. A further key. I had already established benefit is that the foam can that winter perch generally fed be flavoured with something best in the last couple of hours of like Dynamite Predator liquid; daylight. One January day I had flavouring the worm itself the float rig in by 7.40am, but had generally kills it. to wait over seven hours before I always use Drennan Grippa the perch fed. From 3pm to stops to hold the float in place, 5pm, until the light was gone, I as they can be slid up and had six fish: three good twos down for depth changes just and three over 3 lb. The rest by wetting the line. of that winter I didn’t The perch would start fishing before come right into the 2pm. I used a Drennan margins at sunset, to Crystal waggler, a feed in only a metre size 12 round bend of depth, so I carefully hook and a 2-3 in.-long plumbed up and set dendrobaena, fished the margin depth on 6 in. overdepth. arrival. I then used a I rapidly found that baitdropper to prime the slack was full of the swim with a mix dead leaves from the of chopped worm and autumn leaf fall, as dead maggots. Then often those lively little I slid the stop above worms, even though on the float up the line a hook, would wriggle n Squirt the foam a foot or so, allowing under the leaves. On with Dynamite winding in I found Predator Liquid for me to fish deeper and further out in the the bait attached added attraction. main flow for a while. to a black leaf. So I When dusk came, I slid the stop started lifting and dropping the back down again, re-setting the rig regularly, which worked, but float at the margin depth with no I still occasionally got leaves. disturbance to the baited swim Eventually I hit on a tactic that I by plumbing again. This set-up still use nearly all of the time. works just as well in stillwaters, I attached a hair to the hook, to particularly against dead carry a piece of carp rig foam in marginal rushes. yellow or red.

Spicy feeders

Liven up

WHEN feeder fishing, I always use a cage feeder with the chopped worm and red maggots held in place with a spicy groundbait. Where perch are concerned, I’ve always found spicy flavours best. The set-up is a fixed paternoster with the feeder on a 6-in. link coupled with a 2 ft hook link, effectively giving a gap of about 18 in. between feeder and bait when fishing. About 20 minutes after casting out, with the groundbait plugs now softened, I wind the popped-up worm back until it sits right among the feeder’s contents.

n Archie created this Red Hot Spice specifically for gudgeon, carp, roach and perch.

THE other big hitter with perch is livebaiting. If club rules forbid livebaits, use a deadbait, of which more later. After some 25 years of experimenting, I’ve come up with what I think is the best presentation: the bait held well off bottom and anchored in place. This rig is again a paternoster, but a running one, the big difference being that the bomb is on a 3 ft extension link. Line and hook length are both 10 lb, with that bomb link 4 lb, in case of snagging. The rod is fished on two rests, with the front higher than the back, and once cast out, everything is tightened up. I usually have a bite alarm on the front rest and use a free-spool reel set just tight enough to hold the bait in place. The diagram shows the rig in action. A perch takes the bait head first in a single strike, swallowing it immediately, so an instant strike is necessary. In the early years I had problems

The perch paternoster. The red is the main line, the green is the bomb link, and the black is the hook link. A bead separates them.

using a big, single hook, often striking into the bait and not the perch. I solved this by coming up with what amounts to a hair-rig presentation, as shown. The small hook is only to hold the bait, leaving the big hook clear to do the business.

Catch in the heat of the day

n Cage-feedered chopped worm and maggots, plugged with a spicy groundbait, is a great tactic for catching perch.

ONE final comment on this up-in-the-water livebaiting and deadbaiting method. All the experts quote dawn and dusk for bigger perch. Not so. My best time, proved over many years, has been midday with the sun beating down. What better feeling can there be sitting there sunbathing, when its so hot that even the silver fish go off the feed, but knowing that at any time the perch of your dreams could arrive.

Small but deadly IN recent years I’ve found that a small deadbait, fished in the same manor as my livebait rig, is often taken when a larger one is refused. Quite why a 3 lb perch should take a 2 in. dead

minnow but refuse to take a 4 in. bleak, I don’t know, but it happens regularly. Incidentally, this rig has also proved to be excellent for pike and zander. n The smaller the deadbait, the better.

n The double-hook rig presents a hair-rigged bait.

n Contrary to what experts say, I’ve found that the best time to catch perch is at midday when the sun is beating down.

Next week: Archie returns, revealing his top tactics for a species that he has been catching all of his life.

n This is how the worm is popped-up, using either simple float or leger tackle.

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Profile for Dynamite Baits

Archie Braddock - My way for big perch  

Liquid bait stalwart Archie Braddock reveals his top tips and tactics to targeting big perch, an article which appeared originally in the An...

Archie Braddock - My way for big perch  

Liquid bait stalwart Archie Braddock reveals his top tips and tactics to targeting big perch, an article which appeared originally in the An...