26/10/2018 - Trent perch, a different approach

Recent float sessions on the River Trent have been completely dominated by perch, the silver fish having apparently vanished elsewhere (or been eaten!), so with temperatures dropping I opted for a different approach in the hope of winkling out some better fish - worms! The thing with worms is that I've never had the patience to collect and cultivate them myself, preferring a trip down the tackle shop to sneaking around cricket pitches on mild damp nights. I suspect that my back's not up to it now anyway. However, as I drove into work this week, the sight of several of the local black-headed gulls doing their little worm-charming dances on the grass verges got me thinking. Firstly, how on earth did they learn that behaviour (nature is a wonderful thing) and secondly, could they be trained to fill a bait box? Unfortunately I couldn't catch one to find out, so it was the tackle shop for me after all! A few pennies over 6 quid got me a large tub of dendrobaenas and half a pint of maggots and I was ready to go. Meeting up with my friend Stuart after work, we headed for our usual spot on the embankment.

Stuart elected to stick with the float rod, while I had brought my Drennan medium feeder rod fitted with a 1.5 ounce, glass quiver tip - a bit light for the Trent under normal circumstances, but I would only be dropping down the near side. A small, 30 gram Kamasan black cap feeder, 4lb fluorocarbon hooklink and a size 10 Drennan super specialist made up the business end. A good handful of worms was chopped up to go in the feeder with the maggots, with a bigger worm broken in half on the hook. 

After about half an hour later neither of us had even had a bite, so we made the decision to move downstream towards the one obvious feature on the section - the suspension bridge. Just in time as it happens as two other anglers were walking upstream with the same thing in mind! Setting up again just upstream of the bridge and casting towards the base of the nearside pillar I was rewarded with a nice "donk" as the feeder hit a nice, hard, gravel bottom and an almost instantaneous wrap around on the quiver tip! 

So it continued for two hours until the light, together with every last scrap of worm and every maggot, had disappeared. As with recent visits, it was all perch in a range of sizes from a few ounces up to 1lb+.


Stuart started a bit slower on the float, but was matching me towards the end so, whilst neither of us had a real big one, we both had some great sport and we certainly provided some entertainment for the commuting masses! 

A couple of days later I was back in the same spot, but on my own this time. The wind was now blowing from the north west and the temperature had dropped a few degrees making it feel distinctly chilly, but I was hopeful that the river hadn't yet been affected. Things were a bit slower starting, but once I'd got my first bite it was once more non-stop until dark. 

Whilst I hung on until I could no longer see the quiver tip in the hope of a last gasp lunker, the perch were in the same size range as last time, with biggest again 1lb+. However, I did witness and photograph a perch that was bang on 2lb for an angler fishing downstream of me, so there is the odd bigger one about. What was interesting was that he was fishing lobworms on a straight lead with minimal loose feed. Food for thought, but with the clocks changing and temperatures dropping even further it will probably be something to investigate towards the end of the season now.


  1. Another good read and literally 2 mins from where I work!

    Can I ask, why don't you venture to the T&M canal for the zander anymore? Been reading your previous years and you seemed to be doing well

  2. Ha, ha! Been a bit difficult so far this year, but was only thinking tonight that I should have a few zander sessions, so watch this space. Cheers, Ian.