Catching Canal Perch With Light Lures

Fishing light lures for perch has become all the rage in recent years, and it’s easy to see why when you examine this arm of the sport. In an era where work and family commitments dominate life, a style of fishing that requires minimal time and tackle appeal to many of us. That is precisely what light lure fishing provides. A dropshot rod, reel, landing net and a small bag of bits is all that’s needed for a couple of hours’ roving up and down your local stretch of canal.

However, picking the right lure is vital if you want to make the most of your session, and recognising key assets can help you make that decision. Spoons, jigs and crankbaits are all types of lure that you’ll have heard about, but when it comes to catching perch from canals, small rubber lures have a number of attributes that make them highly effective.

Fox Rage Spikey Shads
If you drop your lure close to the bank and work it through the water, you will notice that it moves in a way that replicates the movements of a real fish incredibly well. Small rubber lures also cast very well, which helps give you the required accuracy if you are trying to get it close to a particular feature.  Maintain contact between you and the lure and keep the tip under tension so you can detect bites.

Watch The Rod Tip For Bites
When fishing rubber lures and shads, you need a selection of jig heads to suit the conditions. 3g and 5g are two of the recommended weights that will cover most situations. If you want fine presentation, the 3g is best because enables you to twitch the lure and bounce it off the bottom at a pace that makes it look like a dying fish - which attracts predators. However, if there is a bit of flow, 3g will be too light as the current will hamper how it behaves in the water. Therefore, using a 5g will keep things under control.

Fox Rage Micro Jig Heads
Size of Lures
As for lure size, it comes down to your aspirations for the session. If you are in the hunt for one or two big perch, then start with a fairly large pattern. Alternatively, if you are after lots of bites from smaller fish, start on a micro lure that anything could engulf.

Ranging from fluorescent orange all the way through to jet black, lures come in a wide range of colours.
The main factor to consider when choosing which one to start with is water clarity. In coloured conditions, you need a lure that will stand out and catch the eye of any perch nearby. Bright orange, yellow and silver are all really good in these conditions and it pays to keep switching between them during the day to make the most of your time on the bank. When the water is clear you need a darker lure. This will create a silhouette against the sky so when the fish look up, they will want to attack it.  Black or dark green lures are best for this purpose.

Fox Rage Micro Tiddler Fast
Swim Choice
Many canals, at first glance, can appear barren and devoid of any cover, but look closely.  The stretch is likely to have several spots that will hold perch.

Lock gates are brilliant holding points for perch, and many quality fish have been caught using lures close to them. Any underwater ledges and slopes are also worth looking at, as are weed beds that have grown in the margins. It is also worth having a few casts down the margins as you will often get bites when you retrieve your lure past the standout features.

Analysing recent match results or observing areas where other match anglers congregate can also provide clues as to where the perch will be holding up. For example, if big hauls of silverfish have been taken from a particular area, you can guarantee that predators will be lurking close by.

This article was brought to you in association with Improve Your Coarse Fishing Magazine.