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Perch

Graham Elliott

Senior Member
Perch day. Very slow but managed 2 good'uns pm.

Lots carp taking off the top.

My pal Mick found a nice grass carp that I never knew the lake held. Apparently just three in 2 acres.
Went potty on the bank hence pics.
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Stuart Wright

Senior Member
Over the last 6 months or so almost every perch a friend and I have caught from the Thames around Oxford has had the same marks on them (see below). We assumed they were down to predation (cormorants or otters?), but my friend was chatting to someone else who, to paraphrase, said ‘it’s viral and very worrying because the same marks appeared back in the day before the big fish kill’... anyone got any thoughts? I’m hoping that this other bloke was mistaken, otherwise that’s a really big worry

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Stephen Crowhurst

Senior Member
I don’t know what’s around you but often there’s a university or college that would be interested in the information. Do you have more photos than that?
Its quite difficult as I’m sure your can appreciate to diagnose things from a photo. Those marks are quite uniformly distributed but do appear a little concerning. If you can’t find anyone locally who’s expert in the subject give me a PM and il see what I can do, I’ve one or two contacts.
 

Stuart Wright

Senior Member
I actually live down in Harrow, so travel up to fish the Thames around there. Will happily do some searching online to see if I can find a relevant contact though, as I do have some more photos that I can share and agree that it does seem a little concerning. I’m sure some of the match fishing guys must have noticed it too?
 

Stuart Wright

Senior Member
Dropped an initial email to the EA, so we’ll see what they come back with. Did search for a relevant department at Oxford University that might be interested, but drew a blank
 

Stuart Wright

Senior Member
Yep, Zoology was as far as I got, but could only find marine fisheries management academics beyond that. Perchfishers is a good idea though, cheers
 

Stuart Wright

Senior Member
Stuart
I see Steve stopped looking after Wingham lake 6 months ago
But possible contact through them.
Yes, I ended up emailing Andy Horwood who’s their scientific officer, which seemed appropriate. Emailed all the photos I have, so we’ll see what he comes back with.

Hopefully it’s absolutely nothing, but better to err on the side of caution I thought
 

Stuart Wright

Senior Member
For those interested, PerchFishers have come back to me with a really helpful response (below). They’re going to publish something in their next magazine just to help raise awareness, but hopefully it’s nothing too serious. Thanks all

“Hi Stuart

You’re getting some nice fish there.

It certainly looks like a bacterial infection. There are a number of bacteria responsible, and it can just result from injury or a reduced immunity due to stress or a viral infection. Small bacterial infections are incredibly common when fish are under stress and immune systems are low. Your fish look a bit skinny for this time of year, and that might be putting some stress on them, although the two in picture 4 look plump enough,

As far as we know the perch disease is not A disease, but a number of infections that can cause a problem when populations of perch are large and under environmental stress. It remains a serious debate as to why there seems to be cyclical population crash in perch, and having grown up fishing in the seventies and eighties large perch were few and far between. It probably also occurs in other species....for example Zander seem to have been far less common over the last 10 years....(I used to catch 20-30 quite commonly, two or three is good now) but perch often dominate a water then suddenly reduce in number, which is obviously a big change. However large numbers of dead perch are usually the sign of serious trouble. I last saw in on Malham tarn in Yorkshire in 1994 and there was dead perch all along the shore and dying ones near the surface.

Treat such fish as these with a much care as possible and keep your fingers crossed. It could be just a blip due to fishing pressure or reduction in prey and nothing serious or it could be the start of something serious....you can just never tell. When I lived in Yorkshire we went though a period of a number of perch showing such marks, but only a slight drop in perch followed, then they bounced back within a year or two.

If your happy I could send an alert to perch fisher members in the next magazine and keep everyone vigilant. I would say fish from the Thames and not give away your location?

Thanks for contacting us.

Yours Sincerely”
 

Peter Brownbill

Senior Member
Been doing a lot of perch Fishing over last few winters, been successful on the float but on alarms not so good, anyone tried Helicopter rigs with lobs or prawns , cheers
 

Stuart Wright

Senior Member
Hi Peter,

Wouldn’t say perch (or rigs for that matter!) are my specialist subject, but for what it’s worth here are my thoughts...

Perch obviously don’t like resistance, so a helicopter rig is probably not your best bet? The tension down the mainline may be resulting in dropped bites before they’ve even had a chance to register on your alarms.

Can be a bit fiddly, but i’ve had good success using the Dyson Rig combined with an open bail arm on the reel, so you’re keeping resistance to an absolute minimum.

All that said, an ‘alarm set up’ will probably always struggle to be as effective as a ‘non-alarm set up’, so it really comes down to choice of approach and a bit of a cost-benefit analysis as to whether the compromised approach is outweighed by other factors - i.e. possibly fishing with more than one rod

Hope some of that’s a help

Stu
 

Peter Brownbill

Senior Member
Hi Peter,

Wouldn’t say perch (or rigs for that matter!) are my specialist subject, but for what it’s worth here are my thoughts...

Perch obviously don’t like resistance, so a helicopter rig is probably not your best bet? The tension down the mainline may be resulting in dropped bites before they’ve even had a chance to register on your alarms.

Can be a bit fiddly, but i’ve had good success using the Dyson Rig combined with an open bail arm on the reel, so you’re keeping resistance to an absolute minimum.

All that said, an ‘alarm set up’ will probably always struggle to be as effective as a ‘non-alarm set up’, so it really comes down to choice of approach and a bit of a cost-benefit analysis as to whether the compromised approach is outweighed by other factors - i.e. possibly fishing with more than one rod

Hope some of that’s a help

Stu
Thanks, I did read an article about helicopter rigs but can’t find it now , I’ll have a look at the Dyson
 

Edward Adcock

Senior Member
Thanks, I did read an article about helicopter rigs but can’t find it now , I’ll have a look at the Dyson
Paul Garner has a convoluted set up online somewhere. I am a fan of Perch Jesus on YouTube. I have observed him fishing in Oxford - very skilled. I only lure or worm under a float fish for perch in rivers. This winter it's chub only for me. Good luck Peter.
 
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