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my approach to tackling weedy venues for perch ash costa

Ash Costa – My Approach to Tackling Weedy Venues for Perch on Lures

This summer a lot of my perch fishing has been dictated by shift patterns and spending time with my family, but on those odd occasions when I do have free time for fishing it’s imperative I make my time count. Recently I’ve managed to get out at first light and at my preferred time of day. 

It’s no secret that the rivers and drains I fish are more often than not clogged with weed throughout the warmer months, sometimes you start to think there’s more weed than water! Because of this, I have had to find a lure presentation that not only works but also catches fish.

my approach to tackling weedy venues for perch ash costa
When the weed is too much for most a Gunki Boomer / Peps combo will sort them out.

Enter the Gunki Boomer / Peps Combo

If there’s a situation where a bladed jig excels it’s in the weed. The blade on the Gunki Boomer acts almost like a weed guard and even when you do get fouled up with weed, with a few sharp pulls on the rod the lure tends to clear itself of any debris allowing me to maximise my time fishing. 

my approach to tackling weedy venues for perch ash costa
A bladed jig firmly lodged in the mouth of a hungry perch

How I use the Gunki Boomer / Peps Combo

There’s a lot you can do to liven up or kill the action on these types of lures by messing around with different trailers but as I mention so often my starting point is a Gunki Peps rigged upside-down. 

With the peps used as a trailer upside-down, the tail matches the blade really well and it makes a very neat compact bait that offers a good amount of motion. If I think the fish want a bit less motion, a trick that has worked really well for me in the past is to snip off the paddle tail and it gives you a completely different action that’s often more effective on weary fish.

Back to the Fishing!

The first 3 or 4 spots on venue number 1 didn’t produce much at all other than a couple of small perch on the Gunki Boomer/Peps combo. A change of venue was in order to try and find a bigger stamp of fish, if you are like me and get mainly short sessions a bladed jig is a fantastic option this time of year. It performs well on snaggy weedy waters but has the habit of luring out the bigger perch.

After the venue change, I started fan casting every 30 yards or so until I came across an area where I started to get follows from numerous small perch. The fish were very small bearly a few ounces but that didn’t stop them from chasing the bladed jig that dwarfed them. A couple of casts later and almost at my feet this absolute beast came out of nowhere scattering the small perch and hitting the Boomer! From the initial strike to netting the perch –  the whole thing lasted only a few seconds. This fish was a real specimen, tall, broad and with a massive head – a real sight to behold.

my approach to tackling weedy venues for perch ash costa
One of the most stunning perch I’ve caught this summer so far on bladed jigs

After I let her go I did take the area apart with a ned hoping to get another, but unfortunately, this didn’t happen. At this point, I did think about calling it a morning but I still had 90 minutes of fishing time left so I changed venue again hoping to run into one more big fish. 

Again this didn’t happen but what I did find was some epic crankbait sport! Speed cranking is so much fun and when you find a group of aggressive perch the sport can be prolific. I probably should have made more of an effort to find a bigger fish but when it goes off like that sometimes just making the most of it and enjoying what you do is the way to go.

Looking Forward…

Some of the perch I’ve been lucky enough to see, let alone catch this summer are really solid and healthy fish – almost winter condition you could say. If the season continues this well I can only imagine what the winter may bring!

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Ash Costa
Ash Costa

Predator Fishing Expert Contributor with a strong focus on searching out specimen perch and pike.