Choosing where to go fishing at this time of year can be problematic. The inevitable 'daylight hours remaining' calculation follows every look at the watch before setting out.
My family responsibilities over with for another weekend I found myself standing in my garage staring at my fishing gear - my mind in a whirl working through the various probabilities of an afternoons sport.
The long shot venues are called up, ranked into some sort of order and then placed alongside the knowns of venues involving firmer likelihoods of catching. We've had some rain round here recently so chub on the river or perch on a commercial were doing their best to come out top of the pile.
It doesn't help matters when other bloggers are writing about glimpses of monster pike or river roach which would shake most personal bests.
My new found affinity for perch saw through this time round and I was soon in my car heading for still water.
The wind was noticeably strong whilst driving but unmistakably keen on the pools. Tearing at the waters surface there were bubbles collecting in the windward margins.
I put out two light quivers on alarms in an attempt to fish beneath the howl. The nearby power lines were singing and swaying in the force of the westerly.
I hooked a perch here a couple of weeks ago which took line from the reel and when it rose to the surface had my adrenalin pumping good and proper. As I drew it towards the net I had a good view of the fish and knew it was the biggest perch I'd ever hooked. Well over three.....that could be a f........the fish rolled one last time and my float rig fluttered up into the air. I sat shaking and ruing my luck for the next half hour.
Although the sunken lines of the quiver tips and alarms did get beneath the wind I was plagued with sharp jagged bleeps and tugs which I couldn't hit. As the afternoon wore on the wind subsided a little and I swapped one of the rods for a float set up. As soon as the float rod was out I started to see the subtle touches and lifts which the quivers and alarms were previously hiding.
I caught two perch on the float as the light started to fade, the biggest 2lb 5ozs.
Not quite the monster I was hoping for but proof to myself (if any were needed) that I probably enjoy float fishing for perch so much because it's float fishing, not perch fishing.