This season, I had no plans to compete in the UK. I focused on the Predatortour and WPC in the Netherlands, and all English events slipped from my calendar. The only date that worked for me was Perchmania in the second half of August, but I generally avoid fishing in the summer. I detest the heat. However, more than a week before the competition, it turned out that this year, the hot air wave would bypass the British Isles, so a quick decision was made – we’re competing!
This time, I partnered with Michał, with whom I had previously competed only once in the UK (Pike Maniacs Elite 22) and we even managed to win 🙂 Would luck be on our side again this time? Unfortunately, almost all my fishing gear was left in Poland. A quick query to friends, and I didn’t have to worry about rods anymore. Although I prefer not to use borrowed equipment, there was no other choice this time. Thank you once again to my Scottish Poles. I can always count on you 🙂
The plan for the first day was simple – we targeted the shallows I’m familiar with, where one can usually catch the biggest specimens. Many teams adopted the same tactic, which made the area crowded, but no one caught any fish. This was not encouraging. After a while, we decided to scout different spots. Sadly, one after another, they yielded no fish. From time to time, I glanced at the app, and I couldn’t believe my eyes. No one was catching perch. If not for the three recorded catches, I would have thought there was a glitch in the system 🙂
Eventually, we reached a spot where I had previously saved my skin many times. However, it was already taken. We tried to cast from the other side, but due to strong winds, we couldn’t do it right and decided to abandon the attempt. After all, I still had many backup spots… We ended up going around the lake with a score of zero 🙂 That’s how we concluded the first day. The leading team had only 3 perches, the next one had 2, and several teams had one each. The rest caught nothing!
On the second day, we had a slightly modified plan – we headed for one of our reliable spots, known to everyone, but at least fish were guaranteed. Regrettably, we arrived to find a considerable crowd. Everyone anchored closely, and for the next 90 minutes, no fish were caught 🙂 There was no point in sticking to one spot, so we shifted to power fishing – quickly covering multiple spots. By midday, we reached a location where another familiar team was already fishing. They were perfectly positioned, casting widely in various directions aided by the wind. We kept a considerable distance from them, and thanks to the weakening wind compared to the previous day, we could also cast effectively against it and present our lures correctly. We didn’t hit the perch’s preferences immediately, but once we did, we started getting bites. Slowly, with long breaks, but occasionally we landed big ones. We frequently adjusted our position and also changed the depth at which we fished.
In the end, we caught 5 fish: 48, 48, 47, 46, 45 cm, missing just one to complete the full card. However, due to the poor activity of the fish, this score was enough for the first place. The second team (Steve & Dave) also had beautiful perch, but one less. The next two teams (Aleksandr & Bogdan, Janek & Justin) had three fish each. No one expected the competition to be so tough, and truth be told, we nearly ended up with no catch at all. This time, luck smiled upon us 🙂