Not Quite What Brian Skoyles Expected

For Christmas my usual angling partner, Graham Drewery, got a light lure combo consisting of a Specialist Light Lure “Small Plugger” rod and a Ninja 1500A reel, as a present. With the lighter evenings and the warmer weather it seemed like a good idea to put the new gear through its paces.

Toft Newton is a reservoir in Lincolnshire with a reputation not only as a great trout fishery but also as a water that can produce some excellent perch fishing, both Graham and I love our perch fishing so we had the makings of a plan. I phoned Toft Newton and had a long chat with Andy Hutson at Toft Newton, yes we would be welcome to have a day’s perch fishing, lure only, any trout caught returned quickly, everything sounded good … so I booked a boat … we had a definite plan!

On the day the weather was spot on, light cloud and just a gentle breeze. Andy met us and helped us with some general guidance on areas to try. Tactically Graham and I were using similar set-ups with the reels loaded with 13lb J-Braid, 8lb fluorocarbon leaders and a mix of Grubin’Shads, Duckfin Live Shads and Tournament D’Swims.

My first cast on our first drift produced a hit which didn’t stay connected, but my second cast did produce a fish, a small jack pike that tail walked a couple of times, great fun on the light gear. We dropped the anchor and spent the next couple of hours thoroughly covering the area without any notable success, so decided to try the opposite side. It was to prove to be a very good move. My second cast and the slow retrieve it stopped dead by a fish that literally flattened the rod and had the clutch screaming. We were targeting perch, but if this was a perch it would be a record!  It turned out to be a trout, but what a trout, as we saw it in the water for the first time, we both said “Oh look, that’s rather large” although we might not have used those exact words. At 12lbs-12oz it was the largest trout I had ever caught, not what we had expected, but it didn’t stop there because on the next cast Graham also connected with another double figure trout at 10lbs-8oz. Such magnificent fish, but not our target species, so again we upped anchor and moved.

Before setting off whilst chatting to Andy he’d pointed us towards the small tower that jutted out into the water as a perch hotspot. We’d decided to save it for our last area to try so with afternoon progressing and the sun dropping lower it was time to give it a go. I cut the engine and Graham quietly lowered the anchor so we were stationary just a few metres off the tower.

Andy was spot on with his advice, as on Graham’s first cast, his lure was followed to the boat by at least half a dozen perch which Graham estimated   to be fish around the two-pound mark. He went one better on his next cast and connected, a lovely perch a shade over two … this was what we had hoped for, soon after Graham had a second perch, whilst I was struggling to avoid the trout, lovely fish but not what I was after.

All too soon it was time to return to the jetty. What a fabulous day, more of a mixed bag than we had expected, but as a fun day on the lures it had been magic, it certainly won’t be our last visit.  Thanks Andy for your help and advice, see you again soon!