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Urban Perch and surprise Trout capture

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    Posted: 14 Sep 2020 at 6:12pm
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The Redfin perch is something thats been on my bucket list radar for some time now. 

Since i live in Hawkes bay, perch aren't a common species for our part of the country. This is a relatively good thing since the species tends to out compete other fish in the same waterways. They only feed on baitfish when they are older, so this tends to create a weird dynamic between adults and juveniles. 

Adult perch make up probably 10% of the population in the hokowhitu lagoon; where i was fishing on this day. They seem to hang around structure where they ambush their prey which is mostly smaller perch (the other 90% of the population)! 

I set off in the morning with both fly and spin in hand hoping to tick one off on both methods. I began covering all the best water available, which is the deeper 1- 1.5m water. This is mostly on the far privately owned bank. Getting the lure out as far as i could became a priority. I started off with a chartruese curly tail soft plastic. I retrieved this with a very jerky hopping motion. After 2 hours of casting , i landed the lure near one of the many ropes /buoys in the lagoon (there are 3 canoe polo arenas marked by them). 

After a long retrieve my lure got smoked. It was one of the few elusive adult perch living in the lake. It put up a short and stocky fight so it was easy to get into the net. It was quite the fish for my first one, being very fat and weighing over 1 kg. 

I continued to cover the water and a couple of young guys joined me who were also after their first perch. We sighted a few who were hunting over the weed beds but it was a struggle to get a bite in the shallow water where we found them.  
In the deepest part of the lake i found another nice perch which smacked a paddle tail this time. 

The most important part was definitely the hopping action of the soft plastic jumping off the bottom. It was just interesting the lazy perch into biting. 
At the far end near the outlet we were astonished to find 4 Rainbow Trout cruising! These do get stocked each year for kids fishing days. But since the lake doesn't have a heap of food or good water quality it was incredible these fish had gone at least a year of life in the lake. 
They were rising taking bugs and chasing small fish too. They were particularly interested in our spinners too. But not enough to fully commit to a take. I got the fly rod out and began to pull out a few tricks that work on fussy fish. The woolly bugger was sent in first and had an immediate effect, with two hits straight away. Both went unconnected however. 
The fish continued to follow all lures thrown their way. A soft hackle was sunk next and that change fooled the fish which i promptly caught and released.

The next hour was spent watching the fish cruise around without a care in the world. A tiny rabbit was selected as the next winner as a small jack fought to eat the fly over a another hen. These fish were very odd, both times i had a fish on the line other trout raced over to try and take the food from the hooked fish. Truly odd behavior. 

This is easily the most urban style of fishing i have ever done. Quite odd sight fishing to trout when there are cars just metres away and million dollar houses looking over the lake from all directions. Brilliant little day and i very much enjoyed myself. Till next time.
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQPxUKbDkgscF_IbPr4YuuA

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15.10kg Kingfish
10.25kg Snapper
9.0kg    Barracouta
8.8kg    Rig
7.44kg Albacore Tuna
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Mossy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Sep 2020 at 8:40pm
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Legend mate - great report! I've never caught a perch, but they look like fun. Did you cook them up? I read an article in a Fish and Game magazine a few years back comparing their eating qualities to snapper, just curious how accurate that is (suspect it's a slight exaggeration).
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote smudge Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Sep 2020 at 9:19pm
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I have only caught one perch. It came after casting a million lures (yes ONE MILLION)into a river down in Milton. I caught at least 200 thousand trees (yes TWO HUNDRED THOUSAND) and not a single brown trout which I was hoping to catch. Beautiful looking fish and apparently very nice but as there were 4 people to feed and the fish was probably no more than 250mm long I let it go. That is my story
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote MightyBoosh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Sep 2020 at 9:29pm
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Great write up. A perch was the first fish I ever caught, 40 years ago Cry
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Epicskwid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Sep 2020 at 10:38pm
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Nah i let them both go. Water quality wasn't the best so i wasn't keen to eat one. Best to put them back for someone else to enjoy catching i think. 
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQPxUKbDkgscF_IbPr4YuuA

All Time PB's
15.10kg Kingfish
10.25kg Snapper
9.0kg    Barracouta
8.8kg    Rig
7.44kg Albacore Tuna
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Fishb8 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Sep 2020 at 8:23am
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Excellent report 👍
I Google earthed Hokowhitu lagoon and saw it was in Palmie, not HB. Indeed very close to busy roads! Great persistence to spend so long and well done to catch both trout and perch.
I lived in the UK until 1983 and my mum was from the W of Ireland and they had a river full of brown trout and a lake with trout and perch but as a young kid, all I knew was how to fish with a float and bait, usually bread, maggots or worms but worms were the easiest to get in the remote village. I caught perch up to 3 1/2 lb and as the lake was very unpolluted I'd take them to eat as they were tastier than trout!
Biggest perch from Hamilton Lake is about the size of your 2nd fish but I have seen a dead one bigger than the top picture.
Tench to 2 kg in lake too but never caught one. There used to be Rudd to 1+ kg but not bait-fished for a while. Also cat fish and eels there.
Be yourself; everyone else is already taken
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Fishb8 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Sep 2020 at 8:28am
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I never caught that Tench - was another angler.
BTW - 10.25 kg snapper is 👍👍
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Epicskwid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Sep 2020 at 9:08am
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Originally posted by Fishb8 Fishb8 wrote:

 I caught perch up to 3 1/2 lb and as the lake was very unpolluted I'd take them to eat as they were tastier than trout!
Biggest perch from Hamilton Lake is about the size of your 2nd fish but I have seen a dead one bigger than the top picture.
Tench to 2 kg in lake too but never caught one. 

Tench is one of the next freshwater fish on my hit list. Caught plenty of catfish in Turangi they are in plagues at the southern end. Never fished hamilton lake but it was one of the places closest to the bay to find consistent perch fishing. Might have to go have an explore when i'm on the way past. I'd very much like to try eating perch but i think out of a cleaner waterway! 

Just put the video up too ! 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQPxUKbDkgscF_IbPr4YuuA

All Time PB's
15.10kg Kingfish
10.25kg Snapper
9.0kg    Barracouta
8.8kg    Rig
7.44kg Albacore Tuna
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote taurangatroutmaster Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Sep 2020 at 2:13pm
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This is the water I learnt to fish on. I used to wag school for days on end and spend my days here. Would have pulled thousands of perch from here. Used to catch perch 3 to 6 lb pretty regularly once we figured out how
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