This is particularly in my mind at the moment as I have been fishing for them over the last few weeks! Like most fishing, this came about by a chance report of a big perch being caught in a match. Fortunately, the report included the name of the small farm reservoir where the fish lived and, most helpfully, the phone number for the club secretary! One phone call and twenty quid later I was all set for my first session. For the first time in donkeys years I was going proper perch fishing.

With autumn approaching and a definite coolness to the morning air, it was time for my first visit. Like an awful lot of perch fisheries, this was only a tiny pond, perhaps an acre at the most, but don't let this put you off. Although these small reservoirs might not look like the sort of place to hold specimens, they are very fertile and contain the key to big perch, lots of small silver fish. Unlike pike, which appear to require lots of space to grow big, perch can be found in just about anything bigger than a puddle. High concentrations of prey are the key to big perch and if you can find this the chances of finding good perch fishing are pretty good.

That first session was very interesting. With one very obvious feature to fish to, swim choice was little more than a formality. Two baits were soon placed across the mouth of a narrow channel full of thick pod weed in one corner of the lake. Bites on lobworm began almost immediately, but the shortcomings of this bait, in this lake at least, were soon made apparent. With so many small roach, perch and carp to get through to the small handful of target fish, worm was not the best way to cut down the odds. After the fourth carp of the morning it was off with the worm and on with a small perch of a couple of inches in length.

Amazingly, the bites continued. First a perch of around eight ounces, then a fish of twelve ounces, not exactly what I was after, but it did show how predatory these perch were. Each bait was snaffled within a few minutes of hitting the water. As the day continued the size of the perch did not improve, so it was time for another change of bait. Big baits equal big fish, so it was on with a roach of around four inches in length. Now, apart from the odd twitch as the bait kicked, all was quiet.

Around eleven the baits suddenly became agitated, lifting the heavy bobbins several inches before dropping back. I moved my chair right next to the rods, certain that my target fish were in the area and that my chance was about to come. Eventually the indicator rose more positively and as the line pulled tight I struck. There was no doubt about what was attached to the other end of the line. The thump-thump of a decent perch gave me the run around for a few heart-stopping minutes before coming to the welcoming net.

Although not a monster, that first fish of 2.14 set the stage for the next few weeks. On almost every session the roach rod picked up good fish, up to a new personal best of 3lb 10oz, other baits were fished out of sight by the little roach. All too soon though repeat captures began to occur, as often happens when using livebaits. In such a small water there can only ever be a limited number of fish and it soon become apparent when it is time to move on. So now I am looking at a couple of other little pools that are worth a few days investigation.

Who knows what I might find. Yes the big perch are back and I want more!