Herons Beasties

Written By
Adam Bowen

One of the greatest aspects of angling, is not only the potential of landing a fish of a life time, catching something new or learning a new style and tactic, it's the people you meet in my opinion, not only likeminded folk, but generally on your wave length. Today was no exception, I had the pleasure of sharing the bank with Jordan Sands, or more commonly known as the Bearded Fisherman, a great all round predator angler who spends his time searching still waters, rivers and canals around the North West, snaring Perch and Pike.

We headed for Heron at Lloyds Meadow, as it is known to have superb Perch fishing in the Winter, and has throw up Perch between 1-4lb, and in great condition with their winter colours in full bloom. Heading across Lloyds meadow, it is still one of the most handsome looking venues in the North West, even in the depths of Winter.

We settled on Heron the deepest end with kingfisher to our back, with the icy wind on our shoulders we set to it. I enjoyed the prospect of learning something new, and studying its use by an angler who is known to produce plenty of predators. The order of the day was prawns and worm, fished on the float and straight lead. Now, with my limited knowledge of Perch fishing, I was expecting this, however, Jordan surprised me with some interesting additions and tactics. The soil, mixed with chopped worm, dead maggots, krill pellet and a mixture of predator plus and liquid worm was a new one on me, it's all about the sent according the bearded one himself.

Jordan fished popped up lob worm, injected with 2 ml of air, with a section of prawn added, that had been socked in Bait-Tech predator plus, it looked a little sexy. According to Jordan, the hook bait is half of it, as it's all about the sent when bait fishing for big Perch. The sponge squares socked in predator plus was a very interesting concept, fishing popped up worm above a cage feeder stuffed with this foam, showing the ingenuity of the tactics used  to snare these big boys.

The salty nature of the prawns with sent form the predator plus with the nutritional value of the lob worm, in my opinion was a great idea. As I have discovered with my Barbel fishing and what I've been told regarding Carp fishing in the Winter, specimen Perch are no different, wanting to get the greatest nutrition and high value food items while expending as little energy as possible. This was very evident in the bites noted on the lead lines fished with alarms and bobbins, as  the bobbins every now and again would lift as the Perch mouthed the bait, Jordan had a great deal more patience than myself, as he knew a decent hook hold would be unlikely unless a run developed.

With she shyness on the lead lines, Jordan swapped to the float line, fished approximately a foot over depth, popped up worm and prawn two inches off the bottom, as there would be less resistance and a greater chance of a more positive bits and hook hold. The change worked, and the float kited of to the left and buried, resulting in a 2lb 6 oz beauty. Now, I personally was in awe of the fish, not because of its size, but its prowess, it was majestic, such a beautiful creature, unchanged by time, and engineered by mother nature to be a perfect predator for our waters.

Continuing to fish the same float line, about six foot of the island, no more fish came, but at this time of year, with all specimen fishing, your usually fishing or that one bite or run. I can honestly say despite me not wetting a line and it being very cold, I really enjoyed the day. There was nothing delicate about the end tackle Jordan was using, but is was balanced. Jordan fished a waggler rod and 9ft light feeder rods, medium reels with 8lb line to 6lb hook lengths with size 6 hooks, using BB shots where he needed. Jordan explained that the tactics he uses and the way presented his bait was what worked best for him, and in the predator world of angling its very personal and whatever works best for you.

I cannot wait for our pike feature, and would like to say a big thanks to Jordan for the day, and as always a big thank you to Danny and Sarah for their hospitality and continuing brilliant work they are doing at Lloyds Meadow.

P.S a little birdie told me that not only Heron holds these beasties , but Kingfisher and Badger hold fantastic specimens as well.