All stripes and prickles with fins dipped in liquid saffron and a burly bristle both in and out of the water.
When they are small they are greedy and competitive, swallowing worms as long as themselves and scattering minnows.
The older fish, those who have avoided the pike and herons, are more skulking and suspicious. Tucking up against reed beds and only stirring when the light levels drop. They can infuriate and delight, particularly those from small water streams who, though generally smaller than their stillwater cousins, keep colours that glisten against the setting November sun.
I fish for little else during the winter, though I try to distract myself with chub, roach and grayling. I always get drawn back to perch though, largely because of where they can be caught. The tiny ditches and side streams where they pick off the fry and seem absurdly large – a two pounder looks like tank.
Hmmmm….think I might just go perch fishing tomorrow…