Season’s Last Session

Season’s Last Session

by Rocky van Duijvenvoorde

It was a long time in the planning: on Monday, March 26, the Benelux FreeStyle team got together and hit the road. All three of us are huge fans of large perch and prefer using finesse techniques to catch them. We decided to remove all the chairs from my boat and a start a casting session, covering a lot of water in search of large perch...

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On the road again with the FreeStyle team!

Our strategical approach was to each choose a different technique to find out where the fish are and how best to catch them. Bart took position at the point of the boat using Carolina rig and hard baits, Freddie in the middle with jigged soft lures and hard baits and I took place at the back rigged up with a drop shot and bottom jig. We are all enthusiastic even after having felt nothing but the ground for several hours. We continued to read the bottom with our lures and found three very interesting spots, unfortunately we left them without a nibble.

Even after 6 hours of intensive search and many, many casts, we continued to enjoy our session, the main thing was fishing together. Suddenly Freddie gets a bite and brings the first predator in to the boat, a beautiful pike, which wasn’t really what we had come for but none the less welcome! It was photographed as quickly as possible and released. Freddie is a true perch addict, he proved it on the day; he sees a massive pike behind his jig following it until shortly before the boat, then Freddie pulls the jig in front of his nose. "I did not come here for you ..." he said. Bart and I look at each other in confusion and start laughing.

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We didn’t really come here for them, but it must be said the first for Freddie is a nice one!

Could the weather be too nice? Yes, we are certain of that, but luck is on our side and the wind picks up a little as the rain-filled clouds come in from our side. We all agree to quickly go back to a large mussel bank that we discovered earlier. Bart’s first cast is an immediate hit, there is a very thick perch on the line. Wow ... It’s a slab!

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First cast for Bart picking up a very nice 1.7kg on a creature bait.
The first is 1.7kg, it’s starting to look good. Freddie and I immediately change our rigs to a Carolina-rig with creature bait. Meantime Bart strikes in to a second fat perch. These fish are beautiful and are exactly the reason we’re here. For me a bite too! It was fantastic sport on such light tackle. Teamwork is paying off. And now the decision… fish on or leave the spot for a bit and allow it to calm down?

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Bart with his second fat one… it’s promising.

We choose to leave the spot for a while and move on to the next waypoint where we had hooked large strings of mussels. Here again it is Bart that picks up immediately the first bite, another massive one and not much later it is my turn on this spot. Freddie follows too. Yes, all three of us have a large perch above 40cm, nice! Then it all goes quiet for a moment. Shall we move back to the other site or just going keep on going? Okay a few more casts...

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Freddie at the new spot with a 40+.

A far cast, followed-up by a couple of small nibbles… I set the hook, heavy resistance. Then suddenly the weight drops… feels like nothing is there anymore? Then an explosive take off. Heavy shaking of the head makes us unsure about which species this could be. Maybe a decent size zander from the shallows?

A dark shimmer… It’s a perch! It indicates 2.17kg on the scale, a massive fish and a new personal best! We keep on fishing until late. With a total of 8 perch caught, 42cm being the smallest, this day is a memorable one. This is what I like most; changing techniques, fish like crazy, work hard for it and then the big reward. We made a huge amount of casts this season and with this memory in the pocket, closed season will be little easier to get through…

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This is what I like most…

Good luck and chase your dreams next season!


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