PERCH once again formed the bulk of catches when the second Skipton Angling Association match in a series of three was fished on Whinnygill Reservoir.
Most of the perch averaged about 115g (0:4:0), with one or two up to 340g (0:12:0) and were attracted by the maggot.
One exception to the perch was the specimen bream landed by Wayne Eason, which tipped the scales at 3300g (7:4:0) and made Wayne an easy match winner.
Second place went to Wayne “Wanny” Hitch with 1340g (2:15:0), and in third spot was Kenny Wright with exactly 1000g (2:3:0). Other leading weights: 4 John Leatt 810g (1:12:8), 5 Graeme Waterfall 580g (1:4:8), 6 Alan Wade 260g (0:9:4).
Wayne’s bream equalled the relatively new record fish for the association which had been set by Wayne Hitch, and on close inspection it appeared to be the same fish.
The bream is certainly a very old fish, with almost barnacle-encrusted scales and the lower half of its tail worn away through years of swimming on the bottom.
However, on being returned to the water, it paused for a few seconds before cruising away to the bed of the reservoir.
With more catches of small chub from the River Aire and news of numerous small grayling, it confirms that the good summer of 2013 had produced plenty of fry that survived the mild but rather wet winter.
The grayling have generally been caught by dry-fly fishermen and have run into double figures, with one or two good fish and brown trout in the 675g to 900g (1.5 to 2.0lb) range.
A shoal of small dace have been observed above the railway bridge at Snaygill, along with the odd small jack pike. This length should contain a few perch and possibly a bream or two.
Even a few small gudgeon have been seen above the Carleton Stone Bridge.
On the minus side, there is evidence of a few mink, several signal crayfish and one or two cormorants. Goosanders seem to be absent at the moment.
Last weekend’s threat of torrential rain failed to materialise on the Aire Valley and, although Saturday was a rather wet day, the river level remained near normal.
Weed had grown fast in the warm conditions and reduced the amount of fishable stretches to the bait angler, who is more or less confined to the deeper pools in which the river bed is still reasonably clean.
Fly fishermen have most of the shallower lengths to themselves in which to stalk the trout and grayling.