Question and Answer Session with Lee Garner

This week’s installment of ‘Meet the Team’. Lee Garner gives us his tips on lure fishing for Perch, and why he likes the Pro-angler 12.

HCP = Hobie Centre Poole!

HCP – Lee, Welcome. Let’s start with an easy one. What species have you been targeting?

Lee – I have fished a lot for Perch over the past few years and to be honest I have probably concentrated on them too much. I was rewarded with a 5lb Perch a couple of years ago as a result though!

HCP – What have you been doing to catch them?

Lee – In 2017 my biggest of the year was 4.2lbs, and had a number of Perch in the 3lb bracket. With reference to what’s the best technique; I have caught big perch whilst jigging, drop shotting and on crankbaits.

HCP – So is there one technique that works best or better?

Lee – I would say there is no one technique that will do it, you just need to find them and give them what they want..

HCP – Okay, treat me as a beginner…

Lee – That’s not hard…

HCP – Oi! Alright I’ll rephrase that, what style would you teach a complete novice?

Lee – Personally I would start with jigging. Jigging is a very good search bait, which allows you to quickly cover the water. If I am fishing my local river or canal I use soft plastic shads, such as a Zman 2.5” to 3” SlimZ (Z-Man Fishing Products) on a jig head or weedless set-up. You can hop the shad along the bottom and vary the speed until you have worked out how they want it. Only once I have found them I would generally experiment with slower presentations to try and entice the bigger Perch.

HCP – Big bait for big Perch?

Lee – No, not really. Picking the bigger fish out of a shoal could mean going smaller or bigger, you have to just experiment and find what suits that particular fish. Try experimenting with a Zman TRD and working it slowly on the bottom. This has made a difference for me and has picked out the larger perch in the past.

HCP – What is a Zman TRD?

Lee – They are floating stick baits that have no real action other than what you impart, but they work with devastating effect. Nudging the bait along the bottom slowly, gives the perch plenty of opportunity to smash it!
When lure fishing it’s important to have the right tackle it’s not just the lures.

HCP – Lets move away from lures and look at your go to the rod.

Lee – I use St.Croix Rods. They make exceptionally good rods, Lure Lounge distribute them in the UK ( I use a legend extreme 0.3 to 5 gram for 80% of my perch fishing and I have caught a lot of my perch on it.

HCP – I have been looking at one of those for myself! Apparently it’s the sensitivity?

Lee – Feeling the bites when lure fishing is essential, sometimes the bites are very delicate, I’ve experienced this from not only perch and zander but big pike too. Even pike have a soft side! So having the right rod that enables you to feel the bite and get the hook set.

HCP – What about your kayak? Tell us a little bit about that.

Lee – My Pro-Angler 12 THE kayak of all kayaks… Well that’s what I think! I love the space I have available and the stability, I’d be confident I could fit a baby cow on it comfortably.

HCP – I would really love to see that! Other than the capacity, what else?

Lee – This kayak can be but on my car roof on my own and launched on my own. I have the space for my rods, I usually take 4-5 different set-ups and I link up my fish finder unit next to my seat, with the wires hidden inside the kayak. You can get your kayak looking very tidy and organised. With the amount of storage space that it has you will not be left wanting with this killer kayak.

HCP – You are also into your street/bank fishing. What is the benefit of your kayak over being on the bank?

Lee – Being afloat gives me the advantage of fishing parts of the river that no one can get to on the bank. Plus I can fish the same swims, but pull my lure through in a different direction and present my bait in a different way. This can make a huge difference. I have a section of river where I can only access the big Perch via my kayak, as they are in a very specific place..

HCP – Want to tell us about this place?

Lee – Nope…

HCP – Damn it! Let us get back to lures, presentation and finesse. You joined us at the London Boat Show to share your knowledge and love of kayak anglering. We spoke about paddle tails and the ‘noise’ they make.

Lee – Yes, we discussed the subtleties of a couple of paddle tail shads that I use. There are two categories as far as I am concerned. Firstly you have the subtle gentle flickering of a skinny tail which is high RPM, but a tight and compact action. Then there is the ‘thumper’, a shorter, fatter section to the tail where it conveys a slower RPM but pushes a lot of water. Choosing the right action can make the difference. As a basic rule, if the fish are up for it, give them a thumper so they can locate quickly and smash it. Or if they are a little shy, give them a subtle flicker.

HCP – And lastly, what is in store for you for 2018?

Lee – Essentially more fishing… However I have an exciting venture for this season. I will be trying to get more people onto kayaks and therefore will be offering a kayak fishing experience. I’ve taken a few people out up to now, but will be ramping this up for next season and getting some more new comers onto the Hobie Kayak, plus getting a St Croix in their hands! Watch this space! You can find me on Facebook by searching for ‘The Kayak Fishing Guide’ or contact the guys at Hobie Centre who will put you in touch with me.

HCP – Sounds great Lee! I think I will join you for a session on the water.


These topics are brought to you by the Hobie Centre, Poole – Home of the Hobie UK fishing Team.

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