Perch Fishing in the Autumn – Meet Tom Backlund

 

Singer in a Rockabilly band, guitarist, hunter,  owner of Stockholm Fiske & Fritid, Winner of Perch Pro 2016 all in all a really nice guy. There’s a lot of things you can say about our guest but there is one specific reason why are we are interested in talking to him: he is a damn good angler, especially when targeting Perch.

Imponerande kontorsvägg på Stockholms Fiske& Fritid. Det är inte alla (ganska få faktiskt) som kan stoltsera med en sån buckla!
Impressive wall at the office at Stockholms Fiske & Fritid. It’s not all that can show of like that.

One of the reasons that we did this series of interviews on perch fishing is that we are not 100% Pike-nerds any more… We have moved to the dark side and are trying to learn how to fish for perch. So we though that fishing for pike in the autumn was cool and then.. Hey – let’s do the same for perch.

Following last season of Perch Pro there are probably very few people that don’t know who Tom is. He is not a newbie to us at FiskeFurAlle either. We had a talk with him before the Perch Pro last season, you can read that article here.

Tom has a history as a successful pike angler but perch has been occupying more and more of his fishing time. When we talked to him last year he said: ”The thing that is really cool about perch is that it’s a tricky fish and you need the right equipment and perfect presentation of your baits to crack the code on perch fishing. It has taking me years to gather the knowledge I have today and still every time I go fish I learn something new”.

Vad händer egentligen på den här bilden? Vi har ingen aning men de verkar ha sjukt kul på den där firman :-D. Den får dessutom illustrera två saker vi gillar med Tom - han är sjukt rolig och en sann fiskematerialist - we like a lot
What’s really happening in this pic. We are not really sure but one thing is for certain. The seem to have a heck of a lot of fun at that firm :-D. We let this picture illustrate two things we really love about Tom – he is truly a funny guy to be around and he is a genuine gear-guy and that is two things we really like. (And yes, we know it’s Linus diving straight into the sea of red ghost but still…)

Tom does obviously not have winning Perch Pro as a dayjob. Everyday he clocks in every day (OK, we obviously are not checking that closely but we are assuming he quite frequently spend some time at work) at Stockholms Fiske & Fritid – Toms tackle shop, started 2011, and based in Bro north of Stockholm. We like (not to say the least our gearhead Mange) that you can find brands and products not frequently found in Sweden like FoxRage, GLoomis, Gunki, Bite of Bleak, Nokkela et c of course mixed with more ”regular” brands. Focus is on quality and stuff the guys use themselves in their own fishing.

Stockholmsborren was a new approach that happened this august – a new type of perch competition. A ”winner takes it all” type of deal. One fish (and of course then also one fisherman) takes the whole shebang. It was arranged in Lake Mälaren where Thomas Lind grabbed the top place and mor than 32000 kr for his 1,2kg perch. Lots of fun! We really belive in perch as a competition fish.

The winner that took it all!!!
The winner that took it all!!!

Now that you have gotten to know Tom a bit more let’s talk about autumn fishing for perch.

Where is your ”home waters”?

Lake Mälaren is my home waters and the lake is big and relatively hard when it comes to perch fishing. The reason for that is the the fish is moving over really vast areas.

How did it all start? First time fishing perch and up until today?

My first experience started as for many others behind a bamboo rod looking at the read/white float all day long. It was my grandfather who introduced me into the beautiful world of fishing.

When fishing for perch, where’s the first place you start looking for  fish?

I always look for active perch on and around reefs and boulders before I move to other places.

Otroligt vacker borre
What a stunning perch!

Why there?

The reason is that the perch gather there for hunting. If reefs does not work I go for ledges with a lot of structure or vegetation which the perch uses for camouflage when they are not hunting.

What tactics do you normally employ during the autumn? (and what differs from parts of the year?)

The autumn is a lovely time for perch fishing. When the temperature drops the perch tend group up to big schools.

Jigg fishing is the first choice when the temperature is below 10 celcius in the water. The colder it is the harder and stiffer baits I use. Dropshot is one of my favourites in really cold waters and most of the time with really small sized baits.

Perch is a warmth-loving species and during the warmer months I normally use a lot of cranks and tailspinners of different kind to provoke strikes. The perch can normally be triggered to strike and it’s all about finding the bait, vibration pattern and color that triggers the hunting instinct. This makes having a wide span of different baits and colors available key for getting the striped warrior to dance with you all year round.

In what way does hunting for big fish differ from hunting for numbers?

Big perch has, like all other large individuals become big by being smarter than others and tend to avoid the smaller fish. I try to think lik a lonely soldier in a war. ”Where would I hide and when would I move to get something to eat?”. I would try to keep close to the food I am depending on to live but at the same time keep close to shelter and protection ie. rocks, weed, reed and other structures where I could hide in the shadows. And I would use dusk and dawn to go for food before the light reveals my location.

This way of thinking has succeeded with many big fish in the bag. Since I on top of that keep track of all my fishing days in a ledger gives me a good guidance on fish hot spots, baits and colors for all situations and time of year.

tom1Whats your favorite baits for autumn fishing for perch?

I do not have any favorite baits per se. I fully adapt to the day when I am fishing. I am a gear-freak without comparison and in fishing the rule ”you get what you pay for” really applies. And I employ that rule to my own purchases.

What are the 3-5 most important things to consider when it comes to perch gear?

The foremost important piece of kit in perch fishing is to spend you money on a super-rod. Allocate minimum 2500 kr for the rod. Believe me – with a good rod and a thin braided line you will feel things you didn’t think was possible! As long as the reel has an even brake and puts the line on nice and even, you do not have to spend top dollar for the reel. The same rule applies to baits – you get what you pay for.

Do you have any other tips and tricks you would like to share when it comes to perch fishing?

Look at movies in youtube where people fish in waters similar to your own. Study how the perch works and what it eats and then experiment and test on the water. And put a lot of time on the water. Unfortunately there is no shortcuts.

An alternative to kick-start your perch fishing is to have trip with an experienced buddy or guide but don’t go out focusing on numbers. Focus on really absorb all the knowledge you can. You will benefit for that all your fishing life.

Well. We really need to say that Tom delivers a few truths we at FiskeFürAlle really belive in. Today al lot of gear talk seems to circle around lines and reels. But as Tom says – get a super rod – that’s where you get the right feeling.

But Tom has been generous with fishing tips before, when he did ”Perch School” at kanalgratis.se. 17 minutes of compressed perch-academy. We learnt a lot with a lot of small details we picked up. Why have we not tried dropshot with a jig as weight before. So simple and so effective. Didn’t Tom say ”watch youtube” before? Well – let’s do it:

Tom – big thanks for being here. I was a pleasure having you here again… And break a leg in Perch Pro 2017.

Perch Pro will be on the air again the day after new years eve on Kanalgratis.se. It will be extremely exciting to indulge ourselves the series this year as well. Now when the ”open water season” is coming to an end we need to use all the tricks in the book to help us with the fishing-urge. Perch pro has been an extremely good medication. Exciting, with a lot of learning and a super-exciting finale. We had the joy of experiencing the finale live watching Tom and Linus winning at Hard Rock Café.

This year (or, really, next year) the grand finale will be aired at ”fiskekryssningen”. We will of course be there. We hope you get your tickets. Then we, you and a couple of 100 other fishing nerds can meet, talk and maybe drink beverage -)

//Danne & Mange

 

 

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