In todays snowflake world, there seems to always be something that someone finds offensive or disagrees with. With the increasing amount of time we spend on social media, we open ourselves up so much to being offended or upsetting someone else. Every time you flick through your Facebook or Twitter feed you see the same old arguments over and over and in fishing it is just the same. Now I am all for fish care and will always do my best to help people learn the best practices for dealing with fish. But on the other hand, I’m not going to start crying if someone does something slightly wrong.
So we will have a look at perch and the lip gripping method. It seems to be creeping in more and more but is it right? We don’t see this method used for any other freshwater fish in the UK. I’ve seen the folk in the USA and their bass lip grip but I’ve never seen the UK carp lads dangling old Bessie by the lip. Can you imagine a barbel or a trout being held vertically by the lip? That would be so wrong. But why is it ok for a perch to be held in this way?
Going back to the US and their bass. Apparently they have steel reinforced lip and jaw structures and you can safely hold aloft three or four of them in each hand, once you’ve plucked them from your tiny boat live well where they have been swimming belly up for half the day. Seems legit to me. As we all know, the US scene (and others) is way ahead of us knuckle dragging Neanderthals in the UK so it must be fine. A perch looks a bit like a bass , so it’s fine to swing about by the lip and make yoursefl look cool as hell. Of course it is cocka. Who’s tha think tha’s kidding?
Now personally i’m not totally against it. I’ve used the method sometimes but the bigger the fish gets, the weirder and more awkward it starts to feel and on a big one it feels just wrong. As soon as you get a chunky perch, there just seems to be so much more pressure on that lip and you feel like you are ripping the poor things mouth apart. So for me I’m thinking we need to use a bit of caution when they are smaller, and if its a lump? Well there is a far better way of doing it and it’s tried and tested with pretty much every other species. For me, the pictures below are the way to do it, with either a supported lip grip or a finger on top to get that stunning dorsal fin up. Whether the lip grip is right or wrong, the photos below are the best way to show off these stunning creatures. You know it makes sense. 😉