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Coincidence Or Not ?

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Many years ago and I mean many perhaps 40 + there was a time when the Cocky Ruffe ruled in the river Bure and as boys it was almost impossible not to catch these Ruffe and they were considered as a pest fish as they used to swallow the bait down to their tail and we had great difficult extracting the hook, this was about the time the Perch stocks had almost wiped out by disease, presumably because Perch prey on the Ruffe and will take them readily and without the Perch about Ruffe numbers multiplied. This went on until the Perch made a comeback and the Ruffe numbers fell in most places and over the last few years they had become a bit of a rarity. Now over the last few years I have caught a few Ruffe but not many until recently when I am catching half a dozen every outing. Okay there's is nothing strange about that, but when I tell you I am catching a lot less Perch and almost every Perch over a certain size has badly damaged Spines that look to be rotten, so I am beginning to wonder it I am witnessing  a problem beginning in our perch stocks ? Then again it may be nothing.  Anyway I took a couple of little clips to show you want I mean. 


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I have had a few Ruffe this season, but loads of Perch out of the Bure. I had one today of about 3/4 lb and as I was netting it, was surprised to see it attacked by another of the same  species, which was at least 3x bigger and which swam away when it saw the net.



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