I have often though that perch have got to be one of the most impressive looking fish in UK waters. They are often one of the first fish you catch when starting fishing as they are always hanging around close to the bank looking for a tasty maggot, but catching a really big one has always been an aim in my fishing career. So you can imagine my amazement when I finally hooked in to a big one!
It all started with a winter session on the river Avon. I was fishing light with the aim of moving from swim to swim trying to locate the roach, chub and grayling. In the back of my mind were reports I had heard about big perch in the river, but I thought it was probably just rumours!
After a cold and grey morning, and with the odd chub and brown trout taking maggot on the feeder, we moved from the shallow waters to the deeper sections and the sun came out and really brightened things up. You might think that sounds ok, but I have found that bites tend to stop as the weather brightens up and the fish then wait until it clouds over or dusk approaches to start feeding again, so I was a little dubious about carrying on. Along with this a chilly wind really picked up and in some swims it was hard to tell a bite from a gust of wind!
I put a few more layers on and sat down in a slow deep swim to persist. Just for a change I though I would put a juicy lobworm on a small and very simple leger setup into the swim, and within 15 minutes the tip tapped gently around and I struck into what at first felt like a trout. Then I saw it flash near the surface and realised I had a PB perch on for sure! To be honest, I haven’t seen many big perch so this looked massive! As it went in to the net I was lost for words – fellow fisherman Alan Philips was at a neighbouring swim and I got on the phone to summons him to have a look and to take a photo. I had to look again to make sure I wasn’t exaggerating what I was relaying down the phone to him – I couldn’t believe I had bagged a new PB which weighed in at 3lb 2oz!
I have caught many different kinds of fish in the past but this had to be in my top five. It was a great result from a hard and wintry river session.
Top tip: Always keep a pot of worms in your bag!