The British perch record came within an ounce of being equalled this week with the capture of this huge 5lb 14oz specimen.
The giant stripey, the second biggest ever landed, was banked by bang-in-form big-fish ace Ken Brown, who braved one of the UK’s most daunting specimen waters to take the record-shaking example.
Quickly becoming one of the sport’s most successful big-perch anglers, Ken has now landed three fish over the magic 5lb mark from the undisclosed Hertfordshire stillwater, including the biggest brace of perch of all time weighing in at 5lb 10oz and 4lb 12oz.
But this time the Tring-based roofer thought he had beaten the current British best ¬ that stands at 5lb 15oz ¬ when his legered lobworm produced the only bite of his latest session at the venue.
“The last month has been incredible and when I felt the sheer weight of the perch in the net I honestly thought that it was going to break the record,” Ken told Angling Times.
“Many anglers who are obsessed with numbers would probably be disappointed with coming so close, but the privilege of catching such a huge fish from a water that some people have fished for years and not even had a sniff of a perch, is enough of a reward for me.” To offer as little resistance as possible, which is vital when targeting this species, Ken opted for a running rig with a 1ft hooklength of 5lb mono, while his lobworm bait was mounted on a size 6 hook, with air carefully injected into its tail end to pop it up off the bottom.
Even though he’s convinced that the venue he’s targeting will hold several fish over the magical 6lb barrier this winter, Ken isn’t under any illusion that his latest success will guarantee he’ll catch a new British record.
“This water is so vast and unpredictable, with so many places that you can’t even get to, that there’s a possibility I may not even catch another fish over 5lb,” he said.
“I’m convinced that the fish that are big five-pounders now will be much bigger in the winter, but just because I’m a regular doesn’t give me a better chance of landing one.
“Anyone with a bomb and a worm could just turn up, chuck it out and catch the new record. That’s the beauty of fishing!”