Huge 4lb 1oz perch caught from the River Trent

Deadbaits wouldn’t be many anglers’ first-choice bait for a big perch, but a lifeless small roach proved irresistible to this impressive Trent stripey weighing 4lb 1oz.

The Trent predator was tempted by specimen angler Bryan Culley after experiencing a number of fast, aborted runs while targeting the middle river’s pike population.

A switch to lighter tackle resulted in an immediate  hook-up for the Quorn, Leicester-based fish and chip shop proprietor, who soon had one of the biggest perch ever reported from the river boiling on the surface.

“I make a point of having half-a-dozen days afloat on the river after pike, zander and perch over the course of each season,” revealed Bryan.

“We tend to target slacks and areas alongside moored boats, and we’ve caught numerous 3lb perch over the years but never anything like this. It’s a huge fish for the Trent, and the fact that it fell to a deadbait, as opposed to a livebait, made it all the more remarkable.

“I had a number of dropped runs in the one spot on the same small, dead roach which suggested to me a perch was responsible, so I switched the bait to my perch rod and hooked it first drop-in,” the 62-year-old told Angling Times.

The fish falls just an ounce shy of Bryan’s pb for the species, a 4lb 2oz specimen caught from Leicestershire’s Swithland Reservoir a few seasons ago.

Bryan and boat partner Chris Sharp also caught more than a dozen pike over the course of the day, having started at dawn and finished at 4pm.