Surprise 5lb 15oz perch landed from Hanningfield Reservoir

The coarse fishing potential of the nation’s big trout reservoirs emerged again this week after huge perch weighing 5lb 15oz and 5lb 5oz were banked.

Day-ticket angler Ovidiuus Venkus smashed both his personal best and the perch record at Hanningfield Reservoir in Essex  when he landed the larger fish on a small spinner worked between Hall Point and the Peninsula at the 870-acre venue.

It was the second of two huge perch banked at the water, the other huge stripey of 5lb 5oz falling to a visiting fly angler.

According to Graham Brown, the senior ranger at the Essex and Suffolk Water-owned reservoir, perch are just one of the many coarse fish species that grow to specimen size at Hanningfield, with carp to over 40lb and pike to the 30lb mark having been banked in the past.

“A couple of years ago this was  predominantly a flyfishing venue, but it seemed a shame to have such rich stocks of big coarse fish and not to let day-ticket anglers have a go for them,” said Graham.

“Every year there are stories of very big perch, pike and carp being seen – the biggest pike caught last year was a fish of 29lb, which is very exciting indeed,” he said.

“Anybody can now come here and target the huge fish that inhabit this venue, with hundreds of acres to explore.

“With the vast quantities of natural food that are present in Hanningfield, there are sure to be many more surprises out there,” he added.