PERCH personal bests tumbled at a host of stillwater venues this week as the prolonged lower temperatures and frosty mornings sent the species on the feed.
One man taking advantage of the seasonal bonanza was Wyn Jones, who was rewarded for persevering at a rock-hard Hertfordshire venue by landing a 4lb 11oz cracker following his only bite of a day session.
The 54-year-old gas engineer from Cheshunt had endured numerous blank days over the past three seasons at the water, with just one lost fish to show for his efforts. But all those countless unproductive hours soon melted away with the capture of the special fish, which beat his previous perch pb by a whopping 1lb 10oz.
“I was just pouring a final cup of tea before I started packing up, when the bite came out of the blue. It was a fantastic fish, and I’m still buzzing from the capture to be honest. It’s incredible the difference catching just one fish can make to your morale – I was beginning to think I’d never catch a big perch from the venue, but now I can’t wait to get back there for another go!” said Wyn.
He used a simple swimfeeder rig on a running link, with 6lb mainline, a 4lb hooklink and a size 12 hook holding three bronze maggots.
Another angler who banked a new personal best on his only bite of the session was Lee Chatfield, who landed a 4lb 5oz fish from a southern Stillwater. The 36-year-old threw away the rule book and polefished a king prawn hookbait over a mix of chopped prawns, chopped lobworms and red maggots soaked in Sonubaits Krill liquid, introduced on a little-and-often basis.
“It was hard going because of all the recent rain, but one bite can change your day and makes it all worthwhile. The fish will be well over 5lb in February, when I will hopefully catch her again!”
The fish beats Lee’s previous best perch of 4lb, caught from the river Thames.
King prawns have also been doing the business for Bob Langford, who has had a rake of big perch from his own Springfield Meadows during a series of short evening sessions, topped by a 5lb fish taken last week.
Freelining his bait under overhanging trees did the business for Bob, who told Angling Times:
“Visitors to my lakes have had loads of decent perch over 3lb while targeting carp with prawns, so I thought I’d give them a go. In a couple of evenings last week I had fish weighing 3lb 12oz, two at 4lb 2oz and then the big one. I always knew that there would be a ‘five’ in there!”