After losing a good fish on his last session at Stream Valley Lakes, Jim Mathews returned and set the record straight with this 5lb 9oz perch from the East Sussex venue thanks to a clever baiting strategy.
With conditions far from ideal for a big stripeys and bright sunshine forecast for the day, the 31-year-old Essex-based rod wasn’t overly confident of his prospects. However, within an hour of casting out towards an overhanging bush on the far margin, his ultra-light homemade bobbin twitched and rose to the top as the impressive predator picked up his hair-rigged jumbo king prawn offering.
“I think perch are a greedy fish and will always go for the biggest bait that requires the minimum effort for them to reach. By offering a whole prawn over several broken up pieces I felt that I was increasing my chances of them actually picking up the hookbait.”
After striking into the bite, at first Jim thought that a carp was responsible because of the power of the fight.
“Several minutes after I hooked it the fish surfaced and my girlfriend and I both caught a glimpse of my adversary,” he told Angling Times.
“Needless to say, I went very quiet and my legs started to wobble. As it broke the surface for the final time, Carla slid the net under the most amazing of creatures and I was left to reflect on a truly great angling moment,” he added.
After photographing and returning his new personal best, Jim went on to land further specimens of 3lb 7oz and 2lb 9oz. The trio of predators were all beaten with size 6 Drennan Super Specialist barbless hooks and 4lb Daiwa Sensor hooklinks.
“It was only the third time I’d fished the venue, and although I’d caught on my previous two trips I hadn’t landed anything spectacular. I was disappointed when I lost a decent fish, but this perch more than made up for it. I’ve caught carp to 53lb 12oz in the past but I definitely rate this catch more highly,” he added.
For more details about fishing at Stream Valley Lakes, call Crowborough Tackle on 01892 667671.