Commercial fisheries have become synonymous with big perch but natural venues have proved their specimen fish potential yet again with both rivers and canals producing massive predators.
Agony soon turned to ecstasy for Paul Elt when he slipped the net under a pristine 4lb 4oz perch during a session on a tributary of the River Ouse.
After his hook pulled out of what he was convinced was a 4lb-plus fish earlier on in his stint, Paul, who comes from Cambridgeshire, didn’t let his misfortune get the better of him and half an hour later he netted one of the biggest river perch of 2013.
The Drennan and Dynamite Baits-backed all-rounder started his day by catching some small roach livebaits which he offered on a simple paternoster rig incorporating a size 4 Drennan Super Specialist hook.
“After a hectic morning with countless pike and a 1lb 12oz perch to show for my efforts I then hooked a huge fish which rolled on the surface and then unfortunately came off,” said Paul.
“I slumped down in my chair and was completely and utterly gutted because I could clearly see it was well over the 4lb mark.
“But I was determined to persevere because I thought that the fish would still be on the hunt for its missing meal and I was right.”
Specimen all-rounder Dan Sales adopted a mobile approach on the Grand Union Canal and banked no less than 14 perch all over the 2lb-mark with the biggest fish weighing 3lb.
The Fox-backed rod was fishing with his friend Gavin Mooney and the duo walked over 4 miles of the waterway armed with ‘jigging’ outfits and braided mainlines.
They targeted areas above and below lock gates with Gavin banking a new personal best weighing 2lb 10oz and both anglers used Fox Warrior Mini Fry jigs.