The nation’s army of predator anglers proved that there couldn’t be a better time to get out there and beat your perch personal best after a string of specimens over the 4lb barrier were landed from river and stillwater venues across the UK.
The autumnal conditions have seen the species switch on to the feed and Sam Edmonds was one of the first to get in on the action when he landed a stunning 4lb 1oz fish from Grafham Water Reservoir.
Having woken up feeling ill he and his dad Gary came close to cancelling the eagerly anticipated trip but made the decision to head to the daunting 1,500-acre Cambridgeshire venue in search of a big ‘stripey’.
Gary was the first to get in on the action with an early bite resulting in a fish of 3lb 11oz and between them they netted seven others and saevera; zander during the day.
With less than an hour of light remaining, they began to tackle down for the day but Sam was called into action one last time. “Considering how ill I felt I’d enjoyed the day but just as we thought the day was coming to an end I received a take.
“I was using a drop-shotted Sebile Magic Swimmer Soft lure at the time and after a short tussle it was in the net. It had made getting up that morning and getting on the water all worthwhile,” he added.
Another angler who made the most of the perfect conditions for big perch was Kirk Tarren as his first cast on the River Anker produced a personal best for the species of 4lb 2oz.
After walking the venue and finding a raft of weed mid-river, the Tamworth, Staffs-based rod flicked a small rubber lure over the top of the feature and it was immediately taken by the specimen predator.
It was certainly a sign of things to come as his session also produced five other perch between 2lb and 3lb which were all fooled with a Savage Gear Cannibal Minnow attached to a wire trace and a 6lb braided mainline.
“I thought it was a pike when I first hooked the perch, and I can’t really repeat what I shouted when I saw it coming up through the crystal clear water!” said Kirk.
“If you find the right swim on the river then these baits will give you a chance of catching the biggest perch because they mimic bait fish perfectly.”
Last but certainly not least is Paul Douglas who equalled his personal best with a superb 4lb 1oz lure-caught specimen.
The Northampton-based tackle shop manager used the devastating ‘dropshotting’ method at a reservoir in the midlands and concentrated his efforts in depths of water between 15 and 50 feet.
Numerous perch up to the 1lb-mark, plus rainbow trout and jack pike also fell to the 33-year-old, who used a 12lb ESP Ghost fluorocarbon leader and a size 4 hook.