The capability of commercial fisheries to produce huge perch was highlighted once again this week with a series of fish to over 4lb being landed at venues across the UK.
The pick of the bunch was a 4lb 1oz specimen which fell to the rods of Richard Holmes-Moorhouse while targeting a popular northern carp water.
The Yorkshire-based rod had endured numerous unsuccessful trips at several different venues across the region, but he finally struck gold when he hooked in to his new personal best after it fell for a legered prawn mounted on a size 8 hook.
“As soon as I struck in to the bite I could feel the substantial weight of the fish – at first I thought it was a carp because it was so powerful,” Richard told Angling Times. “It was determined to get in the snags but I stayed calm and managed to keep it away from danger before slipping the net under it.
“I’ve heard rumours of similar venues holding perch of record proportions and while it might sound far-fetched to some, I think a fish of such size could be landed from a commercial in the near future,” he added.
Further south, Angling Direct’s Nathan Green relied on livebaiting tactics at a Kent commercial and managed to take his best perch of the season at 3lb 8oz.
The venue regular enjoyed success by constantly feeding maggots over the top of his paternostered roach offering.
Worcestershire’s Woodside Fishery has built up a reputation for its shoals of big perch, and Tenbury rod Nick Goode took advantage, landing a fish of 3lb 6oz during a lure fishing session on Island Pool. The all-important take came on his third cast of the day, with a small Onex spinner doing the trick.
Venue boss Ben Hughes has been inundated with similar reports this winter and said: “We are fast getting a reputation for being a reliable and consistent perch water. There are countless fish to 4lb and it wouldn’t surprise me if there were even big specimens waiting to be caught.”
Various theories as to why the species have thrived in commercials have arisen and highly regarded fishery management expert Bruno Broughton believes he may have the answer. He said: “The key factor is certainly the availability of lots of food. In many commercials, conditions favour the successful spawning of stocked fish, especially silverfish. Any perch present have an almost unlimited supply of small fish.”
**Five big perch commercials to try**
1. Tricklebrook Fishery, Five Oak Green, Kent – Perch over 5lb can be caught on the Main Lake with worms or small livebaits. Contact: 07743 955812.
2. Whitmore Fisheries, Kirkham, Lancs – A number of the lakes are home to fish to 4lb although Island Pond and The Basin are the most prolific. Contact: 07891 397086.
3. Viaduct Fishery, Somerton, Somerset – Match water Campbell Lake is opened to perch anglers in winter and is home to fish over 4lb. Contact: 01458 274022.
4. Lake John, Waltham Abbey, Essex – The Top Lake has produced fish nudging 4lb, with worms and dead maggots in the margins producing the goods. Contact: 07958 938153.
5. Rycroft Fisheries, Hemmington, Derbs – Use worm and caster on the pole or in a small feeder on the Main Lake for specimens over 3lb. Contact: 07816 052235.