The unpredictability of angling was perfectly proved when Ashley Bradley smashed his perch personal best with this 4lb 7oz specimen that came from a commercial fishery he’d never fished before.
In a perfect demonstration that you don’t have to visit the most popular specimen waters to bank some of the UK’s biggest fish, the Worcester-based rod decided to give the small water a try after a biteless morning at the venue that had produced his previous personal best weighing 3lb 6oz.
This was to be his last perch fish session of the year and he certainly made it count when he found a redlined corner of the venue and hooked the huge predator soon after casting out his favourite lure.
“It’s always been a dream of mine to catch a perch over the 4lb mark and I don’t usually even target perch this late on in the year, so it was a good job that I’d conveniently left the lure fishing gear in the car which is what tempted me to have one last session,” Ashley told Angling Times.
“I’d only visited this small water in the West Midlands once before and that wasn’t to fish as I just had a walk around and remember thinking to myself that this place must be worth a try for big perch after seeing lots of fry scattering like they were trying to escape a predator.
“At first I thought I’d foul-hooked a carp that I’d seen patrolling the margins, but after the first short run it surfaced and when I saw the stripes as she thrashed her head my legs went to jelly and I just prayed that it would come to the net as quickly as possible.”
The 27-year-old from Tenbury Wells used a 10lb braided mainline and a 7lb 6oz mono leader to get the better of his well-earned specimen.