If you've ever wanted to catch a big perch there’s never been a better time to do it. One of the country’s top fishery experts has this week told Angling Times that the nation’s stillwaters and waterways are teeming with specimen stripeys.
The claim, made by Dr Bruno Broughton, come on the back of last week’s Drennan Thames Festival 2014 match on the river in Oxfordshire which saw 15 perch over 3lb netted during the event.
Fisheries management consultant, Bruno told Angling Times: "The captures of so many specimen perch from such a wide variety of fisheries probably eclipses anything British anglers have experienced before - we've never had it so good.
“The rise in captures is basically a result of three main factors. Firstly, the upsurge in catches on commercial stillwaters is, in part, attributable to abundant stocks of small prey as a result of improved fishery management practices. This must also be true of other water bodies where perch have grown bigger on plentiful stocks of food.
"Secondly, the devastating impacts of perch disease - which greatly reduced perch in many fisheries appears to have receded in recent years. And Finally, far more anglers are deliberately targeting specimen perch, using tactics designed to improve their chances of catching them by design. Drop-shotting and other specialised techniques have proved to be a huge advantage for would-be perch hunters in seeking out otherwise uncaught giants."
The Thames alone has seen a huge wave of big perch banked this year including Paul Parnell’s 4lb 15oz specimen caught back in March but other venues have also boasted big fish as anglers have been reporting specimens from canals and reservoirs too. Last month Teenager Jack Hosier banked a huge 4lb 1oz specimen from the Grand Union Canal in Hertfordshire while in June John Deprieelle banked no less than 16 perch to 3lb 10oz during a single session on Upper Tamar Reservoir in Cornwall.
One angler making the most of the fruitful perch sport is England Lure Fishing team member, Sam Edmonds. The 20-year-old Abu Garcia sponsored angler has targeted a number of rivers and big stillwaters for the species in recent years claiming dozens of fish up to 4lb 12oz. A recent trip to Cambridgeshire’s Grafham Water with his dad Gary saw them haul in a staggering 70 perch over two days, topped by Gary’s 4lb specimen on a jigged shad lure. Sam told Angling Times: “There's never been a better time to target the species and the rivers are as good now as they have ever been. Lure fishing is the most exciting, rewarding and effective way to target them, and with autumn just around the corner, now's the time to give it a try.”
TOP 20 PERCH OF ALL TIME
1. 8lb, Mr Zerfall, River Avon, Hants, 1928.
2. 6lb 8oz, D. Cooke, undisclosed venue, 1965.
3. 6lb 3oz, Bill, River Thames, 2014.
4. 6lb 3oz, Ken Brown, Wilstone Reservoir, 2011. (Joint British record)
5. 6lb 3oz, G. Cooke, Wentworth Fishery, 1974.
6. 6lb 3oz, Neill Stephen, Stream valley Lakes, 2011. (Joint British record)
7. 6lb 2oz, Robert Townsend, undisclosed venue, 2007.
8. 6lb, Ricky Hilliday, Cotswold Water Park, 2010.
9. 5lb 15oz 8dr, Greg Strelley, Private Derbyshire pond, 2012.
10. 5lb 15oz, Ovidiuus Venskus, Hangingfield Reservior, 2011.
11. 5lb 15oz, Les Brown, East sussex lake, 2006.
12. 5lb 15oz, P. Clarke, River Stour, Suffolk, 1950.
13. 5lb 14oz, Lewis Hagland, private syndicate, 2011.
14. 5lb 14oz, Ken Brown, Hertfordshire stillwater, 2010.
15. 5lb 14oz, D. Florey, Farlow's Lake, 1953.
16. 5lb 12oz, Linas Provilaitis, Lincolnshire Drain, 2008.
17. 5lb 12oz, E. V. Hodd, Diana Pond, 1957.
18. 5lb 12oz, Paul Hendry, Durham brick pit, 1996.
19. 5lb 11oz, Mark Priaulx, London Docks, 2008.
20. 5lb 11oz, Martyn Topliss, Cambs pit, 2007.
TOP 5 PERCH OF 2014 SO FAR…
- 6lb 4oz (unclaimed record) Bill…., Lower River Thames, March
- 4lb 15oz Paul Parnell, Middle River Thames March
- 4lb 13oz Dan Eaves, Southern Stillwater July
- 4lb 12oz Steve Frost, Yorks Ouse tributary March
- 4lb 11oz Rob Thompson and Kamil Sulima, both Derbyshire Derwent March and January
FIVE PERCH VENUES TO TRY
- River Thames, Bourne End or Teddington, Bucks 01628 530500
- Whitmore Fisheries, Preston, Lancs 01253 836224
- Woodside Fishery, Kidderminster, Worcs 01299 270565
- Wilstone Reservoir, Tring, Herts 01582 841985
- Kennet & Avon Canal, Great Bedwyn, Wilts 077132 62959