Flexible approach nails 5lb 5oz perch

Hugh Lamerton had a ‘gut feeling’ to thank for catching this huge 5lb 5oz perch from a Hertfordshire stillwater last week.

After spending the first hour of his session fishing maggot feeders at long range without any success, the 56-year-old decided to start baiting a new area much closer in with groundbait and chopped worm free offerings.

His first cast to the spot produced an aborted take, but not long after he received another much more positive indication which led to him banking a new personal best.

“I suffer from a kind of ‘controlled impatience’ ¬ if something isn’t working I have to start thinking about a change. I’d located a drop-off at about 25yds which I thought might produce, and so cast to the spot after an hour of giving it the ‘bait and wait’ treatment,” said Hugh, who is a member of the Perchfishers and lives in Hitchin, Herts.

“The bite was a screamer, but when I first struck into the fish I thought it was a jack because the fight wasn’t anything spectacular. Then, as it neared the bank, I saw a flash of silver and though it was maybe a bream, before eventually seeing the stripes and realising it was a perch. My fishing partner Mick Stevens netted the fish and said it was the biggest perch he’d ever seen!” he added.

A simple paternoster feeder set-up comprising 6lb mainline, a 5lb hooklink and a size 6 hook carrying a lobworm did the business for Hugh.

-- Elsewhere, on the River Thames, Shaun Miller also got among the big perch after switching tactics during a predator fishing session to bank a new personal-best stripey of 4lb 6oz.

The 17-year-old student, from Christchurch in Dorset, took his first ever ‘four’ after the fish took a liking to his 18g Fox Pro Zander Shad. Shaun, who braced his perch with another weighing 3lb 1oz, was fishing from a swim  above Sunbury Weir in West London.

“I saw lots of fry scattering out of the water and suspected that perch were to blame, so I scaled down my approach and put on a smaller lure and a 12lb Kevlar trace. It just goes to show the difference a small change of tactics can bring,” said Shaun.