Year's biggest river perch landed

A devastatingly effective tactic known as dropshotting has accounted for the biggest river perch of the year that tipped the scales at 4lb 12oz.

Paul Elt admitted that the weed-choked swim on a tributary of the River Ouse would have been unfishable had it not been for the method that involves the manipulation of a small rubber lure attached directly to the mainline above a lead.

The Cambridgeshire-based angler got his session off to a flying start, landing a trio of perch to 3lb in quick succession before a pike moved in and forced all of the fish out of his chosen swim.

He then moved downstream and dropped his rig in to a tiny hole in the middle of a weedbed, and after a handful of flicks of his rod tip his 10cm Fox Split Tail lure, that was tied to a 6lb leader and a braided mainline, was hit by the impressive specimen which broke his previous personal best for the species by 7oz.

“I wouldn’t have caught this fish on any other method and I honestly believe it’s the most exciting thing to come in to the sport since the hair-rig,” Paul told Angling Times.

“Because the lure sits directly above the lead I could drop it straight in to the hole in the weed without any fear of it getting snagged.

“I had only been in the swim for a couple of minutes when the perch absolutely nailed the bait and I must admit that my knees went to jelly when it broke the surface because it looked like a bream in a perch suit.”

Also getting in on the big river perch action was Southern Fisheries boss Jason Lewis, landing a 4lb 2oz specimen from the famous Royalty Fishery on the Hampshire Avon.

It set a new personal best for him after it took a floatfished bleak livebait that was presented in a swim known as the Piles.

He said: “I was actually fly fishing when I spotted the fish in the water looking at my hookbait. I quickly swapped my tackle over and hooked into it almost straight away. I’m glad I made the change as I believe that this is the largest perch recorded from the venue so far this season.”