Run of specimen perch continues

THE glut of huge winter perch has continued this week, with anglers celebrating the capture of 4lb-plus specimens from rivers, reservoirs and carp waters alike.

Sam Edmonds capped a remarkable few months in his budding fishing career by landing a new personal best of 4lb 12oz. The 18-year-old lure angling enthusiast, from Ware in Hertfordshire, adopted his favoured roving approach on a stretch of his local River Lea with his father and regular angling companion Gary.

After starting their session just before lunchtime, Sam landed a perch of 3lb 7oz in the first spot the pair tried, with Gary adding several smaller fish around 2lb. The action dried up for a while shortly after, but it wasn’t too long before Sam hit the jackpot, as Gary explained.

“We started leapfrogging along the bank and had covered more than a mile without a bite when, out of the blue, Sam hooked a fish – it looked like it was going to be a good one, but we weren't expecting a fish of that size! We were both gobsmacked – Sam was shaking, and so was I! We carried on fishing for the rest of the day, but it was hard to concentrate.”

Sam landed what is his seventh perch over 4lb using 12lb Nanofil braided mainline and a 17lb wire trace attached to a 2.5 inch shad mounted on a 0.25oz jighead.

Staying in Hertfordshire, very few big fish have been caught from the notoriously tough Tring reservoirs this winter, but that didn’t stop local expert Ken Brown from banking a 4lb 15oz perch on his first visit to the venue for a number of months.

After seeing grebes feeding on silverfish at around 70yards, he cast out a worm tipped with a red maggot and his only bite of the day resulted in the impressive specimen.

“At this time of the year you should really think about scaling down to get bites and that’s the reason I fined down my gear and used 6lb mainline coupled with a 4lb fluorocarbon hooklink. I think it made all the difference,” said Ken.

Finally, Steve Osbourne punctuated a carp session at Strawberry Fields with some quality perch fishing. The 65-year-old turned his attentions away from carp at the Kent lake and caught perch of 3lb 8oz, 4lb and 4lb 7oz. The Essex rod, who braved freezing was handsomely rewarded for his perseverance with what he called his ‘best winter catch ever’. His non-carp tally also included a 2lb rudd and a couple of roach around the 1lb mark.