4lb 9oz perch finally ends 15-year quest

A 15-year campaign to break his perch personal best came to a stunning climax for Mike Lyddon with this fin-perfect 4lb 9oz fish from a Thames tributary.
The Gardner-backed angler had lost a giant predator last year from the same waterway, so he returned for a short session to settle the score.
Having located a deep hole close to an overhanging bush, he cast a float-paternostered gudgeon livebait within inches of the snag.
Several jack pike were the first to come, but he was given his ultimate reward just as the light was starting to fade. Mike told Angling Times: “This is definitely the same fish I lost just under a year ago, and I am delighted to have finally banked such an incredible perch.
“The moment I struck I just had a feeling it was going to be something special, and as soon as it broke the surface there was no doubt in my mind it was the target fish I had been chasing for so long.
“My previous best of 4lb 1oz from the River Kennet was taken a decade and a half ago, and it’s great to better it in such style,” he added.
With the predator season just getting underway, very few pike and perch are at their optimum size, but Mike is confident the fish could cross a very special barrrier in the coming months. He added: “This is a fish with a big frame to grow into, and if it is landed in the early stages of next year there is every chance it would weigh in at more than 5lb.”
The giant stripey was beaten on a rig made up of 6lb Gardner Hydroflo mainline and a 5.5lb Mirage fluorocarbon hooklength to a size 4 Wide Gape Talon Tip hook.