One of the UK’s best-known specimen hunters ‘realised a dream’ when he netted this huge 5lb 4oz river perch.
The fish is the biggest banked so far this season and smashes the Oxfordshire-based specialists previous best for the species by 1lb.
This is the first perch that the midlands river has ever produced for Phil, who banked the fish-of-a-lifetime, when he cast a simple leger rig out into a large slack behind an obstruction in the waterway.
He built up his swim with the steady introduction of red maggots and then twitched a lobworm hookbait back up through his scattering of free offerings.
It was a tactic that induced the only bite of the session for the all-rounder, who has a personal best list that makes for impressive reading and includes a 4lb 9oz British record crucian carp, a 17lb 15oz bream and a 17lb 1oz barbel.
“I knew it was well over 4lb when I got it into the net, but a five pounder wasn’t even in my mind, so you can imagine how I felt when the scales read 5lb 4oz –I’ve caught some big fish in my time, but this is right up there among the very best,” said Phil.
“Perch tend to react to any movement of the bait so that’s why I just kept twitching the worm back towards me every few minutes and it worked a treat – It’s a dream fish.”
Phil’s previous personal best weighing 4lb 4oz was caught 12 years ago from the famous Wilstone Reservoir, which is part of the Tring complex in Hertfordshire.
His latest specimen was beaten with a rig that comprised 6lb mainline, a 0.5 oz bomb and a 6lb Drennan Supplex hooklink that was finished with a size 6 hook.
It’s 1oz bigger than the season’s previous biggest ‘stripey’ that was recently published in Angling Times and taken from a tiny Nottingham stillwater by local angler Jake Burns.