Furnace Mill fires up to be big perch paradise

The boss of a popular commercial fishery has stocked vast numbers of huge perch in order to turn his venue into a stripeys superwater.
Ed Brown, who runs Furnace Mill Fishery, near Kidderminster has stocked more than 60 fish to 4lb 12oz to cater for the UK’s growing number of predator fishing fans.
The prolific complex already boasts a thriving stock of perch to over 4lb, and the new fish have an average size of 3lb.
They have been introduced into two of the four lakes at the Worcestershire hotspot.
With further introductions planned for the future, the move comes as an increasing number of commercial fisheries have started allowing lure fishing on their waters in a bid to attract more visitors during the colder months – a trend that Ed has followed.
“Perch have become an extremely fashionable species, with more and more anglers wanting to catch specimen sized stripeys – especially during the winter,” Ed told Angling Times.
“Most fisheries in my area like to stock carp into their lakes at this time of year, but I wanted to offer something different as well as give those anglers who can’t afford expensive syndicate memberships the chance to catch the fish of a lifetime.”
Ed, who is also a fish-farmer, discovered the huge perch when he netted one of his stock ponds, and immediately made the decision to introduce them into his lakes instead of selling them on.
“They had been in the pond for around five years, but I never expected them to have grown so quickly – some of these fish will be over 5lb by the end of the year and they are in absolutely pristine condition,” he said.
Miraculously, all the fish he discovered were over 2lb 10oz with numerous others over 4lb, including a 4lb 12oz giant which Ed personally weighed to confirm its size.
The fish have been split equally between the fishery’s Mucky Meadow and Furnace Pools, making a mouth-watering prospect for big fish fans and pleasure anglers alike.
“These lakes have already produced perch to over 4lb, and match anglers regularly catch them over 2lb during the winter, so they obviously thrive in there – but I would love to see more people come and fish for them,” he added.
Former Wales International angler, Ian Ward, is a regular at Furnace Mill and has first-hand experience of catching huge perch at the venue, having bagged a pair of fish weighing 4lb 6oz and 3lb 2oz during a match back in 2014.
Ian, like many of the venue’s regulars, is excited at the prospect of even more big perch being caught. The Frenzee-backed matchman told Angling Times: “Furnace has always had plenty of huge perch. We always catch them in matches and pleasure sessions, and the day I caught the four-pounder and the three I lost an even bigger one.
“Who knows how big they go to in there? With these additional monsters going in, Furnace will be well worth visiting for the perch alone,” he said.