Schoolboy banks 5lb 12oz river perch

The capture of a 5lb 12oz perch from one of the UK’s most famous river systems is the biggest talking point in yet another incredible week for huge stripeys.
Schoolboy Edward Frost had a big surprise during a session on the River Bure with his father when a lure intended for pike was taken by the huge perch that measured 46ins long and he said was as wide as a carp.
The 14-year-old local from Wroxham was working his 15cm Savage Gear lure in a swim at Horning when the fish proved why this river with the many others that make up the vast Broads system are regarded as some of the best predator venues in the land.
“I’ve caught perch to 2lb 8oz before, but this fish was incredible and as wide across the back as a 5lb carp,” said Edward.
“I didn’t have any scales with me, so my mum brought my proper scales that I use for carping down in the car and I weighed it twice really carefully to make sure it was all correct.”
A spokesperson from The Perchfishers added: “The Broads have a history of big perch. Oulton Broad used to produce big fish a while ago and, more recently, the River Glen in Lincolnshire produced one of 5lb-plus, so the Broads and other relatively lightly fished areas are capable of producing huge fish.”
Edward and his dad weren’t the only anglers celebrating, as Cotswold Specimen Anglers members Mark Woodage and Matt Wood netted fish weighing 5lb 1oz and 4lb 6oz.
The bigger of the impressive brace fell to Swindon-based Mark, who fished the popular drop shotting tactic with a Fox Lemon Tiger bait attached to Drennan Supplex fluorocarbon to set a new personal best for the species.
It was a bed of red maggots with a lobworm presented over the top that was the method of choice for Matt, who works at the Tackle Den and lives in Malmesbury, during the pair’s session on a Gloucestershire stillwater.
“We’ve had two fish over the 5lb mark and seven ‘fours’ in January from this incredible venue and there are plenty more huge fish just waiting to be caught,” Mark said.
Richard Hall also beat his personal best for the species when the drive from his Doncaster home to a gravel pit in the Midlands produced a handsome reward in the shape of a 4lb 11oz perch.
The 30-year-old backed the specimen up with another perch weighing 2lb 15oz when he worked a 7cm rubber shad through his chosen venue.  
“I’ve been targeting perch on and off for the last few winters with limited success, so this more than makes up for all my hard work,”
he said.
Some  areas of river are simply inaccessible by foot, but Paul Straughair made the most of his small boat to access a likely spot and was rewarded with the capture of a fine 4lb 7oz perch.
Fishing his favourite stretch of the Lower Stour at Christchurch, the 45-year-old cast a grub lure deep through the swim and was soon met by a powerful take from the prized specimen.