MOLEHILL soil has helped tempt the biggest perch of the year so far, a stunning 4lb 10oz specimen.
The huge fish was caught on float tackle by former match fishing ace Tony Hopley during a day on the Derbyshire Derwent.
After suffering countless blanks on the tough river, the angler from North Wingfield, near Chesterfield, drew from his match fishing background to turn his fortunes around.
Using molehill soil as one of the main ingredients in his dark groundbait mix, the Perchfishers member introduced four balls laced with casters into the crease of the current.
“I’d been fishing with static rods during most of my 20-odd sessions on the river without success, so I decided to change to more of a match fishing approach,” said Tony, who won the 2003 Division 1 National on the Stainforth & Keadby Canal while fishing for Matlock.
“My mix was half molehill soil and half Sensas PV1. This is really just an attractor, and my groundbait has no food content apart from the casters. I also loosefed a few red maggots over the top to keep the swim active.”
After laying his trap, Tony expertly edged his Dave Harrell Avon-style float through his swim with a dendrobaena hookbait fished an inch off the bottom.
The presentation was too good for the huge fish to resist, as his only bite of the session saw him smash his 3lb 8oz pb from the same venue last September.
“I wish the perch hadn’t come straight to the surface because it didn’t do my heart any good at all!” Tony continued.
“It did its best to get buried in the snags, but I got the better of it.
“Winning the Division 1 National was the highlight of my angling career, but this comes very close.”