Ash Costa went off the beaten track to scoop a Drennan Weekly Award in a recent issue of Angling Times, thanks to this mega 4lb 9oz perch.
He told us the full story...
“One thing I really wanted to do this season was to get right off the beaten track and try some new waters. By going that extra mile, you can have some truly special results.
“This season, the areas I wanted to target on my local Fenland drains were largely choked with weed, and although I managed a few fish, including one incredibly long, lean perch, the weed issue gave me a good opportunity to take the leap and head to a stretch I believed had the potential to throw up a big fish or two.
“I cycled nine miles to my chosen venue, where I stopped at an area that grabbed my interest. There wasn’t too much weed about, just enough to create a few shadows in the depths for the perch to get away from the bright sunshine.
“I really hoped for a big fish and tried to minimise interest from smaller specimens by using a large, skirted jig rigged with a big stickbait. After just a few casts, something large and incredibly powerful inhaled my lure.
“It took several yards of line, which doesn’t often happen with perch, so I assumed I was attached to a pike. But when I glimpsed those olive flanks and blood-red fins, the nerves truly set in. It seemed like I was playing a striped carp!
“After a good scrap the fish lay in the net, and I was overwhelmed by what I’d caught. I’m not that fussed about pounds and ounces – to me fishing is about the enjoyment of catching my favourite species – but at 4lb 9oz I couldn’t help but think how big this fish would’ve been a few months ago. It was the largest perch I’ve ever seen, although I’ve had heavier ones in the past.
“After landing such a fish and covering many miles, I decided to call it a day and head for home. What an unbelievable start to the new season, and hopefully a sign of things to come. If you’ve been fishing the same water for the last few seasons, I urge you to get out and try somewhere new.”