I got on my bike and cycled nine miles to my chosen venue, where I stopped at an area that grabbed my interest. There wasn’t too much weed about, but just enough to create a few shadows in the depths for the perch to get away from the bright sunshine. After putting in that much legwork I really hoped for a big fish and tried to minimalize interest from smaller specimens by using a large, skirted jig rigged with a big stickbait. After just a few casts, something large inhaled my lure and I was into an incredibly powerful fish.
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 caught a glimpse of the tell-tale olive flanks and blood-red fins, the nerves truly set in. Seeing the size of it in the water, it looked like I was playing a striped carp! After a good scrap the fish lay in the net, and I was overwhelmed with what I’d caught. I’m not an angler that gets too caught up in 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. In terms of stature, it was the largest perch I’ve ever seen, even though 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. Getting as far away as possible from angling pressure you can not only find new spots, but also have a chance at fish that’ve never seen a hook before.”